What happens at the well is indicative of the relationship

We are going to study the life of Jacob today, and I find his story particularly intriguing because we get to see his whole family and how they interact. In modern language Jacob came from a real dysfunctional family, and we will see the influence bad parents can have on their children.

Just so you will know where we are headed in our study, it is my premise that Jacob’s messed up family life helped shape him into being a manipulative person. Jacob’s style of relating was one of manipulating others. He tried to control life and depended on himself, not God. God had to break Jacob of this bad pattern of relating. So, we are going to study what is revealed to us about the life of Jacob and his family and see how it is that God finally got through to him.

It is significant that the author of Genesis spends ten whole chapters on Jacob. He only spent 11 chapters describing the period from creation to the flood to the tower of Babel. He spends 14 chapters on Abraham (12-25) in which we see the establishment of God’s covenant with His people, the Jews. After a brief mention of the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s mistake, at least from a human perspective), we begin the saga of Jacob. It also significant that following the extended treatment of Jacob (the independent man), we have an extended section dealing with Joseph who was the epitome of faithfulness and dependence on God.

His Father – Isaac

What about Isaac? If you read Genesis and look for all the things Isaac did. You’ll find that not much space is devoted to him and he really didn’t do anything significant.

I was making a chart of Genesis and plotting the main characters or patriarchs to show what their main contribution and character were, and all I could come up with to describe Isaac was “Passive Acceptance.” He accepted his father’s near sacrifice of him, which is good, but the main point of that event is Abraham’s faith. Isaac did nothing else of significance in the entire book.

Isaac didn’t go out to https://hookupdate.net/nl/ourtime-overzicht/ find his own wife. I’ve been told, that it is a literary device in ancient Hebrew literature to have men first meet their wives at some well or spring. For instance, Moses met his wife at the well. He delivered her from the bandits. What he did there was a foreshadowing of his deliverance of Israel. Jacob met his wife at a spring. He had difficulty removing the stone so he could drink. That was a foreshadowing of the fact that Rachel’s womb would be closed and they would have difficulty having children. But Isaac didn’t even go to the well. His father’s servant went and found a wife (at the well) for him and brought her back home. I think this gives the reader an early clue as to his passive nature.

His Mother – Rebekah

All this weakness in Isaac let Rebekah take over. It was her natural tendency. I say that because it is every woman’s tendency is to want to take over when the man does not lead. In Gen 3:16, when it says the woman’s desire will be for her husband, it means that the woman’s desire will be to rule over her husband, because the next phrase is, “but he will rule over you.”

Rebekkah had problems. When her twins are born, she shows partiality to Jacob, the non-hairy weaker looking one. Gen says Jacob spent most of his time at home. So Rebekah takes over his life and arranges everything for him. She teaches him how to cook. She arranges for him to get the blessing, she arranges for his deliverance from Esau by sending him to her brother Laban, telling him everything will work out fine.