April 24, 2016Genesis 27:18 – 46Jacob


   We want to back up a little bit and give some background to the story today.  In chapter 25 Isaac and Rebekah are married but she is barren and Isaac prays to the Lord on behalf of her.  God hears his prayer and she becomes pregnant with twins.  The twins jostled around in her womb and she asked the Lord about them.  The Lord told her that 2 nations were in her womb and the oldest would serve the youngest.   Her first born was red so they named him Esau and the second twin was grasping Esau’s foot so they named him Jacob.    So we see 3 wonderful truths in this passage.  We see that God answered Isaac prayer about having children.  God answered Rebekah prayer about how the twins were acting in her womb and we see that God knows what is going on.  God commented on the children’s actions and told her what the future would be for the boys.  They were going to live and a nation would come from each one of them.  That is pretty neat fathers and mothers that God answers prayer about your family. 

    We see in chapter 25 that the 2 boys were very different.  Esau loved the outdoors.  He liked the fields and he like to hunt.  He was perhaps what we would say is man’s man and Isaac loved him and favored him.  Jacob liked the tents and perhaps spent his time in the kitchen and Rebekah loved him.  You could say he was a mommy’s boy.  That is the foundation for some home issues.  It is not good to show favor to children but God uses all of it to accomplish his plan.

    And then we see in this chapter that Esau comes in from hunting and is hungry.  He tells Jacob I am starving to death and Jacob tells him I will give you some stew if you will sell me your birth right.  Esau foolishly says I am about to die what good is the birthright to me.  Well later he changes his thoughts about that but he could not change what he did.  The last verse in this chapter says that Esau despised his birth right.      That is not a good thing to do.  Deuteronomy 21 says the oldest son gets double the inheritance and the first born would become the family head.  Some older sons do better than others but that was the plan.  Jacob later blesses the younger of Joseph’s children over the older on purpose. 

   Then we pick up again in chapter 27 and see that Isaac is old and can’t see and he calls for his favorite son who is Esau and tells him to go hunting and get some game that he likes so that he can bless him before he dies.   Now Esau has sold his birthright but he is going to happily go hunting for dear ole dad ignoring that he sold his birthright.    Rebekah hears about it and puts Jacob up to lying and claiming that he is Esau.  Children like and they need to be blessed and loved by their parents.  I was in court this week not about myself and I noticed the judge asked 2 different people if their parents were in the court room.  I believe he wanted to know if the parents cared about their child.  I think it would make a difference in his decision.  I really appreciated the judge even though I did not talk to him.  He was a gentleman and tried to help out the people that he was judging. 

   We see how zealous mothers can be of their children in this passage.  Rebekah gets some meat ready and puts goat skin on Jacob because Jacob was smoothed skin and Esau was hairy and she gets Esau clothes and has Jacob put them on.   She is not being very submissive to her husband.    Isaac noticed that the voice was Jacobs but the hands like Esau and the smell of the clothes like Esau and Isaac blesses Jacob.   Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”  So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.   Rebekah had God’s promise that Jacob would be before Esau.  She took things into her own hands.  She did not trust God to do what God said he would do.  Jacob certainly lied and they cheated.  Sometimes we need to get out of the way of God.  Get out of the way trust him obey him and be thankful but do not take things in your own hands.  Did that cost her something?   As far as we know she never saw Jacob again. 

    Isaac blesses him saying May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.   May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.   Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.  May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”   

    Dr Smalley said that there were 4 important things in this blessing.  There was a kiss and a touch which often happened.  Jacob was 40 years old at this point.  Jesus often touched the person he healed.  We need human touch.  I hug my sons and they are grown married men.   A lot of people are not raised in a loving and touching home.  There were words of affection and love.   Some fathers curse their own flesh and blood family.  Why?   That is not how God looks at people.  There was communication of worth and there was communication of future blessing.  Both Esau and Jacob were founders of a nation.   Esau’s descendants were not the greatest but a nation came from him.  And about as soon as Jacob leaves Esau comes with food for Isaac.  Isaac asks him who are you and Esau tells him I am Esau your first born and Isaac shakes violently.  Isaac blesses Jacob over Esau.

