by Viji Antony
My father used to tell me “In politics there are no permanent friends or enemies.” To me I have seen this true in real life also not just in politics. Even brothers and sisters who were raised in love and in the strictness of love sometimes becomes harsh enemies. My oldest uncle and aunt were very rich. In the younger days going to their houses were a big treat. To begin with their houses were like palaces. In fact this uncle had bought the palace of the king’s sister. There was an aura of love and affection between the siblings with each one fighting for the other. The children will never allow anyone to say a word against any of them. They covered each other’s mistakes and wrong doings. In times to come some went into movies and some went into politics. One went on to become a novelist. When you talk to any of these they will be narrating to us the heroics of their successful siblings even though they themselves were equally or more successful. Their house was like a university of love. Many even ventured telling their children to watch n learn from their success which only can be attributed to the love they have for each other. But everything has to come an end. Their father the family patriarch died, and some years later their mother too died. Now came the time of the dreaded partition or dividing the family property. Suddenly the picture reversed. These brothers and sisters who once were willing to sacrifice their own life in the alter of love for each other now wanted to kill each other. One brother with the help of the lawyer even changed some of the wordings of the will. Years have gone and most of the children also died battling each other for their right portion. Now their children have taken over the fight, and the endless drama continues.
This is not just a lone case. If we look around we can see this happening in every single village of the world, every town and city of the world and in every state of every nation of this world. It all basically starts with the hard work of one man. That one man’s hard work, vision n good luck brings such fortunes. The land they amassed some sixty , seventy years ago are now worth a fortune. These patriarchs knew it and their intention was that their children and their children must never starve like him and his predecessors. But alas their children now are killing each other to loot their hard work. when it comes to money there is no love. All love and affection evaporates when money surfaces in the scenario. All religions point to the fact that money is the root of all evils. Yet everyone including the religious leaders, the very ones who propagates this ideology of their religion forgets all what they stand for when money is introduced into the equation. The Bible says ” Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you ;never will I forsake you.”( Hebrews 13:5&6). Paul admonishes his protégé Timothy” For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1st Timothy 6:10).
The book of Genesis takes a beautiful turn from Chapter twelve onwards. The almighty God tells this man that He will bless him beyond his wildest imagination and spells out the blessings in store for him. To attain all the promises uttered by God he had to do certain things. He must leave his country, his people, his father’s house hold and must go the land God shows him. As one preacher said “Bible is a coded book,” because the meaning of certain verses or contexts we will understand only later on in some other book of the Bible. This particular instruction from God it seems came to Abraham after his father Terah died. But in the greatest discourse given by the first martyr of Christianity, Stephen, prior to his assassination notes that ” The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’[a] “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran.(Acts chapter 7:3&4) Terah was the patriarch of this nomad family. God’s purpose and intention was very clear. His interest was in Abraham only. Slowly but surely Abraham also realized the heart of God. He started the journey after the death of his father Terah with Lot and his wife Sara. His first test came when the famine hit the land of Cannon. He severely and utterly failed in this test when conveniently forgetting the promises of God he took his entourage to Egypt. There this wise man ordered his wife to tell the inhabitants of the land that she is his sister. In essence he was bidding goodbye to her because he knew this pretty lady will b snatched from him and chances are that he will never see her again. His unwillingness to die of starvation and the zest to live and so not to be killed by the Egyptians made him to take this drastic decision. Presented with such adverse circumstances Abraham failed to remember the promise of God that He will curse those who curses him. But it was here that Abraham first tasted the mighty hand of the Lord, the miracle working hand of God. A chill might have gone down his spine when the Pharaoh himself showed up and gave his wife back.
Incidentally it is worth mentioning the infinite wisdom of this magnificent God. One will naturally wonder why God didn’t open the womb of Sara in the initial encounter of Abraham with God. The Almighty , the Alfa and the Omega, the one who can see the end in the beginning knew Abraham so well that knew he will flee to Egypt. Had He opened Sarah’s womb then she would have given birth to the children of the Pharaoh and not Abraham’s. God’s election was very clear It was through Isaac that God wanted to bless Abraham and his descendants. The faith of Abraham increased day by day and his household now had complete faith in the God who appeared to him in irregular intervals. Even his point man Eliazer believed in the God of his boss, Abraham. So he had all the confidence in the world when he went out to fetch the wife for Isaac.
