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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter TWENTY SEVEN – Part One & Part Two


  
GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter TWENTY SEVEN

Contributing commentaries by Sonny Islas and James Fire

To watch the two Facebook videos recorded for this teaching find part One here and part Two here.
GENESIS 27 – PT. 1 – JACOB SCAMS ISAAC FOR THE BLESSING


by Sonny Islas

Subtitle: THE DANGERS OF CHILD FAVORITISM
Let’s continue to remember that we’re studying the story line and family history of Jesus our Savior. Jesus comes from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel).
This portion of the Saviors’ story highlights His ancestors’ sinfulness. Sins such as: child favoritism, deception, disobedience, hatred and a desire for revenge and murder. In this part of the story line, the whole family of four - Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob took God’s matters into their own hands and it left a messy trail.
Genesis 27:1-27 

GENESIS 27:1-2
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. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
“Isaac was old”Isaac thinks that he’s very near to death (death bed?). But at this point he’s approximately 140 years old and doesn’t die until he’s 180yrs old (Genesis 35).


Nevertheless, he plays it safe and makes sure that he puts things in order before he passes. Especially, which son will receive the blessing of possessing the promise land (Israel) and bringing about the Messiah.

“He called Esau his older son” This could have read “his favorite son.” Isaac was ready and quite eager to bless Esau and not Jacob. Hence the words “that I might bless you before I die.”
Isaac was highhandedly sinning against God because the LORD made it clearly known in Genesis 25:23 The LORD says, “the older (Esau) will (God’s will/wants) serve the younger (Isaac).” 
Isaac rationalized (like many Christians today) - “The surrounding culture (the world) gives precedence to the firstborn not the second!”
“Maybe Rebekah didn’t hear God right?”
“Maybe God didn’t really mean what He said?”

At this point and in this case, God was not interested in what Isaac or what Rebekah wanted. God had a plan that no one (with good intentions or bad) could thwart (or change it).
There was clear evidence that both Isaac and Rebekah were guilty of the sin of – child favoritism: when a parent prefers one child over another. 

Genesis 25:28 says, “And Isaac loved (favored) Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob (more).”

“Isaac loved (favored) Esau BECAUSE HE ATE of his game (kill).” Isaac preferred Esau over Jacob because Esau was a man’s man (maybe he looked like Mad Max or Rambo). A mighty impressive hunter and great chef (Jacob, not so much). He was most likely fearless (Jacob, not so much). Esau filled Isaacs’ eyes and belly (Jacob not so much). Esau’s abilities and accomplishments satisfied Isaac (Jacob, not so much).

Genesis 25:27 describes the two sons – “So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field (outdoors man); but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents (indoors man).”

I believe that a little more prayer on Isaac’s part would have given him the clear answer. God would have magnified His Word in Isaac’ heart and mind. Let’s take and bathe all serious decisions before God in prayer.
Rebekah seems like the innocent party/parent here but Genesis 28:35 points to Esau’s wives giving her a headache. It could be that she felt it best for the son that made better choices to get the blessing.

She probably couldn’t bear to see Esau’s family (wild wives) have the blessing. Also, Jacob was an indoors man, which could also point to the fact that Jacob helped her around the house, was most likely more obedient to her than Esau (her wise advice about wives – no Hittite wives?). Both Isaac and Rebekah most likely had selfish motives and reasons for doing what they did only Rebekah’s motives were closer to the will of God.

Child favoritism is the sin of valuing (elevating) one child over another.
What are some reasons why parents fall into the sin trap of child favoritism? As Christian parents we’re to beware of child favoritism. It can be very subtle and unnoticeable at times, so we need to be careful.

Some reason why we prefer one child over another: One child is more obedient than the other(s). One shows you more affection. One is more independent. One is better looking. One is smarter and is a higher achiever. One makes better choices. One has a “better” family. One is more talented. One has more money. One is more like you, etc., etc.
Remember this: 

All child favoritism is motivated by selfish reasons. The parent says in their heart “this child is better because he/she makes me feel and look good.” – Just like Isaac and Rebekah believed of Esau and Jacob respectively.

