“These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean.
Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:19 – 23)
The three times that I was pregnant were not easy times. My body did not take well to pregnancy. And each birth was more difficult. So I can sympathize with Rebekah and the struggle within her womb.
“When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents.” (Verses 24 – 27)
I did not have twins, which I was glad of. The younger two were close enough in age that at some points in their lives they were interested in the same things, so there was a tousle over toys. And at some points they were interested in different and/or opposing things which unsettled the harmony between siblings. At times the older two were more closely aligned; other times the younger two. And still at other times, the oldest and the youngest with the middle one the odd one out. It made, and still makes, for interesting family life.
“Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.) Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.” (Verses 28 – 34)
My children are now in adulthood, and the times of disunity are far enough in the past that they get along well – most of the time, because their childhood is not enough decades in the past. And they are each very much individuals. But they can also pull together and for unique individuals they are very supportive of each other. I am very glad of that – very glad indeed – considering the times we are in. It brings me a measure of peace to know that they are there for each other, and will continue to be so in the future. The times we live in may be fraught with peril, dis-ease, and disaster – but our family is resilient to these difficult times. So should it be with the family of the Divine. Brothers and sister in faith may not have the same blood in their veins, but the blood of Jesus Christ is a strong uniting force. We just have to keep reminding ourselves of that! Selah!