You know, sometimes, it doesn’t matter how certain you are that God’s involved, and you’re simply trusting him, there’s still an element of doubt and fear that sits with you.
I guess that’s natural, though, isn’t it. I mean, we’re still physical beings, we have a physical, biological body – the part of us that is tied to this world and lives according to the world.
I’m not going to go into a lecture about the Body, Mind and Soul at the moment, it’s just too in depth, I don’t think I could fit it in a smaller blog post!
Everything we do in God involves faith, though. Faith is the knowledge that we have success in God, but it’s also more than that – Faith is what allows us to ignore the whims of the body, and of our physical self. Acting in Faith is breaking free of our worldly selves, and entering, even for just a brief moment, into the spiritual world of the Father. It is what draws us nearer to him.
Well, this is a long chapter, but it’s a fairly well-known story, too. Isaac’s getting on in years, and he calls Esau, his firstborn to him and asks him to prepare a meal. Esau goes off, but Rebekah’s eavesdropped, and quickly sets Jacob up, instead, to make sure that he can get Isaac’s blessing. Isaac does it, and gets the blessing from his father, and gets out of there just in time for Esau to come in with his prepared meal – and he’s not happy to find out that his little brother got in ahead of him, and has gotten one up on him a second time.
I have a little brother, and we don’t always get along that well, but I tell you what, I’m suddenly grateful to have mine rather than Jacob!
God did, though, make this promise right from the beginning, and we see the fulfilment of that promise in Isaac’s blessing to Esau. The original promise God made before they were born, was that the older would serve the younger, and we see Isaac confirm that in his blessing, that Jacob will be lord over his brothers, and he says in turn to Esau that he will serve his brother.
A lesson from Jacob’s perspective: Just because you might be on the bottom rung, doesn’t necessarily stop you from achieving God’s blessing. I’m certainly not advocating deception and lying to do so, but God’s got a plan in store either way.
From Esau’s perspective: He still was blessed, and he was actually blessed pretty strongly. Isaac told him that he would be away from the earth’s richness and the dew of heaven above, but the most important line of Esau’s blessing was still to come. He would grow restless and he would throw off his brother’s yoke. He would be free one day.
It wasn’t really much comfort to Esau at the time, though. He’s ready to kill his brother – so Jacob’s forced to flea back to Haran.
I really don’t think there’s a great way to paint Jacob in an positive picture in this chapter, it’s something that I’ve actually found quite surprising throughout Genesis, and I’m surprised that I never noticed it before. The characters aren’t just flawed, but at times they’re distinctly villainous. There are some actions in Genesis that really, it has to be said, were not good at all.
No human’s perfect. I take comfort in the fact that these guys, the people God picked out as his chosen ones, still screwed up. They might have made some mistakes – serious mistakes too, not just something minor – but they were still blessed.