This is where Isaac blesses his children. Again, I think that there are times when I see all these characters in my life. Scheming, plotting, trying to help out God, blinded, tricked. This is the stuff of a good soap opera, and we play it out all the “Days of our Lives.” (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
Isaac is old, his eyes are dim so he cannot see. This is a state we can get into ourselves, spiritual blindness. When we know what God has told us, and we do what we would rather do, it blinds us to things that we should not be blinded about. Another famous one who was blinded because he flirted with obeying God was Samson. Remember that God had prophesied that Jacob would be the one to inherit the seed, that it would be him that the descendants would be multiplied through. But Jacob was more of a mother’s son, and Esau, the rugged man of the field was more to Isaac’s liking. It is in this story that we will see that Isaac still deals with his senses, not trusting God. And Rebekah also plots to make God’s prophesy come true. We forget that God is sovereign, and that what He wills will occur.
Anyway, Isaac calls Esau to his side and tells him that he is old and not sure of his day of death. At this time Isaac is about 137 years old. Isaac tells Esau to take his bow and quiver and hunt game, and bring him savory food. Verse 4 “And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” So often in the scriptures, it is not the first born (Esau) who will be blessed, but the second born. We will see this in Joseph’s case too, and in other cases. This is a bit of Isaac’s disobedience to God, who had told Isaac that Jacob was the one to be blessed.
Rebekah must have been listening at the tent flap, for she overhears Isaac’s request of Esau, and she gets Jacob aside and makes an elaborate plan. I have to be honest, God had to have protected them, because at any moment this flimsy plan could have fallen apart, and then it would have gone bad for her and Jacob. But here is the plan.
She tells Jacob his father’s request of Esau, and she says, verse 8 “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you.”While we are instructed to obey our parents, Jacob may have fared better had he obeyed God’s voice and not fallen into duplicity. Whenever we lie or cheat or steal, there are repercussions. And the sad thing is, in this case Jacob did not have to do this, for he had God’s blessing. Even if Esau had received a blessing, God could have remedied the situation. I think of Balaam who tried to curse the Israelites and only God’s good words for them could come out of his mouth. And yet, even with the lying and conniving, God still kept His word and blessed Jacob.
Jacob brought in two choice kids of the goats, and Rebekah made a savory stew. Jacob thinks about his mother’s plan and comes up with a few difficult issues. In verse 11 “Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth skinned man.” He is quite aware that there is a danger and that in verse 12 “Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
Seem to be a deceiver???? It seems that Jacob is worried about appearances, but ignoring the real fact – he IS a deceiver. And, he has his priorities wrong, he is more concerned about receiving a curse because of deception, than he is about telling the truth to his father. His concern is about how the actions will impact his life, not about the morality of the issue.
His mother says something very foolish, she says, verse 13 (unlucky if you ask me), “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” Too bad she did not tell him to obey God’s voice. She really did have a control over Jacob, and she was a good plotter. This brings to mind the Israelites, after Pilate washed his hands of Christ’s blood, saying that the curse would come onto the Israelites. Oh, how easily we take curses on ourselves, we need to watch what we say, and what we accept into our lives.
First she made stew like Isaac liked, she got Esau’s choice clothes and puts them on Jacob. And she gets skins of the goats and puts them on Jacob’s hands and neck so that if Isaac felt him, he would seem to be hairy.
Funny how in this household the blessing is lost over a bowl of food. Esau despised the blessing for a bowl of porridge, and now Isaac is going to give the blessing to Jacob over a bowl of stew, when Isaac really wanted to bless Esau. Our appetites can get in the way of our goals if we are not careful. That is why it is so important to keep our focus on God, and His Word which is our spiritual food, and not get caught up in the appetites of the flesh.
This story is lie upon lie upon lie. Jacob goes into his father, and says, verse 19 “I am Esau your firstborn.” (Oh Jacob, you need to trust God more, you need to believe in Him) Do you realize that this lie of his will cause Jacob to have a 20 year exile. Wasted years because of a lie and a stolen blessing.
Isaac will be deceived, he will rely on his senses instead of on the truth, but Isaac does suspect something is afoul here. The stew was brought quickly, and Isaac wonders at how quickly “Esau” came back. Lie number two – to answer that question, Jacob says verse 20 “Because the LORD your God brought it to me.” We know where the stew came from, but I find it sad that Jacob doesn’t say the LORD MY God, it is YOUR God. So often when we are disobedient, we kind of lose a connection with God. He ceases in our mind to be OUR God, but becomes ANYONE ELSE’S God, because we have created division between us by our sins and disobedience. That can be rapidly remedied though by repenting and coming back to God.
