Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XXIX

by Ed Urzi

“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. (Hebrews 11:20 HCSB).

Hebrews 11:20 offers an opportunity to consider the relationship that developed between Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, and Jacob as recorded in Genesis chapter twenty-seven. That portion of Scripture details a plot that was designed to divert Isaac’s inheritance from one son to another. However, there was a fifth Person who was present behind the scenes of that family drama, one who had been silently observing all that had taken place among these individuals. That fifth Person was God.

In seeking to engineer their preferred outcomes, each of these family members seem to have forgotten something important: if it wasn’t for God, there wouldn’t be any inheritance. Although everyone seemed to believe that “Isaac’s blessing” conferred some sort of irrevocable benefit, that did not obligate God to do anything. The reality is that Isaac could have granted his blessing to Esau (or anyone else), and it would have meant nothing if he or she was not God’s choice to receive it.

So, while each of these family members were busy pursuing their agendas, they were the ones who should have sought to get on board with God’s plan- and they were forfeiting their opportunity to honor God and fulfill His desire for their lives. We can illustrate this unfortunate reality with a look at Rebekah’s response to Jacob’s concern that his father might curse him for his role in this drama…

“But his mother replied, ‘Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you…'” (Genesis 27:13 NLT).

If we were to rephrase Rebekah’s answer in contemporary terms, we might understand her meaning to be this: “If your father figures out what’s going on and decides to put a curse on you, I’ll take that curse upon myself.” Unfortunately for Rebekah, that will turn out to be a very unwise vow.

That leads us to the next part of this scheme…

“So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread” (Genesis 27:14-17 NLT).

If we stop to consider everything Rebekah did to execute this strategy, it seems clear that she came up with a very skillful plan. We’ll see just how ingenious her plan was next.