The blessings of Abraham were passed on to Isaac. It may seem it came to him naturally. On a closer look it can be found that Isaac earned it. At the age of forty he was still a bachler, and presumably a virgin. Any other bachelor will have his eyes fixed at the road with every moment of the wait giving him the kind of restlessness that can turn any human to all the evils of life. But instead we see a different person here. He after all grew up in a household filled with the aroma of the love of God. How many times he might have heard the story of the Almighty God visiting his father’s tent. How can he forget the day his father tied him with ropes and the moment when his loving father raised his hand which held a knife which in one wink of an eye will pierce through his young body. Did he close his eyes? Did he cry? But he sure cherishes the moment when his father suddenly gets up without doing the inevitable. From that moment onwards he knew the grand protection of God is on him and not only that the big realization hit him, that he is not an ordinary individual, but a chosen person. How else can one explain his trip to the yard to mediate when his servant was bringing his fiancée. Genesis 24 gives a marvelous description of the meeting of Isaac and Rebecca. The moment she was told the man she saw in the distance is her would be she disembarked from the camel put the veil on her face. By now Abraham too knew about the importance of Isaac to God and so acted wisely by giving gifts to the children he had from his second wife and other concubines. But to Isaac He gave everything he had namely the blessings he got from God. Another act of wisdom on the part of Abraham was that he sent all these children to the east away from Isaac, thus ruling out any claim from any one to share the blessings that God reserved only for Isaac.
As one writer observed after giving the promises to Abraham and the chief among them being that the land of cannan will be given to his children God started a clinic of infertility. The faith that was instilled in him from childhood made him a pillar of faith- an icon of faith. When he realized his wife was barren he did not waver instead he knelt down. As his cry went up God opened the womb of Rebecca. Here in starts the tale of cheating, deception. In her sleepless nights of pregnancy, Rebecca’s intuitive mind told her something that was not the norm. The kind of restlessness in her womb is not something that can be fixed by a gynecologist. From the day she left the house of her father Laban she knew her meeting with Eliazer was not a chance encounter. All throughout the journey Elizer might have narrated the virtues and greatness of the God his master Abraham worships. He after all was an eye- witness to everything he told her. It is this realization that lead her kneel down and seek the divine counseling about the war going on in her womb. Bible says from one spring will not come both sweet and sour water. God will not do anything bad. If that is the case how can there be both good and evil in her womb? She heard clearly from the mouth of the Almighty that it is the second one He has chosen.
There was clear contrast in the attitudes of the twin boys. They were not even identical twins to begin with. Bible says “The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.” (Gen25:27) More than the fact that it was Easaw that Isaac at the age of sixty saw first, it was the hunter in him who Isaac loved. Rebecca loved the tent dweller Jacob. Since he was always with her in the tent Rebecca might have told him the importance of the birth right and how they fought inside her to come out first to grab the birth right.
Needless to say this family was a very wealthy family when it came to material wealth. Abraham came out of Egypt with much wealth which he was willing to share with his nephew. His faith was such that he gave permission to Lot to take any land he chooses as he knew the God who gave him the promises, and the mighty one who rescued his wife from the evil Pharaoh is with Him and will bless him and the land he chooses. Not only that He saw the Almighty coming to Him with bread and wine as he came victoriously beating the mighty kings. There God reminded him that it was not the trained men that gave him the victory but the Almighty God who converses with him. Melchizedek, the priest of God in blessing him said ” “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
This blessing Isaac knew was transferred to him. How far he understood the depth of the blessings, one can never guess! It was a peaceful transfer and transition. The power of this blessing was evident in every single activity he undertook. He also knew that this blessing will be and must be transferred to his first born Easaw. By virtue of God’s blessing he did get 100 fold in his harvest, which made him a rich man. Like his father God rescued his wife too. When there are two sons in a family the family wealth must be divided equally. Most fights occur at this juncture. The geographical location of the property, the property that gives the best yield all will come into play. As the story of this family unfolds in the chapters of Genesis the big question is did Jacob fought hard to get the birth right that Easaw snatched from him while still in the womb to inherit the material wealth of Isaac. Before his wrestling match with God Jacob says ” I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.” This clearly indicates he didn’t fight to get the birth right to loot the wealth of Isaac. He wanted the blessing God gave to Abraham which he gave to his son Jacob’s father Isaac, thus qualifying him to be in the line of Abraham and Isaac. In essence He wanted the Almighty to add His name when He says I am the God of Abraham and Isaac…….. and now Jacob. What an achievement! The true blessing and the mighty inheritance.
MGM Ministries-Article Source: viji-antony.blogspot.com/