Editor's Note: Every Week, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted article in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you would have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.
Genesis 27:1-46 - Sin Soup - Part 1
Here in Genesis ch. 27 we’re once again going to see that many of these people that we hold up in high esteem, and this is what’s so great about the O.T., it pulls back the veil and it shows us that many of these people that we would term as the “heroes of the faith” actually came from very dysfunctional families, dysfunctional situations, and dysfunctional backgrounds. And so I find it ironic in how often we think to ourselves that: “One of the reasons I can’t be used in any big ways by the Lord is because of the degree of dysfunction that may be in my life, or in my past, or whatever.”
And what we discover, going vs. by vs. through the O.T. is that, if coming out of a dysfunctional environment disqualifies one from being used of God, then ALL of these people, or at least 90% of them, should never have been able to be used of God! We oughta take encouragement from that!!
In ch. 27 the scene now shifts forward to Isaac as an old man, and what we’re going to discover is that this family, who began well in the earlier years, has now, because of this conflict, because of the sin of favoritism in the family, and that which came forth because of it, really became a family where the spiritual wheels start falling off the wagon. And now we’ll see a family that is just caught up in lying and scheming and manipulating.
Isaac and Rebekah give us a picture of a man and woman in a marriage that started strong, but they allowed sin to come into their lives, remain unchecked, and then multiplied and now they are finishing horribly.
They could not say, as the Apostle Paul would in the N.T. - “Hey, I have fought the good fight. I finished the race well. I’ve stayed true pressing towards Christ to the end.”
If you and I desire to finish well, one of the things we ought to make note of as we're going through this story is really the growth and cancerous nature of sin left unchecked and unrepented of in the heart of the people of God.
How did the whole deal get started? It was the sin of the parents in not treating their children with equal affection. And there is no indication in the Scriptures that Isaac and Rebekah ever repented of this favoritism, and, of course, this then produced significant dysfunction within the home and in the lives of these 2 boys.
And YET, the amazing thing is, and that which gives me tremendous encouragement, and should encourage all of us, is that God still works IN our dysfunction, God still works THROUGH our dysfunction, and, in fact, God USES our dysfunction in order to root out of our hearts those things that He would desire us to separate ourselves from.
In the N.T. Paul calls us to - “Come out and be separate from the things of the world.” (2 Cor. 6:17).
We're going to see this theme of separation play out very powerfully in this text. As we dig in, remember there is a 40 year gap between the end of ch. 26 and where we are starting here in ch. 27. So let’s dig in.
Vs. 1-4 - “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.”
A couple times Isaac thinks he’s going to die, when in all reality he’s going to live another 43 years! At this point in our text Isaac is 137 and the twins are about 77.
What we’ve got is he’s spoken instruction to his firstborn son here. And we know about 35-40 years have passed since the Lord spoke to Rebekah about Jacob being the one to be blessed, and can assume that Rebekah would have told her husband this a number of times.
What is obvious here, and will continue to be obvious, is that Isaac, over this 40 year gap that we’ve jumped here between chapters, has severely swerved to the flesh. In fact, the whole family has! And my guess is, at least in part, that this is because of very poor leadership.
So, his sin of favoritism has now, over the years, just morphed into a very strong outright disobedience. He is now attempting to subvert the plan of God and pass the blessing onto the son that God has rejected.
Think about this - here’s the passing of the torch, the grand event - i’m passing the blessing onto the son. No doubt this should have been a public thing, and you’d have thought he’d call out half the village if not the whole village and celebrate this wonderful event. This is the Patriarchal passing of the torch... But what we see here is that Isaac is doing it in secret, behind closed doors, which tells us the man understands this is wrong and it is not God’s will.
Why would he do this? Probably the same reason you and I often times stand in the way of God’s will in our own lives. We say - Hey man, I want MY will done, and this is what I want to see happen - This over here is what will make ME happy!
Let me point something else out, and listen up men. No doubt as this man’s heart was heading south over the years, so then was his capacity to lead his life well and be the spiritual leader and the head of the home that God would have called him to be. What this lack of proper headship resulted in over the years is just a corresponding deterioration in the heart of his wife. Yet, what we’re going to see is God, of course, His will is going to pass despite the idiocy of this family.
The right way for Rebekah to have responded to this would have been to just trust God and to just pray for this man and let God deal with him. But instead of doing that, notice what she does in vs. 5.
Vs. 5-10 - “ 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.”
This whole scene is hatched and plotted by Rebekah, and of course, what does she think she’s doing? She thinks she’s helping God out!! So, in that, she seems to be alot like her mother-in-law Sarah!
As believers why do we fall into these situations where - “We’re going to make it for God, and we’re going to be the ones who are going to bring about God’s will through the efforts and energies of the flesh?” Why do we do that? I think because alot of times what we're thinking is - “Well, the end justifies the means.” After all, does not God want Jacob to have the blessing?” Of course. Therefore we need to pull out all the stops in order that God’s will might be done... Rather than saying - “God, this is what you’ve promised, this is what you’ve said and you're going to take care of it.”
Notice then in vs. 11 that Jacob says this:
Vs. 11-12 - “ 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.”
I think this reveals a little bit about Jacob’s character. Notice he is saying that her plan has flaws, but he’s not saying that her plan is flawed because of moral reasons, but it’s flawed because of logistics! “This ain’t gonna work mom, he’s a hairy dude and I’m smooth; and I’m sure, in the process of dad blessing me, he’s probably going to put his hands on me and then he’s gonna know something’s up!”
We’ll see in vs. 13 next week that Rebekah has a contingency plan and she’s got it all figured out! Blessings to you all.