There’s this idiom of sorts in rabbinical Judaism that I really appreciate and learned on my Bible by YouVersion’s catalogue of bible reading plans. (7 More Hebrew words you should know.)
The interpretation of Scripture was modeled or arrayed after the acronym PaRDeS, which is the Hebrew word for garden. Peshat: the topical/surface or direct meaning; Remez: the deeper/hidden symbolic truth; Derash: the acquired meaning by relative comparison; and Sod: esoteric/mystic significance as achieved through inspiration or revelation.
So the saying goes that studying the Law, or Word of God, is like sitting in His garden. I connected with that instinctively. I invite you, stop and smell what the Lord has planted, marvel at what He’s done. ***
21 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. 22 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.
23 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.”
– Genesis 27
God, Artisan of illustration, you may have noticed has a habit of planting life in barren wombs because what better way of describing who He is, He can bring Life from lifelessness.
The story of Rebekah and her two sons has a controversial air about it. As Esau was born first, his was the inheritance even though God told Rebekah that the “older son will serve your younger son.” Remembering this Word, Rebekah does something which could be construed as devious. She overhears an old and practically blind Isaac about to bestow the first son’s blessing and convinces Jacob to enter his father’s chambers and supplant the birthright behind Esau’s back !
“Chill mom, Esau is hairy, dad will be able to tell. Let me not play myself ma.”
-A young Jacob to Rebekah
In her seemingly reckless machinations, she covers Jacob in goat’s fur and gives him the meat and meal her husband bade of Esau to fetch (an offering she prepared).
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
Isn’t this a familiar score? Don’t we know this from somewhere? This infamous substitution is but a shadow for another.
See Isaac, the father, is unable to make a distinction between two sons. The younger has borne the garments of his older brother and offers a sacrifice that was prepared for him. As the church is covered in the royal garment of Christ, supplicating before the throne of judgement with the works of another, an older Brother.
There was nothing about Jacob that merited him the inheritance except one detail that supersedes the rest: the Word & Promise of God.
Although Isaac felt the son of the flesh, he heard the voice of the son of promise. Just as even the finest work of these hands are as dirty rags before the glory of God, the Son of Promise intercedes on my, on our, behalf.
With reckless determination Rebekah, some might say mischievously, moved in the Will of God, just as Jesus Christ Lord knowing the Will of the Father seemingly disrupts justice on our behalf.
To ensure the preservation of true Justice and righteousness, it is pivotal that there be a rejection of the inheritance. Just as Esau forsook his birthright for a piece of meat, it was paramount that Israel rejecting their Savior in Christ Jesus be a part of messianic prophecy:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
that the Bread that was for the children may fall into the laps of the gentiles. Through the awe-striking marvel at Calvary, a monument of extravagant, selfless and relentless love, the Lord provides an offering for his own. Just as Rebekah was willing to give it all so her son could inherit the promise:
12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
Upon me be thy curse, says Jesus.
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters
(Songs of Solomon 2)
What a marvelous garden my Lord.