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Episode 12 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I’m Mario Diaz.


We left our story with an amazing discussion of the sons of Leah and the change we see in her through the naming of her children and the Providence of God (which has been a theme all along our journey—this God who is never a victim of earthly circumstances but who is in complete control of every situation and whose wisdom, though beyond our full comprehension, is unimpeachable). We saw that she named his son Judah saying “this time I will praise the Lord,” and we noted that the promised Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. 


Now, I just stated that because I did not want to jump ahead too far, but I know some of you are astute enough to be wondering about that. So, let me pause here and do a quick preview of what we will see as we near the end of our story with respect to the Messiah coming from the line of Judah. In Genesis 49, Jacob, near his death, calls to himself his 12 sons, representing the 12 tribes of Israel and he prophecies about their descendants. In verse 10, he addresses Judah and says:


The scepter shall not depart from Judah, 

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 

until tribute comes to him; 

and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.


The reference to the “scepter” and the “ruler’s staff” points us to kingship (King David will indeed come from the tribe of Judah—and there are numerous other prophecies associated with that link between David and the Messiah). But also the breath and scope of the promise reminds us of the eternal nature of Messiah’s Lordship. John’s vision of the last days in Revelations 5:5 notes, “behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered…” There is, of course much more to discover down that rabbit trail, so to speak, but we must get back to our story.


Genesis Chapter 30 shifts the focus to Rachel. She is jealous of Leah’s many sons and so she expresses that frustration towards Jacob who basically says take it over with God, I can’t do anything. So, Rachel implements the plan she has seen other in her family attempt, she will give her servant Bilhah to Jacob to bear her a son. So Bilhah conceives Dan and then Nephtali.


Then, we are told, Leah gets jealous and gives Jacob her servant Zilpah, and they bore Gad, and later Asher. This is what jealousy and envy will do to you, they will consume you, there is no end to the struggle it will spark within you. Beware of it- do not indulge in it.  As if that wasn’t enough, we are told the story of a time when Rachel asked Leah for some mandrakes (a type of Mediterranean berry) and an argument ensued that leads to Leah getting Jacob to herself for a time, and she bears another son who was called Issachar, and then a sixth son called Zebulun; and after that, a daughter named Dinah.


Rachel then had Joseph (a very important figure that we will briefly look at later on).

Children were viewed very different in ancient times. Remember, there is no Walmart in those days. You work for what you eat, daily. So children are workers. They are essential for survival.


So, it is at this point (when Jacob has 11 sons and a daughter) that he goes to Laban because he wants to branch out on his own. You will recall that Laban has dealt deceitfully with Jacob who has been the best thing that ever happened to Laban, as the Lord blessed him because of Jacob. Therefore Laban wants Jacob to stay and he tells him, name your price. Note that Jacob, after all those years was willing to depart with nothing, just his family (he had the promise of God that He would be with him), but now God will bless him with much wealth, even through Laban’s treacherous dealings.


Laban readily admits he has witnessed God’s hand upon Jacob (how could he not) and he will try to do anything to keep him there. So, Jacob tells him that, since the sheep are usually white, and the goats black, he will take the spotted or speckled ones, which are comparatively rare, for himself. 


Jacob’s reasoning seemed to be that Laban could never accuse him of stealing (when the Lord inevitably blessed him) since the natural marks of the cattle would tell the story. The proposal seemed great to Laban who knew he was at a great advantage, ordinarily speaking. And, treacherous as he was, he went and took the speckled and spotted animals and gave them to his son, keeping him separate from Laban’s flock, so as to put him at a disanvantage right out of the gate..


But no matter. God is with Jacob and he is confident on his breeding abilities. Therefore, he employs a variety of methods to ensure he breaded speckled and spotted sheep and lamb. And it happened that the stronger and best of the them went to Jacob, and the more feeble to Laban. Thus, his wealth increased greatly. 


God did that. We are told that explicitly in chapter 31. Here is how Jacob explained it starting in verse 6— he told Rachel and Leah:


You know that I have served your father with all my strength,  yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.  If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. 


Jacob was explaining to Rachel and Leah why they needed to leave. The Lord was commanding him to leave.  But the account reveals to us some deep truths about the God of Jacob. He works in mysterious ways, for the benefit of those who love Him—those He has chosen to serve Him in various ways. Note how He uses the injustice against Jacob and the wrongdoings of many people, including Jacob’s own failures (remember he first came there fearing his brothers retaliation against his treachery)—God uses all of it to bless Jacob. 


