So I had this thought today while reading Genesis, or more specifically the chapters on Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.
For starters I just wanted to note that I HAVE read Genesis before, but it seems like ever since my decision to read the Bible from beginning to the end, I am noticing and understanding things and messages from God that I had never picked up on before.
My biggest take always from the story of this family being that sin, deceit and the wills of the flesh never trumps living faithfully and honestly–EVEN WE KNOW WE ARE FULFILLING GOD’s WILL!
For some reason I always assumed that Abraham’s direct descendant, Isaac, and his family were inherently good and free from corruption but as I read this time I started to see the error of their ways.
As Rebekah bore the twins, God gave her a prophecy saying:
…the older shall serve the younger. Genesis 25:23
Following that prophecy I think Rebekah showed favoritism towards Jacob while Isaac ignored the prophecy and favored his first born Esau as he was a strong hunter. What a sin and what a burden it is for the child to know that you are not seen as brightly in the eyes of your parent!
Esau also did some sinful things as well. He chose to give up his birth right to Jacob in exchange for food. This is such a uneven trade. He gave up his spiritual blessing in exchange for a meal that would only fill him for the moment. Not only that, he also had two wives which was deemed wrong in God’s and the worst part is he ignored the commands of his parents and married outside of families that his parents viewed as acceptable. In just that he has committed major sins: ignoring the spirit (or disregarding its value) and dishonoring your parents. Worst yet, it seemed like he blamed Jacob for stealing his birthright when reallly—HE GAVE IT AWAY WILLINGLY!
The next order of deception comes again from the parents. As Isaac was old and lost his sight he called Esau secretly and asked him to kill game and prepare a stew so that he may eat and bless his son. I never understood it until now but he fact that he called Esau and Jacob or Rebekah weren’t present meant that he was doing it in secrecy and therefore ignoring the prophecy of God. Rebekah overheard and devised a plan of a mastermind to trick Isaac into thinking Jacob was Esau so that he may receive the blessing, and it worked! Isaac mistakingly gave Jacob a blessing so big that there was nothing left for Esau when he returned–which I guess was Isaac’s plan for Jacob all along which is quite sad.
Now, here’s what my biggest take away was. Yes, Rebekah was fulfilling God’s will by having Jacob receive the blessing, but doing it by way of deception is NEVER okay. Even if we as people make choices in hopes of pleasing God, sin never goes unpunished. The effects of that lie lasted so long and created so much misery and distress.
Jacob had to leave his home and never see his mother or father again. He had a brother that hated him and wanted him dead. And I believe that that lie and sin led to hardships and later sins in his own life. Jacob had to work 7 years to marry Rachel only to be tricked by her father into marrying both Leah and Rachel in exchange for 14 years of hard labor.
So now not only did he have two wives, which was bad, they also like Jacob and Esau were sisters who wanted what the other had (Jacob’s love and the ability to bare children). I’m sure this caused a great deal of stress, heartache and chaos within the family even though it led to bountiful children which is always something to rejoice in. The battle between the sisters got so bad that they brought in their maidservants to bare children with Jacob that they may win him over.
I don’t know about you but I just thought…why did Jacob ever just say no? Didn’t he see that their ways were wrong? But then I started thinking, these people let their flesh overpower them and take the steering wheel of control over their lives. They did what their flesh wanted and after a certain point, they ignored important doctrines of the Lord.
All of this is to say that, sin is in all of us and it has been in all of us since the age of Adam. Though God had the first flood with Noah, it did not change the hearts of the people for God said,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. -Jeremiah 17:9
No matter what our intent behind our actions are it is important that we are checking ourselves and seeing if the choices we make are TRULY honoring God. Rebekah’s intervention and deception was unnecessary because if God gave a prophecy then no matter what…IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!
This all comes back to fully trusting in Hod our Lord, trusting that his plan is the right one for us and that no matter what he do whatever it is we can to honor Him! Ignore the strains of the heart and never abandon the spirit. And remember,
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21