Summary: Jacob, Pt. 2
THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS (GENESIS 27:1-46)
In Italy, a man went to a priest and confessed. “Forgive me, Father,” he said, sobbing. “During World War II, I hid a refugee in my attic.”
“Well,” the priest replied, “That’s not a sin.”
“But,” the man admitted, “I made him pay rent.”
“That wasn’t very nice,” the priest said, “but you put yourself at risk.”
“Oh, thank you, Father,” the man said. “But I have one more question.”
“What is it?”
“Do you think I have to tell him the war is over?” (Reader’s Digest May, 1998 – Contributed by Anita Bartholomew)
A 39-year-old says it best: “If someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.” (Live and Learn, 12)
The path to God’s will is not one of subversion, but one of submission. Seeking God’s way, His timing and guidance, is a constant struggle and a lifetime lesson for a believer, but insubordination brings trouble into our lives, turmoil upon others, and reprove from God.
The co-dependent, high-octane and double-crossing relationship of the two brothers Jacob and Esau with their parents, as expected, was headed for an ugly confrontation, bad fall and sad ending. One of the twins would cry, one would flee, but both parents were heartbroken for individual reasons. Esau did not get better, Jacob got worse and the family disintegrated into pieces.
What is God’s way for the family? Why is it better to follow God’s way than to follow our instincts or to follow bad advice? How can relationships be saved, sustained and strengthened?
Trust in the Family and its Worth
27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son."
"Here I am," he answered. 2 Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your weapons--your quiver and bow--and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die." 5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. (Gen 27:1-5)
A mother crab was having a hard time teaching her young the right and dignified way to walk when they were scurrying at the beach one day. No matter how often and how hard she taught her son, he still did not get it right. In fact, he was way off mark and hopeless beyond correction. In desperation, the mother crab chastised him: “How many times do I have to tell you to walk straight! Stop walking sideways! It’s much more becoming to stroll forward than walk sideways.”
The equally frustrated young crab protested: “I will, Mother, just as soon as I see how. Show me how to walk, and I’ll walk like you.” (Adapted from William Bennett, The Moral Compass 522 NY:Simon & Schuster, 1995)
It’s been said, “The apple does not fall far from the tree,” meaning children take after their parents. The family is the crucible that shape a person’s personality, fortune and destiny. No doubt, the beliefs and behavior of parents are the most crucial factors in the development of a child’s future. Active, mature and godly parents are less likely to produce lazy, disruptive or rebellious kids.
Allen Ross, who wrote the excellent book “Creation and Blessings,” notes that in the six scenes through the three chapters of Genesis 25-27 the family was never in the same setting together at one time. They did not share a decent meal, a single moment or a positive experience together. In Genesis 27, the family members were always peeking through the door, plotting the next step, speaking in hush tones and undermining one another’s authority or actions.
The parents never checked with each other, talked about an issue together or solved a problem together. The mother “overheard” the father, the father decided without consultation and both parents spoke only to their favorite child. Rebekah, the mother, had an unmistakable part in the plot: she was the coach (v 9), the chef (v 9) and the costume designer (v 15).
The twins didn’t do any better. They were seconds apart in birth but miles apart in attitude, appearance and activity, not speaking to each other in chapter 27. The older stole his father’s heart but the younger stole his brother’s blessing.
Sadly, the family unit was on the verge of collapse because the family members did not value, uphold or share the greatest virtue in the family: trust. Without trust, any action or advice is worthless and the chances of improving one another’s lives are slim and hopeless. With trust, there is honesty, unity and respect in the family, and people are more willing and likely to listen to, lean on and look after one another.