I am Esau thy firstborn – Jacob’s deception
“And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.”
Even though it has been prophesied before the children were born that the elder shall serve the younger, it was not through the route of deception, for God had already ordained that from the womb and he knows how to bring it to fulfillment.
Isaac was old, blind and close to his death and he purposed to bless his first son Esau. He called him and said unto him
“My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.” – Genesis 27:1-4
When Esau was gone into the field to fulfil his father’s request, Rebekah, who overheard the words of Isaac quickly told her younger son Jacob to fetch her two good kids of the goats so that she would make savoury meat for her husband such as he love and give it into the hand of Jacob to present to Isaac. Jacob feared the consequences of this wicked deed and expressed same to his mother that if Isaac his father should know of this, he would bring upon himself a curse and not a blessing, but Rebekah quickly retorted, “Upon me be thy curse, my son”
The desperation of Rebekah to deceive her husband and invariably teaching her son deception shows her incontinence, disregard for the husband and faithlessness in God. Perhaps she feared that Isaac blessing Esau would hinder the prophecy of God from being fulfilled in the life of her younger son Jacob
After persuading Jacob to carry out her instruction by making him feel he is covered of the consequences, she quickly prepared what Isaac wanted and gave it into the hand of Jacob. To make it perfect, she took one of Esau’s good robe and put on his son Jacob and the skin of the animal on his hands and neck to make him have the feel and smell of Esau – for Esau was a hairy man
“And he [Jacob] came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.” – Genesis 27:18-20, 24
It is good to delay what the Spirit haven’t accepted. Though Isaac blessed Jacob he still have a feeling that something seems wrong but could not discern because the hands where the hands of Esau. God is not the author of confusion, and so, where it reign, it is not from Him. Since Isaac was not quite sure of how true the matter was, he could have then asked the supposed Esau to go call his brother Jacob and they two should appear before him.
Many truth could have made Isaac paused and summoned for both sons, but he didn’t
Truth # 1.
“How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?” (Genesis 27:18-20). Venison is the meat of a deer. So how has Esau so quickly gone into the field, spotted a deer, killed it, run back home, prepared it and made ready that savoury meat his father loved?
Truth # 2.
“The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” (Genesis 27:22). Isaac now has one son with two voices! This should have called for alarm! This is so scary. How would my son have to different voices?
Truth # 3.
“Art thou my very son, Esau?…” (Genesis 27:24). This is the Spirit’s witness and the truest a man can ever have in himself.
This great evil Rebekah plotted together with his son was an insult to old Isaac and as well to God who made him the head of the home. They took advantage of his dim sight and old age and showed no fear or reverence for him or God.
Yes, Isaac was old and blind, but he has the truth. So what went wrong?
Now Isaac ate the food and was ready to pass the blessing
“And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”
“And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.” – Genesis 27:30-33
If you have ever had such dream, you will understand what that mean. But Isaac’s dream was live! The deceiver has come and made away with the blessing… and here comes the receiver…
Gone too soon
“And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;…”
Esau was left with the left over…
Was there any consequence? Though Jacob have received the blessing of his father and God said he was going to be that blessed one, does that make their action overlooked or justified?
Lessons from Rebekah and Jacob
1. As Esau’s heart was in merry while in the field for hunt of venison for his father, expecting and can’t wait to receive his father’s blessing, so was Jacob’s heart in merry being in service for seven years to his uncle Laban, can’t wait to have Rachel for his wife. Esau laboured for a day to get his father’s blessing and was deceived at the end of the day. But Jacob laboured for seven years to get his uncle’s daughter for his wife and was deceived at the end of seven years (Genesis 29:18,24-25). God visited Jacob when his heart has rested and was not thinking of what he has done to his brother.
God paid back Jacob in his own coin seven fold
2. As Jacob deceived his father, even so, when he became a father his sons deceived him. His mother Rebekah helped him kill two kids of goat to deceive Isaac and put Esau’s raiment on him to smell like Esau. His sons likewise killed a kid of goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood and brought it to him to identify. (Genesis 37:31-33) They deceived him into thinking that a beast has devoured his most favourite son
3. The death of Rebekah was not mentioned. She died without notice. For she said, “Upon me be thy curse, my son…”
The wicked shall not go unpunished, says the Lord.
This story clearly shows that God pays everyman in his own coin. If you kill, expect death. If you deceive, expect to be deceived. If you cheat, lie, fraud, or whatever hurt you do to others, expect the same in manifold ways because what a man sows he will reap. If he sow a seed, he will reap a harvest (bountiful) because God is not mocked.
I believe God that you’ve already learnt a lot from this story, but more so, the ultimate message God want us to learn from this is, Forgiveness. No matter what others may have done to you, no matter how much it has cost you, if you know that God will definitely repay, you won’t be bitter with anyone. He knows how to give sound judgment and does not expect you to want to take his place. As humans, we don’t know how to give sound judgment because we do more than it is required. God only will give to every man according to his work. If Esau had knew this, he wouldn’t be so bitter with his brother Jacob. If he had known that God does not owe any man and saw how God dealt with Jacob while he was away, he wouldn’t be bothered with the thoughts of killing his only brother.
There is hope
Later in life, Jacob encountered God and court his forgiveness. When he realized that his smartness cannot save him from the burning fury of his brother Esau who was coming to meet him with four hundred men, he wrestled with God in prayers until he prevailed and have the assurance that his life is preserved (Genesis 32). He knew the matter was settled even before seeing Esau’s face, and his name was no more called Jacob – a supplanter, but Israel – a prince of God.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” – Romans 12:19