Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rebekah - don't play favorites!

Let's pick up where our story left off on Monday. We had two boys (twins) with very different personalities, and we had two parents who were playing favorites.
Here is the rest of the story, from Genesis 27:1-4:
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”“Here I am,” he answered. Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
The Bible tells us that Isaac was a very wealthy and powerful man. Both Abimelech and the Philistines came to him to make treaties, because he was feared. That's not to say that he was war-like, but that he was peace-loving, powerful, and a man to be reckoned with. He reveals here, though, that although he followed God, he was giving in to the flesh. He was showing his partiality for Esau, who was the hunter that brought him tasty, barbecued dishes that he loved to eat.

Now, he knows full well that God has said that the elder son will serve the younger, but he is going to try to bypass that, because of his love for Esau.
           And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. (5-10) 
Oh boy. Isaac is not the only one who is playing favorites, is he?
Rebekah has succombed to this, as well.
She heard what Isaac said, and she conceives a deceitful plan. It will be a lie, trickery, whatever you want to call it. It's not right -- and just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean that God condones it. He is recording it, but He condemns lying.

Even though his name means "he grasps the heel" which is a Hebrew idiom for "he deceives," Jacob questions his mother's plan. "This is not going to work," he tells her. "Esau is hairy, and when my father touches me he will know it's me! And he will know I'm trying to deceive him."

Rebekah is so intent on having Jacob receive the best from Isaac that she says:
And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 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. (13-17)
She's got it covered, doesn't she? She doesn't care at this point that God has already promised that Jacob will be the most blessed. She makes certain that Isaac will feel hairy skin when he touches his son, and he will smell the outdoors and animal smells on the clothing that Jacob is putting on. She is so determined to take things into her own hands, that she is becoming a total liar. And Jacob is buying into it.
And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. (v 18-20)
Ouch! Does he sound like a pious fraud? That's because he is. He sounds just like some people in Christian circles today, who will solemnly say that God led them to do this, and spoke to them to do that . . . and the things they want to do are so close to the edge of being wrong (or maybe truly are wrong) that you know good and well that the Lord didn't move them in that direction!

Here is what happened next:
And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed. (v 21-27)
The deception worked. And now Isaac will give the blessing:
May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness    an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed. (v28-29)

Oh, boy. You remember what happens next?
Esau comes back with his savory, delicious game that he's prepared for his dad.
We'll see the fireworks going off in tomorrow's study.


Cathy said...

I do the same thing so often.... trying to make something on my timetable rather than wait for the Lord. It never works out well when I try and do it on my timing.

Austin Towers said...

It is certainly an extraordinary story! And yes, it shows us to wait for God's timing, which is perfect! xx