Isaac sat up in his bed. “Esau, will you come here, please.”
Esau pulled his father’s tent flap back . “Here I am, Abba.”
Isaac watched the silhouette of a man come near. “I don’t know how many days I have left. My eyes have failed me. Soon I’ll go the way of all men. It just occurred to me that I have yet to give you my blessing. Go, now, take your bow and arrows. Bring back some wild game and prepare it like I love. I shall bestow the family blessing on my eldest son at this time.”
The mid-day heat blew into Isaac’s tent when the flap was pulled back a couple of hours later.
“Yes, my son. Who’s there?”
“I’m Esau, your first son. I have your meal ready so you can bless me now.”
“How did you get it so quickly?”
“Your God brought a ram to me as I went out.”
“Bring it to me.”
When Jacob set the plate on Isaac’s lap Isaac reached around and rubbed the back of his son’s hand.
“You have the voice of Jacob, but the hands of Esau. Are you my eldest son?”
Jacob swallowed. “I am.”
“Bring me some wine for my meal.”
Isaac set the plate aside after his meal. “Help me to my feet so I can kiss my son.”
Isaac’s hand caressed the goat skin attached to the back of Jacob’s neck. He breathed deeply of Esau’s robe.
“Ah, the smell of the open field the Lord has blessed. May God give you richly from the fields you cultivate. May nations and your brother bow down to you. May those who bless you be blessed, and those who curse you be cursed.”
Jacob leaned his father back into his bed. “Thank you, Abba.”
A few moments after the tent flap closed it re-opened.
“I have the meal you wanted, my father. Please, eat it so you can bless me.”
Isaac’s lifted his head off his pillow. “Who are you?”
“I am Esau, your oldest son.”
Isaac’s body convulsed. He sat up trembling. “NO, your brother was just here with a meal. I gave him the family blessing.”
Esau set the plate aside and knelt in front of Isaac. He grabbed his father’s hands. “Abba, do you only have one blessing to give? Is there nothing left for me, too? Must that deceiving Jacob have my birthright and my blessing?”
Isaac longed to see his favorite son’s eyes, but was glad he couldn’t, now. “Your brother will be over you. You will live by the sword away from the earth’s bounty. You will break his yoke from your neck in time.”
Here we have a classic example of a seeming contradiction in the Bible.
How could God condone this deception as being in His will? Wouldn’t an honest God require His followers to be honest also? If He wanted Jacob to have this blessing why didn’t He place it on Isaac’s heart to give it to him instead of Esau?
Wow, you folks ask some tough questions. I’ll do my best to clear things up here.
God is dealing with broken, imperfect people, always has, always will. We aren’t given any context from the Bible as to how closely Isaac was walking with God in his life.
The Bible says it was Rebekah God told that the younger son would rule over the older one. We’re never told if she told her husband this news. Maybe she did and felt this was the only way to ensure God’s will was carried out.
Isaac, on the other hand, didn’t appear to be seeking God’s advice in this instance. He was following his culture’s tradition and relying on his own failing senses to guide him along this important step.
With his eyesight nearly gone he had to focus on his other four senses to help him solve this dilemma. The young goatskins on Jacob’s hands and neck made them feel like Esau’s skin. The food tasted like something Esau fixed. The smell of Esau’s clothes was the final vote that told the old man this was his eldest son.
The only thing that spoke correctly to Isaac, his hearing, was cast off as being incorrect when he weighed everything out in the balance. He didn’t know his wife had heard the conversation with Esau and set out to have her way here.
Since we have the clear vision of hindsight in this instance we see clearly that God used the bumblings of a frail old man to work out His will in this situation.
Perhaps without this deception Jacob wouldn’t have felt compelled to move away from his brother. It was as he was gone that another deceiver would bring about the wives that would birth the twelve tribes of Israel.
It was only after Jacob was alone on this journey to safety and his future that God spoke directly to him, once on the trip out and a second time on his trip back home. A solitude that’s always important for God to speak to anyone.
So, you see, those “mistakes” you’ve made along your life’s journey have God’s fingerprints on them, too. He’ll work them out for His plan in His time. Trust Him in that.
You can’t do anything to change what’s been done in the past. I hope you’re improving upon your ability to find God’s will for any decisions you make in the future. His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The key to hearing God speak to you is spending quality time in the Bible. Read it regularly. Read it seriously. It is called God’s Word for a reason. It’s His guidebook for us to follow.
Find some trusted Christian friends who also use the Bible as a guidebook. Together you can dig deeper than only one can alone. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you find the riches found only there.
All things will work together.
I’ll see you later. Wade