Remember, faith is living without scheming; and faith means obeying God no matter how we feel, what we think, or what might happen. The obedience of faith was the secret of Abraham’s life (Heb. 11:8), but the absence of obedient faith brought trouble to the home of Isaac and Rebekah.
Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau.
Genesis 27:5 (HCSB)
When Isaac sent for Esau to come to his tent, Rebekah noticed it and stayed close by to learn what was happening. Later, when Esau revealed that he planned to kill his brother, Rebekah also heard that (v. 42); so she must have been adept at eavesdropping and keeping abreast of family affairs.
However, it’s tragic when a husband and wife, once so dedicated to the Lord and each other, have excommunicated each other and no longer discuss God’s Word or pray together.
So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the LORD’s presence before I die.’ Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.”
Genesis 27:5b-10 (NLT)
Knowing that Jacob was chosen to receive the covenant blessing, Rebekah immediately took matters into her own hands to make sure her favorite son got what the Lord had promised him. Had she and Jacob talked with Isaac while Esau was out hunting, perhaps he would have seen the light and agreed with them. Instead, however, Rebekah chose to control Jacob and deceive her husband.
So quickly did Rebekah outline her plan that we suspect she must have thought it through well in advance?
She knew that Esau was her husband’s favorite son and that her husband was not the spiritual man that he once was. Rebekah even had a recipe ready, and she must have been an excellent cook to be able to make goats taste like venison!
Make a note of that “do what I tell you” line; you’ll hear it twice more before the story is over.
“Obey my voice,” Rebecca insisted, “according to that which I command thee” (KJV). “Command” was the word for it. Clearly, “Rebecca dominated Jacob.” She also taught him everything she knew, as evidenced in the trade-my-stew-for-your-birthright scene.
Both mother and son showed themselves to be quick, clever, and calculating, but she was a veteran. Notice Rebecca didn’t say, “This is how we’re going to trick your father.” She simply sent Jacob to get groceries.
The New Testament commentary on this scene is James 3:13-18. Isaac was depending on his own physical senses, but Rebekah was depending on the wisdom of the world. However, the world’s wisdom always leads to trouble. “Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.” (James 3:16).
“But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.”
But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!”
So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread.
Genesis 27:11-17 (NLT)
Jacob’s concern wasn’t “Is it right?” but “Is it safe?”
He was worried about the eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt not get caught.” But Rebekah planned to use the skins of the goats as well as the meat and make smooth-skinned Jacob feel like hairy-skinned Esau. She also dressed Jacob in Esau’s garments so he would smell like his outdoorsman brother. “My son, let the curse fall on me” was her word of encouragement to Jacob (v. 13), but little did she know what she was saying. For after Jacob left for Haran, she never saw her favorite son again.
Isaac’s philosophy was “If it feels good, it is good”; but Rebekah’s philosophy was “the end justifies the means.” She couldn’t trust God to fulfill His plan; she had to help God out because it was for a good cause.
How many times have you and I done this? Come on, let’s be honest?
But there’s no place for deception in the life of the believer; for Satan is the deceiver (2 Cor. 11:3), but Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6). “Happy is the one whom the Lord does not accuse of doing wrong and who is free from all deceit.“ (Ps. 32:2).
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