Summary: As we continue our series in the Book of Genesis, here we see Esau lose his birthright to Isaac.
Text: Genesis 27:1-29
By: Ken McKinley
Now before we begin this morning, I want to remind you of chapter 25… it was in chapter 25 where we read about how Jacob stole Esau’s birthright. Remember? Esau was more concerned about the flesh, and fleshly desires than he was about his own birthright. We also read in chapter 25 that God had told Rebekah that Jacob was going to inherit the covenant promises. So we need to keep those things in mind as we read our text this morning, because they will serve as a backdrop to what we’re going to see.
So we know that Esau was worldly and that he was the kind of guy who only wanted what HE wanted, when he wanted it. But when we read through this… it’s actually Jacob who ends up looking like the real scum-bag of the story. And we’re never told if Isaac was made aware of what God told Rebekah about the older serving the younger… and we don’t know if Isaac knew about Esau selling his birthright to Jacob. But we do know that Isaac loved Esau, and that Rebekah loved Jacob. And I’ve heard all kinds of sermons on how playing favorites with your kids can lead to trouble… but I’ve never heard a sermon on this text that discussed how Isaac didn’t even know what his kids were doing, and so if we’re going to say that playing favorites can lead to trouble… then we also need to say that fathers who aren’t a part of their kids’ lives can also lead to trouble. And I think both of those things are true, and we see them in our text.
So in verses 1 – 4, we see that Isaac plans on passing the covenant blessings on to Esau. And that’s simply the custom of the day. The oldest son got the majority of the inheritance. Now again; we are never told that Rebekah told Isaac about what the Lord said, so if Isaac was told, then we could assume that he was directly rebelling against God, but we can’t assume that because there’s no record of Rebekah telling him… instead, most likely, Isaac is just following – like I said, the customs of his day. And so Isaac calls Esau and tells him to go hunt some game and make him some food, and then he’ll bless him. And like I said a while ago; Jacob ends up looking like the dirt bag here, and Esau ends up looking pretty good. But let’s remember two things about Esau. 1st – we’ve already been told that he despised his birthright… that’s why he sold it. He would rather seek instant, worldly gratification. He cared more about satisfying his fleshly desires than he cared about the covenant. 2nd – He’s breaking his oath that he had made to Jacob back in Genesis 25:33… You can turn there and look at it if you want. He swore an oath to Jacob that Jacob would be the one to get the birthright. So in all actuality; it’s Esau who’s trying to steal the birthright. Jacob didn’t steal it… Esau sold it to him for a bowl of stew… now Esau’s trying to steal it back.
There’s something else I want you to see here in these first verses, that again shows us that Isaac was clueless about the way his son Esau was. Because he’s about to confer the covenant blessings upon a son who shows no spiritual interest in the meaning or significance of the covenant. Most likely; Esau wanted this because of the material things he would gain. In other words; the one who got the blessing, got the majority of Isaac’s possessions. Esau didn’t care at all about the covenant with God… he was worldly and driven by his fleshly nature.
That brings us to verses 5 – 17.
Rebekah hears what’s about to happen… and remember, she’s the one who heard God say, “The older will serve the younger.” And she knows that Isaac loves Esau… but she loves Jacob and so she hatches this plan for Jacob to be the one who gets the blessing. And so we have kind of a conundrum here. She knows that it’s supposed to be Jacob who gets the blessing, but Isaac is about to give it to Esau. Now she has options here… she could’ve gone to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to somehow intervene. She could’ve approached Isaac and told him exactly what the Lord had told her about Jacob being the one. But she doesn’t do either of those things. Instead she decides that she’s going to help God out, by doing things her way. Now the last time we saw something like that take place, we ended up with the Hagar and Ishmael mess. And Rebekah’s little plan… even though it works, ends up having some serious consequences. Esau is going to be so angry with his brother that he’s going to want to kill him. And it’s going to result in Jacob having to run away from his family, and go into hiding.