But the children inside her struggled with each other, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So Rebekah went to inquire of the LORD,
1. Jehovah vouchsafes answers to His troubled petitioners suitable to their desires.
We are now entering a new stage of the sacred history, where we are looking less upon the development of one man's character than upon the unfolding purposes of Jehovah in the family with which he has made his covenant. Again we are in the region of -
1. Gracious interposition.
2. Supernatural assistance of human infirmity.
3. Prophetic announcements.
The atmosphere is that of the covenant. The children in the womb are two nations. The history of great peoples is anticipated. - R.
The generations of Isaac. 1.
God hath a special care to commend unto posterity the line of His Church, and His providences towards it.
2. The eminent line of the Church visible begins from Abraham (ver. 19).
3. The holy seed run not foolishly nor hastily into the marriage covenant, but in maturity and prudence.
4. God separates the mother of His Church from all superstitious relations. In calling any to His Church God separates them from corrupt relations (ver. 20).
In God's answer of prayer the greatest mercies may be given in, with the greatest temptation.
2. Hard temptations may sometimes cause gracious souls to be discontented with their mercies.
3. In such temptations gracious hearts make their resource to God to know His mind and do it (ver. 22).
2. God hath by natural symptoms in some declared the two great parties of the world and of the Church.
3. God's oracle hath foretold heavy divisions between them.
4. God hath so ordered that the people of the world may be outwardly stronger than the Church.
5. It is God's oracle that the greatest in the world shall serve the least in the Church.
6. The preferring or undervaluing of creatures either for outward or inward, temporal or eternal good, depends wholly upon God's will (ver. 23).
()The intended mother of the promised seed was left for twenty years childless — to contend with the doubts, surmises, evil proposals, proud challengings of God, and murmurings, which must undoubtedly have arisen even in so bright and spirited a heart as Rebekah's. It was thus she was taught the seriousness of the possession she had chosen for herself, and gradually led to the implicit faith requisite for the discharge of its responsibilities. Many young persons have a similar experience. They seem to themselves to have chosen a wrong position, to have made a thorough mistake in life, and to have brought themselves into circumstances in which they only retard, or quite prevent the prosperity of those with whom they are connected. In proportion as Rebekah loved Isaac, and entered into his prospects, must she have been tempted to think she had far better have remained in Padanaram. It is a humbling thing to stand in-some other person's way; but if it is by no fault of ours, but in obedience to affection or conscience we are in this position, we must, in humility and patience, wait upon Providence as Rebekah did, and resist all morbid despondency. This second barrenness in the prospective mother of the promised seed was as needful to all concerned as the first was; for the people of God, no more than any others, can learn in one lesson. They must again be brought to a real dependence on God as the Giver of the heir. The prayer with which Isaac "entreated" the Lord for his wife "because she was barren" was a prayer of deeper intensity than he could have uttered had he merely remembered the story that had been told him of his own birth. God must be recognized again and again and throughout as the Giver of life to the promised line. Learn, therefore, that although God has given you means of working out His salvation, your Rebekah will be barren without His continued activity. On His own means you must re-invite His blessing, for without the continuance of His aid you will make nothing of the most beautiful and appropriate helps He has given you. It was by pain, anxiety, and almost dismay, that Rebekah received intimation that her prayer was answered. In this she is the type of many whom God hears. Inward strife, miserable forebodings, deep dejection, are often the first intimations that God is listening to our prayer and is beginning to work within us.
PeopleAbraham, Abida, Abidah, Adbeel, Aram, Asshurim, Asshurites, Bethuel, Dedan, Dumah, Eldaah, Enoch, Ephah, Epher, Ephron, Esau, Hadad, Hadar, Hagar, Hanoch, Havilah, Heth, Hittites, Isaac, Ishbak, Ishmael, Jacob, Jetur, Jokshan, Kedar, Kedemah, Keturah, Laban, Letushim, Letushites, Leummim, Leummites, Mamre, Massa, Medan, Mibsam, Mishma, Naphish, Nebaioth, Nebajoth, Rebekah, Sarah, Shuah, Tema, Zimran, Zoar, Zohar
PlacesAssyria, Beer-lahai-roi, Egypt, Machpelah, Mamre, Paddan-aram, Shur Desert
TopicsFighting, Happening, Inquire, Inside, Jostled, Question, Seek, Struggle, Struggled, Thus, Wherefore, Within
Outline1. The sons of Abraham by Keturah.
