Scripture Reading: Genesis 27:1-28:22 / Matthew 10:32-11:15 / Psalm 9:1-6
One of the greatest acts of deceit is found in Genesis 27 when Jacob deceived his father Isaac. Twin boys, Esau and Jacob, were born to Isaac and Rebekah. Esau, being the oldest was a man of adventure who was rugged and loved to hunt. Jacob was the opposite as he stayed close to home and his mother. Isaac was nearing the end of his life and desired to bless Esau with the family blessing. It was a blessing of inheritance, authority and spiritual headship.
Isaac informs Esau of his intentions and instructs Esau to hunt some game, prepare a savory meal for Isaac to enjoy and then his father would bless him. Rebekah overheard their conversation and quickly called for Jacob. She was strong, resourceful and cunning. God spoke to her during her pregnancy and informed her that the older son, Esau, would serve the younger son, Jacob. She informed Jacob of the situation and devised a plan to deceive Isaac.
Isaac was deceived but when you look a little closer, other truths begin to emerge. We can certainly sympathize with Isaac but his actions also need to be scrutinized. His heart was not right and his motives were not pure. He was not without fault or excuse; there was blame on his part.
There is another side to this story, one where we wonder if Isaac was just simply deceived or if he was devious. Isaac conspired in secret with Esau to hide his plan from Rebekah and Jacob. Esau was the son that Isaac favored and he had put a conniving plan in place to bless his son without his wife’s knowledge. Normally the blessing would be given before family in a public transaction. Isaac circumvented the process to hurriedly and deviously bless Esau with no one present.
Isaac was also disobedient. He knew the prophecy given over his sons declared Jacob was to receive the family blessing, not Esau. He was clearly trying to overturn God’s divine plan. Isaac also ignores the fact that Esau was not spiritually qualified for the blessing. Esau had despised the birthright and previously traded it away to Jacob for a bowl of porridge. Isaac took matters out of God’s hands and put them into his own hands and control.
Isaac was guilty of depravity as he was ruled completely by his senses. In this fractured and dysfunctional family, the word “love” only appears in the context of food. The “savory dish” was the object of Isaac’s “love”. Isaac was drawn away by his own flesh and desires. Isaac’s eyes had failed him so his senses told him that the unknown son sounded like Jacob but felt, tasted and smelled like Esau. His discerning ear was overruled by his depraved senses. Isaac, like Adam and Eve, didn’t have a valid excuse for his depravity...neither do we. When our hearts become hard, our wills obstinate and our eyes dim, we cannot excuse our disobedience or depravity…even if we feel we have been deceived.