Think of all that has happened. These are decades of hardship. But God remained faithful through it all. He will even redeem Rachel and Leah, who in a moment of candor show, starting in verse 14 their resentment against their father for “selling” them. This is not lost on them. They say all that Jacob has earned from Laban was simply the portion their father owed them. They are ready to leave with Jacob.


And this time Jacob will not ask for permission. He fled while Laban was away, and set for his father Isaac’s house in Canaan.  But, there was more trouble, unbeknown to Jacob, while they were leaving and Laban was away Rachel stole some household gods from her father. She knew Jacob served only Yahweh, so it is likely she did this in order to inflict damage on her father, more than anything else.


They set out and crossed the Euphrates before word reached Laban after three days. Proving Jacob’s wisdom in leaving in secret, Laban gathers a band of his people and goes after him for seven days, keeping close after him by the hill country of Gilead, we are told.


His intentions were not good, but then God appear to Laban in a dream to warn him not to say anything to Jacob, good or bad (verse 24). When he catches him, Laban asks him why he fled and tells him about the dream. Jacob says he was afraid, and understandably so. But then Laban asks about the stolen goods. Jacob, not knowing what Rachel has done, says “anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live.” He was sure he hadn’t taken anything.


Now Rachel, knowing what she had done, took the gods and put them in the camel’s seat and sat on them, telling his father she could not rise because “the way of women is upon me.” So Laban did not find them. Then Jacob explodes, thinking he was once again being unjustly treated and he vents on all he has endured under Laban’s hand. It was a lot. He concludes (v.41):


These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”


Laban then proposes and they indeed make a covenant, making a heap and a pillar. “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness,” he says, “that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm.” And each go their separate ways.


Jacob’s new liberty is met with a supernatural occurrence starting in chapter 32, where Jacob is met with “the angels of God.” Upon seeing them, he says, “This is God’s camp!” And, that is all we are told about it. We must save all our questions for another occasion.


Jacob sends word ahead to his brother Esau. Remember, Esau has sworn to kill him once their father Isaac had died. Jacob sends word of where he has been and the he has acquired much wealth in order to find favor in Esau’s sight.


The response was not not exactly what he was hoping for. His brother send word that he is coming to meet him and nothing else. And oh, by the way, he is coming with 400 men. Yikes!


We are told Jacob was “greatly afraid and distressed.” He should be, right? We all would be. This is one of the great and sad things about sin in our lives. It shames us. It makes us afraid and unsure. We know what we deserve and we therefore lose our footing, feeling we will be exposed frauds. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, always takes the focus away from our feeble and sinful nature and puts in on His goodness and mercy and grace. We have hope because of His nature, not because of ours.


But in his fear, Jacob divides his camp in two, thinking if Esau attacks one camp, the other can escape. That’s how real this is to him. An, here is the other thing he does: he prays. And I want to read this prayer to you because it is a great example for us. Listen to this. This is Genesis 32:8-12. Jacob says:


“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.  But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”


We can learn a lot from this prayer. Notice how Jacob leans on what the Lord has told Him. He says You, Lord of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, You told me to come to my brother. You have promised to do me good, therefore deliver me. He does not say, God, see how good I am, how righteous, pay me back. No. He pleads to God for His goodness, because He knows this God will not go back on His word. And from that He pleads for deliverance. This is why it is important for us to study the Scriptures and know what the Lord has said. His words are true. His words are sure. He does not relent on His promises. And when we pray we can lean on them and say, Lord deliver me, for you have said, x, y, z. This principle will help us in very practical ways. To make decisions, to intercede for our loved ones. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still listening.


Note too, that Jacob still acts on his best judgments, even as He prays to God. We have seen over and over that this God will act through our actions, through the words and deeds of men to accomplish His purposes. So we need not be paralyzed as we wait on the Lord. 


Here Jacob takes a whole bunch of his animals and possessions and sends them ahead in waves to his brother, so that Esau will be receiving gifts from Jacob all the way as he gets to him, and his thinking is that Esau’s anger (if any still lingers) may be appease, that he may forgive him for his treachery.


