Genesis 27 Commentary
Isaac wants to do what duty demanded of him. A man must bless his firstborn. In this case the blessing isn’t just mere words spoken. They carried the authority of God’s word. It is the same ancient blessing now about to be passed on to the next generation of seed. It is natural and Isaac feels obliged to pass it on to his firstborn son.
Now Rebekah has a different view. She schemes (Jacob being a willing partner) to deceive her husband in order to divert the blessing. The plan is a huge success! You actually want to understand Rebekah’s scheming. She had clearly heard from the LORD that the younger would server the older. She therefore moved to ensure the LORD’S word didn’t fail.
Consequently Esau loses both the birthright as well as the blessing. But really, how did Esau expect to get the blessing without the birthright? A stupid ambition, I guess. The same rule applies today. How do you get the blessing without the birthright of ‘born again’ sons and daughters? This story points us to individuals who still think they can get blessings and at the same time despise their birthright – when they despise the importance of the rights that sons and daughters have as God’s firstborn.
The question should not be what Esau has done not to deserve the blessing but what Esau did (when he sold the birthright) to reject the blessing. What we now have is the fruit of a decision made some time before. This points to the need to always look at happenings today as being fruits of decisions we made before today. The Bible puts it this way, “we reap what we sow”. I hold the view that the LORD has enough blessings (of equal importance) for everyone if only we learn to accept God’s way.
And Jacob? A cheating and scheming Jacob? A Christian of today is much like Jacob – sinful (truly) but still very much ‘the chosen one’.
As for Esau there is enough evidence that he possessed the Cain spirit.
Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” Genesis 27:41 NIV
One who plans of murder this way isn’t anything close to being godly.
Rebekah was very beautiful but also very aggressive. Her aggression helped shape the history of a people we now know as Israel. The LORD worked through her to ensure that the blessing was channeled appropriately albeit deceitfully. We first met her as a working young woman who didn’t shy away from helping a stranger. The stranger was actually the bearer of her blessing. I love Rebekah’s character!