Day 36: Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau”

Read Genesis 27:1-29

It’s a longer section than usual, but what a story!

Can’t you just feel Isaac’s distrust? “How did you find it so quickly?” and “Come near so I can touch you.”

He hears Jacob’s voice and is wary, as if he’s been fooled before.

“Are you really my son Esau?”

But Jacob and Rebekah have gone to great lengths to pull off this trick. Jacob actually has goat skin tied on! Can you imagine?

And it works. He gets his father’s blessing.

You can probably guess that the blessing of a father was more than just words. It was closer to a prediction. Blessings mattered because they held power: the words would come true, as if they were promised by God himself.

Okay, but God already made a promise about Jacob – in fact, the very same promise Isaac now gives him: “Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.” God told Rebekah that would happen, before Jacob was even born. So what is this? Why is Jacob getting the blessing by trickery? If God intended him to be ‘over’ Esau, wouldn’t it have happened without deceit?

Shouldn’t it have?

Isn’t this a lot like Abraham having a child through Hagar instead of waiting for God to give him one through Sarah?

It may be.

Isaac likes Esau better (25:28). He would never have given this blessing to Jacob on purpose.

Jacob and Rebekah believe they need to do what they do.

I think they’re wrong.

We’ll never know how God would have arranged things if they had been content to wait for him, but here’s the point: he’s still in control. It is the right blessing Isaac gives Jacob – the one God wants him to have.

God is not put off by human error or malice. He can do what he plans even in the thick of dysfunctional families, parental favoritism, sibling rivalry, and downright meanness.

Despite how it feels to us, we don’t write the story.