Beyond the Vows

Text:  Gen 27: 1-13


  1. Their marriage was God led

Isaac and Rebecca started off on God’s will. The events that led Abraham’s servant to getting a wife for Isaac were divinely orchestrated,

Gen 24 records that Abraham instructs his servant to go to Haran, a place that he had possibly never been before.  Then at a well he prays a simple but a profound prayer. And immediately the person who appears turns out to be the person he is looking for. As for her credentials; she was beautiful and a virgin (no man had ever slept with her), agile, kind, humble, given to service to other people -even strangers, hardworking, and hospitable.

24: 50, this is of God

As for her future husband, the Bible records that when Rebecca, came to Isaac, Isaac had just come back from Beer Lahai Roi, a place where Hagar had met God – perhaps to seek God.

As the entourage that brought Rebecca home approached he had gone out to the field to meditate.

  1. They took each other serious

Gen 24: 67

After receiving the full story of the divine journey that brought him a wife, Isaac married her, and she became his wife. He loved her and he was comforted after his mother’s death. The idea is that perhaps Isaac had lost an important woman in his life. And up this time nothing else could have comforted him until Rebecca came in. The man was so lost in this new found relationship that he forgot that he was ever bereaved. What marriage bliss!

  1. The was spiritual (they walked with God)

They were so prayerful

  • For their spirituality both Isaac and Rebecca walked with God. Isaac was a great intercessor who prayed for his barren wife until she conceived after 20years of barrenness.
  • Rebecca on her part is this lady who when her twins jostles in her womb inquires from the Lord what this means and God so speaks to her directly.
  • This is a couple God brought together. A couple that walked with God for at least 20 year s of their marriage.
  1. They Loved Each Unashamedly

Open love

  • Isaac loved his wife openly and unashamedly until king Abimelech couldn’t take it in, 26:8

Transition: But the couple we find after chapter 27 is a different couple altogether. The home that was once bliss earlier on is now a pale reflection of the former.

  1. Divisions

The once united family is now divided. The family is divided on all fronts;

  1. Divided along tastes – Jacob loved Nyama Choma and not just from the domesticated animals but the wild game especially from his favourite son – dads boy – like father like son, Gen 25: 28 but Rebecca perhaps loved the rice and soup the one cooked by her son Jacob – the sissy of the two.
  • Needless to say even the amount salt can bring division
  1. Divided along cultural lines – Isaac did not think that he should consult his wife concerning the blessing for his sons. He was the man who should not be questioned
  • Needless to say how many after marriage let culture divide their family
  • It looks to me that often we hide under culture to conceal our selfish and sinister behavior
  • Divided along favourite kind –Isaac loved Esau but Rebecca loved Jacob
  1. Divided along gender roles –
  • Rebecca overturns the government. She determines what must happen
  • She usurps the roles of the husband
  1. Divided because of health issues – while Rebecca’ s vision is clear and his body as agile as when she was still in her father’s , Isaac is now slow and blind and his wife exploited this physical disability to the full.
  • Instead of being his eyes in his blindness, Rebecca uses Isaac’s blindness to mislead the children.
  1. Breakdown in communication
  • 27: 5. Rebecca can only get any information from her husband through eavesdropping. She has to hide behind the tent and pick any information between Isaac and Esau.
  • When she wants her son to run away for safety, she pretends that if he marries a Canaanite woman she will die. And Isaac takes the cue and sends Jacob to Haran
  • The communication became proxy with remote control.

(Illustration). The man who missed his flight.

Failure to talk and sulk instead or to communicate through children, is a sign that our marriage in ending to the rocks

  1. Lies
  • Rebecca planted the seeds of lies that would follow her children
  • She talk her on Jacob to lie to his father
  • The son took the culture of lying to another level by invoking the name of God and making Him a liar. When Isaac asked how quickly had hunted the game (supposing it was Esau, in vs 20, God gave me success. Laying would dodge Jacob throughout his life. He was cheated to marry Leah instead of Rachael and in the process became polygamous, a state he probably would not have wished.
  • Later Jacob would be cheated 10 times over his wages his the father in law
  • His wife Racheal became liar
  • Jacob daughter was dubbed and molested.
  • The sons of Jacob sold their brother Joseph cheated his father that a beat had killed him
  • In Potiphar’s house Jacob accused falsely of infidelity with Potiphar’s wife
  • After Jacob dies Joseph’s brothers fabricating a story of what Jacob said before he died to force Joseph to treat them well.
  • The family became a family of pathological lairs
  • All this had a history – Rebecca planted the seeds of lies that hatched into a monster that became a hereditary.

Lying like children only makes a full of ourselves

Illustration – The favorite horse in the horse race

  1. What is that it transpired after the marriage vows?

We must understand that the chemistry that brings a couple together in marriage is different from the one that sustains them together in the marriage.

Before marriage love is actually blind; it is love that smells nothing, it sees nothing, it overlooks everything. It enjoys everything.

But the love after marriage sees everything; it sees how a spouse looks in the evening and in the morning, it sees a slender wife grow her waist line from size 8 to size 18.  It sees a partner growing stress marks because of exhaustion and years. It sees the preferential treatment of one side of the in-laws from the other.  It sees a subtle possessiveness with money.  It sees a married man who remains popular with young ladies behaving as though nothing has happened to his marital status.  It sees a man who puts his personal ambition before the family –

Love after marriage sees all this and rather than being blind chooses to love despite.

Love before marriage is actually passive (it comes effortlessly). But love after marriage must be cultivated, it must be activated often, it must fights all odds, it overlooks hostility – it is called, “commitment to you – till death do us part”.

It is the love that instead of asking, can I trust him or her any more, asks I can be trusted any more.

In the later years of Rebecca and Isaac we find two strange fellows living side by side.

Rebecca becomes Mrs Fix it all and leave no trace. Mrs Fix it now runs the home singlehandedly through her wit and schemes reducing her husband to a mere figurehead

Isaac loses his authority as the leader of the family. He approaches issues reluctantly. He is like the African man who doesn’t think his wife should be consulted on important family matters.

He is the harsh father who only gives his blessing to his children through his stomach

He is the man who abdicates his responsibility until he is too blind and too old.

This is different from his father, Abraham, who we read in Gen 25: 5-6, “Abraham left everything to his son Isaac. But while he was still living he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the East”. Abraham left a united family where Isaac left a divided, hostile home.


3 Cs of love that will keep your marriage beyond the vows

  1. Commitment –

Away from the initial love that is based on feelings, away from blind love, love after marriage must be based on commitment. We must remain, loyal and devoted to each other despite the flaws that we find in each other.

  1. Communication

Many of the challenges that face a marriage can be sorted easily with clear communication. We must communicate our feeling to each other. We must not assume our spouse understands what we have not cleared stated

  1. Connection

Leaving together may be not necessarily mean we are connected to each other. To keep us connected we must find common things to deliberately do together – even if it means washing dishes together, praying together, planning together, and playing together.

Remember the fact that though you and your spouse were divinely brought together that is not a guarantee that you will keep together. We must work at our marriage.



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