Isaac married the right woman. God picked her. There’s no mistake that Rebekah is “the one.” God set up the meeting, and the rest rolls out like a fairytale, ending with Isaac taking Rebekah into the tent, “and she became his wife, and he loved her.” Aaaw. So romantic, so perfect. And they live happily ever after.
Until a couple of chapters later, when Rebekah is a woman on a mission, taking advantage of her now aging, blind husband, actually devising a plan to deceive her husband and making her son an accomplice. This sets up a chain of events that leaves the couple regretful for a long time. The family is splintered. We don’t know if Rebekah ever sees her favorite son again. We know he is gone for a long time, and Isaac is a very old man by the Jacob returns home. In the meantime, they are picking up the pieces in the wake of betrayal. All this because of his beautiful wife that God picked.
I don’t have any explanation except to say that we can’t blame God. God can’t be tempted, neither does he tempt anyone. While Rebekah was pregnant, God had told her the older twin would serve the younger. Maybe that’s why she favors Jacob. Maybe she just likes that he hangs around the camp with her, rather than going out into the wild like his older brother.
She probably also knows about God’s promise to Abraham which was passed on to her husband. One of her twins would inherit this promise. According to convention, that would be the older twin, Esau. She probably isn’t sure what God meant about the elder serving the younger, but just in case, she takes it upon herself to make sure her beloved Jacob comes out on top. She could have trusted God, but instead she comes up with a plan requiring a little twisting of the truth and a bit of deception — all with good motives, of course.
Rebekah was God’s perfect choice for Isaac, but she isn’t perfect and neither is Isaac. Fortunately God’s plan for the family of Abraham, God’s plan for Jacob — and Esau — is not dependent on the perfection of Isaac and Rebekah — not their marriage nor their parenting. Neither could his plans be hijacked by their doubts, fears, or sin.
If you thought your partner was handpicked by God, but now your marriage is not going so perfect, take heart, God doesn’t make mistakes. Ask God to deal with your own doubts and fears. Ask for the courage to trust him instead of relying on your own devices.
If you’re regretting some stupid choices in marriage or parenting, take heart, God is still at work. Nothing is beyond Christ’s redemption, and in the middle of it all, his plan is moving forward. He’s taken into account all the choices you’ve made and all the mistakes you will make. Ask God to meet you where you are, in the midst of your mess. Ask his forgiveness for acting out of fear and doubt. Leave all your junk at his feet. He knows how to weave it all into something beautiful.
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