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by Ron Rose
Man's Schemes, God's Wisdom
    Before Abraham died, he sent a trusted servant back to his brother’s family in Haran to select a wife for Isaac. The aging father didn’t want Isaac marrying a woman from Canaan. So God guided the servant to Rebekah, and when the servant and Rebekah returned to Canaan, Isaac married her and loved her very much.

    Isaac kept the traditions of his father. He, too, was a prosperous, nomadic herdsman. He, too, received the promise of relationship with God and the legacy of the land. The son of Abraham seems to have been a peaceable man who spent much of his life retracing the steps of his father, re-digging the wells his father had dug, and following the God his father had followed.

Before the two boys were born, God told Rebekah, “The older will serve the younger.” This was before the boys had done anything good or bad. God said this so that the one chosen would be chosen because of God’s own plan. He was chosen because he was the one God wanted to call, not because of anything he did.
ROMANS 9:11-12
    After twenty years without children, Isaac prayed for Rebekah, and she became pregnant with twins. When she grew concerned about the constant struggling in her womb, God told her two nations were inside her and that the older brother would end up serving the younger. When the babies were born, Isaac and Rebekah named the first boy Esau and the second Jacob (loosely translated “trickster”).

    There must have been times when the boys sat around the fire in the evening, listening to their father tell stories about their grandfather and their God. Their family had a great heritage and a God-ordained destiny, but neither son seemed to depend much on God. Esau got so hungry one day he traded his birthright—the position of family guide and priest—to Jacob for a bowl of soup. Jacob, eager to secure the blessings, took advantage of the situation to insure his own future. Despite the faith of their fathers, Jacob and Esau relied on themselves rather than God, but even their scheming served to further God’s plans.

Reflection: Closeness with God is non-transferable; it can’t be handed down from generation to generation. Fathers and mothers can lead their children toward God and teach them about God, but they can’t force their children to follow him. God doesn’t force his children to follow him, and as parents we cannot either. We can, however, learn from how God deals with his children in both the good and bad times, and we can take com-fort in his ability to redeem any situation.


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