Saturday, May 28, 2011

Genesis 27:14-29

Having entered into a scheme to deceive Isaac, Rebekah and Jacob now carry it out. Jacob gets the goats and Rebekah starts preparing a great meal. She dresses Jacob in Esau’s best clothes and covers his hands and neck in goat fur, so he’ll feel as hairy as his brother, which gives you a better understanding of what Esau must have looked like! :) Finally, she sends Jacob in to see his father.

He went to his father and said, “My father.”

“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”

 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”

 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”

“The LORD your God gave me success,” he replied.

Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”

Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him. “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.

“I am,” he replied.

Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”
Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”

So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him . . . (Gen 27:18-27)

I’ve included the whole scene here, because it is such a great lesson in discernment. You can see from this exchange that Isaac is suspicious from the start. First, he is surprised by the speedy return from the hunt. Then, the voice doesn’t sound like Esau, so the skeptical Isaac has his son come closer so he can feel him. The hands feel like Esau, but Isaac is still unconvinced. He has his son move closer and asks him outright, “Are you really my son Esau?” It isn’t until Jacob moves close enough to kiss his father that Isaac is finally convinced by the smell of Esau’s clothing.

Isaac had plenty of warning signs that something was amiss - I’m sure his spiritual antennae were twitching! Yet, he ignored the clear warning signs and gave in to what he could understand with his physical sense of smell. Isaac should have slowed down and thought this through. He could have asked some probing questions. I’m sure, since Esau was his favorite, that Isaac had some shared memories with Esau that only he and Esau would know that he could have used as a further test, like, “Retell the story of our first hunt together.” Instead, Isaac plows ahead with the giving of the blessing.

Beth Moore writes, “The moral of the story thus far might be this: pay attention to your suspicions . . . even if everything smells right.”(The Patriarchs, P. 121)

And did you catch how Jacob invoked God’s name in this deception? “The LORD your God gave me success.” Hmm. . . it wasn’t “The LORD my God” but “your God.” I wonder if those words pricked Jacob’s heart. To boldly lie using God’s name is a scary thing to do! Yet, how many schemes are promoted in God’s name? The television is full of those who use God’s name to further their own. How careful we have to be when we attempt to serve God that we are truly doing it in His name and not our own.

The whole ugly truth about this family is included in God’s Word for a reason. Not because God didn’t love these people - He commends them for their faith in the New Testament. But, He wants us to see our sinful nature for what it is. If we don’t understand our need for a Savior, we will miss the point of Jesus’s work on the cross. He came to save ALL of us, including this particular dysfunctional family, from our sins! And they are many!

We’ll look at the blessing specifically next time. Have a restful Memorial Day weekend!

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