Job said that no plan or purpose of God’s can be thwarted (Job. 42.2), but He often has to allow the consequences of our sin and self-effort to take effect before we’re ready to be used or to receive the blessing without messing it up. Jacob and Rebekah, it seems, had to learn this lesson the hard way.
All this should be both a warning and a great encouragement to us: a warning of the consequences of deception, controlling behavior, and selfishness and an encouragement that God can and will use us, in spite of our past mistakes, if we will repent and turn to Him.
Also read about the difference between “Righteous Anger & Sinful Anger,” “The Chastening of the Lord,” and the importance of “Defending the Faith in Love.”
The Consequences of Favoritism & Deception
Consequences & God’s Sovereignty
Isaac was now 137 years old, blind, and facing his own mortality. Perhaps he was sick since both Jacob and Esau expected him to die soon (). As the story continues we will see that he actually lives forty-three years longer. By the way, Jacob and Esau were not exactly kids either. They were 77 years old!
Isaac planned to give a final blessing to Esau, his favored son, in opposition to God’s declared will (Gen. 25.23). But first he asked him to bring him a meal of fresh game. Instead, Rebekah convinced Jacob, her favorite, to deceive his father into pronouncing the blessing over him.
When the scandal of Jacob’s deception was revealed, it says, “Isaac trembled exceedingly,” perhaps over what Jacob had done or perhaps at the realization that he had favored his rebellious son in spite of what God had revealed to Rebekah before the twins were born.
Esau was already living up to God’s prophecy. He had married two Hittite women, clearly in violation of Abraham’s guidelines (Gen. 24.3). Rebekah and Isaac must have understood all this because says his wives were “a grief of mind” to his parents.
And don’t forget the selfish, “I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now” attitude that had already cost Esau his birthright as the elder son.
Though Jacob’s behavior was completely wrong (and the fact that his mother suggested it, was no excuse), God, in His sovereignty, used it to bring about His desired result—not because of their sinful behavior, but again, in spite of it.
And Rebekah! Wouldn’t you just love to have a mother who gives this kind of advice! Continue reading