Today’s Reading: Gen. 25: 1-4, 1 Chron. 1:32:33, Gen, 25:5-6, 12-18, 1 Chron.1:28-31, 34, Gen. 25:19-26, 7-11
Today’s reading was really short.
I guess stopping at the death of Abraham gave us time to reflect on his life before we change gears and move to Jacob and Esau.
As I sat and read and re-read today’s section I kept thinking about Abraham and all the drama he had with his family. In today’s world we would call Abraham’s situation a blended family, but from what I can tell, they were too much like oil and water to blend. Here are the highlights:
- Sarah and Hagar, the mothers of Abraham’s two children couldn’t stand each other
- Ishmael was constantly ridiculing Isaac; so much so that Sarah sent him away when he was in his teens
- Abraham got a new wife and/or concubine (today’s reading is confusing about that) after Sarah died and had six more sons
- “Ishmael’s descendents lived in open hostility toward all their relatives.” (Gen 25:18)
- Jacob and Esau, Abraham’s grandsons began their sibling rivalry in the womb
As a parent who’s a part of a blended family, that includes step children, step grandchildren and in-laws (yes, in-laws are a form of a blended family)
a parent who makes her fare share of mistakes.
Abraham’s family helps me to understand three things:
- Just because I love God and seek to serve him doesn’t guarantee that I will always make the best decisions when it comes to my family.
- Sibling rivalry has been around since Adam and Eve’s kids so it will definitely show up in today’s blended families.
- I cannot fix most of the issues between our children, I need to take a hands off approach.
As I try to imagine Abraham’s world, the only word I can think of to describe it is “drama”! The culture of that day didn’t play fair; everybody didn’t get an equal share. From what I know as a parent in a blended family, making an effort to treat each child as equally as possible is a critical element in the success of bringing two families together. As the mom and step-mom in our huge family of 23 (includes 12 grandkids), it is my goal to have peace, harmony, and laughter in all of our times together. Of course that isn’t always the case, but it’s my desire.
From the viewpoint of a person who does not like drama, it seems like Abraham had a tough family life, but from the last comment made about him it seems he had it all in perspective. “Abraham lived for 175 years, and he died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life.” (Genesis 25:7)
“A long and satisfying life”…isn’t that what we all want?
If you have a chance, take a trip over to Hebrews 11:8-19 and find out why Abraham’s life was so satisfying. My favorite part of this passage is “All these people (includes Abraham) died still believing what God had promised them.” Lord, help me to believe your promises until the day I die and then I will have that satisfying life Abraham talked about!
One more thing, I was so glad to hear that Isaac AND Ishmael buried their father together. I would like to think they sat around the fire and talked about all the good things they loved about their father.
What do you think happened?
Blessings in Jesus!
©2013, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:27-28:5