October 16, 2015
Ch 27: Isaac is old, blind and close to death, and wants to bless Esau, his oldest son. He asks Esau to kill some game and cook it for him, and then he will bless him. Rebekah, the twins’ mother, hears this and has Jacob kill goats so Rebekah can prepare the meal. They dress Jacob in Esau’s clothes and put goat skins on this hands and neck to fool Isaac into believing its Esau. Isaac is suspicious, and although Jacob outright lies several times, receives the blessing meant for Esau. When Esau came in and found out what happened, he wept–Jacob had stolen both his birthright and blessing. Rebekah sent Jacob to Laban her brother to hide out because Esau was planning to kill him. She told Isaac it was to find a bride for Jacob from among their relatives. Esau heard this and quickly married a descendant of Ishmael since they were related through Abraham.
Ch 28: Isaac blesses Jacob again as he heads off to Bethuel. Jacob has a dream from YHWH who promises, just like to Abraham and Isaac, that all the families of the earth will be blessed thru him. Jacob anoints the rock that was under his head during his dream with oil–it became the eventual site of the Bethel temple. Jacob vows to give a tenth of everything to YHWH.
Ch 29: Jacob meets Rachel at a well, just as his father Isaac met his mother Rebekah at a well, but this time Jacob offers to water Rachel’s sheep rather than Rebekah offering to water Isaac’s camels. Laban agrees to let Jacob marry Rachel if he works for him for 7 years. After the wedding feast in the dark Laban gives Leah the older sister to Jacob–Jacob couldn’t see her due to the darkness, just as Isaac couldn’t see Jacob due to his blindness. (I have to presume there was some alcohol involved as well) Laban tricks Jacob just as Jacob had tricked his father. Jacob had chosen the younger daughter but was tricked into laying with the older daughter, whereas Isaac had chosen the older son to give the blessing to but was tricked into giving the blessing to the younger son. Many parallels and contrasts.
After the 1 week wedding feast Laban also gave Rachel to Jacob, since Jacob agreed to work 7 additional years for Laban. God blessed Leah since Jacob loved Rachel more; she had 4 sons.
October 12, 2015
Ch 25: Abraham remarries and has a bunch of kids whose descendants eventually become enemies of Israel. Abraham dies at 175 and is buried next to Sarah. Ishmael has 12 sons as prophesied. Isaac has twin boys Esau and Jacob; a prophecy is given that the older will serve the younger. Jacob the younger manipulates starving Esau to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup. How often we give up long term blessings for short term gain.
Ch 26: A famine causes Isaac to move to Gerar Valley, near Abimelech. Isaac, just like his father, passes off Rebekah as his sister rather than his own wife to protect his skin. This is third time this has happened in Genesis, twice with Abraham and once with Isaac!! I’d say this is a family problem–sins of one generation are visited on the next. Wow, God help us.
Isaac becomes rich, and there is conflict between his people and Abimelech’s, Isaac moves to Beersheba. He is constantly digging wells and finding water, not an easy thing to do in the desert. God is blessing Isaac. Money often causes contention, doesn’t it?
Esau gets married to Judith and they are a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah–marriages of children do that to parents. Again, God help us.
September 21, 2015
Ch 22: Abraham is told to sacrifice Isaac. While ascending Mt Moriah to do the deed (Father) Abraham lays the wood for the sacrifice on his son Isaac, the child of promise, just as Jesus, the promised Messiah, carried His own cross up the same mountain centuries later. The angel of YHWH calls to Abraham “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.“ Two things to note: We see the angel of the LORD describing Himself as God (because this is actually preincarnate Jesus), and Isaac is called Abraham’s “only son” (even though he did have Ishmael, who was not the child of promise) just as the Father called Jesus his “only begotten son”.
Ch 23: Sarah dies when Isaac is 37 yrs old. Abraham buys a piece of land for 400 shekels of silver in Hebron and places Sarah in a burial cave.
Ch 24: Abraham sends his servant back to Iraq to find a relative for Isaac to marry but makes the servant swear, if Abraham dies, not to take Isaac back with him, even if he can’t find a bride. Abraham is very concerned that his son continues to walk in the calling of Abraham, which was to settle in a new land. The bride, Rebekah, is Abraham’s brother’s grand daughter, a humble and lovely servant.