In our politically charged environment, it is commonplace to hear charges of falsehoods, out-of-context quotations, and other “bending of the truth” to support or denigrate a cause or candidate. While the Truth-O-Meter seems to be running on overdrive, some studies suggest we are willing to accept dishonesty if it promotes our own beliefs and agenda. In today’s passage, an elaborate and deceitful scheme is orchestrated to benefit one man at the expense of his brother.
- Has there ever been a time you were willing to lie to get your way? Have you ever seen someone do that?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 27:1-17 (ESV)
27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, 4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”
14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Knowing his life would soon end, what did Isaac seek to do to benefit his son Esau (vs. 4)?
- Overhearing Isaac’s conversation with Esau, what actions did Rebekah take to thwart Isaac’s plans (vss. 8-10, 13-17)? What phrase did Rebekah repeat to prompt Jacob to join her in the deception of Isaac (vss. 8, 13)?
- Reread verses 11-17. What characteristics of Jacob are revealed by this passage?
- Are there times in your life when you have compliantly or actively lied or disguised your identity in order to promote your agenda? Whose words and voice do you seek and follow most frequently?
RESPOND TO GOD
God spoke to Rebekah at the time of her troubled pregnancy telling her that the older son, Esau, would serve the younger, Jacob (Genesis 25:23). Despite this knowledge, Rebekah initiated a plot to deceive her husband to ensure that her favored son, Jacob, would receive the blessing traditionally given to the firstborn son, Esau. Though he initially raised questions about the potential penalties if caught, Jacob became an active participant in the scheme to lie to his father. Like Rebekah and Jacob, the words and voices we choose to hear and obey have far-reaching impacts on our lives and the lives of those close to us.
- Pray that God would give you insight and strength to be truthful when tempted to deceive others about your identity, actions, and source of success.