When Fear Gets in the Way

Today’s Reading: Genesis 25-27

Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. – Genesis 25:21

Twins – there is something exciting about having twins. Twins seem to tweak our curiosity. For Rebekah, twins meant two siblings struggling with each other before they were even born. After struggling with infertility, the Lord heard Isaac’s prayer and blessed Rebekah, saying to her:

“The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” – Genesis 25:23

Sure enough, Jacob was born pursuing his brother’s position as firstborn – with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. As they grew up, their differences increased with Esau becoming a skilled hunter of wild animals and Jacob staying closer to home to tend his father’s tamed flocks.

Showing he had little regard for his birthright anyhow and that he was driven more by his carnal desires, Esau traded his birthright when Jacob offered his hungry brother a bowl of stew for the precious inheritance. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left (25:27-34) – only to be hungry again in just a few hours. HE GAVE UP HIS BLESSED POSITION FOR TEMPORARY PLEASURE. Fear of not getting what he wanted caused Esau to jeopardize all that was rightfully his as firstborn son.

Isaac also allowed fear to jeopardize God’s blessing. There was a time of famine and Isaac moved his family to Gerar. The Lord told him to stay there – that He would be with Isaac and bless him. God’s promise to Abraham continued through Isaac as He promised to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (26:4).

Despite this promise of blessing, Isaac let fear control him. Out of fear the Philistines would kill him in order to obtain his beautiful wife, Isaac told everyone that Rebekah was his sister. Sound familiar? Apparently Isaac had not learned from his own father’s mistakes (12:10-20). Isaac’s fear of death put his wife in danger and God’s blessing in jeopardy. King Abimelech saw Rebekah in Isaac’s arms one day and confronted his lie, declaring protection over this family. And once more, God blessed His people in spite of their great fear and small faith.

Years later, Rebekah let her fear get in the way of her faith. Isaac was old and losing his sight. He called Esau and told him to hunt for some wild game and prepare Isaac’s favorite dish. He would then pronounce the blessing of the firstborn onto Esau. Rebekah remembered God’s promise but her fear that Esau would get the blessing she wanted for Jacob caused her to intervene and choose deception instead of faith.

Jacob willfully followed Rebekah’s plan of deception. He pretended to be Esau and tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing Isaac intended for Esau. When Esau learned of his brother’s trickery, a hate began to grow in him and he schemed how he might kill Jacob someday. When Rebekah heard of Esau’s plan, she sent Jacob away with the excuse that he needed to travel back to Rebekah’s brother to find a wife so he would not have to marry a Canaanite woman.

Rebekah probably never again saw this son she loved so much. If she had trusted God’s provision of His promise, she might have grown old watching Jacob receive God’s blessings. But instead of faith she chose fear, using manipulation and deception to pull God’s plan into place. But GOD’S PLAN NOT GOD’S WAY IS NEVER GOD’S WILL.

What areas of my life am I letting fear control? In what ways is my fear getting in the way of my faith? Is my fear of not getting what I want standing between me and God’s perfect plan for my life? Am I missing out on God’s blessings because of my desire to enjoy the temporary pleasures of this world?

Lord, teach me to trust in you for every provision. May your promises and blessings on my life pour out directly from your hand. Teach me to let go of my attempts to control and manipulate the circumstances around me. Help me to simply open up my hands to receive what you want in my life. Forgive me for the many times I let fear get in the way of my faith. God, I trust you. You are my Provider and my Protector. In you I place my trust, giving you my family and my future. Amen.