Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Genesis 27:1-12

Who needs soap operas when we have the Bible?? This chapter of Genesis is filled with intrigue and deception and betrayal - and is reminiscent of an episode of “Dallas,” in which Bobby and JR fight over the rights to the Ewing fortune (and if you understand that analogy, you are old)!

When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
“Here I am,” he answered.
Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.” (Gen.27:1-4)

Certainly Isaac is failing in health here, at the age of about 137, but the reality is he lived 43 more years! However, he knows how to manipulate his son into getting him his favorite meal! And Esau? According to Jon Courson’s commentary he was about 77 years old at this point. I think in those days, “seventy was the new twenty!” So Isaac is ready to give his deathbed blessing to his favorite son, Esau. Rebekah, in the meantime, who prefers Jacob over Esau, hears this conversation and comes up with a way to change the outcome.

Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.” (vs. 5-10)

In fairness to Rebekah, God had told her while she was still pregnant that Jacob would be the son of blessing (Gen. 25:23), so she may have just been trying to help God out here. Courson points out that she knew God’s Word, and may have thought she was doing God’s work. But you’ll notice that she does not pray and seek God’s will or help. She goes full steam ahead with her plot. How many times do we do this? We are anxious to do something “for God,” so we plow right on with our plans, not seeking anything more than God’s name attached to the project - “LORD, please bless this ministry I’m devoting to You,” instead of “LORD, show me what You want me to do, even if it means waiting and just being still.” Could the sovereign LORD of the universe have somehow intervened or turned around the situation? Of course He could have! But in a panic, Rebekah proceeds with her plan. Note that she invoked God’s name when she misquoted Isaac! Isaac had not said, “in the presence of the LORD...” - Rebekah added that. Let’s look at how Jacob reacts:

Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” (vs. 11-12)

At first glance it may seem that Jacob is attempting to stop his mother here. But Jon Courson points out that Jacob is really more concerned with his reputation rather than his actual character here. He doesn’t want his father to believe he’s deceptive, even though he clearly is deceptive, because he quickly goes along with her without any further objections. He’s not worried about what God will know about him - he’s worried about what man will think about him! Ouch! LORD, show us where we have that same mindset!

And I’m just going to be cogitating on that one for the rest of the day!

 

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