- Gen. 26:34-28:22
Isaac favored his oldest son Esau, while Rebekah favored the younger son Jacob. Isaac was very old and he could barely see. Isaac sent Esau to hunt game and prepare food for him so that he might bless Esau before GOD. But Rebekah overhead Isaac’s request and she told Jacob to go prepare food and deceive his father into blessing him instead of Esau. Jacob was concerned that Isaac would know it was him, so they plotted to put Esau’s clothes on Jacob and put goat skins on Jacob’s hands and neck so that he would appear hairy like Esau.
Sure enough, the plot succeeded! Isaac was fooled, Jacob was blessed by his father, and Rebekah was pleased. And then Esau returned with his meal prepared for Isaac. Immediately, Isaac realized what had happened and he told Esau.
When 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!” … And 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.
(Gen. 27:34, 38 NKJV)
I would like to focus on two important lessons we can learn from these events. First, even good people make mistakes and give bad advice from time to time. Rebekah should not have advised Jacob to trick his father and steal the blessing that was Esau’s. By all accounts Rebekah was a good woman. But everyone makes mistakes and chooses wrongly from time to time. Our goal, however, should always be to choose to do those things that please GOD. When you face an important decision, it is a good idea to get advice from at least two trustworthy people. Older people often offer better advice because they have more life experience.
Second, when we deceive other people it brings a lot of pain. Deception is a form of lying—it’s intentionally misleading someone into thinking something is true when you know that it isn’t true. Consider how deception affected those involved with this situation. Esau was hurt and very angry with Jacob. Gen. 27:41 says that Esau hated Jacob because of what Jacob did in stealing Esau’s blessing. Hating your brother is a sin, and sin separates us from GOD. Jacob sinned by lying and deceiving his father and he stole the blessing from Esau. Because of Esau’s anger Jacob had to flee to another land to escape, leaving his family. Rebekah no doubt harmed her relationship with Isaac once he learned of her involvement in the scheme. Isaac was certainly sad over giving the blessing to the “wrong” son.
Deception causes a lot of pain to everyone involved, and often to others who weren’t involved. We must decide to be honest with people at all times, no matter the cost.