Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 18 2011 - E100.9a – Genesis 27:1-40, Tricky Jacob

Isaac and Rebekah have a dysfunctional family. Isaac favours Esau, the elder of his twin sons, but Rebekah favours Jacob. Isaac also seems to have been a bit of a hypochondriac. When we meet him at the beginning of Genesis 27 he has taken to his bed and believes that he is about to die. In fact, he will outlive Rebekah and will still be alive 20 years later when Jacob returns from Haran.

Before the twins were born, the Lord had promised that the elder would serve the younger. Nevertheless, Isaac is determined that Esau will be his heir; Esau will inherit the promises God made to Abraham. So he asks Esau to go and hunt game and prepare his favourite meal which he will eat before blessing Esau and dying a happy man. Rebekah overhears the conversation and sends Jacob to get two young goats from the herd which she will prepare as a meal for Isaac – there seems to be nothing wrong with Isaac's appetite! Rebekah then sends Jacob, suitably disguised, to blind Isaac's bedside to tell him that he is Esau and thus obtain the blessing.

And obtain the blessing he does; he gains it by trickery and downright lies. He lives up to his name, 'Jacob' which means, 'cheat'.

Isaac's blessing, pronounced upon his son, reflects the promise which God had made to Abraham and Isaac. He is promised the good things of the land and victory over his enemies. The blessing concludes with words first spoken by God to Abraham, "Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!" (27:29, cf. 12:3).

Here we see that God works out his purposes and fulfils his promises through people who are very far from perfect. God displays his grace by working through Jacob, a cheat and a liar. Even when we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Faithful God, thank you that your promises extend to sinners and that you are able to bring glory to your name through broken personalities. I would not boast of my sinfulness, but I do glory in the greatness of your grace and mercy.

Peter Misselbrook