Old Testament Reading: Genesis 27 & 28
Psalms Reading: Psalm 16
New Testament Reading: Matthew 15
Genesis 28:15 – 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.
This is an appropriate text for me right now; in that it speaks to me in trusting God for the outcome. Genesis 27 and 28 tells the story of how Jacob stole his brother’s blessing after he had already manipulated Esau out of his birthright in Genesis 25.
I want to make mention that earlier in Genesis 25 Rebekah was concerned about her pregnancy because according to scripture, “The babies jostled with each other within her.”
When she inquired of the Lord, He told her, “Two nations are in your womb and two peoples within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.”
So, in the scripture from today (Genesis 27) we learn that Rebekah heard Isaac tell Esau to go out and hunt some wild game and prepare him a tasty meal. Afterward, Isaac was going to give Esau his blessing.
Rebekah took it upon herself to have Jacob go get two choice goats and she prepared a meal that Isaac would enjoy. She also used the goat skins to fool Isaac into believing that Jacob was indeed Esau – using the goat skins to make Jacob’s arms feel hairy. As a result of this trickery, Isaac blessed Jacob instead of Esau.
When Esau showed up, he found out that his father had already given his blessing to Jacob. When Esau pleaded for some sort of blessing the only hope that Isaac could give him was found in Genesis 27:39 & 40:
“Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness,
Away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword
And you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless,
You will throw his yoke from off your neck.”
Esau vowed that after his father had died, he would surely kill his brother Jacob.
The things that trouble us in life may not be to such an extreme, but there are some things that I believe we can learn from this story that may help us in times when we are unsure of our path.
I just got home from ReFUEL at Camp Mack. The theme was ‘Peace treaty’. The youth were challenged in many ways. One of the ways they were challenged was to not be in a hurry for the answer that you think God should give you.
Maybe the answer you were hoping for isn’t the one that God is prepared to give….. right now. We can be like Rebekah and try to manipulate the situation in order to achieve the outcome that we were hoping for. The question to ask is, “Is God working in that situation?” Does trying to manipulate the situation always work for the good?
We learn from Genesis 28 that Jacob had to take off and head for Paddan Aram. It was there that he was supposed to live and find a wife from the daughters of Laban. It was on the way there, in Bethel, that Jacob had a dream of a stairway resting on the earth and angels ascending and descending up and down that stairway. It was there that God reiterated the same promise that He had made to Abraham and Isaac. He said,
“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.
I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread
Out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.
All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring……”.
Genesis 28:13 & 14
So, from this story, I perceive that we should not be in a hurry to get the answer that we wish God would give. What if God’s plan for your life will end up the way that you would hope, but through a means that would be better for us in the long run.
Surely, we can see that even though Jacob went along with Rebekah’s plan to get the blessing through trickery, God still worked to bring His blessing upon Jacob, but at what cost.
Jacob had to wait 14 years for the wife he wanted. He had to work very hard to achieve the riches that he ended up with. Ultimately, when he went home years later, he was in fear for his life. Why? Because his brother vowed to kill him.
We will never know how God would have worked if Rebekah hadn’t resorted to tricking Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. It all worked out for Jacob and Esau. The elder (Esau) didn’t serve his younger brother Jacob. They did reconcile later, but the people from the land of Edom (descendants of Esau) did eventually serve Israel – a fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by God.
So, as I go through life. I want to make sure that I am praying for God’s guidance in my decisions. I don’t want to get in such a hurry that I try to manipulate the situation to create the outcome that I desire. This is so important to me. I need to try to be an example for my daughters, Hannah and Sofie, and others around me. If I am quick to do what I need to do to ensure an outcome, what does that teach others?
(Today and the rest of this week we will hear from various adults and young adults who were at reFuel this past weekend.)
Please also read Psalm 16. It speaks clearly of the refuge that we can find in the Lord. And ask yourself these questions:
- What is it in my life that I want from God?
- Am I being patient and prayerful when it comes to waiting for his timing?
- Is God your Refuge?
- Do others watching me see my trust in God?
- What can I learn of God from His Scriptures today?