Genesis 24-27: The Covenant Is Renewed (February 21-27)

Rebecca Meets Isaac by the Way” (detail), by James Jacques Joseph Tissot, Jewish Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Marriage (Rebekah)

How many times had Rebekah filled that pitcher with water from the well? It must have been part of her normal daily routine. And assisting a thirsty stranger must have been in character for her, as was volunteering to help with the camels without being asked.

But this was not an ordinary day for her. What must it have been like to receive an extraordinary proposal from this stranger: to marry his master’s son. He gave her jewelry and explained that God had led him to her, just as his master, Abraham, had prophesied.

We don’t know much about Rebekah’s decision process, but when her family asked her the next morning, “Wilt thou go with this man?” she responded, “I will go” (Genesis 24:58).

Years later, when her own sons were old enough to marry, Rebecca sent Jacob to live with her brother Laban, in hopes that he would be able to choose an appropriate wife (Genesis 27:46).

Like Abraham and Rebecca, we ought to help the people we love make wise decisions about marriage.

Here are some relevant blog posts:

Pottage (Esau)

Hunger can play havoc with our judgment. Esau had been working all day, and he was famished. When he smelled the stew (or pottage) that his brother Jacob was cooking, he was desperate. Jacob offered to give him a warm meal (a tangible good) in exchange for his birthright (an intangible asset). Esau eagerly agreed. “I am at the point to die,” he cried. (See Genesis 25:29-34.) And what good is a birthright to a dead man?

His decision was short-sighted, and he grew to regret it. (See Genesis 27:36.)

One of the great challenges of life is to be true to our future selves—to make decisions today which will result in positive outcomes tomorrow.

Here are some blog posts on the subject:

Wells (Isaac)

After Abraham died, the Philistines disabled his wells, filling them with earth. As Isaac worked to dig them out again, he encountered resistance: The people living near some of these newly reopened wells claimed them as their own. Isaac didn’t become angry, but he did memorialize the irony by naming the wells after these experiences: Ezeq (עֵשֶׂק) which means “contention,” Sitnah (שִׂטְנָה), which means “hostility,” and then in a more remote location, Rechoboth (רְחֹבוֹת), which means “broad places.” (See Genesis 26:17-22.)

Subsequently, he visited Abraham’s most important well: Beer-Sheba (בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע), “the well of the oath.” There, God reaffirmed the covenant He had previously made with Abraham. (See Genesis 26:23-25.)

Just as Isaac worked hard to provide physical water, we ought to seek to acquire spiritual water and share it with others.

Here are some relevant blog posts:

Blog Posts: February 22-27

Heavenly Help

When Abraham sent his most senior servant on a difficult mission—to find a wife for his son Isaac—the servant had some concerns. But Abraham reassured him that he would not be alone: The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto…


Adam Grant, a professor of organizational psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied the affect of interpersonal styles on professional success. He divides people into three categories, according to how they approach interactions with others at work: Givers are willing to help others without expecting anything in return.Matchers help others selectively. They try to…

A Better Cause

The first time that we hear about Captain Moroni is when he leads the Nephite armies to victory against Zerahemnah’s Lamanite army. As the narrator, Mormon makes it a point to contrast the motivations of these two armies: [Zerahemnah’s] designs were to stir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites; this he did that he might usurp great…

Your Birthright

Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage (Genesis 25:29-34). We all know this. We might have to be reminded that “pottage” is a soup or a stew and that the original meaning of “mess” was a meal. But what’s a birthright? The word only appears ten times in the Bible, always referring to…


When Sarah mistreated Hagar, she ran away. An angel found her by a well and told her to go back and submit herself to her mistress. The angel promised great blessings, including numerous descendants. After that experience, Hagar called the Lord “El-Roi,” which means “the God who sees me.” The well became known as Beer-Lahai-Roi…

Breaking a Yoke

A yoke is a wooden beam placed on the necks of two animals so that they can pull together. That’s the literal definition. Throughout the scriptures, the term is also used metaphorically to represent servitude or oppression. Perhaps that’s because the Hebrew word for yoke—ol (עֹל)—is related to the verb alal (עָלַל), which means to…

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