Prepare to Listen. Light the 1st purple candle and be still and silent for however long it takes. Pray: Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually.
Prayerfully Read Genesis 25:21-26
21Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22The children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is to be this way, why do I live?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23And the LORD said to her,
‘Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.’
24When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26Afterwards his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Jesus’ family tree began in barrenness, first Sarah, then Rebekah. After 20 years Isaac was driven to pray for his wife and “The LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.” It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. Her struggle is evident in her “almost unintelligible ” words in Hebrew: “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” And so “She went to inquire of the LORD.” She was driven to pray.
She went to pray, away from distractions, driven by her struggle. We don’t know what she said to God, but I suspect she resorted to a common form of prayer known as lament or complaint. Why me, Lord? The LORD answered her, but not in a way she expected. It didn’t change her present struggle, but told her that “her difficult pregnancy is a sign of things to come.”  God was disrupting the norm by promoting the younger over the elder, revealing the typical way God works—“the elder shall serve the younger.” God is in the business of uplifting the least in society.
Jesus came to the least, the poor and the marginalized. He also taught that “the last will be first, and the first will be last” and “whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave.”  Makes me wonder why Christians support ‘America first’ policies! God’s way is always to lift up the lowly and put down the powerful. Rebekah, not Isaac, was the first to learn this reversal of normal custom.
What drives you to pray and where do you go?
Respond in Prayer
Forgive us, Lord for thinking we should be first instead of living out the way of your upside-down world where the first are last and the last first. Amen.
Live Obediently. Create a space for prayer.
 West, Gerald. Genesis: The people’s Bible commentary. Oxford, UK: The Bible Reading Fellowship. 2006, p. 134.
 Matthew 20:16, 27.
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Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.