The things kids do—even before they’re out of the womb! Seems, so often, it hints at what they’ll be up to after they’re born.
There she is: Granddaughter, her little legs obviously just a-kicking away, like her mommy said you could see happening continually all through her sonogram. And since she left her warm, safe starting place, those legs have been going, going, for over four years now, running, leaping, hopping, bouncing, dancing, and ballerina kicking enough to make you winded just watching.
I once read how music conductor Boris Bott learned the cello parts of symphonies in the womb, by no one’s intention. Seems his expectant mother’s cello practice helped shape what he became as an adult. He got a musical head start in his amniotic first home.
Then there are the Bible examples. Fascinating. I love the account of John, the baptizer-to-be who will joyfully go before the Lord Jesus to point others to Him. Before he’s born into the world he’s leaping for joy as the Messiah approaches, carried in Mary’s womb! (Lk 1:39-42).
But we’re talking Old Testament times here in this series. We’ve been seeking the Christ child, by following the line that God said would produce Him. Which brings us to a set of twins… who wrestled in the womb!
Does sibling rivalry begin that soon? Evidently. And though not clear yet at this early stage in their story, the promise of the Seed in whom all nations would be blessed hung poised there, ready to pass on to one of them. But which?…
Another barren woman, Isaac’s wife Rebekah—another descendant of Shem, like him: desperately desiring a child, as her parents-in-law had, Abraham and Sarah. Isaac fervently praying. The result? Not one, but two babies to bless them (and pain them, as life on earth would play out)—struggling in utero. Seemingly jockeying for position already.
It troubled Rebekah. So she consulted God. And He explained, revealing to her His prophecy about those two: Two nations were struggling in there! The “older” would end up serving the “younger” (Gen 25:22-26). (Older meaning whoever gets out first!)
The rest of the prophesy, about the Seed of Promise, comes later in Bible text (Gen 26:1-5), but she still may have understood it as part of the birthright this “younger” son should receive.
Should? Or would? If God says it will happen, it will! But when you’re human and activist like Rebekah, and the tide seems rolling counter to God’s will, you think it’s your duty to get in there and fix things so they happen His prophesied way.
Thus she pushed her favored son into committing all that deceit (Gen 27:5-10). Thus her resulting separation from him thereafter (Gen 27:34,41-43). And such a mess of hurt, resentment, murderous intent, fear, and agony!
Nevertheless, on the road to exile, the LORD appears to Jacob and seals the deal: His (Jacob’s) is the heritage; his “seed” it is in whom “all the families of earth will be blessed” (Gen 28:12-17). And then God doubly seals it, on Jacob’s way back home, years later, when the baby wrestler, now grown with babies of his own, wrestles the angel of the LORD and won’t let go till He blesses him, and leaves with a limp and a new personage: Israel, “prince of God” (Gen 32:24-28,31).
Hardly a picture of the faultless Christ to come, nevertheless the receiver of the Promise – not just for land, and a nation of multitudes, but for that special promised Seed of deliverance, down his family line.
What strikes me in all this is how God works out His specific predetermined will of rescue and redemption even through the stupid, twisted actions of humans doing it all wrong because that’s just they way they, as individuals, (wrongly) “tick.” That is grace, big GRACE. And big love.
Seeking the Christ Child (in the Old Testament):
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I am searching for prophecies and foreshadowings of the Christ child, book by book. I plan to post (nearly) every weekday (leaving myself some margin) a short peek at some hint or promise of the coming baby who would make all the difference. Like the wise men, I’ll be Seeking the Christ Child, but in Old Testament promises and foreshadowings, and sharing what I find. I hope you’ll join me, because if it turns out as rewarding as the past spring’s pre-Easter explorations, this focus could make this one of the richest, most blessed Christmas seasons yet.
Previous posts in this series: