Proverbs 31 is a well known passage that describes an excellent wife. Genesis 27 illustrates the exact opposite of one of the Proverbs 31 characteristics. Which one are you? Are you one or the other, or somewhere in between? Let’s start by looking at Genesis.
Genesis 25 tells us about the birth and early life of Esau and Jacob. Notice what Rebekah was told about the boys and which one she favored.
Gen. 25:20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.
Gen. 25:21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen. 25:23 The LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger.”
Gen. 25:25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.
Gen. 25:26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob;
Gen. 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Rebekah was told that the younger would be stronger than the older. She also favored the younger. Genesis 27 tells us about a blessing that Isaac wanted to bestow on his favorite child. Notice how Rebekah acted to deceive Isaac into blessing her favorite child.
Gen. 27:6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Behold, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, saying,
Gen. 27:7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare a savory dish for me, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.’
Gen. 27:8 “Now therefore, my son, listen to me as I command you.
Gen. 27:9 “Go now to the flock and bring me two choice young goats from there, that I may prepare them as a savory dish for your father, such as he loves.
Gen. 27:10 “Then you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death.”
Gen. 27:11 Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.
Gen. 27:12 “Perhaps my father will feel me, then I will be as a deceiver in his sight, and I will bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.”
Gen. 27:13 But his mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”
Gen. 27:14 So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food such as his father loved.
Gen. 27:15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
Gen. 27:16 And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
Gen. 27:17 She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob.
Gen. 27:18 ¶ Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
Gen. 27:19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me.”
Gen. 27:20 Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me.”
Gen. 27:21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”
Gen. 27:22 So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
Gen. 27:23 He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
Gen. 27:24 And he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.”
Gen. 27:25 So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank.
Gen. 27:26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come close and kiss me, my son.”
Gen. 27:27 So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said,
“See, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed;
Gen. 27:28 Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,
And of the fatness of the earth,
And an abundance of grain and new wine;
Gen. 27:29 May peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you;
Be master of your brothers,
And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be those who curse you,
And blessed be those who bless you.”
Rebekah’s scheme worked and Isaac was deceived into blessing Jacob. Genesis 27:35 clearly indicates that Isaac learned that he had been deceived, but the Bible does not indicate whether or not he ever learned that Rebekah instigated the deception. If Isaac had learned about Rebekah’s role in this, how would that have affected their relationship? More importantly, how does deceit affect our relationships?
Now let’s look at a couple verses in Proverbs 31.
Prov. 31:10 ¶ An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
Prov. 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
Prov. 31:12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
Rebekah acted to deceive her husband; however, the description of an excellent wife starts with trust. An excellent wife is trusted and she does her husband good all the days of her life. How about you? Does you husband trust you? Do you deserve to be trusted? Are you honest with your husband; or do you act deceitfully in order to get what you want? Are you a Proverbs 31 wife or a Genesis 27 wife?
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