Here are 6 consequences of child favoritism:
1. It can cause marital strife (like Isaac and Rebekah).
2. It can cause a spouse to sin and scheme (like Isaac and Rebekah) where Isaac should have been a better leader, servant of God, husband and father. At the same time even if your spouse’s actions and behavior leads you to sin, you’re responsible for that sin. Let’s not play the blame game like Adam and Eve but instead own up to what we’ve done.
3. It causes the non-favored child to feel unloved, worthless and unimportant.
4. It causes one child to envy and possibly hate another child to the point of revenge and murder (like Esau felt about Jacob).
5. It can split a family (like Jacob who had to leave his family for over a dozen years!).
6. It robs and blinds us as parents from the value of our other children. And the list goes on.

Some personal experiences of my own:
There have been times when I’m playing one on one basketball with my son, Blue but then Damian wants to play after and I’m tired, but for the sake of not making him feel less than – I’ll tough it out and play him. There have been times when I would wrestle with Damian on my bed and Blue who is much bigger wanted to wrestle too, and I would just have to tough it out. I schedule father and son’s day and take them both out at the same time. I’m very aware of how I treat them both and do my best not to make one feel more loved than the other. Though I know I won’t do this perfectly. LORD help us imperfect parents!
James 2:1 says,
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality (favoritism).” 

James warns of favoritism in the church, how much more not the home and family unit in which the local church is made up of? If he wants us to be kind to strangers, both the poor and rich how much more not our own children (all of them)?

An Extreme case of child favoritism:
True story – A rich family had one son and one daughter. Turns out that both parents openly loved and constantly praised the son for his good character and his many achievements. The daughter got no attention compared to her brother.
Long story short, the daughter grew up hating herself, her parents and especially her brother with a passion. Knowing very well that her brother would do anything for her, she created a plan to kill him.
She hired hit men and had them come to her home where she called her brother for “help” because she lied and said that she was being held hostage. Her brother races to her house to rescue her and as soon as he walks in, the hit men charge her brother and the brother knowing how to fight starts to beat these men up and has the bigger hit man on a choke hold and the hit man says, we have your sister, and if you kill me, we’ll kill her, so the brother lets the hit man go and says, ‘Do anything to me just let her go!’
So, they beat him to death. This brother died trying to save his unloved sister all because of non-stop child favoritism
.
Isaac says, “I do not know the day of my death.” This is true of all of us. But in connection to fathers, let’s make sure that we bless our children with a relationship with God before we die.
If we spend all our energies working hard, buying things, leaving a material inheritance etc. (which is good) but fail to give our children our hearts, our time and our godly wisdom - we have left them nothing. And in connection to them, we have fathered in vain. 

Psalm 127:1 says,
Unless THE LORD builds the house (family) those who build it, work in vain (family building is a worthless work unless God’s hand is in it!).

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
.

“Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son.”
We find that Rebekah overheard Isaac speak to Esau, so she cooked up a plan and some tasty food so that Jacob can intercept the blessing through deception. We have to remember that Rebekah was more focused on doing her son a favor rather than God ‘a favor’ by obeying His word. At this point instead of creating a deceptive plan she should have reminded Isaac of God’s promise in Genesis 25:23The older will serve the younger.” But she wasn’t thinking about God’s glory, she was thinking about her favorite son’s good.

She could easily get a high paying job in HOLLYWOOD the way she pulled this off, right? It was perfectly planned. She knew Isaac was just about blind, so she took advantage. She would have given Jacob vocal impersonation lessons if there was enough time but there wasn’t. She had to think quick. She pasted hair on Jacob’s neck and arms, why? Because she knew that that’s where Isaac would place his hands to give the blessing. She also clothed Jacob with Esau’s clothe for the full scent and effect.
But Jacob was convicted in verse 11, 12 when he said:

GENESIS 27:11-12
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 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
.

“Look, my brother is hairy (like cousin It? [Addams family reference]) and I’m smooth” (I know we can’t pull this off!) “Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him” (it’s going to backfire and I’m going to lose my father’s respect altogether – I’m already not his favorite. Worst case scenario, I’ll get cursed instead of blessed.”)

