It all started with Jacob wrestling with Esau in his mother’s womb. Please see Genesis 25:20-26. Rebekah was unable to become pregnant. She was only able to become pregnant because God interceded on her behalf. So she became pregnant and she was aware something strange was going on inside her. She was alarmed about this as you might guess so she went to the Lord to ask Him what was going on. The Lord told her there twins inside her. He told her it was not just that twins were inside her but there were actually two nations inside that womb. The Lord told her clearly that the older of these twins inside her would serve the younger one. When the two boys were born and emerged the first one out was Esau but Jacob was clinging fast to Esau’s heel.
These things I mention above have set the course for Jacob. There is a discord between Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac wants his boy Esau to have the blessing because he was his favorite of the two children and Rebekah wants Jacob. In fact, she is fully in tune with what God wanted from the beginning and also Jacob was her little darling. The two were split on affections for their children. They were each deceiving or being underhanded toward their mate.
Now don’t forget too that earlier Jacob purchased the birthright from Esau because Esau really didn’t care about it. He only cared about the immediate fulfilling of his fleshly desires.
This Is a Hebrew narrative which is scenic. Action moves along from scene to scene. As chapter 27 opened up it looks like Isaac is ill and bedridden, maybe an invalid for some time and he thinks he may die any time. We see the scene that he wants that nice tasting venison. That is what he is thinking of and lusting for and so he wants Esau to get him the barbecued venison by hunting and preparing the meat. Isaac can then revel in the glory of his masculine hunter-man son and then he will give him the blessing. This is all coming from the flesh and not the spirit. The Characters are always the central element in the plot. Esau was a profane and materialistic person that didn’t care about spiritual things and yet Isaac wanted to give him the blessing because he thought Esau was the greater man and he favored that son. Isaac was not in tune at all with what God desired.
Enter Abraham… when Abraham knew that his days were short he looked for a wife for his son Isaac. That is what Isaac should have been doing for his sons. But the only thing on Isaac’s mind as he was getting old was getting that blessing to his favorite boy Esau. Even though he knew God meant for it to go to Jacob from when God told his wife at the beginning. Surely you don’t think Rebekah kept her conversations with God to herself. I believe Isaac was going against Gods will because I believe Isaac knew God’s will was to have Jacob receive the blessing. I believe Isaac knew this before Jacob was born and I believe Rebekah reminded him of this many times while the boys were growing up. It is inconceivable to think that Isaac was not aware of God’s words to his wife that “the older would serve the younger”. (Gen. 25:23) Can you imagine Rebekah not telling Isaac over and over again as they were butting heads over the two boys throughout their lives? I cannot.
I have referenced many commentaries about this and know there are countless Bible Scholars that also hold this view.
I believe Isaac knew who the birthright was to go to. He knew God’s will. Isaac was directly trying to go against God’s will and give it to Esau when it was meant for Jacob. Some say Isaac had no idea it was Jacob he was blessing instead of Esau but I’m not so sure that Issac didn’t kind of half catch on that it was Jacob. Remember in the scripture where Isaac said the voice was Jacobs but the hairy face was Esau’s?
I must admit that when reading this story some years ago it was all about Jacob stealing the blessing from Esau. Now, however, the situation looks different. We can see a man that was not depending on God. We can see a man that had forgotten about his dependence on God and he was acting fully in the flesh. He was trying to have his way and figured he could direct where the blessing would go. We can see lots of dysfunction going on in the story. Isaac was trying to deceive God. Jacob was trying to deceive Esau. Rebekah was trying to deceive Isaac and help God with His plan. Esau was just being a worldly man as usual.
The characters are contrasted with each other. Jacob and Rebekah both knew that God had chosen Jacob but they thought God couldn’t fulfill His purpose without their help. That was a mistake. The trickery goes on and the blessing goes to Jacob which is right where God wanted the blessing to go. In the next scene Esau was full of anger for not getting his blessing and wanted to kill Jacob. The plot resolution occurs as Jacob was sent away for his protection from his brother.
In the end we see that Isaac lived to be 180 years old and died in the presence of both of his sons. (Gen. 35:28)
We have witnessed here a permissive father and a controlling mother. We also have an errant older son and a deceptive younger son. As mentioned earlier this all looked like dysfunction. We must not forget that Isaac’s family is one of the most important in the Bible because God used it to build the nation of Israel. No family is perfect. Mine is not and surely yours is not either. God uses broken people from broken families to accomplish His perfect purpose. He chose to do that and chooses to do similar things today. God can use our brokenness to draw us closer to Him.
Let us all take the malfunctioning parts of our lives to the Lord for He will provide the healing and rebuilding and get us on the right path.
God bless your day,