Gems from Genesis: Chapter 27

If you don’t think there’s any drama in the Bible, you haven’t read the twenty-seventh chapter of Genesis. Drama, drama, drama! That’s all you can say about this part of the story of Isaac’s family.

Blessing Received—Blessing Lost

You know the story: Isaac is old and blind, and thinking his days are numbered, he wants to do something for his eldest and favorite son, Esau. Little did he know he’d live another forty-plus years!

Anyway, Rebekah is listening and moves swiftly to thwart the plan. I wondered if she did this because she favored Jacob or because the Lord did. Was she doing it to ensure the Lord’s word to her was fulfilled? At any rate, her plan worked, and the blessing was given to Jacob over Esau, which led to obvious feelings of animosity between the siblings.

Here are a couple of verses to reveal just how intense the situation grew. When his mother was telling him what she expected Jacob to do, he’s panicking:

But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”

Genesis 27:11-13 ESV

 When all was said and done:

Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away—until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?”

Genesis 27:41-45

Taking matters into our own hands is never good.

This story has tragedy written all over it. Each person suffers because they insist on working against God’s word and wisdom.

  • Isaac did not get to bless Esau.

Knowing his favorite son had lost his birthright, Isaac was still looking for a way to bless him—even after he’d given them grief by marrying Hittite women. Isaac was not just physically blind, but spiritually blind as well.

  • Rebekah would never see Jacob again.

Why did Rebekah think Jacob needed Isaac’s blessing when he already had God’s? What did she think she was doing to let her son gain his father’s blessing through a lie when he’d already received God’s undeserved and unearned blessing before he was born?

  • Esau lost the blessing and his brother.

Esau had already shown his true colors by being so flippant about his birthright and by marrying women who did not believe in the one true God. To hate his brother to the point of planning to kill him was extreme and showed his total disregard for the God of his father.

  • Jacob lost his entire family.

This first case of identity theft reveals how easily Jacob could be manipulated by others. Jacob didn’t reject his mother’s plan but only questioned if it would succeed. He even brought the Lord’s name into his deception (vs 20). As a result of the deception and the hurt it caused, Jacob would spend the next twenty years away from his family and the land of promise.

We know from reading the chapters that follow that God allowed good to come from this man-made drama, but I can’t help but ask, What if? Doing things God’s way would have kept the family together; instead, their plans for blessing brought division and pain—and, much more drama to come.

Rebekah won this round, but she lost her beloved son, never to see him again.

Do you have a habit of taking things into your own hand, even when you know the promises of God? Avoid the drama and let God take control.

Grace and Peace


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