Oct 24

Part 56: Disobedience, Deceit, and the Grace of God

Todd Pruitt |Series: Genesis |Genesis 27:1-41

The events described in chapter 27 are tragic. What is unfolded before us is the dissolution of a family. And this is not just another family. It is the family of Isaac, the patriarch, the son of Abraham and father of Jacob. Isaac was the child of promise conceived by Abraham and Sarah via the miraculous intervention of God. In this way Isaac pre-figured the Covenant’s greatest Son, Jesus Christ conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin. Isaac was a man of faith. Having been taught well by his father, Isaac’s faith was demonstrated on that fateful day on Mt. Moriah. Later, before the birth of his sons, Isaac demonstrated great faith in the Lord by remaining in the Land during famine and entrusting his family and fortune to God’s care (Genesis 26).

But the Isaac we meet later in life, the aged father of Esau and Jacob, has not fared well as the Covenant representative. He seems to live for little more than comfort and roasted meat. Having known the Lord’s decree concerning his two sons (Genesis 25:23), Isaac determines to thwart the Lord’s will by giving the Covenant blessing to Esau instead. This helps explain his efforts to keep the blessing a secret rather than making it a public ceremony in the sight of the entire household which would have been far more fitting. It seems nearly inconceivable that Isaac, the man of faith, sought to undo the will of God.

But it is not Isaac only who misbehaved in this event. All four participants sinned boldly. Rebekah, knowing God’s will concerning Jacob, believed deceit and lies were appropriate means to bring about God’s will. Jacob, the chosen seed, joined in his mother’s deception. And Esau, having already demonstrated a complete disinterest in the Lord and his Covenant responded in rage, determining to murder his brother.

Yet, even through the disobedience and deceit of this family, God does not turn away from his Covenant. It is not that God does not care about the sins of his people. In fact, the actors in this drama will each have to bear the consequences of their sins. Isaac steps off the page of redemptive history. Rebekah will never see her beloved son Jacob again. Esau will live out his life as a Covenant outsider. And Jacob, though the chosen Covenant representative, will learn faithfulness through many trials and losses, becoming a victim of Laban’s deceit.

There is marvelously good news for saved sinners in this account. Once again, as is true in our own lives repeatedly, where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more. Though the ultimate fates of Rebekah and Esau are not known to us, Isaac is still remembered as a believing man (Hebrews 11:20). And Jacob, for all his wrestling with God and man, learned to walk humbly. God is not mocked. “If we deny him, he will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12b). That is, if we reject his Covenant promise, if we spurn his grace the Lord will give us the bitter fruit of unbelief. But if we believe, even when we fail miserably, “He remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

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