When Jacob’s conscience was pricked, he should have gone about this another way. God always gives His children a little nudge in the conscience at the moment of decision – “should I sin or should I not?” And at times He doesn’t continue to convict us because we have suppressed that conviction – like in this story. So, if we persist in what we want, even though we know that it’s a sin, GOD steps out of the way and says, “Alright, you want to go your own way? You want to follow this path that leads to destruction, that will ruin your life, your testimony, your witness, your ministry, everything that I’ve blessed you with? Go ahead – but you’ll regret it!”

As soon as we’re convicted, let’s take heed and do what’s right. This could have minimized most of the consequences for this family.
We have to keep in mind that God wasn’t going to curse Jacob because God doesn’t go back on His promises. He already promised that Esau would serve Jacob. If that wasn’t the promise the LORD may have struck Jacob dead. Here we will see the sovereignty of GOD to work! We’ll get into that in greater detail in Part 2 of our study of GENESIS 27!

The last time we were in Genesis 27, we focused on the dangers of child favoritism and the consequences they bring, i.e. Isaac’s love for Esau caused him to disobey God’s Word by trying to bless the older (favorite son) instead of the younger (God’s chosen – Genesis 25:23). Isaac allowed his feeling to overrule God’s Word. Bty the way this serves a safeguard reminder that our good feelings and innocent intentions are not the final authority, God’s Word is.

There are far too many Christians who walk by feelings like Isaac instead of walking in obedience to God’s written and plainly revealed Word. Not only did child favoritism cause Isaac to sin but it also caused Rebekah to sin by scheming and lying to get her favorite son the blessing.

GENESIS 27 – PT. 2 – JACOB’s and ESAU’s BLESSING

GENESIS 27:21-27
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. 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. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 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. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 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
:

As we can see, Jacob had a handful of chances to be truthful, but he chose to continue with his lies. He started with one lie then he had to carry that lie with another lie and another. God always gives us chances and opportunities to fess up and turn around. Oh, and by the way there is no such thing as “little lies.”
C.S. Lewis puts it this way 
A little lie is like a little pregnancy it doesn’t take long before everyone knows.”
We must understand that we will reap what we sow:

GALATIANS 6:7,9 says,
Do not be deceived [like this whole family was], God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap [we get back what we put in/this both a physical and spiritual law]. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.’’

Sin always comes with consequences (sometimes major and sometimes minor). Don’t think that just because you’re a Christian, your sin will not catch up with you.

Again, this family’s lies, schemes, disobedience, envy and child favoritism – which were the seeds they sowed and what they reaped was one. Jacob was later deceived/tricked by his uncle Laban (by making him work 14 years for Rachael instead of 7 years like they had agreed). Jacob was deceived/tricked by his sons when they sold (his favorite son Joseph; GEN 37:27) and said that he was eaten by a wild beast (GEN 37:31-34). Jacob felt what Esau felt (he got a taste of his own medicine!). 2. Jacob never saw his mother after their tag team scheme. Rebekah’s plotting caused her to lose the son she loved. 3. His brother Esau wanted to kill him. And 4. Jacob experienced lots of family feud when he got married. (again, we will reap what we sow. So, let’s sow obedience, repentance, humility, love, trust, patience etc.)

This is why it’s very important not to manipulate and micromanage challenging situations but instead to trust God and to wait on Him in prayer. If you’re not certain about how to fix a broken situation – pray – and ask the LORD for guidance. Don’t become impatient and deceitfully force things to go your way. It’s going to backfire.

A personal example
About a year ago a new pastor came to start a new fellowship here. He held his service after us on Sunday’s. long story short I was told by another pastor that this new pastor grows churches and that we would eventually be squeezed out. So, he advised me to content the building owners and push them to sell me the building. After the conversation, I began to think about how I’m going to go about this and as I was thinking I just began to pray and I said “LORD, no one grows churches but You, and this building along with every other building on earth belongs to You, so, I’m going to trust that You will continue to provide for us. I’m not ongoing to fight for this building.” Turns out, a few months later this new church growing pastor leaves and we’re still here 
Let’s take closer look at both Jacob’s and Esau’s blessing:
Genesis 27:28
“Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.”
If you notice, there is a huge difference between Jacob’s and Esau’s blessing. i.e. Jacob’s blessing says, “may God give you...” etc.

