Day 37: “Esau lifted up his voice and wept.”

Read Genesis 27:30-46

Just in case we still don’t realize how bad it was of Jacob to trick his dad, we are given this description of the meeting between Isaac and Esau.

Look at them: Isaac “trembled violently”, and Esau “burst out with a loud and bitter cry.”

These are grown men. What Jacob did hits them hard. It’s not a small thing.

Isaac finds it hard to scrape together any kind of blessing for his favorite son, settling at last on assuring him that he will live by the sword, and one day break free of his brother’s yoke (which represents servanthood). Esau is so bitter that his only comfort is the hope of killing Jacob as soon as their father dies.

When Rebekah hears the plan, she steps in again to protect her favorite son, “Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. Stay with him for a while.” Then she tells a partial truth to Isaac to gain permission for Jacob to go.

This story of Jacob’s treachery and its consequences is quite long. God gives it plenty of space in his story-about-everything. He seems to want to make it very clear that Jacob wasn’t a nice guy. We know Abraham wasn’t perfect, but Jacob is worse. Ruled by selfishness and greed, he’s willing to deceive and steal from his own family to get what he wants. In the end, it costs him everything. He’s banished.

Do you remember that this story is a romance?

God began it all with a dance, but then the dragon came poisoning and capturing the people and turning the story into an action-adventure. Now God needs to rescue everyone from the dragon and his food, even those in the divine club: the descendants of Abraham who have the covenant of circumcision and are God’s ‘special people’. Jacob is part of that club, but he needs rescuing too.

Also, do you remember what I said about this being your story? Have you ever wanted something so badly that you did what you knew was wrong to get it? Ever hurt anyone you loved? Ever tricked them, letting them believe something that wasn’t quite true because, you know, it was better that way?

I don’t ask these things to make you feel bad, but to help you connect to the story. Watch and see what God will do with Jacob.

Watch, and be encouraged.

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