Is it wrong for Jacob to steal Esau's birthright and the blessing from Isaac?


Clarify Share Report Asked September 15 2014 Open uri20170213 8254 1s7fwds Andre Johnson

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Stringio Steve VanDyke Director, Community Servants Missions Training School, TN
It is not good to deceive others, especially for your own gain. When looking at the story of Jacob and Esau, we are able to see the entire picture of God's plan, not just a story of a deceiver. 

Genesis 25 shows us that the twins Jacob and Esau were conceived in Rebekah, and they fought together within her womb. She asked why, and God answered in verse 23- "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger (Esau) than the other (Jacob), the older (Esau) shall serve the younger (Jacob)." This was God's plan and it shows his sovereignty. God chose Jacob, before he was born, to carry His covenant with Abraham and pass it on to the generations of God's people. 

Later in the story, as the boys grow up, verse 27 tells us that Esau was stronger- a hunter and a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man dwelling in tents. Dad (Isaac) loved Esau, and Mom (Rebekah) loved Jacob. God's spoken word had come true from verse 23.

The Bible goes on with their story- Esau came back home from hunting one day and was starving, and asked his brother Jacob to give him something to eat. Jacob then asked Esau to sell his birthright to him. Esau, for one meal, agreed to sell his birthright to Jacob, and so the Bible says that Esau despised his birthright (verse 34), meaning he did not think it was that important if he sold it for one meal. Again, God's foretelling of the two brothers was coming true.

The story continues in Genesis 27- as Isaac became older, the tradition was that before the patriarch of the family died, he would pass on the blessings to one of his sons. Isaac asked Esau to go out and kill some game and make him a meal, so that they could celebrate and give Esau his chosen blessing, the birthright usually of the oldest son. Esau probably remembered he had sold it to Jacob, but never said a thing about this, but probably figured he would take the blessings of his birthright anyways, so he agreed to do as his father told him and left to hunt some game. 

Rebekah, who loved Jacob, formed a plan to help Jacob get the blessings that were already his, and since Isaac could barely see anymore, she cooked a meal, helped Jacob feel and smell like Esau, so that Jacob could get the blessing of his father over Esau. The whole scenario plays out, and is of course very deceptive of Jacob and Rebekah, however, it plays into the plan of God from the beginning.

So Isaac, thinking he is blessing Esau, blesses Jacob, and finds out after Esau returns and the truth is revealed- Jacob had stolen his brother's blessing. Remember, Esau had sold his blessings as the firstborn to Jacob before, and was just as deceptive to try and keep the blessing for himself, even though he had no respect for it.

As wrong as it is to be deceptive and lie and covet, God uses the sinfulness of man to carry out his own plan. We naturally do not live for God, but for ourselves, and we try to have our own way rather than God's way. God knows this, and is able to use mankind's bad to work for good. We see this also in how Jacob's sons deal with his favorite son, Joseph later on in Genesis.

So, did Jacob steal Esau's blessing? Or was it already given to him by God? I believe that God's plan trumped man's plan.

September 19 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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