Now, Jacob and his family are going to cross the Jabbok River, which is a river that flows from Amman and joins the Jordan River about 15 miles north of the Dead Sea. This is Eastern Palestine, so you can situate yourself on the map. They are returning to Paddan-aram to their extended family, now lead by his brother Esau. Jacob sends his family and all the possessions across the river and he says behind and we have this amazing encounter that will blow our minds, and we’ll end with this. As he is alone, and with all his family and possessions across the river… I’ll give it to you just as we read it in Genesis 32, starting on verse 24:


And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”


This is a strange and mysterious event, but an incredibly significant one. See here that this is the place where the people of Israel are born. This figure who is presented first as a man, and throughout the account presented as representing God himself, right?, for He changes his name from Jacob to Israel, quote “for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” And Jacob, now Israel, names the place Peniel, quote “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”


Now, no one has ever seen God (see John 1:8, or Moses’s “show me Your glory” encounter in Exodus 33:18). But there is a senses in which Jacob is encountering God through this figure. We are already familiar with this type of encounter. If you remember when Abraham had the encounter with the burning bush, the account told us “the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.” That was Genesis 3. But then, Abraham proceeds to talk to “the Lord” as He is identified in Scripture. This was that amazing encounter where God identified Himself to Abraham as “I am that I am,” that’s verse 14 of chapter 3. So too here, we have this sort of agency where we are encountering God himself through this figure. The Prophet Hosea is helpful here, writing of Jacob:


In the womb he took his brother by the heel, 

and in his manhood he strove with God. 

He strove with the angel and prevailed; 

he wept and sought his favor. 

He met God at Bethel, 

and there God spoke with us

the Lord, the God of hosts, 

the Lord is his memorial name: 

“So you, by the help of your God, return, 

hold fast to love and justice, 

and wait continually for your God.”


That’s Hosea 12:3-6.


It helps us envision this quote “wrestling” with Jacob had all night. It says “he wept and sought his favor.” This is more than a physical “wrestling,.” This figure, at the desired time, simply touched Jacob’s hip and it came out of joint. So he clearly has more power than Jacob, but this “wrestling” was somehow necessary. It feels like this involves a deep prayerful encounter. It feels like this is precisely the reason why Jacob stayed back-to seek the Lord’s face in light of what he was about to face. Jacob met someone, and he was convinced that this figure was of divine origin because it could indeed bless him. He had the authority and power to do so. And he did.


Some see a pre-incarnate Jesus in these encounters were a reference to The Angel of the Lord of a “Man” appears in the old testament and speaks with the authority of God. Jesus told Philip in John chapter 14, when Philip asked to see the father, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (That’s verse 9 of John 14). So you can see a parallel. However we are not told this explicitly, so we take the Scripture at its word and just marvel at this amazing encounter. 


This is another confidence we can always have with Scripture, it is God’s way of revealing what He wants to reveal to us in the way He wants to reveal himself to us. Nothing more and nothing less. So, the things we are not told, there is no need for us to obsess over them. There are things God has chosen not to reveal and we can be at peace with that too.


Here we can learn a lot from Jacob. In distress, he sought the face of God. He sought His blessing based on the Lord’s goodness, not his own. He wrestled, wept and (in verse 26 of Chapter 32) he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”


Jacob wanted to know who this figure was, verse 29: “Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him.”


And there it is, he receives the blessings.  Jacob names the place Peniel, saying, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Jacob will leave a changed man, after this encounter. He now walks with a noticeable limp because of his hip, and spiritually, he is a new person. He has had an encounter with God, he’s been born again, has a new name, and will walk in the purpose God has chosen for him to establish a people, a new nation… Israel.


But we have seen God’s plan unfold for many generations now, haven’t we? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the God of Israel) is great. He is mighty. His wisdom is unsearchable. His ways unstoppable. He is worthy of a struggle, of us wrestling like Jacob to receive His blessings. Count me in for that… hope He can count on you too.


More to come…

Episode 11 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

GAIJ Podcast Episode 11 

Welcome again friends, to a retelling of the story of God’s dealings with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now in its final stages when we will dive right into the God of Jacob. My name is Mario Diaz of Marios Ministries, and I am so thankful God has brought you near those speakers right now to hear the Scriptures. The Bible tells us faith comes by hearing. So, I am praying for your heart and mind as you listen today. 

In this podcast we have left behind all the things we think we knew about God, that frankly, come from movies and fictional books and other extra biblical sources many times, and which can cloud our minds as to our relationship with God. 

This is important because we have discovered a God who is personal. Who is near those who seek and obey him. He is involved in our affairs and interacts with us. So, if you’re ready, I’m ready. Let’s get to it. 


