What would have happened if Isaac had not believed the deceitful scheme that Jacob and Rebekah are playing on him? What might have occurred if second-born Jacob could not steal the blessing from first-born Esau? At three suspenseful places in this story, Isaac questions what he is experiencing and we wonder if he will figure out the truth in time. If he did, would this scene have ended with Jacob’s tears and genuine repentance? In that moment would God do something new within this family, perhaps reforming their characters to make their faith and their relationships stronger? Would Jacob turn into a pillar of honesty? Would Genesis 27 become the story that dysfunctional families turn to in hopes of learning how to change their narratives?
Our wondering ends when Jacob secures his father’s blessing and gets away with Rebekah’s plan. Consider how heartbreaking this truly is. As his father lays dying, all Jacob worries about is securing his own future. The dying of a family member is often holy ground for the loved ones who gather near. But Jacob demonstrates the opposite of reverence and humility. Long before the term “fast food,” Isaac questions how his son prepared his meal so quickly. And long before the “third commandment,” Jacob takes the Lord’s name in vain. Because the LORD your God granted me success, he lies to his father (v. 20).
Jacob’s story does not end with this deceit. It will endure many more. But ultimately this truth will be told: God does not give up
on God’s people, no matter what tricky situations we all find ourselves in.
For what do you need to be forgiven?
God, when we are far from the light of your ways, draw near and lead us to your truth. Amen.