Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Reading the Bible 18 Gen 27: Mom (and God) Always Liked You Best
Family dynamics are certainly are certainly front and centre in this episode of biblical Dynasty. In any family the issue of favourites is an underlying theme. The old comedy duo the Smothers Brothers played this up with Tommy giving voice to the eternal cry ‘Mom always liked you best’. In modern parenting theory even if you are aware of preference for one child over others you are supposed to do everything possible to disguise it and certainly not overtly show your true feeling – as difficult as that may be at times.Of course God – YHWH did not have compunction about showing favouritism as we saw with Cain and Able. I wonder if Cain was the early type of Tommy Smothers – God always liked you best. However, for us mortals we do not have that luxury – at least on a guilt free basis. Rebekah did not have any compunction in plotting to ensure that her favourite Jacob received Isaac’s blessing.
It is easy to be critical of Rebekah from our 21st Century perspective. However, putting aside the obvious favouritism that Rebekah showed Jacob perhaps she chose as she did because she knew her sons as only a mother can. She knew that Jacob was the one to fulfil the covenant with YHWH. He had what it would take to be the next step in the Abraham’s descendants who would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. In her mind Esau with his lack of foresight and planning could not fulfill God’s plan for His chosen people. Given the benefit of hindsight can we say that Rebekah chose badly or selfishly? IN any case it is always nice when God’s will and our egos are aligned. That can be dangerous but that is another story.