Daybreak: Genesis 27:1-46
“And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: and she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: and she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.” (Genesis 27:15-17)
Have you ever heard it said, “The end justifies the means”? Seemingly, that was Rebekah’s perspective in this sad segment of the chosen family’s history. When she heard that Isaac was preparing to bestow a blessing on Esau, she took matters into her own hands.
Since the birthright had already been promised to Jacob, there was no need for Rebekah to connive. God had the situation under control, no matter what Isaac’s intention was concerning his sons. Perhaps Rebekah thought that if she did not step in, something would circumvent what God had promised. Whatever her reasoning, she devised her own plan and resorted to doing wrong to try to bring about what God had already said would happen.
No matter how worthy we think our goals, we must be careful about how we attempt to achieve them. God has a perfect plan for each of our lives, and if we submit to Him, He will bring that plan to pass — sometimes in ways that later amaze us!
At times, we may find it difficult to wait on God’s will. We may wonder if He has forgotten about us (even if only momentarily) and the temptation may come — as it apparently did for Rebekah — to “help” God work it out the way we think it should be, or according to our timetable.
There is nothing wrong with taking action toward reaching a goal, but first we must be certain that the goal is part of God’s plan for us. Then, any action we take toward that goal should be at God’s direction. We must never step out on our own, feeling that because the goal is so good, any effort made in that direction must be justifiable. It is never right to “cut” moral or ethical corners.
Would God approve of the goals you are reaching toward? Would He approve of the methods you are using to attain them?
Although Jacob and Esau were twins, they were very different — not only in appearance, but also in lifestyle and character. Esau, the hunter, was his father’s favorite. Jacob, whom the Bible describes as a “plain man dwelling in tents” (Genesis 25:27), was the clear favorite of his mother. Rebekah overheard Isaac’s intention to bless Esau, and urged Jacob into an elaborate deception to ensure by human means that he would receive the blessing, as God had promised.
As was the custom of the day, before Isaac passed from this world, he called his elder son to him to give the blessing. Isaac was 137 years old at this time, and apparently thought he was near death, although he lived for another forty years (see Genesis 35:28). Esau and Jacob were seventy-seven years old. No doubt Isaac was aware that before his sons were born, God had told Rebekah, “the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). It is unknown whether Isaac was aware that Esau had earlier sold his birthright to Jacob for pottage.
With the blessing came the leadership of the family, and Isaac’s benediction included rich crops (verse 28) and the rule over nations (verse 29). The pronouncement closed with, “Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”
Once the blessing had been bestowed, it could not be retracted. When Esau discovered that Jacob had received the birthright, he pled for a blessing. Isaac told him, “Thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth” (verse 39). Commentators indicate this could actually read, “Away from the fatness.” The Edomites, who were Esau’s descendants, lived in an area that was not as productive as Canaan, and in later years Israel often ruled Edom. No doubt this statement added to Esau’s hatred and desire for vengeance against his brother.
To deliver Jacob from Esau’s wrath, Rebekah developed another plan. Although she thought Jacob would be gone only “a few days” (verse 44), it was twenty years before he returned to Canaan. Most scholars believe Rebekah had died by that time, for there is no reference to Jacob ever seeing her again.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The early history of the chosen race
1. Jacob’s deceiver’s procurement of the blessing (27:1-46)
a. Isaac’s request (27:1-4)
b. Rebekah’s deception (27:5-17)
c. Jacob’s deception and blessing (27:18-29)
d. The plot discovered (27:30-40)
e. Esau’s animosity (27:41)
f. Rebekah’s advice (27:42-46)
A Closer Look
- What did Isaac want Esau to make for him?
- What do you think Rebekah should have done when she heard Isaac’s directions to Esau?
- What is the danger in trying to “help” God in the situations we face?
Man can never improve on God’s way and God’s timing. We want to remember that we can trust Him to work out the details of our lives.