Rebekah Saves Isaac from Sinning | Genesis 27
08/19/19 07:15 PM Genesis
Most Bible commentaries will title this chapter “Jacob the Deceiver” or something along those lines in an attempt to throw shade upon Jacob and Rebekah for coming up with such a devious plot to deceive Isaac and steal the blessing from Esau. The problem such a title is that God already pronounced that the birthright and blessings were Jacob’s even though he was the younger of the two twins and Esau was the firstborn.
In Genesis 25:43 God told Rebekah that, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Furthermore Romans 9:13 reveals that God loved Jacob and hated Esau. He felt this way about the two boys before they were even born.
So how can Jacob steal something that rightfully belongs to him? He can’t.
And that’s why I couldn’t give this chapter that kind of a title. True, we are going to see Jacob and Rebekah hatch a plot to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. But since Rebekah already knew it was God’s will for Jacob to have the blessing, she was only protecting Isaac from making a terrible mistake. Had she allowed Isaac to go on with his plan to bless Esau instead of Jacob, the result would have been tragic. Not only would Isaac have gone against the will of God, but Esau caring nothing about the things of God would have turned the blessing into a curse, and all would be lost.
So instead of looking upon Rebekah as a conniving woman who deceives her husband, we look upon Rebekah as a godly woman who cared deeply for God and was willing to put her neck on the line to save her husband from committing a sin against the family.
Quite the opposite of mother Eve. Eve led Adam into sin with her while Rebekah protects her husband from sinning against God.
Let’s get into the Word.
Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
Not only were Isaac’s physical eyes dim, but his spiritual vision was lacking as well. He is planning to pass on the family blessing to a godless son, a son whom God despised before he was even born.
Genesis 27:2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
Genesis 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
Unfortunately, we can see Esau’s carnality rubbing off on his father. No doubt Esau had been buying Isaac’s affection all these years by providing him with his most favorite meal. Now Isaac just wants one more tasty delight before he dies. Just one more physical pleasure. Alarm bells should be going off for us. We should never let our fleshly desires influence our decision making when it comes to spiritual matters.
Isaac should not have been favoring Esau because of what delights Esau could bring him. That only clouded his judgment. Isaac should have been looking at Esau and Jacob’s spiritual traits. He should have weighed out which son was going to be pleasing to God before deciding who to pass the birthright onto.
Let that be a lesson for us. Don’t let the flesh cloud your judgment.
Genesis 27:5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
Genesis 27:6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
Genesis 27:7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
Genesis 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
Rebekah is in emergency mode. She has to stop this from happening. The birthright and blessing belong to Jacob and now she hastily comes up with a plan to make sure Jacob gets it.
Many people think this was wrong of her and Jacob. They say that they should have trusted God and that had Isaac been allowed to bless Esau instead of Jacob, God would have made the blessing come back to Jacob by some other means. That’s a fair argument. Sounds like a righteous thing to do.
However, I want to make the case that deception is at times okay to use.
Take for instance warfare. The art of deception is a major factor in military campaigns. If you are outnumbered by your enemy, using deception might be your only hope of victory. There is nothing immoral about this. Do you remember the story of Gideon and his 300 men? Gideon came up with a strategy to make the enemy believe that his 300 men were actually 3 large companies of soldiers surrounding them on every side. He divided his 300 men into 3 companies handing each one with a trumpet and a lantern (Judges 7:16). In the middle of the night, when the enemy was sleeping the 300 men would blow the trumpets, shout, wave their lanterns, and make as much commotion as they could giving the enemy the perception that they were surrounded by thousands of men.
The deceptive plan worked. The enemy bought it. They woke up frightened and confused by the noise and began killing each other instead of the Israelites.
Was this unrighteous of Gideon? Should Gideon have waited until day break, give the opposing army a warning that he is there and that whenever they are ready to fight just come out with their thousands against his 300 men?
No way, that would be stupid. In warfare you need every advantage you can get. Warfare isn’t a friendly boxing match or a sporting event where there are referees making sure everything is fair. It’s war. You do what it takes to win!
Then there was Ehud, who deceitfully acquired a private meeting with the king of Moab by promising to give him a present but instead stuck a knife in the fat king’s belly and fled (Judg. 3:15-22).