    Esau cries out bless me father.  Isaac tells him your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.   Isaac tells Esau I have made him lord over you. Children need love and they need the blessing of their parents.  Many, many men are living their whole lives trying to gain acceptance and love from their father sometimes even after the father has passed.  There is too much cursing in this world.  We need to be people of blessing and not cursing.    Esau says bless me also.  What would you say to him at this point?    Well it was promised that a nation would come from him.  Isaac says you will live by the sword and you will serve your brother and that was certainly true of his off spring.  That was true of his children and his lintage.  The word was spoken, the blessing was given and it could not be take n back.  Words are powerful.  Esau cries out here and Hebrews says Esau sought to undo it with tears but to no avail.  I have made some financial decisions that cannot be changed.  We have all made decisions that cannot be changed. 

   Esau held a grudge against Jacob.  He thinks and probably speaks that when dear ole dad dies I will kill Jacob.  Parents have a profound impact on children.   He is my cheating brother and I can’t stand him.  Rebekah finds out about it.  It looks like she hears about it and sends Jacob to her brother Laban.  She sends him away for awhile maybe thinking a few days or a few months.  Jacob you go see Laban and you will be safe.  Well it is not a few days or months that Jacob is gone but 20 years and God is the one who tells him to go back.  Esau had a grudge.  Esau sold his birth right which was OK I guess in his eyes but now he wants revenge.  God tells us in the NT that vengeance belongs to him.   Revenge poisons the soul.   It breaks the family unity.  Many families cannot get along today.  There are seeds of disaster in this family and unforgiveness is a big part of it.    We need to forgive and let the poison out and allow our self to heal and walk in forgiveness and joy. 

    Rebekah tells Isaac that she can’t stand the Hittite women.  She tells him if Jacob takes one of those women to marry that life would not be worth living.  She may have told Isaac that so that she could send Jacob away.  We can only guess what kind of communication there was between Isaac and Rebekah.   Many a man and many a woman have married the wrong mate and it is so destructive. 

  I preached on chapter 28 the first year I came here because this is where Bethel comes from.  Jacob’s latter is in chapter 28.  That is where he has visions of angels on a stairway or latter coming and going from heaven.  In this chapter Esau hears from his father that he does not like Canaanite women so he goes and marries another wife that is not Canaanite but of Ishmael but again did he not know that before?  There seems to be no communication with his parents about who he is going to marry and therefore no understanding of how his parents felt. 

    We also see in chapter 28 then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”   That is rather interesting.   Why do you think that is interesting?   Well the temple is not built.  This is before the tabernacle is built when they are in the desert.  Moses was the one who the key to the tabernacle.  How is Jacob going to give to the Lord?   We do see him giving to Esau later when he returns back to his land.  Abraham gave to Melchizedek who was a priest of the most high God a tenth of everything. 

   Jacob gets to Paddan Aram and connects with Laban. He starts working for him and falls in love with Rachel and he works 7 years for Laban so he can marry Rachel.  After 7 years of work there is a party and in the evening Laban gives Leah to him and Jacob did not know it until the morning.  So he works another 7 years for Rachel the younger one. Jacob feels cheated. 

    Jacob is there20 years and then he leaves quietly without saying anything and pick up the story in chapter 31.  Laban catches up with him and Jacob says “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.   This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.   It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.  His wages were changed 10 times.  Why do you think Jacob was cheated?   Did Jacob reap what he sowed?   Did God allow Jacob to experience what he put Esau through?   We also see that Jacob worked hard. 

    Jacob goes on saying if the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed.  But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”   God sees injustice and God has a way of working things out.  Have you been cheated?  We need to walk humbly with God and forgive and God will bless us and God can restore the years that the locust has eaten. 

   In chapter 33 he is reunited with Esau.  Esau comes with 400 men.  It has been 20 years but a person can carry a grudge a long time.  He offers Esau a gift of cattle and etc.  Esau tells him I have plenty my brother.  How did Esau get plenty?  Well Jacob was away so what happened with all of Isaac stuff which he got from his father Abraham.   The bible tells us that Abraham was rich.  Since Jacob was not around I suspect that Esau inherited everything and he was well off.