In our reading this week, we have the Promised Child – Isaac being born, and end with Isaac and Rebekah having twins in Esau and Jacob. It is interesting when we look at the way some traits of the family keep being repeated by subsequent generations. many of the actions that Abraham did, were repeated by Isaac, and then Jacob or Esau. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. After the man-made attempt to have an heir through Hagar – resulting in the conflicting problems with Ishmael. For those that may not know – Ishmael and the 12 princes from his ancestry, are the Arab nations. The fighting still is ongoing for the Promised Land. The Palestinians are still trying to get the “Blessing” of the first-born of Abraham. The Arabs and Islam follow the Bible, but only as far as the line of Abraham – if you read the Koran, you’ll find the departure point is with Abraham. The nations will continue to fight for the “and rights” until the end of the age. The familial relationship of Abraham and Sarah finds a cycle in Isaac and Rebekah. Just as Sarah detested Hagar/Ishmael and favored her son, so we find a divided family with Rebekah favoring Jacob and Isaac favoring Esau. Families divided as a constant source of conflict, especially later with siblings. It must be said that often, parents will live out their own dreams through the lives of their children, instead of letting the children be who they’re suppose to be. Jacob repeats the family cycle in that he loves Rachel and Joseph and Benjamin, much to the chagrin of Leah and the other 10 brothers. Now there is quite a “family” connection with who they married. Abraham marries his half-sister. Nahor marries his brother’s [Haran] daughter [Niece], who in-turn births Bethuel and Rebekah to Nahor through Micah. Rebekah becomes the wife of Isaac – yes he marries his cousin. It doesn’t stop there, Jacob marries his two cousins as well, for he Isaac marries his uncle’s daughters. Whew – sounds complicated – but there was such a mandate that the family not inter-marry with the people of the Canaanite tribes. [Esau I guess didn’t get that memo – he married outside the family lines and infuriated Rebekah, which is why she made Jacob go visit her brother Laban] Something in our reading – we find that in Genesis 25 – Abraham remarries, has five more sons, but they are not included in the line with Isaac. One of the boys was Midian, we find that is who Joseph’s brothers sold him to in slavery later. Also Moses’ father-in-law was the Priest of Midian. The family connections just keep growing! I find it interesting that Laban shows his true colors early on – when the servant of Abraham goes to find a wife, Laban takes great notice of the gold jewelry that was given to Rebekah. Something of a character trait we will find later when he tricks Jacob with the wives and the sheep and goat herds. Lest we forget Laban is an idolater. Remember his daughter Rachel takes her father’s idol, and he comes looking for it. Anyway when we look at all the shenanigans of the Abraham family – it can make one wonder, why in the world did God chose them!? Well the answer is very simple – the Faith of one man – Abraham was found to be pleasing to Yahweh and God chose him to bless him and build a great nation. None of us are perfect, but God chooses us to love us and show forth great blessings – albeit undeserved. I believe that God is looking for some “faith” people to use just as He used Abraham to do great things. The point is simple – God will use the faith of a single person to do great and mighty things – will you be that one that God will use to impact the generations?