Monday, April 26, 2010


One of my all-time favorite movies is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and it boasts one of my all-time favorite lines. “Men may be the head of the house but women are the neck, and the neck can turn the head any way she wants.” Can I hear an AMEN, Sista! Oops, wait a minute. God gets a little cranky with the Israelites in the Old Testament for being “stiff-necked,” so we'd probably better be careful with the neck illustration…. But here's my question for the day: what if you're a do-er in a watch-er's world? What if you‟re a planner, and no one else sees or implements a plan? I'm thinking if the head isn't thinking, the neck had better be turning it – right? Hmmm, that's what Sister Rebekah thought, but I'm not sure her methods were on the up-and-up.

Gen. 27:41-42 – “Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, 'The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.' When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, 'Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.'”
  • Isn't it fascinating that Esau "said to himself," and yet someone heard his whispered thoughts and immediately reported them to Rebekah? How did Rebekah inspire this kind of loyalty? Was it fear? Reward? Or were people naturally drawn to her strong personality and decisive leadership? We can‟t discern from Scripture, but I've met these Type A people in my world…and they make me nervous. Without proper checks and balances, their strengths can become weaknesses and devastate many.
Gen. 27:43-45 – [Rebekah said to Jacob] “'Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?'
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, 'I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.'”
  • It seems this woman moved into protection mode without so much as a pause. And without allowing Jacob even a syllable of rebuttal, she marched into her husband's tent, voicing her concerns. I don't know if I'm appalled at her audacity or stirred by her resourcefulness. Is she helping God or pushing her own agenda? Wasn't it her duty to protect her family when she anticipated danger? Should she have kept silent and let God handle it or taken matters into her own hands? What would YOU do?
Gen. 28:1-5 – “So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: 'Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.' Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.” (emphasis added)
  • Hmmm. Seems the head finally found its spine. Yes, Isaac did exactly what Rebekah (Mrs. Neck) manipulated him into doing (commanded Jacob to marry someone from Laban's household). However, he also added a blessing to Jacob's departure – a true blessing, meant for this youngest son. Read the richness of the blessing Isaac bestows on Jacob – the inclusion of Abraham's Covenant with Yahweh. Can you imagine the joy Jacob felt at finally receiving his father's attention and approval? Can you imagine the joy Rebekah felt, seeing her husband willingly fulfill the prophecy God had given her when their twin sons jostled in her womb? (Gen. 25:22-26)
Gen. 27:6-9 – “Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, 'Do not marry a Canaanite woman,' and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.”
  • As if Esau didn't have enough trouble, he went and married another neck! And an Ishmaelite neck at that! These verses further illustrate Esau's lack of integrity and God's righteous choice in stripping away Abraham's Covenant from the firstborn. Though human hands tainted the process, still the right man received God's Promise.
Lord, I'm so thankful You're bigger than my mistakes, my sins and my limited understanding. You're even bigger than my over-zealous nature – when I try to fix things for You. I don't want to be a neck in our relationship. I want to be Your hands and feet, ministering to others in Your Name. I want to be Your heart, caring for others as You love them. I want to be Your eyes, seeing the world around me as You see it.

No comments: