Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Week Five - When Opportunity Knocks

Beside the Well

               When opportunity knocks, we are told to seize it!  That is certainly what Rebecca did.  There seemed no hesitation in her actions once she knew there were a prospective husband and a chance for adventure.
               It makes me wonder what caused her to be so ready to leave home.  When you read the rest of her story, you can start to put a few things together.  Her brother is Laban: the same Laban who later tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, and the same one who changed Jacob’s wages three times.  So maybe Rebecca wanted to escape her wily brother?
               My surmising may be correct or not, but whatever her reason, Rebecca jumped at the opportunity to leave home and was graciously received by Isaac as comfort after the loss of his mother, Sarah.
               The next time Rebecca grabbed hold of an opportunity did not come out so well.  When she realized Isaac was about to bestow the family blessing on Esau, she moved quickly to secure that blessing for her favorite son, Jacob.  She directed her son to deceive his father and even participated further by stewing the pottage that would taste exactly as Isaac remembered.  Sadly, this decision meant she never saw her son, Jacob, again.  He had to flee for his life.  And, where did he go?  To Laban—the same place she had so readily left years ago.
               Rebecca made two major life choices.  The first choice sees her casting herself upon the direction of God.  Even her father, Bethuel, and her brother, Laban, agreed that the offer of marriage came from the Lord.  There was no deceit, just an arranged marriage as was common in their culture.
               But her second choice was entirely different.  Here we see her taking things into her own hands.  God has already promised her that the older would serve the younger (Genesis25:23), but for some reason, she panics and starts scheming.
               I wonder how God would have worked that out had she not prematurely intervened.  And, I also know that God knew what she would do.  Isn’t that odd?  He knew what would happen and knew she would move to make it happen.  So, does that make her actions right?  Was she justified in helping Jacob steal the blessing from Esau?  I guess that is something we will have to ask in heaven.
               For us, though, there are plenty of Bible admonitions about waiting upon the Lord, yielding to His timing, and warnings about taking things into our own hands.  So, when opportunity knocks, we are best to look carefully to determine if it is of the Lord, or of our own making.

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