I read through Genesis 27 yesterday and found myself full of questions. This chapter is about Jacob and his other Rebekah deceiving Isaac into giving Jacob his blessing, which was intended for his firstborn, Esau. Instigated by Rebekah, who overheard the conversation between Isaac and Esau, she conceived a plan to trick Isaac into thinking that Jacob was Esau. The plan was successful, and Jacob received the blessing.
Jacob – The Unrightful Beneficiary
Twice now, Jacob has received something that was not meant for him. In both cases, the transaction was dirty. First was the taking of the birthright in chapter 25. Jacob took advantage of his brothers severe hunger as an opportunity to exchange food for Esau’s birthright. Though Esau consented, he was in danger of his life and desperately needed food. In his weakness, he exchanged his birthright for a meal.
Then in chapter 27, Jacob and Rebekah go through great effort to seize an opportunity to steal away Esau’s blessing. A lot of thought went in to devising a way to fool Issac. The plan having worked, Jacob received Esau’s blessing. Jacob now possesses the firstborn’s birthright and blessing, both of which were received through sinful means.
What is interesting about this is that there seemed to no harsh consequences for such actions. Though he received the blessing wrongfully, it was still fully valid for Jacob. To make matters worse, Isaac had no blessing for Esau, even though the blessing intended for him was given to the wrong man. Instead, he received more of a curse than a blessing.
- Why was Jacob able to benefit so greatly through his sinful actions?
- Why was there no punishment for what Jacob had done?
- Having done no wrong (that I can see in the text), why did Esau have to suffer, having been the victim of a stolen blessing?
The Power Of A Blessing
I would have considered a blessing to be more of a wish for someone, and that it would be something that exists more in a spiritual realm. But what we see here is that there is real power and prophesy involved. There is also a physical presence factor involved. Though the blessing was intended for Esau, Jacob was the one present, and had the ears to hear it, and therefor received it. And once given, it cannot be undone.
This is something I have never heard of these days. It is not a practice that I have ever known anyone to have partaken in.
- How did Isaac know what the blessing should be, and how did it have power to be come to pass?
- Why did the physical recipient of the blessing receive it, and not the intended recipient? Why was presence the most important factor, even in deceit?
- Why could the blessing not be undone since it was received by the wrong person?
- Why couldn’t Esau also be blessed?
- What would have happened if Isaac had died before being able to give a blessing? What if he had a heart attack, was killed, or waited too long? Would neither Jacob not have been blessed, and Esau not have been cursed?