Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing
Isaac was now old and had become blind. He sent for his older son Esau and said to him, “Son!”
“Yes,” he answered.
Isaac said, “You see that I am old and may die soon. Take your bow and arrows, go out into the country, and kill an animal for me. Cook me some of that tasty food that I like, and bring it to me. After I have eaten it, I will give you my final blessing before I die.”
Genesis 27:1-4 (GNT)
This was premature on his part and not inspired by God. The Lord had prophesied to Rebekah that Esau would serve Jacob. Therefore, the Lord would not have led Isaac to try to place the blessing on Esau. Isaac hadn’t received the blessing of Abraham by impartation but by revelation (Genesis 26:2-5). Isaac was trying to manipulate God’s blessing. It didn’t work, and we can’t do that either.
A good beginning doesn’t guarantee a good ending. That’s one of the repeated lessons taught in Scripture; and it’s tragically confirmed in the lives of people like Lot, Gideon, Samson, King Saul, King Solomon, Demas, and a host of others. Let’s add Isaac to that list. If ever a man was blessed with a great beginning, it was Isaac. Yet he ended his life under a cloud. Consider some of his sins.
He Put Himself Ahead Of The Lord
Isaac was sure he was going to die,
- And yet his greatest desire was to enjoy a good meal at the hand of his favorite son and cook, Esau (Gen. 25:28).
- When Isaac’s father Abraham prepared for death, his concern was to get a bride for his son and maintain the covenant promise.
When King David came to the end of his life, he made arrangements for the building of the temple; and Paul’s burden before his martyrdom was that Timothy be faithful to preach the Word and guard the faith.
Someone has well said, “The end of life reveals the ends of life.” But Isaac, the man who meditated and prayed in the fields at evening (Gen. 24:63), and who petitioned God on behalf of his wife (Gen. 25:21), wanted only one thing: a savory meal of venison. Instead of seeking to heal the family feud that he and his wife had caused by their selfish favoritism, Isaac perpetuated the feud and destroyed his own family.
He Disobeyed God’s Command
Before the boys were born, God had told Isaac and Rebekah that Jacob, the younger son, was to receive the covenant blessing (Gen. 25:19-23); yet Isaac planned to give the blessing to Esau. Surely Isaac knew that Esau had despised his birthright and sold it to Jacob and that Esau had disqualified himself by marrying heathen women.
Had Isaac forgotten that his father had sent a servant five hundred miles to Haran to get him a suitable wife?
Did Isaac really think he could fool God and give the blessing to worldly, unbelieving Esau?
He Lived By His Feelings
Isaac was blind and apparently bedfast (Gen. 27:19, 31), a condition you would think would make him trust God and seek His help. Instead, Isaac rejected the way of faith and depended on his own senses:
He took the “scientific approach,” and it failed him. “There are many plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plan that will stand.” (Prov. 19:21).
A character in Ernest Hemingway’s novel Death in the Afternoon is probably expressing Hemingway’s own convictions when he says, “I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” Most people today would endorse that philosophy and make their decisions solely on the basis of how they feel, not what God says in His Word. “If it feels good, it is good!”
Isaac was a declining believer, living by the natural instead of the supernatural, and trusting his own senses instead of believing and obeying the Word of God. He was blind and bedfast and claimed to be dying, but he still had a good appetite.
With a father like that leading the home, is it any wonder that the family fell apart?