I mentioned the other day that Bathsheba should be hitting stores a little before March 1 - at least that's the hope and what I've heard from the grapevine. If you want to read the first scene of the story, it's posted in Notes on Bathsheba's Facebook Page. The first chapter will soon be up - along with the rest of Bathsheba's page (with Bible Study and Book Club Discussion Questions) on The Wives of King David website - soon! Though there is a year between each of my books, I may be juggling two stories at once or doing marketing for one while researching another and filling out questionnaires for a third. So right now, Bathsheba is due to release, Sarai's story is in house waiting to go through its processes, and I'm researching Isaac and Rebekah's tale.

In thinking about Isaac and Rebekah and their relationship with their kids, I've been pondering how difficult and complex interpersonal relationships can be. One Jewish commentator suggested that Rebekah was a strong, independent woman and that Isaac was more passive because of what he went through when his father obeyed God and willingly offered him (almost succeeding) as a sacrifice. Esau was a man's man, a hunter, a bit on the wild side like his uncle Ishmael. Perhaps Esau was everything Isaac was not, and this is why he favored that son. Rebekah, on the other hand, was possibly a bit of a control freak. (Somebody had to be if Isaac wasn't very strong.) And if one thing is true about controlling people is they want others to do as they say - to shape them into what they want them to be. Jacob was probably a compliant guy, staying among the tents, not straying far from his mom.

The problem with controlling people is they like to control people. And when they do that, they don't allow the compliant person, the person willing to be controlled, to figure out who they are or make decisions on their own. If that compliant person ends up wanting relationships of their own, away from their parents, for instance, the break can be heart wrenching.

I suspect Isaac and Rebekah gravitated to the child that was their opposite. Perhaps Esau was more like Rebekah than she cared to admit. But wouldn't she have a bit of wild adventure in her spirit too? She did leave home to travel across the miles to marry a man she didn't know. Takes a bit of guts, in any case.

While this is only one person's opinion of these biblical characters, I can see how much like us they were. I think we all know people who love control. I probably fall into that category myself too often. But people who want to control their world are usually doing so out of fear. At the very least, if we can control the things around us, we have no one else to blame. But when we try to make other people do our bidding and they don't, we have to decide whether to: 1). trust that God knows best and in His time things will work out, 2). nag other people do to what we want them to do, or 3). do it ourselves.

I've been known to do all three. But if we want to keep good relationships with people, we have to work at it. And sometimes that means sacrificing control to them.


PersonalJill Eileen Smith