Rebekah had formed a habit of manipulating her way through life, but she found out the hard way that she could not control the outcomes of her choices!
So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?”
46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?” Genesis 27: 41-46
Rebekah was concerned about Jacob’s wellbeing, and she did not want him to be subject to Esau’s wrath. However, instead of telling her husband, Isaac, the truth, she told him that she didn’t want Jacob to marry one of the daughters of the land. There was probably some truth to that statement, but, in reality, that was not the whole truth!
The problem with manipulation is that it becomes a habit, and then it turns into a character flaw. It is easier to tell half-truths than to face the consequence of being honest about what we want.
Stating that she didn’t want Jacob to marry a woman from the land, may have sounded mature and spiritual, but in truth Rebekah was trying to do damage control by the chaos she had created in her own household and finding a way out for her beloved son Jacob.
Do you tend to tell a story to cover up the real reason why you want something? Do you make it sound more spiritual that what it really is? Do you feel ashamed for what you want? Are you afraid of being judged?
It is best to come clean and admit the sin or the mistake and ask God for forgiveness. Rebekah could have also asked her husband for forgiveness for usurping his authority. Instead she was using half-truths again to get her way in life.
Furthermore, Rebekah was willing to do anything for Jacob regardless of the cost to her character and her integrity. That is an idolatrous relationship that can only wreak havoc in the lives of those subjected to it.
Instead of covering up the shame of what we want, we should find out how the Lord feels about what we think or desire. If the Lord directs us to do something, then we don’t have to conjure up excuses to cover up the real reason for what we want. If the Lord is not directing us, who cares if others approve!? We are the ones who have to live with the consequences of our actions and not them.
What if you are in the position of Isaac, and there is someone in your life who continues to take advantage of your trust and manipulates you!? We can’t just listen to what people tell us sometimes. We also need to look at their lives and relationships. What are they leaving in the wake of their relationships? If they continue to have fall outs in relationships or make excuses for why something went wrong, we need to pause and pay attention to it. Ask questions and dig deeper behind their thinking or actions. This person may need help and they may not even realize how they are manipulating their way through life.
Image by Arifur Rahman Tushar from Pixabay