'Bring me some game and prepare a savory dish for me, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.'Genesis 27:7(NASB)
So much in the family of Abraham and the nation of Israel is used by God to teach us lessons on living a sanctified life that is honouring to Him, while highlighting many fleshly behaviours and carnal attitudes we should avoid. These same historical accounts also demonstrate the gracious character of our long-suffering Lord, as He unfolds His wonderful plan of salvation and reminds us all, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and trusting His Word is the only choice to make... if we are to glorify Him in our personal walk.
Just as Abraham told his sons about the promised Seed, Who would come through Isaac and his descendants, so Isaac and Rebekah were similarly told that the younger of their twin sons would be preeminent. "Two nations are in your womb and two peoples will be separated from your body," Rebekah was told by the Lord when she enquired why her pregnancy was so difficult, "One people shall be stronger than the other and the older shall serve the younger."
The custom of the day was that the firstborn son would not only become the patriarch of the family but receive the blessing of his father, while any other sons would remain subservient to the firstborn. However, before the birth of his twin sons, Isaac and his wife were clearly told by the Lord that Jacob, their second-born son, was God's choice. Jacob was to be the one to inherit the blessing and authority, after his father passed. Jacob was to be the one through whom the promised Seed would be born - i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although he was well aware of the prophetic Word given to Rebekah, Isaac was determined to give his blessing to Esau, the older twin, who had married two pagan wives and was not the one God had chosen to be his successor. Jacob was to be the one through whom the blessing was to pass. And so, as the day of his death drew closer and in utter defiance of the Lord, Isaac ignored the Word of the Lord and prepared to transfer the blessing to Esau, secretly. "Bring me some game and prepare a savoury dish for me," he told Esau, "that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the Lord, before my death."
While Isaac favoured the outgoing Esau, who had become a great hunter, Rebekah delighted in the home-loving Jacob, and so he did not tell his wife about his decision to give his blessing to Esau. However, Rebekah overheard the conversation and determined in her heart to prevent this from happening and took it upon herself to intervene, covertly.
What a sad state of affairs to see such deception, lack of trust, and barefaced lies taking place between Isaac, his wife Rebekah, and their two sons. How sad that each of these parents were found secretly plotting with the son they favoured against their spouse, and the other sibling. How terrible that Isaac was ready to willfully disobey the Lord so blatantly, and Esau was a consenting participant in his clandestine plan. How disappointing that Rebekah showed such a lack of faith in the Lord, by taking it on herself to scupper Isaac's rebellious defiance of God, instead of leaving it in His hands - instead she used human reason and schemed with Jacob to steal back the blessing that was his by right.
Not one of the four characters in this dramatic event was free from transgressing God's plans and purposes. Either through covert deception, lack of faith, or wilful defiance, every one of them demonstrated a self-centred attitude, combined with human reasoning and wilful non-compliance towards God's stated order and clear edict.
How tragic that Abraham's son of promise declined so greatly in character and conduct. How sad to see the spiritual decay that marked the end of Isaac's life - and what lessons we can learn from his failure. The physical myopia of the old patriarch's eyes served only to mirror his spiritual degeneration and worldly outlook. Equally tragic is to witness Rebekkah, following in the footsteps of Sarah, by attempting to carry out God's promise through worldly wisdom rather than godly faith.
Esau continued along his chosen, compromised pathway of paganism, while Jacob not only cooperated with his scheming mother to steal the blessing from Esau but readily lied to his father. Both the family rivalry and parental favouritism we see in Genesis 27 is something that each one of us should strongly reject - but the worst aspect of this story is the unbelief and rebellion against God's stated purpose that each one displays.
God is not mocked when we disbelieve His Word, nor are His plans and purposes thwarted by any rebellious acts of man. But how sad it is when the people of God dishonour God's name and defy His Word.
Heavenly Father, I marvel at Your amazing plan of redemption, yet stand astonished to see how quickly men and women like Isaac, Jacob, Rebekkah, and Esau readily defied Your Word and tried to frustrate Your will through their unbelief, human wisdom, and carnality. Yet Lord, as I consider my own spiritual walk, I see there are times when I have also been reluctant to trust You to fulfil Your plans and purposes in my own life or have been disobedient to obey Your Word. Give me a greater understanding of Your plan for my life, and I pray that I would learn all the lessons You would teach me through the Scriptures and live a life that is honouring to You. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.