This points to Jacob’s blessing being heavenly or divine. Where God is the center of the whole blessing and His hand is on everything Jacob is, has and will have. On the other hand, Esau’s blessing is in a sense, void of God (His Name and His divine hand and providence) and is more earthly than heavenly.
Isaac prayed that God would bless Jacob with blessings that are sent down from Heaven’s throne and that which blesses the ground like sunshine and rain. He prayed that Jacob would be wealthy and prosperous – lots of animals, food and drink.

Genesis 27:29
“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!”
 
Isn’t this the same blessing God gave Abraham in Genesis 12:3

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Here Jacob is blessed with preeminence, power, leadership and divine protection! Jacob was being handed down Abraham’s blessing – mainly the promise land and the promised Messiah! The blessing in more detail is found in the next chapter 28. What can top that?
God promises to be Jacob’s/Israel’s personal bodyguard! And listen Church it’s the same for us today in Christ – Jacob’s blessing is our blessing: 

Romans 8:31b
“If God be for us who can be against us?”
 In other words, who’s going to override and defeat God?!
Genesis 27:29 cont’d
“Nations will bow down to you” – the culmination of these blessings are found in Christ the ultimate Leader, the ultimate Master and the ultimate King – the supreme Israelite: 

Philippians 2:10,11 says,
. . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven (Innumerable angels), and of those on earth, and of those under the earth (All nations: from America to China and everyone in between), and that every tongue (every individual) should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

GENESIS 27:30-38
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. 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. 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. 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. 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. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 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? 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? 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 27:34
“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!”

The writer of Hebrews points back to this very painful moment where Esau cry’s because he didn’t get the blessing which was connected to the fact that he rejected and hated his birthright. Genesis 25:34 says that “So Esau despised his birthright.”

Hebrews 12:15-17
looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God
 (of receiving it due to rejection); lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esauwho for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”

This points to how many who reject Jesus and choose this world instead will weep in hell, wishing they could do it all over again, but it will be too late. What’s done is done.

GENESIS 27:36
“...he took away my birthright”
 

As we know, Jacob didn’t take it, Esau gave it up for a bowl of lentil soup. This is something that really bothered and angered God. That Esau would give up something so precious for a bowl of soup. Again God feels the same way about those who choose this little passing world over Him.

The fact is that Esau didn’t care about God or spiritual things, he was a man after physical things only – like sexual pleasure, food, hunting etc. God wasn’t on His radar. He just didn’t want to be his brother’s servant because he was too prideful. Very much like those who followed Jesus for physical bread and nothing more.

GENESIS 27:39-40
“Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth
 
(while Jacob gets the promise land flowing with milk and honey, Esau gets the dry desert)And of the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live (have to fight for what he wants all the time)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.”
Again, this was a lower level blessing – as low as the earth is under Heaven. John Wesley says, “there is nothing in Esau's blessing that points at Christ.

“And you shall serve your brother.” Esau is the father of the Edomites, and they served King David who is from the line of Jacob: 

2 Samuel 8:14 says, 
And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went.”

GENESIS 27:41-46
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. 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. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; 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? 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?

Thus we see here that Esau intended a vendetta against his brother; and one that continues on to this day, for we see the Semite peoples of the Middle East, most of the Muslim, in a constant war and hatred for the people of Israel, but just as the LORD worked on Esau’s heart to relent of his intentions towards his brother, we know that one day, many of the Muslim nations will repent and express saving faith in the true Messiah:

ISAIAH 19:23-25
23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance
.

Just as Jacob found refuge (at least for a time) with his Uncle Laban, and was protected from the hostilities of Esau, we know that in these last days Israel as a people, specifically, the remnant of Israel that will come to faith in the Messiah (HOS 5:15) will find refuge from the anti-Christ – and no doubt various Muslim nations that will perceive him as their own version of the Messiah, the Mahdi and thus in alliance, in seeking Israel’s ultimate destruction – in the place known as Bozrah or Petra in Jordan (MICAH 2:12; ISAIAH 26:20-21).

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