Tuesday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 29, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 27:1-45 (NKJV)
27:1 Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered him, “Here I am.”
2 Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 ‘Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
13 But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”
14 And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.”
And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”
20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”
And he said, “Because the LORD your God brought it to me.”
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”
22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24 Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?”
He said, “I am.”
25 He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.”
So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.”
27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:
“Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed. 28 Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!”
30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.”
32 And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”
So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him—and indeed he shall be blessed.”
34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.”
36 And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
37 Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”
38 And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:
“Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. 40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?”
In Genesis 27 we see the culmination of the stew/birthright deal between Jacob and Esau. Esau has had plenty of time to “stew” over his reckless decision, but he’s counting on father Isaac to still give him the blessing. His father promises to give it to him if he prepares his favorite meal. Mother Rebekah overhears the conversation and forges another plan of deception. She would make the meal and dress up Jacob using brother Esau’s clothes. The weak-eyed Isaac falls for the deception, trusting his senses of touch and smell to verify Esau’s identity. When Esau returns, it’s too late; the blessing has already been given. Esau, now furious, vows to murder his brother after his father has died.
There is certainly plenty of blame to go around. Jacob and Rebekah had their schemes and lies. Esau played loose with the greatest gift he could be given. But what’s often forgotten is the role that Isaac played, or didn’t play, as head of the family. First, he allowed favoritism to cause problems in his house. Most importantly, Isaac knew all along that the birthright, by God’s own design, was meant for Jacob, yet Isaac always meant to pass it on to his favored son.
May this sad account be a warning to us that God must always be placed first, and that our Christian love should bind families together in service to one another.
“Oh, blest the house, whatever befall, where Jesus Christ is all in all! Yea, if He were not dwelling there, how dark and poor and void it were!” (TLH 625:1)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.