Commentary on Parashat Toldot (Offspring)

Beresheet (Genesis) 25:19-28:9

The God that we have put our faith in is a God of the impossible; He is faithful to His promises, regardless of what we see or understand. As we learned before, God chose Abraham for a very specific task, it is through Abraham and his descendants after him that God will show His unlimited faithfulness and grace, against all odds.

In Parashat Lech Lecha, we see a clarification of the very specific descendant that God Himself has chosen to continue to show His faithfulness through.

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. “And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!” But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” – Genesis 17:15-21

In the verses above we clearly see that although Isaac was not the oldest son, Isaac was indeed to be the son through which God would continue the covenant that He made with Abraham. The covenant would then continue through Isaac’s descendants. This is where the connection to this week’s parasha enters in.

Our parasha opens with the description of Isaac’s offspring. It goes on to describe the fact that his wife, Rebekah, was barren and could not bring children to the world. Isaac, who most likely knew of the amazing miracle of his own birth, and also the amazing God of his father, Abraham, went to plea before the Lord. God was faithful to answer:

Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham became the father of Isaac; and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.” – Genesis 25:19-23

What can we learn from this? First, we see the Lord’s undying faithfulness to fulfill His word. He has a very specific plan, and although it seems impossible from man’s perspective, He will do the “impossible” to accomplish it! In this account, we see that He will continue the line of blessing through the younger son, Jacob.

Second, we can see that God does not do things the way we think He “should”. Although the tradition was for the line to continue through the eldest, God determined to pass it on through the younger brother. Esau despised his inheritance, which was an abomination to the Lord; Jacob was far from worthy of the inheritance, but the Lord did a miraculous work in him to bring him to be the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.

My dear brothers and sisters, regardless of what men may think or say, the God that you have chosen to trust is a faithful God; His plan is the best plan for your life. Regardless of the circumstances you may be going through right now, He is and always will be faithful to do the impossible.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, December 1, 2016, and reposted with permission.