Monday, December 14, 2015

Jacob's Thefts: Birthright and Blessings

Please Read Gen 27

Vs 30, 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.

Esau had a priority problem. Now, don't get me wrong, I love to hunt. I am sure I have done like Esau and went hunting when I should or could have been seeing to something more important.

But Esau was born to hunt. He was good at it! (27:27a). Hunting can be therapeutic. Nature and skill, contemplation and competition, patience and thrill - all converge on the hunt. Those who don’t go, don’t know. It was Esau's passion.

But hunting proved to be Esau's downfall on two very important occasions.

The first time is noted in Gen. 25:27-34. Esau came home from the hunt absolutely famished. I can see him in his dusty camo, dropping a carcass from his shoulders, laying his bow carefully against a post and saying to his twin, "I am starving to death, you got anything cooking, O King of the Crockpot?"

Jacob's conniving mind had already shifted into high gear. "Yeah bro, just happen to have some killer chili fixed, you want some? I'll ladle a bowl for ya if you'll sell me your birthright!"

Esau's response: "Whatever!" Now, no one ever called Esau an Einstein, but can you imagine, Isaac was coming up in the world and Esau had plenty to inherit, but he blew it all off for a bowl of chili! Wow! McCormick's Seasonings would have been proud.

Esau didn't know how Hurricane Jacob had hit him until later. After he thought about it, he shrugged it all off and decided he hated his birthright anyhow. (25:34)

Fast forward several years and we find the mighty hunter flummoxed as a fawn on the freeway once again by his stay-at-home homeboy twin.

Jacob (supplanter) hears from mom, who hears from dad, that Isaac is hankerin' for some mutton before handing out his final blessings.

Mommy tells her boy that he needs to pull off the Houdini of the century by fooling dad into thinking he's Esau. No small feat! But he did it.

Have you ever wondered how Jacob pulled this off?

1. Though twins, Esau was rough as a cob and Jacob was slick as a whistle.

2. Isaac was nearly blind and half deaf in his advanced years. I would imagine he was feeling a bit melancholy as the end neared, and therefore somewhat gullible.

3. Rebekah must have been an efficient seamstress. She was able to take sheepskin and sew it into sleeves, gloves and a collar, worn by baby-skinned Jacob, which would fool Isaac into thinking he was the rough-skinned, hairy, hunter brother. That was some doing when you consider the wool had to have the authentic feel and hair length of Esau's hands, forearms and neck. Amazing!

4. Jacob tried to impersonate the voice of Esau. Imagine as he tried to drop his tone a half an octave and project a gravelly, earthy voice. Isaac didn't buy it. He ended up trusting his sense of smell and touch over his sight and hearing. Old age, it ain't for sissies!

It worked! I am thinking there had to be some Divine intervention to pull this ruse off, but it worked and Jacob ended up with Esau's birthright AND his blessing.

This is a coup that must have embarrassed Jacob's prodigy all the way from Joseph to David to Jesus.

But, praise God for the transforming power of His touch. A subsequent dream of a very long ladder and an all-night battle royal wrestling match with a Theophany transformed Jacob into Israel, causing the birthright to progress to a manger in Bethlehem and the blessing to catapult the Jews to most favored nation status with heaven.

What a story! 

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