Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XXVIII

by Ed Urzi

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

People who respect one another do not engage in plots and schemes like the one that unfolded between Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, and Jacob in Genesis chapter twenty-seven. You see, Rebekah immediately contacted her son Jacob after hearing of Isaac’s plan to bless Esau and said, “…listen to me as I command you” (Genesis 27:8 NASB).

Although Jacob will go on to become a willing participant in what follows, this tells us that Rebekah exercised her parental authority in an inappropriate manner by recruiting Jacob to carry out her plan to trick her elderly, blind husband. That plan to deceive Isaac involved taking some of the family’s livestock and turning it into a meal that was as good as anything her son Esau could hunt down on his own.

But even though Isaac was blind, he still maintained his other senses- and Jacob immediately brought that fact to Rebekah’s attention…

“‘But look,’ Jacob replied to Rebekah, ‘my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me'” (Genesis 27:11-12 NLT).

It’s important to look carefully at Jacob’s response in these verses. When Rebekah told Jacob about her plan to deceive Isaac, Jacob did not respond by saying, “Is that approach just, right, or fair?” Thus, it appears that Jacob held little concern for the ethics of this plan; instead, his only concern seemed to be, “What if I get caught?”

Now, before we continue, let’s take a moment to assess the players in this family drama…

  • First, we have Isaac, the family patriarch. Isaac sought to override God’s intent for his family’s spiritual heritage for one primary reason: “Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home…” (Genesis 25:28 NLT).
  • Next was Isaac’s son Esau. His lifestyle indicated that he was indifferent to the things of God. He was also willing to accept the benefits and privileges that went along with his status as the eldest son, even though he had earlier sold those rights for a bowl of stew.
  • Then there was Rebekah, Isaac’s wife. She was the mastermind behind this plot to cut Esau out of the traditional share of the family inheritance by deceiving her husband.
  • Finally, there was Jacob, Isaac’s other son. Jacob didn’t seem concerned about the morality of his actions as long as he could escape the negative consequences that might be associated with them.

Unfortunately, it appears that no one within this family sought to honor God or trust one another, thus leading to these negative family dynamics. However, there is another Person in this narrative who was seemingly forgotten by everyone else. We’ll meet that Person next.