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December 2 2018
Genesis 27:18-29 (HCSB)
This was the last major conflict for Isaac. He was old and blind. Jacob and Rebekah conspired to steal the blessing for Jacob. Jacob’s name actually means “deceiver” (Gen. 25:24-26). Jacob disguised himself as his brother Esau and deceived Isaac while he was alone. The Scriptures indicate that Isaac was a little suspicious “Are you really my son Esau?” (Gen. 27:24) Despite his suspicion he blessed Jacob thinking he was blessing Esau. Esau was furious and sought to kill Jacob but his mother warned him and Jacob went to Mesopotamia in search of a wife.
Eventually Esau would sell his birthright for food.
As we consider the spiritual lessons in this story we must note that none in the family was sinless in this matter. Rebekah was guilty of conspiracy against Isaac. Isaac was guilty of initially not supporting God’s choice of Jacob as his heir (Heb. 11:20). Esau was guilty of selling his inheritance for food (Heb. 12:6). Jacob was guilty of deceiving his father and taking advantage of his brother. There were consequences for all this deception. Rebekah lost her favorite son because he was sent away. Esau lost his inheritance. Jacob became a fugitive.
Someone might ask “Did God not choose Jacob?” The answer is yes but we must not consider that God approved of this deception. God chose the destiny but not the path this family took. God would never approve of deception or an attempt to deceive. Chuck Swindoll said “They just as easily could have chosen a peaceful obedient path and enjoyed God’s favor along the way.”
There are some spiritual lessons from this family conflict. We must trust in the sovereignty of God. We must not get ahead of God and rely on our self-sufficiency. Our past failures do not stop future blessing from God. Our failures do not destroy God’s promises. Faith looks forward not backward. God will accomplish His purposes despite His covenant people’s sin.