Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XXVII

by Ed Urzi

“Isaac had faith, and he promised blessings to Jacob and Esau” (Hebrews 11:20 CEV).

In view of Esau’s spiritual indifference, we may question why his father Isaac attempted to grant his patriarchal blessing to him. We might find one answer in the fact that Isaac simply liked Esau more than he liked his younger son, Jacob. For instance, Genesis 25:27-28 tells us that Esau was an outdoorsman and Isaac enjoyed eating what Esau brought back from his hunting trips. That may explain why Isaac issued the following directive…

“…get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 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” (Genesis 27:3-4 NIV).

Unfortunately, it seems that Isaac was willing to grant his family’s spiritual heritage to a son who didn’t really deserve it in exchange for a good meal. But what Isaac didn’t know was that a quick thinking counter-agent was monitoring that conversation. That person was now ready to make her own contribution to this family drama…

“But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, ‘Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’

Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies'” (Genesis 27:5-10 NLT).

Now, Isaac’s wife Rebekah could have reminded Esau and Isaac of what God told her while she was pregnant with Esau and his fraternal twin, Jacob. She could have told Esau that he no longer possessed his birthright as the oldest son because he earlier sold it to Jacob. But even if Rebekah didn’t want to confront them together, she could have stopped Esau before he left and spoken to Isaac privately.

Unfortunately, it appears that Rebekah was unwilling to communicate directly with Isaac and/or Esau in a truthful, loving manner. So, instead of speaking the truth in love and trusting God to handle the situation, Rebekah immediately launched a covert operation as soon as she heard what Isaac had in mind. However, we’ll soon see that Rebekah’s decision to undertake this stealth mission will actually make things worse.