After Jacob’s deception of Esau, Rebekah decided to send Jacob to her brother Laban’s place because Esau had vouched to kill him after his father passed away.  Isaac calls Jacob blesses him and asks him not to take a wife from the Canaanites. A few chapters back (in chapter 26: 34-35) we were told that Esau had taken two Hittite (descendants of Canaan) who “made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. So, Isaac asks Jacob to take a wife from one of Laban’s daughters. 

Esau, seeing this, decides he should take another wife that was not a Canaanite, perhaps in an effort to appease his father.  So he marries Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. 

Jacob leaves towards Haran but as he is traveling it gets late and he decides to spend the night, put a rock under his head and then had a magnificent dream. 

In it, there was a ladder that went from earth to heaven, and the Angels of God were ascending and descending on it! The Lord stood on the top and said, “ I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in you and your offspring shall all the famlies of earth be blessed.” Behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 

Jacob wakes up and is stunned, How awesome is this place, he says. He calles it the gate of heaven, given what he saw. He took the stone he used for a pillo and set it up a as a pillar and poured oil over it, and called the name Bethel. And he makes a vow saying , “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up  for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” 

Jacob keeps going and gets to a well outside a city and sees some shepherds with three flocks. He asks them if they know Laban, and they tell him his daughter, Rachel, who is also a shepherdess (how awesome is that!) is coming to water the sheep. She gets there and Jacob moves the rock covering the well and give water to Laban’s/Rebekah’s sheep. He greets her and explains who he is. She is ecstatic and goes to tell her father, who also comes greeting and rejoicing with Jacob. He stayed with them a month. 

Jacob had apparently been working hard for Laban as his guest, and Laban then tells him, listen, I know you are my blood, but I cannot keep taking advantage of you. Tell me what you want as your wages for the work you are doing. 

Now, Jacob still remembering the charge his father Isaac gave him, asked for Rachels hand in marriage. Laban had two daughters Leah was the first born and then Rachel. Jacob says he will work for seven years for her. 

Now, I know this is not how things are done in our day… 

Laban agrees. So Jacob serves for those seven years for Rebekah, and it says on chapter Genesis Chapter 29 verse 20 that “they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” But when it came time for the wedding night Laban gave him his daughter Leah. And then in the morning he discovered what had happened. 

Now, some of us may be wonder how is that possible. There are several factors we can consider. It seemed tradition had something to do with it, the customary veil and clothing for the weeding night, it was late at night, after a feast where the drinking of wine is customary, and that also may have helped cloud Jacob’s vision and judgement. We also don’t know how much they resembled each other. In any case, Jacob rises and says to Laban, “what have you done? I served you for seven years. Why have you deceived me?” 

Now, the irony might have escaped Jacob, but it can’t escape us. Here is Jacob, his very reason for being there is the deception he perpetrated on his father, and now he is going to cry foul when deception is committed against him. Perhaps a lesson was being given there, in mercy? 

Laban for his part says, sorry, “it is not so done on our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.” And he says he will give him Rebekah also, if he serves him for another 7 years. 

And Jacob agrees to this. He loves her, so he will fight for her… 

The chapter also lets us know Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. 

This is understandable. But Leah will have a tough predicament. Who will love her? The next verse tells us that God did not forget Leah. Verse 31, “When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” 

Let us praise this God. A God who does not forget us, in our afflictions, in our troubles. Is there some heartache within you today. You can trust the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All may have forgotten, but he has not. He cares. You can trust Him. He is the same God today, as it was then. He was the same God to Leah, as He was to Haggar. You remember? She called him El Roi, the God who sees me. When she was destitute, completely alone, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in His Providence saw to it that she was provided for—there are always longings within man’s heart. 

We just need to open our eyes, in the middle of our affliction, to see His love—God’s compassionate care for us. We all struggle. Everyone person needs to feel noticed. Here you have Rachel who has her husband’s undivided love and affection, yet cannot have children. She longs for what Leah has, she is fruitful in bearing children, and yet longs for her husband’s love, each wishes for what the other has. Both missing God’s unbelievable care for them. His love is present at all times, yet we miss it so often. 

We too long for what we don’t have, and, if we don’t get these desires under control they can turn our hearts bitter to the point that all joy will be drained out of us. A word of caution. 

Notice the change that will slowly happen in Leah. We see it through the naming of her children. And we will finish with that incredible fact of her fourth child and the incredible Providence of God. 

