Channel Surfing

Dorothy Hostetter

READ : Genesis 25:19-28

Reading about Jacob’s life is like flipping channels between a sleazy soap opera and a lecture on theology.

Rebekah had problems during her pregnancy, and the twins’ birth brought more surprises. The second twin was born with his little hand wrapped around his brother’s foot. That got him the name


(“he deceives”) and a soiled reputation that stuck for life.

Now, flip to the theology channel: “Two nations are in your womb; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Back to the soap. The boys have grown up, and their personalities are as different as their looks. Dad loves manly Esau who shares his interest in hunting, while Mom loves quiet Jacob who hangs around the house. And no one seems to mention the prophecy.

Unfortunately, prophecy by itself doesn’t make us wise. The words make sense. Even vivid experiences can fade too readily. And God’s thoughts escape us. Like Rebekah we may have information but lack wisdom. Our own obsessions obscure the constant guidance of God. We need to trust God day by day instead of our own understanding.


Lord, it is so hard for me to trust you with all my heart. Change my heart, O God. Amen.