And there was Jael the wife of Heber, who convinced the enemy king she would take care of him in her tent. After making him ever so comfortable he fell asleep and she drove a tent peg through his skull (Judg. 4).
So, there are Biblical justifications for the use of deception when done to further a righteous cause. So I don’t see any sin in what Rebekah is planning to do here.
But didn’t Rebekah violate the trust of her husband? Isn’t she supposed to be obedient to him? Yes, but if her husband is violating the will of God, should she obey her husband or God? If the government has authority over you and they tell you to obey an order that forces you to oppose God in some way, who do you listen to? God or the government? I hope you will say “God”.
Rebekah’s plan isn’t unrighteous or devious in any way. Since Isaac has already made up his mind to disobey the will of God, knowingly or unknowingly, she is trying to save Isaac from this great sin. I imagine that Isaac had known that the “elder was supposed to serve the younger”. There is nothing in the text to suggest that Rebekah would have hidden this truth from him. Why would she? What is suggested here is that though Isaac was a godly man, he had a weakness for Esau. No doubt he was allowing his flesh to get in the way of obeying God.
There is a lesson here for us. Wives can and should do whatever is in their power to save their husbands from disobeying God. Even if that includes unconventional methods like Rebekah is about to use.
Genesis 27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
Her plan is to cook and season this meat to taste like venison that Isaac so loves.
Genesis 27:10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
Genesis 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
Genesis 27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
Jacob is nervous about getting caught and doesn’t want to be thought of as a deceiver.
Notice the word “seem”. I think the King James translators captured this well. Since the birthright and blessing belonged to Jacob, he was not a ‘deceiver’ in the sense that he was doing it for a godless or unjust purpose though if he is caught it is possible that his father may look at him like that.
Genesis 27:13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
His mother now gives him a command and reassures him that she will take the blame for all of this. Again, had this command been opposed to God’s will it would have been an unlawful command, and it would have been a violation of Isaac’s trust. But the big picture must be taken into account here. No doubt Isaac would probably later thank her for saving him from sinning against God and blessing Esau instead of Jacob. If not, he does now.
Genesis 27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
Genesis 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
Fancy clothes for a special occasion.
Genesis 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
Genesis 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Genesis 27:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
Genesis 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Jacob flat out says he is Esau in an attempt to trick his father. But again, this seemed to have been the only option left for Rebekah and Jacob. I’m sure Rebekah tried to reason with Isaac, but was unsuccessful. So I don’t think this qualifies as a ‘lie’ in the sense of a lie to cover a sin or to mislead someone for devious purposes.
Are you saying there are times when we can lie? Well, let me ask you this. If a murderer comes to your house and asks where your kids are, is it a sin to tell them they aren’t home and that they went to their uncle’s house 5 hours away even if they are hiding in the basement? Of course not. In fact, it would be unrighteous for you to tell the truth in an instance like that. And very stupid.
You know our beloved Christian brothers can get this goody-goody self-righteous attitude that they must never tell a lie, no matter what. And they tell us that we must always play by the rules.
This is silly. The leftists don’t play by the rules. They constantly lie, cheat, steal, and deceive to further their agenda. And they don’t feel guilty about it, even though they are doing these things to further a wicked godless agenda. But the conservatives say we must take the higher ground. They would say something like “let’s not stoop down to their level and play dirty like them.” When they are maligned and attacked unjustly they just take it. They don’t fight back. What has this gotten us?
Nothing but loss after loss, and compromise after compromise.
That’s why when a guy like Donald Trump comes along and fights back in a very unconventional, but not always unbiblical manner, many conservative Christians get nervous. When they get like this, I just want to tell them, “relax man, this is war!”
Let’s continue reading.
Genesis 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
Uh oh, Isaac is getting suspicious. And I’m not so sure Jacob isn’t telling the truth here when he says, “Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.” I think it’s possible God was working through Rebekah here. If that’s the case, then God did supply this meat for him to give to his father.
Genesis 27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
Genesis 27:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
Genesis 27:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
Ah, maybe Isaac is thinking I’m just getting old and crazy and blesses Jacob anyway even though something doesn’t seem right. Had Isaac’s sight been good Jacob would never had been able to pull this off. However, had Isaac’s spiritual sight been clear we wouldn’t be in this precarious situation in the first place.
Genesis 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
Even asks him again.
Genesis 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Not the only time wine is consumed by God’s people in the Bible, in moderation.