Isaac is still not sure, so he has Jacob come closer, and he feels him. So the senses that Isaac is using are TASTE (the stew), TOUCH (feels the hairy skin), HEARING (he hears Jacob’s voice and that it doesn’t sound like Esau), SMELL (he smells the scent of the cloths of Esau – probably because Esau was not the bather). The one sense he does not use is SIGHT because he has dim vision. See how easily our senses can fool us.
Well, the senses seem to confirm to Isaac that this really is Esau, but He still is uncertain, so here comes lie number three, Verse 24 “Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.” Isaac asked Jacob to come and kiss him, and it was with that kiss that he smelled Esau’s scent, and then Jacob is blessed.
I will deal with the blessings tomorrow, and the repercussions for Jacob because of the lies.
Why is it that so often the kisses are kisses of betrayal in the Bible? Think of this situation with Jacob and Isaac, and Judas and Jesus.
Beth Moore describes this scene in an interesting way on page 119 of her book The Patriarchs, she says, After having us give one-word descriptions of the main characters, she then says, “Under the one-word description of Rebekah, did anyone happen to use a word likemanipulative? A fitting two-worder would have been smooth operator.Game takes on a double meaning in this segment of Scripture. Remember, Rebekkah received the prophesy from God concerning the older son serving the younger. Her actions are the continuation of her false belief that she needed to force God’s will to come to pass. Somebody needed to rip that junior-God pin off Rebekah’s collar and tell her God said not to bother. He faithfully fulfills His Word! I’m sorry, Sisters, but I can’t help but relate our gender to Rebekah’s actions. Certainly men have their own destructive tendencies. We can trust God to point those out, but let’s allow Him to deal with ours.”
Then she points out that Rebekah twice told her son to listen carefully and do what she commands. Beth says that we women often believe that if our families would listen to us, we would get them into shape, that the saying “God couldn’t be everywhere so He created mothers.” is so wrong.
Beth points out that when she seems to pick on the women of the Bible it is because she wants us to be all the wonderful things that a woman of God can be. That we learn from the mistakes of the women in the Bible so we don’t repeat them in our lives. She also pointed out that Rebekah’s actions weren’t just for Jacob’s benefit, that she also got something out of them. We don’t always pressure our loved ones for them, often we have a lot vested in what they do too.
Beth gives three points for us to consider when we advise our loved ones:
Then Beth says, finally a chance to pick on a male for a moment, as we watch Jacob lie to his father.
Beth also points out that there must be a distinct smell to the outdoorsman type. I can attest to that. But she gives an important warning on page 121 “The moral of the story thus far might be this: pay attention to your suspicions…even if everything smells right.”
If we were to compare Esau to Jacob, we would see that Esau was a skillful hunter, man of the field (Matt 13), the world, a type of unbeliever. But he could not satisfy himself in the field (world), so he came to Jacob for food (porridge). Jacob was plain, undefined, complete, quiet and a conniver. lived in the tents, was a pilgrim.
Esau will complain, but if you think about it, after so many years and two Canaanite wives, he is not really following the example of His father’s lifestyle. Isaac was still insensitive to the will of God, still focused on the flesh, Isaac did not remember the prophesies given to Rebekah. Isaac could not see spiritually or physically. Rebekah does not walk by faith, for she feels she must take matters in her own hands. Jacob is not concerned about morality, just about not being caught. I sure wish I could say that these traits were not things in my life, but at different points in my life I can relate to all the main characters.
We are going to see that Esau will feel very wronged by the stolen blessing – how conveniently he forgets that he sold it for a bowl of red lentils. But now that he has matured a bit, he realizes what he sold was valuable. We have to be so careful not to act impulsively in our spiritual immaturity, for we do not want to give away our blessings.
Even though so many of these insights seem so spiritual, I have to be honest and tell you that I struggle with them in my walk at times. I see and repent often when I make a mistake, and I certainly rely on my senses too much. I too have to give up that junior-God pin, and stop trying to control things so much. I guess for me it all boils down to faith and trust in God.
I am hoping you have a blessed day and that later on I will get a chance to visit your sites. Computer time is limited these days. I could use your prayers for Jim that his computer challenges are rapidly solved, and that my kids get along better or it will be a long summer, and that I do not get my buttons pushed so easily by my kids. And that God helps me to be more secure in Him.
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