Leah gives birth to her firstborn Reuben (which means “see a son”), “Because,” she says, “the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 

She then gives birth to her second, Simeon (which means to be heard) because she was starting to see that the Lord was taking care of her. She conceived a third time and gave birth to Levi (meaning “joined”) saying “Now this time my husband will be attached to me.” So you see where her focus is on each name. 

But then she conceived again, her fourth, and this time something different happened. This time she said, I will praise the Lord. She called him Judah (which means praise). 

Now her focus has shifted. No longer putting her husband first, she now focuses on thanksgiving to that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has been sustaining her all along. 

This is really an amazing thing. It is hard to express. If you have studied Scripture at all, that name Judah, immediately jumped out at you. But even if you haven’t heard of it before, just with what we have learned today, if I were to give you a guess to pick from Leah’s sons, from which would you say the Messiah will come? Would you pick Reuben (see a son), Levi (meaning joined), Simeon (to be heard), or Judah (meaning praise--- to God, that is). 

That’s right, the Christ, the Messiah, will come from the line of Judah. He is called the Lion of Judah. 

Friends, I hope your heart just jumps with joy and amazement at what we are reading. If you take this God to heart, you will start to understand that your life matters. What you do matters. What you say matters. Who you worship matters. 

My prayer is that your heart if filled up with thanksgiving so that your cup runeth over, as the psalmist wrote, for there is power in the praise and thanksgiving of our Lord. There is freedom and peace. That calm and enjoyment your heart is seeking in so many other things, is found in the Lion of Judah, the praise of God. 

Much to think about… until next time.

Episode 10 - The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  

This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A podcast re-telling the story of the patriarchs of Scripture, which, practically speaking, helps us to get to know the one true God, Yahweh, for who He is, free from the preconceived notions and desires of the world. 

We’ve already seen amazing things about this God. He is Sovereign, that is, He is in charge. He is Faithful, over and above our unfaithfulness. He is Holy. He is unpredictable. He will do things that we, with our human ideas of what God should be like, think God would never do. Because, we’ve discovered that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not think as we do. His timing, we’ve seen this all throughout Abraham and Isaac’s story is nothing like ours. Nothing like ours! Can there be any doubt of this, after all we have seen? But one thing is indisputable: He is trustworthy. His timing, His plan are better than ours. He is perfect. 

Are you ready for more? 

Here we go. 


In the last episode, we went almost through all of Isaac’s life, which is a surprisingly short account in the Genesis narrative. Isaac’s account turns into Jacob’s very quickly. But today there is one last significant episode that we want to spend some time unpacking. 

In Genesis 27 we read of Isaac’s blessing over Jacob. 

It is a very twisted and sort of sad story. Here’s what happened. Isaac is in his last days, he is blind and he called on Esau, the older son to hunt for game and prepare for him some food that he may bless him before he dies. 

Now Rebekah was listening and heard what Isaac had said to Esau. So, Rebekah tells Jacob to bring her some goats from the flock and she will prepare some food, just like Isaac likes it, that Jacob may bring it to Isaac, so that the blessing may fall upon Jacob, instead of Esau. 

Now Jacob objects to it, not because of the deception really, but because he believes he’ll get caught. “Behold my brother Esau is a hairy man,” he tells his mother in verse 11, “and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 

We should note, here as you measure your words before this Yahweh God, that blessings and curses are real things. I know most people take them as a joke or some sort of superstition. But this is not so, do not be fooled. Especially if you are a Christian, understand that the Scriptures call us to speak the truth. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, said Jesus in Matthew 5:37. Our Father in Heaven hears us, and so we should be circumspective about our words—our promises to God, and things like blessings. 

This is a very profound truth and we do not have the time to get into it here but note that we walk by the Spirit, and should invoke these according to the will of God. Which brings us back to the story here. 

Because recall that the pronouncement of God had been made since the baby’s births. The older shall serve the younger. Remember also that Esau had already sold his birthright (this very blessing, if you will) for a plate of stew—that’s how little he thought of it. This is the reason why the writer of the book of Hebrews cautions us not to be like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. That’s on Hebrews 12:16. 

So, what is about to transpire, is happening under a mountain of context. 

Back to the story, Rebekah tells Jacob, “Let your curse be on me, my son,” and pleads with him to obey her. So he does. 

The scheme is elaborate, she prepares the food, dress him in his brother’s garments, and even took the skin of the goats and puts it on his hands and the smooth part of his neck so that if Isaac touched him, he would feel the hairs, like that of Esau’s instead of Jacob. Very mischievous. 