5. The division of his goods.
7. His age, death, and burial.
11. God blesses Isaac.
12. The generations of Ishmael.
17. His age and death.
19. Isaac prays for Rebekah, being barren.
22. The children strive in her womb.
24. The birth of Esau and Jacob.
27. Their different characters and pursuits.
29. Esau sells his birthright.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 25:21-22
5095 Jacob, life
8605 prayer, and God's will
8648 enquiring of God
LibraryPottage Versus Birthright
Esau despised his birthright'--GENESIS xxv. 34. Broad lessons unmistakable, but points strange and difficult to throw oneself back to so different a set of ideas. So I. Deal with the narrative. Not to tell it over again, but bring out the following points:-- (a) Birthright.--What? None of them any notion of sacred, spiritual aspect of it. To all, merely material advantages: headship of the clan. All the loftier aspects gone from Isaac, who thought he could give it for venison, from Esau, and from …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Death of Abraham
'Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.'--GENESIS xxv. 8. 'Full of years' does not seem to me to be a mere synonym for longevity. That would be an intolerable tautology, for we should then have the same thing said three times over--'an old man,' 'in a good old age,' 'full of years.' There must be some other idea than that in the words. If you notice that the expression is by no means a usual one, that it is only …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Jacob and Esau
(Second Sunday in Lent.) GENESIS xxv. 29-34. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then …
Charles Kingsley—The Gospel of the Pentateuch
Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
^A Matt. XII. 15-21; ^B Mark III. 7-12. ^a 15 And Jesus perceiving it withdrew ^b with his disciples ^a from thence: ^b to the sea [This was the first withdrawal of Jesus for the avowed purpose of self-preservation. After this we find Jesus constantly retiring to avoid the plots of his enemies. The Sea of Galilee, with its boats and its shores touching different jurisdictions, formed a convenient and fairly safe retreat]: ^a and many followed him; ^b and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
Every Believer's Birthright.
On every hand a lack of something is being felt and expressed by God's people. Their Christian experience is not what they expected it would be. Instead of expected victory, it is oft-recurring, dreaded defeat; instead of soul satisfaction, it is soul hunger; instead of deep, abiding heart rest, it is disquiet and discontent; instead of advancing, it is losing ground. Is this all Christ meant when He said, "Come unto Me"? Is this life of constant disappointment the normal life of the Bible Christian? …
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life
Second Great Group of Parables.
(Probably in Peræa.) Subdivision D. Parable of the Lost Son. ^C Luke XV. 11-32. ^c 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons [These two sons represent the professedly religious (the elder) and the openly irreligious (the younger). They have special reference to the two parties found in the first two verses of this chapter --the Pharisees, the publicans and sinners]: 12 and the younger of them [the more childish and easily deceived] said to his father, Father, give me the portion of thy substance …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
"Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against themselves, that ye …
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews
John the Baptist's Person and Preaching.
(in the Wilderness of Judæa, and on the Banks of the Jordan, Occupying Several Months, Probably a.d. 25 or 26.) ^A Matt. III. 1-12; ^B Mark I. 1-8; ^C Luke III. 1-18. ^b 1 The beginning of the gospel [John begins his Gospel from eternity, where the Word is found coexistent with God. Matthew begins with Jesus, the humanly generated son of Abraham and David, born in the days of Herod the king. Luke begins with the birth of John the Baptist, the Messiah's herald; and Mark begins with the ministry …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
But if Moreover any not Having Charity, which Pertaineth to the Unity of Spirit...
23. But if moreover any not having charity, which pertaineth to the unity of spirit and the bond of peace whereby the Catholic Church is gathered and knit together, being involved in any schism, doth, that he may not deny Christ, suffer tribulations, straits, hunger, nakedness, persecution, perils, prisons, bonds, torments, swords, or flames, or wild beasts, or the very cross, through fear of hell and everlasting fire; in nowise is all this to be blamed, nay rather this also is a patience meet to …
St. Augustine—On Patience
Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
From these prerogatives there will arise to the elect in heaven, five notable effects:-- 1. They shall know God with a perfect knowledge (1 Cor. i. 10), so far as creatures can possibly comprehend the Creator. For there we shall see the Word, the Creator; and in the Word, all creatures that by the Word were created; so that we shall not need to learn (of the things which were made) the knowledge of him by whom all things were made. The most excellent creatures in this life, are but as a dark veil …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Travelling in Palestine --Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House Officers, Taxation, Publicans
It was the very busiest road in Palestine, on which the publican Levi Matthew sat at the receipt of "custom," when our Lord called him to the fellowship of the Gospel, and he then made that great feast to which he invited his fellow-publicans, that they also might see and hear Him in Whom he had found life and peace (Luke 5:29). For, it was the only truly international road of all those which passed through Palestine; indeed, it formed one of the great highways of the world's commerce. At the time …
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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