Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob; it was the same one that he received, and now he is passing it on. But you know, it already belonged to Jacob. God had said that -- He had already blessed Jacob. God is not accepting this deception, don't take that away from our study. Jacob shouldn't have gotten the blessing in this way; God would have gotten it for him, but he (and Rebekah) couldn't wait.
Just after Jacob had received the blessing from Isaac, Esau returned from his successful hunt -- he had cooked the meat just the way that Isaac loved it. To say that Isaac was surprised is an understatement:
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." (v 30-40)
This caused Esau to plan for his revenge:
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”(Those are verses 41-46 of the chapter.)
Anybody know what it's like to have conflict in the family? Yep. It ain't fun. But this was a conflict of Rebekah's (and Isaac's) own making. In order to protect one son from the other, she sent Jacob back to her own family, many miles away. She used the excuse of not wanting Jacob to take a wife from the Hittites, as Esau had done.
She thought it would be only a little while. It actually was many, many years -- in fact, she never saw Jacob again, or her grandkids. That was a heavy price to pay. If only she had trusted the Lord to fulfill His promise; instead, she tried to take control of her future, and what a mess she made, taking it into her own hands, instead of leaving it in God's hands.
Some lessons to be learned from Rebekah's second chapter . . . of course, there is the obvious one: don't play favorites when it comes to your children. Nowadays, it is very common to see this, especially in homes that are on the verge of breaking up; conflict between mom and dad often results in conflict among the kids. One of the worst things we can do is favor one child over the other, or have one parent take the side of one child, and another take the side of a second child. Nothing but heartache here. Of course, in divorced families, there is a lot of game-playing. There often seems to be a popularity contest between the parents. The best possible thing we can do is try to keep families together, and then try to keep our Lord in the forefront of our homes.
Another lesson from Rebekah's second chapter is this: there are no shortcuts to achieving our life goals. God will make His promises come through, and He doesn't need our maneuvering to make it happen. He is faithful, and He will do as He says. If only Rebekah had remembered that.
The lesson that Jacob will learn all too well is that he is not as clever as he thought. He is going to rue the day that he impulsively followed his mom's instructions. He is going to go back and live with Uncle Laban, and he is going to put Jacob through the wringer. Jacob thought he was clever, but he is going to find out that for cleverness, he needs to learn at the feet of Laban -- he is a master at scheming and manipulating people. Jacob will discover that he is just an amateur, and he will cry out to God in desperation at Laban's tricks.
We can bring years of regret and grief on ourselves when we try to rush ahead of God. Let's covenant with our families to live in love and unity, with no favoritism. Let's work to resolve conflicts in our families before they reach crisis levels. Let's teach our children and grandchildren that we are willing to wait upon the Lord for His promises to be fulfilled.