We left last week with Abram becoming Abraham, which means father of many nations. Abram and Sarai figured God was not coming through on the promise for children, since they were getting old. So, Sarai gave her maidservant to Abram so he would sleep with her. They had a child named Ishmael. When Ishmael was 13, God told Abram that God’s promise would be fulfilled through Sarai, his wife. The next year, they would have a boy and name him Isaac. Abraham was 100. Sarah was 90. Even when Abraham was tested with Isaac, he trusted God from that point on. Abraham now trusted God.
Abraham left everything he owned to 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 lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. (Genesis 25:5-8 NIV)
Isaac grew up, got married, and was blessed with twin boys – Esau and Jacob.
When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac's prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. "Why is this happening to me?" she asked. And the LORD told her, "The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son." And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau's heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. (Genesis 25:20-26 NLT)
These twin boys would grow up to be nations who were rivals. Have you ever experienced rivalry in your family? Have you seen it in other families? Does it help to see real families with real struggles in Scripture? God worked with them. God can certainly work with us.