Genesis 27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
Genesis 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
Genesis 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
My friends look at America. We have the best farmland in the world and America feeds the world with our food. That didn’t happen by accident.
Genesis 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
No doubt this was the blessing that was given to Abraham, that his seed would become a Great Nation. A world superpower. This has nothing to do with supporting modern day Zionism. Cursing a movement that rejects Jesus as the Christ isn’t going to bring a curse from God upon you. I feel this curse applies to anyone who curses the founding of America and our Christian heritage.
Genesis 27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
Genesis 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Genesis 27:32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
Genesis 27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
Formal blessings of a father seemed to be a binding oath. It appears that once given they could not be taken back, even in this case where Jacob tricked Isaac to get it. Isaac didn’t even attempt to take it back from Jacob and give it to Esau.
Birthrights and formal blessings are kind of strange to us. We think of blessings as just mere words. How can a father lay his hands on his son and literally transfer a blessing onto him? Another question is, can and should this be done today? Should father’s pass on birthrights and blessings to their children as they near death?
Something to think about.
Years ago, when I first began studying the Bible in depth in my late teenage years I was doing some genealogy research and I found out I had an ancestor who was a notable Christian Scholar & Pastor. His name was Spencer Mattison (Died in 1851). As I was going through some of his writings and I found a written prayer of his. It was a prayer for his descendants that they would see the truth of God’s Word. Since then that I have been unable to find that document. It just so happens that my Mom and Dad ended up giving me the middle name of “Spencer”. As far as I know it wasn’t an intentional thing since he was a Christian Pastor. I think my mom just liked the name.
But after reading his prayer I think God put it on my mother’s heart to name me after him, to honor his prayer. My wife and I passed this name onto my son Jacob.
Was it a coincidence that about 150 years after Spencer Mattison wrote this prayer, there I am being called to study and teach the Word of God? Could it be that I was drawn to the scriptures because of my ancestor’s prayer? I don’t know.
What I do know is that we’ve in many cases neglected the importance of the patriarchy, the family, our birthright, our forefathers, and our blessings. In doing so we’ve paid a terrible price. We are forgetting who we are and where we came from.
Genesis 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
Esau wants the blessings of material things but cares nothing for the source from which all blessings flow. Sound familiar? Not any different than the modern-day leftists.
Genesis 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
Genesis 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
If God revealed that the older should serve the younger, then the birthright and blessing never belonged to Esau in the first place. Jacob and Rebekah were merely using covert means to reclaim what rightfully belonged to Jacob.
Genesis 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
Isaac says, I cannot reverse what has been done.
Genesis 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Genesis 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
Genesis 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
Eventually the Edomites would be free. How did Isaac know all of this?
Genesis 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Esau’s hatred of his brother Jacob reminds me of Cain’s hatred of Abel.
Genesis 27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
Genesis 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
Genesis 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;
Genesis 27:45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
Time is a great healer.
Genesis 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
The daughters of Heth were pagan Canaanites. Rebekah fears that if Jacob marries one of them, like Esau did, then everything she had lived for will be flushed down the toilet by these godless women.
By today’s standards Rebekah would be called a xenophobe and a racist. How dare she not accept those Canaanite women into her family! What’s she afraid of?
In conclusion. Biblical birthrights and blessings are very important and should not be handed down to those who would squander or waste them. As in the case of Esau. Had the blessing gone to him it would have been a total waste because Esau was a carnal unspiritual man unfit to receive such a blessing. Just as the modern-day leftists are unfit to be responsible for the blessings our forefathers passed down to us. We, like Rebekah and Jacob, should do everything in our power to keep them out of power. At times even use unconventional methods like Rebekah did to safeguard our blessings, and to keep them out of the wrong hands.
Had Rebekah just sat back and allowed Isaac to bless Esau that would have had terrible consequences. I think she is the hero of this chapter. Could God have made sure Jacob got the blessing another way? Sure, I suppose. God can do anything. But at times God uses people to employ unconventional methods to make sure His will comes to pass. People like Rebekah, Samson, Ehud, Gideon, and many more.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some of those kinds of people in our military, CIA, NSA, and FBI helping to expose the Deep State. Something to think about.
Bottom line. America doesn’t belong to the liberal left. This great nation belongs to us. Let us love our blessing enough to do what it takes to keep it.