Does this not sound like Abraham and Sarah trying to help God keep his promise? We are not told why Rebekah is doing this, but we can sort of see that she might have held on to that promise from her birth, and favoring Jacob, decides she needs to take action to make sure he is the one leading the family going forward. As we have already learned, God does not need our help to keep his promises, despite why we might think, and there are always painful consequences for our unbelief. 

But Jacob takes the food to Isaac then, who is a bit suspicious that he was able to hunt for game so fast. But Jacob says, “Because the Lord has granted me success.” 

An incredibly foolish thing to say, really. But this is what happens, and everyone listening knows this. You start lying and the lies will have to continue. Lying will burry you because it is never-ending. So Jacob will have consequences for what is about to happen. You might have felt sympathy for him at first because he is being forced by his mother to do this, but you can see how he is complicit, even now to the point of invoking the Lord’s name into the mix. Not good. 

So Isaac indeed reaches out to touch him, and he does feel hairy like Esau. Rebekah’s plan with the goat skin is working. Isaac notices the voice is more like Jacobs too. So he asks him point-blank, “are you my son Esau?” “I am,” says Jacob. 

So, Isaac eats, later smell Esau’s garments and is ready then to bless him. 

Starting on verse 27: 

“See, the smell of my son 
    is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! 
 May God give you of the dew of heaven 
    and of the fatness of the earth 
    and plenty of grain and wine. 
 Let peoples serve you, 
    and nations bow down to you. 
Be lord over your brothers, 
    and may your mother's sons bow down to you. 
Cursed be everyone who curses you, 
    and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” 

I hope you hear there then what had been prophesied from the beginning. Jacob would be Lord over his brother. 

As soon as Jacob had left, Esau came in with his catch, and the scheme is exposed. Isaac word’s are important, he asks, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” He shall be blessed, he says. He cannot take it back. 

Esau is distraught, understandably, it says “he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 

They, of course, realize it was Jacob. The account tells us then that Esau hated Jacob. Interestingly, he says Jacob had cheated him twice. But that is not quite true, is it? The first time, he willingly gave up his birthright, not anticipating the real-world consequences of undervaluing his position as the oldest. 

“Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father,” he says. 

So here receives something: 

“Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, 
    and away from the dew of heaven on high. 
By your sword you shall live, 
    and you shall serve your brother; 
but when you grow restless 
    you shall break his yoke from your neck.” 

There is hope there. He shall break his yoke from his neck, one day. But he will serve his brother, whom he now hates. He hates him so much that he in fact says, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 

Now, when Rebekah hears this she urges Jacob to flee to her brother Laban’s place in Haran, “until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him.” 

Here are the consequences of taking matters into your own hands and trying to manipulate God’s will for your life and that of yours. God has given you a promise regarding your children? It is not up to you to bring those about. It is up to you to trust God. 

For this will be a real loss to Rebekah. Her son will leave and not return until he is married with kids. It will actually be 21 years before these brothers reunite. 

We will continue the story, but it is worth pointing out now the consequences of our unbelief. Jacob will lose his mother and father and brother, for the foreseeable future. He will carry this burden as he continues his journey. 

Interestingly, we are not told in the Scriptures precisely when Rebekah dies. We are only told in Genesis 49:30 that her remains were eventually buried at the Cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, along with Abraham and his wife Sarah. 

So, it is possible, perhaps even likely that Jacob never saw her mother again. And, if he did, as we mentioned, is going to be a long time where Jacob is going to go and get married and have children, and all that will be a hard consequence of their choice to deceive Isaac. 

We’ll get into the story of Jacob more in detail next time, but for now let us notice that God’s plans, the plans of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cannot be derailed. Even when we act contrary to His principles, he will redeem our actions, and they too will work to bring about his purposes for your life. 

How patient is this God, who puts up with all our tomfoolery and lovingly waits for our understanding! 

As with Abraham, Jacob’s life will be redeemed, he is not cast off because of his mistakes. God will fulfill the promise of Abraham, through him, and He will learn to trust in the God of his father and grandfather. 

Therefore, we need not be distraught or disheartened because of the mistakes we’ve made in our lives. For we have studied the Scriptures and we know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a God of rancor, but a God of love, patience and understanding towards His people. 

Now, He will teach us, no doubt about that. So we will feel the painful consequences of our actions, but He will see us through all of them, and teach us to trust in him more fully, until the fullness of time has pass, when His purposes will unravel in our lives completely. 

Next time, the God of Jacob emerges, you won’t want to miss it.