Many of us have experienced sibling rivalry , and Jacob and Esau were no exception. Jacob, the younger brother, tricked his older brother into handing over the birthright in Genesis 25. Now, their father Isaac realizes he is getting older and wants to bless his eldest, Esau. Just like his father Abraham in Genesis 24, Isaac knows he has work left to do on this Earth, and the timing of his death was uncertain, but getting closer everyday.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” -Ecclesiastes 9:10
According to Genesis 25, Isaac favored Esau, as he brought good food home from hunting. Blinded by his natural fleshly affections, Isaac either did not consider or fully understand God’s message to Rebekah about their sons. We often use our own reasoning, thinking the stronger, more intelligent by worldly standards are best and most deserving of blessing and inheritance. But God sees us differently (1 Samuel 16:6-7).
Just as Isaac’s determination to bless Esau were conniving, so too were Rebekah’s schemes to get Isaac to blessing Jacob instead. Her intentions were directed by what God told her, but instead of trusting in the Lord, she took matters into her own hands and helped Jacob lie to her husband. Rebekah could have talked to Isaac and reminded him of God’s words, which would have been an honorable, and probably also successful, effort.
Meanwhile, Jacob listens to his mother and is only concerned about their scheme’s success. There are some beautiful parallels in this scheme to our eternal well-being:
- Rebekah dressed up meat from their fields to taste like the fancy meal Isaac loved.
- “Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.” – Proverbs 23:3
- Jacob dressed like his older brother.
- “If we would obtain a blessing from our heavenly Father, we must come for it in the garments of our elder brother, clothed with his righteousness, who is the first-born among many brethren.” – Matthew Henry
- Rebekah said she would take on any curse Jacob received.
- As a human Rebekah does not have this capacity, but Jesus has taken on all of the curses and the burdens we deserve as constant sinners.
- Jacob’s voice almost gave him away, but he felt and smelled like his brother.
- We often boast the beliefs of a Christian, but do the works of a sinner.
God shows his glory through these evils, the words he spoke to Rebekah long ago were fulfilled, and Jacob was blessed. God’s power is enough to bring good out of any evil, and His own purpose cannot be stopped by any fleshly act of man.
“To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his.” – Job 12:16