If there’s one thing this section of Genesis is full of, it’s deception… and God’s grace by blessing in spite of it all. That’s the thing that amazes me, the thing that makes me so glad to hold a Bible in my hands. God didn’t fill His Word with perfect people. He filled it with people who messed up… a lot… big time. Then He showed Himself to them and poured out grace and love and mercy in ways that often make my jaw drop. This is one of those times.
Genesis 27: 19a (GW)–Jacob answered his father, “I’m Esau, your firstborn.”
There’s a reason Jacob is called Deceiver. There is a reason he is one. Last week, I wrote about how things go through your family line, and there is a definite history of deceit in Jacob’s line, deceit that grows with each successive generation. Jacob went through a lot to get to the point he’s at in 27:19. His mother told him to lie. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place! Tell the truth? Or obey Mom? He dressed in animal skin. He took pains to smell like his brother Esau who, from the sound of it, did not smell like a fresh spring day. And he walked in the door prepared to deceive his father.
But right here, he had a choice. He had not yet gone too far. He had every intention, had followed the plan to the letter, but he didn’t hit the wall until his father asked who he was. And in this moment, right here, he completes the deception. I wonder what ran through his mind. Did that lie roll easily? Or did he choke it out with a ton of regret and pain?
He’s another one I find it easy to judge sometimes. Okay, actually? I find his mama easy to judge. Rebecca was the great mastermind here, the manipulator who set the plan in motion. It’s easy to see her as a heartless harpy here, but you have to wonder… Like Abraham before here with Ishamel, was she trying to “help” God? After all, he’d told her Jacob would be greater than Esau. Was she trying to ensure that would happen?
There’s a greater deceiver here than Rebecca and Jacob. Trust me. Satan is clearly in this picture. It’s a certainty he planted the seed in Rebecca, and I’m guessing it’s pretty likely he made her think God needed her help. News flash: He didn’t. But this is the thing we have to be aware of, and it’s something I’ve fallen victim to myself. Not ever “good” idea is a “God” idea. Just because it looks like what’s right doesn’t make it what God wants. We have to check with Him first. At no point in Genesis 27 did Rebecca or Jacob ask God. Prior to the blessing, Isaac didn’t ask God for confirmation. All of them just went with it.
Yet God blessed Jacob anyway. He could have smacked him upside the head with a lightning bolt right there, but He had bigger plans. And Jacob for sure paid for his deception. So did Rebecca, when she lost her precious son because he had to go on the run from his big brother…
But that’s a whole other story.
So, have you ever had a good idea that wound up being the wrong idea? Care to share?