When Families Are Divided

Genesis 27:1-41

Preached at FBC Toulon March 25, 2001 by Albert Harmon

1Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." And he answered him, "Here I am." 2Then he said, "Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3"Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4"And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die."

5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7'Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.' 8"Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9"Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10"Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death." 11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12"Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing." 13But his mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me." 14And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

18So he went to his father and said, "My father.' And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" 19Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me." 20But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the Lord your God brought it to me." 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24Then he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am." 25He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's game, so that my soul may bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near now and kiss me, my son." 27And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:

"Surely, the smell of my son

Is like the smell of a field

Which the Lord has blessed.

28 Therefore may God give you

Of the dew of heaven,

Of the fatness of the earth,

And plenty of grain and wine.

29 Let peoples serve you,

And nations bow down to you.

Be master over your brethren,

And let your mother's sons bow down to you.

Cursed be everyone who curses you,

And blessed be those who bless you!"

30Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that your soul may bless me." 32And his father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" So he said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." 33Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him--and indeed he shall be blessed." 34When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me--me also, O my father!" 35But he said, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing." 36And Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!" And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" 37Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?" 38And Esau said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me--me also, O my father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

39Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

"Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,

And of the dew of heaven from above.

40 By your sword you shall live,

And you shall serve your brother;

And it shall come to pass, when you become restless,

That you shall break his yoke from your neck."

41So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob." The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

One thing that families have in common is that they all have problems. Some problems are brought upon us by others but many are of our own making.

Rebekah and Isaac have certainly made some of their problems and did not do very well at solving them.

  1. Domestic Deception 27:1-41
    1. The plan of Isaac 27:1-4
      1. To bless Esau before he died.
        1. Some commentators believe that Isaac is here trying to get beyond the plan of God and bless Esau instead of Jacob.
          1. In their view, Isaac is trying to work against what he knows is God's purpose.
          2. They see this as a struggle between Rebekah and Isaac as one tries to follow God's will and the other tries to work against it.
          3. It is obvious though that the continued favoritism of the parents had split this family in two.
        2. They fill much space telling this story.
        3. I rather think that Isaac has every intention of saving the best blessing for Jacob as God's chosen heir of the promises.
        4. I will try to show that just a little later.
      2. The significance of the blessing.
        1. The blessing was half a wish and half prophecy.
        2. We see this plainly in the closing chapter of Genesis where Jacob blesses all of this children and two of his grandchildren.
        3. In that passage we find that many of the things spoken are actually prophetical.
        4. Some are judgmental as relates to past behavior and future blessings or cursings.
        5. The act of declaring, or wishing, God's favor and goodness upon others. The blessing is not only the good effect of words; it also has the power to bring them to pass. In the Bible, important persons blessed those with less power or influence. The patriarchs pronounced benefits upon their children, often near their own deaths (Gen 49:1-28). (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
    2. The conniving of Rebekah 27:5-17
      1. She knew that God had chosen Jacob over Esau.
        1. Just as God had chosen Isaac over Ishmael and would later choose Joseph over Ruben.
        2. God is sovereign and can make decisions concerning the dispensing of His blessings as He desires and sees fit.
      2. She felt that Isaac was trying to supplant God's plan.
        1. Notice that even though she did not feel it was right she never spoke to Isaac about it.
          1. This would indicate that communication was not a strong point in the marriage.
          2. In any marriage where communication breaks down and does not flow freely there will be eventual problems.
        2. She takes matters into her own hands and devises a plan to deceive her husband and Jacob's father.
        3. I think she was not trusting God as she should.
        4. If God had promised that the elder would serve the younger, there was certainly nothing that Isaac could do to change God's purpose.
      3. She could make the same dish that Isaac had requested of Esau.
        1. She would take skins of a goat to cover Jacob's smooth arms and neck.
        2. She had it all planned how they deceive Isaac and take what Isaac wanted to bestow on Esau.
    3. The deceitfulness of Jacob 27:16-27
      1. Jacob becomes an active part of this treacherous plan.
      2. With one lie after another he charges forward.
        1. He even brings God into it in verse 20.Genesis 27:20 But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the Lord your God brought it to me."
        2. We notice the ease with which these ever increasing deceptions flow from the mouth of Jacob.
        3. It always seems that no matter how well formulated the lies are, more lies are needed to hold it all together.
      3. I am amazed at the driving force of these two individuals to see that they have their way.
      4. Before we think we are seeing a domineering mother forcing her will on a young man we need to understand that Isaac is 137 and Jacob is 77, no kid any more.
      5. Six separate times does Jacob lies to his father even invoking the name of Jehovah as the cause for his quick return with game.
        1. Believe me, this boy at this particular point is typical of pious frauds. You find many such frauds even in fundamental circles today. They talk about the Lord leading them. My, sometimes the Lord "leads" them to do some very unusual things! I find out sometimes that Christian men think they can do things that the Mafia would be arrested for. But these men can very piously pray about it and say that it is the Lord's will. Believe me, Jacob at this point is a pious fraud. The Lord had nothing to do with this deception. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
      6. But God will not allow all this to go unpunished.
        1. God always brings divine chastening upon the disobedient (Heb. 12:11).
        2. Rebekah was deprived of her favorite son (vv. 13, 43),
        3. Jacob was himself deceived by Laban (29:10-13, 15-20).
        4. His dishonesty also affected his children, who not only dealt treacherously with the Shechemites (chap. 34), but also deceived their own father regarding the alleged death of his favorite son, Joseph (chap. 37). These results show not only God's disapproval, but also the bitter harvest that sin can bring in one's life. Jacob ultimately repented of his conduct and finished his years as a changed man (chap. 32). In spite of his weaknesses, God chose to confirm the blessing of Abraham to him (Gen. 28:12-15). AMG Bible
    4. The weeping of Esau
      1. No sooner was Jacob gone and Esau comes in unaware of all that has happened.
      2. He if first and foremost angry at Jacob for what he as done.
      3. Next he ask for his father to bless him.
      4. Isaac cannot give Esau the same blessing that he gives to Jacob but he does give him one.
      5. It is not what Esau wants nor what will satisfy this type of person.
      6. He determines that after his father dies, which remember is supposed to be very soon, that he will kill Jacob and take care of the problem.
    5. Jacob eventually goes away; once again at the scheming of his mother to marry a nice girl(s).
    6. A look at the three blessings given.

Esau's Blessing That Jacob Stole
Esau's Blessing After Jacob Stole His
Jacob's Blessing as it Was Meant to be

Gen 27:27-29

"Surely, the smell of my son

Is like the smell of a field

Which the LORD has blessed.

28 Therefore may God give you

Of the dew of heaven,

Of the fatness of the earth,

And plenty of grain and wine.

29 Let peoples serve you,

And nations bow down to you.

Be master over your brethren,

And let your mother's sons bow down to you.

Cursed be everyone who curses you,

And blessed be those who bless you!" NKJV

Gen 27:39-40

"Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,

And of the dew of heaven from above.

40 By your sword you shall live,

And you shall serve your brother;

And it shall come to pass, When you become restless,

That you shall break his yoke from your neck."

NKJV

Gen 28:3-4

3 "May God Almighty bless you,

And make you fruitful and multiply you,

That you may be an assembly of peoples;

4 And give you the blessing of Abraham,

To you and your descendants with you,

That you may inherit the land

In which you are a stranger,

Which God gave to Abraham."

NKJV

  1. To me it is obvious that the last blessing of Jacob was by far the best.
  2. If Jacob had only waited on God.
  3. Serving God never includes lies and deceit.
  4. they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.  

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com