Summary: What happens when everyone does the wrong thing? We find that in this chapter - and how God gets His way despite our best efforts to mess up!
Do you ever find a situation where absolutely everybody does the wrong thing - and yet God still gets His way? That’s what we find in Genesis 27. Everyone - Isaac, Essau, Jacob, and Rebekah - all have plans they want hatched and so they go about trying to maneuver God’s blessing to their benefit.
In the end, though, God gets His way - just as He does in our life as well. The difference is, when you work against God you get burned, when you work with Him you get blessed.
Verses 1 - 4
This would have been like going out to a fancy restaurant. Isaac was frail but he wasn’t dieing - that didn’t happen for many more years.
Normally, a parent would have called all the kids together for the patriarchal blessing. This is not the same as the material inheritance or the birthright - nor is it the same as the covenant blessing. The patriarchal blessing was taken very seriously, though. And so did God - whomever Isaac blessed would be blessed.
It’s possible that given the grief Essau was causing Isaac led Isaac to bless Essau then send him away as Abraham did with the children of his other wife Keturah (chapter 25). Essau’s marriage to the Hittite women caused "grief" at the end of Chapter 26. Is it possible that Rebekah’s interference may have actually undid something that would have ended up being positive for her and Jacob?
Verses 5 - 10
Jacob exploits Isaac’s vulnerabilities and dulled senses (how else could you make goat taste like venison and goat hair feel like human hair and make Jacob sound like Essau?). Jacob is good at taking advantage of his relatives weak senses - Essau’s hunger and Isaac’s blindness.
Rebekah is no doubt remembering what God told her while the boys were still in the womb - namely that the older would serve the younger. She is thinking "oh no, God’s prophecy is going to fail if I don’t act!"
Verse 11- 13
Jacob seems reluctant to go along - was it because he was so self-righteous or was it that the scheme seemed doomed to failure?
Rebekah can’t really take the curse upon herself - but she may be talking about the consequences of being found out.
Verses 14 - 17
Rebekah has this all planned out - the costume, the props, even the make-up for this little charade that she wants Jacob to play out. Isn’t it amazing how far we will go to get what we want - especially if we can fool ourselves into thinking it is what God wants too - even if it means we lie and cheat and steal - "as long as I’m doing God’s will then any means will do!" Right.
Verses 18 - 20
You get the idea that although Isaac is blind he’s not dumb. It wouldn’t be normal to step out of the tent and find game standing there waiting to be killed. So Rebekah’s plan lacked a little timing - though they couldn’t chance that Essau might actually get lucky.
So then Jacob makes up an excuse - "oh, God found it for me." When we think we are doing God’s will - even if through our own efforts - it’s amazing how we interpret anything as being "from God." We need to be careful about that.
Isaac isn’t convinced so he wants to touch him.
Verse 22 - 26
Jacob doesn’t do a very good job on the voice of Essau - it shows that the hearing of Isaac is still pretty good - but not good enough, apparently.
So Isaac uses five tests: logic (how did you do it so fast), sound, his word (are you really me son?), and scent. Jacob only fails the voice test.
Notice the similarity of events - Jacob tricks Essau out of the birthright through his cooking - and tricks Isaac out of the blessing through cooking.
Verses 27 - 29
I’m not sure that Jacob would really want the first part of that blessing - to be described as smelling like a field would not be all that wonderful, I would think.
The elements of the blessing are pretty standard - blessings on the land and authority over others. It does hint, however, at the plan that God has for Jacob’s son - Judah, and his descendent, Jesus Christ.
Verses 30 - 31
The plan almost fails - right to the last second. As Jacob is leaving - probably to the strange stairs of Essau - in comes his brother. I wonder if Rebekah didn’t take her time finding the salt to delay Essau just enough.
Verse 32 - 34
I imagine Isaac was pretty shocked as the realization that he’s been hoodwinked dawns on him. To Isaac, the blessing was like a single use coupon - once he’d given it to Jacob that was it.