The Battle for the Kooshball (and oh yeah, Dad’s Eternal Blessing)   4 comments

Rebekah, [Isaac’s] wife conceived, but the children struggled together within her. (Genesis 25:21-22)

My twin, three-year old daughters know what they want, and it’s usually what they don’t have.    At any given moment, the pink koosh ball held by one is desperately and loudly wanted by the other, or the purple slinky, or the rights to what video will be aired on the way home from day care.  It isn’t always armed conflict in our house, mind you, but my wife and I spend a great deal of time honing our arbitration skills over the life and death question of who gets the pink sippy cup, and who must settle for the blue one.

Our text today narrates the struggles between Esau and Jacob, twin brothers born to Rebekah and Isaac, the son of Abraham.   Genesis tells us that the brothers battled and fought before entering the world, that even in the womb the young ones jockeyed for position for access to the choicest amniotic fluid or the best view of mommy’s kidneys.   As the boys grew, they continued their maneuvering to have what the other had.

In one life-altering moment, a hungry Esau came in from the field and saw Jacob eating some of his father’s stew.   “Please let me have some,” he said, though I imagine he was not quite as polite as the use of the “magic-word” makes it sound.   Jacob , who had Daddy’s stew, wanted Daddy’s blessing and birthright that Esau had rights to as the firstborn son.   So the two made a trade — eternal blessing for some lentils.  No doubt, Esau settled for less, and would come to have great anger towards Jacob.

Jacob tricks Esau, Cain kills Abel, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery…brotherhood in the Bible is not a pretty picture (special thanks to KG for pointing that out to me this morning!).  Siblings always seem to covet each other’s possessions, which themselves are often a proxy for the favor of their parents (or their God).  They resort to trickery or sheer force (MINE!) to win it, and the results aren’t pretty.

As a parent, this tells me how important it is to lavish my “favor” on both my children, not always the same way and at the same time, but with fervor and fairness.   As a human being with millions of earthly brothers and sisters, it compels me to worry less about gaining God’s favor, or someone else’s, especially if gaining it means trying to wrest away what someone else already holds.

Now, the reality of the story is that Jacob’s trickery did him some good.  He won the blessing.

But I ask God, don’t you have enough favor to go around?

There’s always a good koosh ball for sale somewhere.


Posted January 4, 2012 by seawalking in Uncategorized

4 responses to “The Battle for the Kooshball (and oh yeah, Dad’s Eternal Blessing)

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  1. This one is a keeper! Many thanks for these words of wisdom and grace.

  2. Patrick,
    I have been enjoying these each day over my lunch hour. It isn’t necessarily what you want to hear, but you have made it convenient to worship. Keep it up.

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