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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

March 23, 2016

Genesis 27:17-28-9

  1. Picking up from last week, we see this family drama playing out like a bad episode of Dallas, the Young and the Restless, and Dynasty all in one. The father, Isaac wanted to give his blessing which was basically an inheritance to his oldest son, Esau, even when God had already told him in Chapter 25 that the blessing would be for the younger son. Isaac planned to give the blessing without his wife’s knowledge because he favored Esau. Esau didn't tell his father that he already agreed to give up his birthright to his brother. I can only assume that Esau felt he was tricked out of it, so why not get it back by not saying anything now. His wife, Rebekah, overhears this plan but she has plans of her own. She will not be outwitted by her husband. She gets her son, Jacob, and she convinces him that he should get disguised as his brother and get the dad to bless him instead. Now these blessings were like giving a last will and testament. So they were considered binding. To be clear, only God can bless. Isaac could have given something, but what God has for you God has for you and there is never a need to resort to lies and deceit. Jacob didn't say anything about tricking his brother to his mom because he knew it was wrong, but he wanted the blessing. He wanted the right thing but was willing to go the wrong way about getting it. Jacob does what his mother says and disguises himself like his brother.

  2. Verses 18-20. Jacob goes in to see his father disguised as his brother. His father is perplexed how he was able to catch the game so fast and prepare the meal. Jacob lies about it by stating God helped him. Jacob used the Lord to legitimize his scheming. And too often the people of God are tricked because lying people use the Lord in their schemes.

  3. Verses 21-24. Isaac was not really convinced because the voice sounded like Jacob so he asked him to come closer. When he got closer his father reached out to touch his hand and felt the goat hair but thought it was human hair. Isaac asked him again if he was really Esau, and Jacob lied and said he was his brother. Jacob had several opportunities to come clean, but he had to keep on lying. And that is what always happens in a lie, you have to keep on lying to cover up the first lie.

  4. Verses 25-27a. Isaac was still not convinced, so he had his son bring him the food and as he came close he smelled his clothes and the clothes smelled like the wilderness it was at that point that Isaac thought Jacob was really Esau. Notice that Isaac relied on his sense of hearing, sense of taste and sense of smell. This is symbolic of when we trust our carnal sense when we should be trusting our spiritual senses. Something was telling Isaac that this was not his son, but he trusted in the wrong senses. Your natural senses can easily be fooled, that is why you should trust God's direction and not your own understanding.

  5. Verses 27b-29. At this point I would like to say that Isaac wasn't really able to bless anyone per se. He could ask for God to bless, but he didn't really have the cosmic power to decide the future for his son. God alone does that, and God had already told Isaac that his son Jacob would be blessed. Isaac is actually thinking he can bless his son Esau when God told him otherwise. Isaac is trying to get one over on God. This family is all trying to get over on the other. What happens, in the end, is that this family will be torn apart because no one wanted to trust God. Isaac says a blessing over his son Jacob thinking he is Esau.

  6. Verses 30-40. As soon as Isaac had finished pledging all that he had to Jacob, Esau came in with some food. Esau had just missed his brother Jacob. Esau came in the tent thinking he would get the inheritance, but quickly his father realizes that he has been deceived and tells his son Esau that he has given the blessing to his brother. Esau pleads with his father to bless him with something, but Isaac has pledged all of his wealth to Jacob. Isaac also thinks that he is the decider of his son’s wealth. (Isaac declares that Esau would be in poverty and that Esau would be his servant, but we know from the chapter 33 that Esau became rich as well as having plenty and 400 men in his camp and never became Jacob’s servant.) Esau is furious and shares that his brother has tricked him twice. At this point Esau is mad enough to kill his brother and Rebekah decides to tell Jacob to flee to her brother’s house. This is a great time to talk about consequences. I guess Rebekah and Jacob never considered how mad Esau would be. They were so blinded by their greed that they couldn't see how this would make Esau feel. And too often people can be so focused on their desires that they cannot see how it might affect other people. Esau was about to murder his brother. This is the result of dysfunction, poor communication, lack of faith, favoritism, and greed. None of these qualities can sustain a family.

  7. Verses 41-45. Knowing that her son Esau could kill Jacob, Rebekah sends Jacob to Laban's house hoping that in time Esau would cool off. Rebekah even states that she knows that Esau is mad at her and that their relationship is irreparable. She tells Jacob to leave so she doesn't lose two sons in one day, knowing that Esau will despise her.

  8. Verse 46 - Chapter 28 verse 5. I take this verse to mean that Rebekah used the need for Jacob to find a wife as an excuse to tell her husband why he was going to see her brother Laban. In no way did Rebekah want to look like she had anything to do with this scheme that has torn her family apart. When Rebekah fears for Jacob's life, she goes to Isaac, and by using a logical reason that Jacob needed a wife, she manipulates Isaac into sending Jacob away. In effect, she's giving Isaac a cover story. Her real goal is to protect him, not to find him a wife. Isaac agrees, calling Jacob to his side, repeating the blessing, and sending him off to Haran to find a wife. She successfully maneuvered Isaac into telling Jacob to leave. Rebekah's manipulative language to spare Jacob again displays the poverty of Isaac and Rebekah's relationship. They do not seem able to communicate honestly with one another on important spiritual matters.

  9. Chapter 28 verses 6-9. Esau heard his father tell his brother not to marry a Canaanite woman so Esau rebelled against his parents’ wishes by marrying another pagan wife. Since he didn't get his way, he wanted to make his parents upset the best way he knew how. Often that is what children do when they are upset. They do what they know will make their parents upset. I am sure that this was not the first time Esau had played that card. So we have one son leaving the house out of fear and the other hanging around making everyone miserable. What a mess. In the end, all four players paid a huge price for their sin. Isaac: He lost all credibility as a spiritual leader in his family. He never saw his son, Jacob, again. His relationship with his wife was severely damaged. Esau: Spent much of his time making his parents mad with permanent decisions based on temporary feelings. Rebekah: Her relationship with her husband, Isaac, was severely damaged. She is forever remembered as a scheming deceiver. She never saw Jacob again--the only son she really loved. Jacob: He lived a life of isolation from his family for the next 20 years. He has humiliated his father. He never saw his father or mother alive again. He is homeless. He is fleeing for his life. He is estranged from his brother. He spent the next 20 years looking over his shoulder in fear of his brother. Because Jacob left and Esau stayed home, Jacob forfeited all the material prosperity that would have been his through his inheritance from Isaac. Jacob refused to wait on God (Ps 37:15). The bottom line is this: Everyone in the family sought the blessings of God without seeking God's direction. And everyone lost! Sin does not pay! Hebrews 11:25b tells us that its pleasure is “passing,” “fleeting,” and only “for a season” (KJV). In the end, sin leads to death (Jas 1:13-15).

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