A reading for Friday, September 25, 2015: Genesis 27:1-45.

If deception is a human characteristic, then this story clearly highlights how rampant it is. Each of the characters of the story seem to practice the art of deception...

Jacob is often the character most identified with the deception of stealing the birthright and the blessing. He is a liar and a cheat, hardly worthy of God's favor.

But notice that Rebekah, Jacob and Esau's mother, is also practicing deception. It is her plan to take the blessing from her first born son after she eavesdrops on a conversation between her husband and Esau. Perhaps Rebekah knows the history of the family in that Isaac himself was a second born son who received both the birthright and the blessing over his brother Ishmael.

When he finds out what has happened, even Esau has some deception at play. Give me a blessing too, he says, knowing full well the impossibility of such an ask. He plans to kill Jacob upon his father's death, surely not the action of one under the authority of his younger brothers authority. Deception!

Finally, even Isaac himself has something up his sleeve. He seems to know something is up the whole time... "Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not." "The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." "Are you really my son Esau?" Perhaps Isaac has hatched this plan with Rebekah all along, as a "second son birth-righted blessed" and out of concern that Jacob is yet an unmarried 40-year old who seems content to sit around all day doing nothing? Could it be that this deceptive master plan has been designed to send Jacob to his uncle Laban as an attempt to "get him out of the house?"

This is one of the most human stories in all the Old Testament because it shows our penchant for deception. Isn't it truly amazing to see how the faithfulness of God is not dependent on the righteousness of human beings. Nobody in this story is found to be worthy of God's birthright and blessing. Why would God bless any of this from that perspective? And yet God is faithful still and the blessing for all the world through God's people continues to march ever forward.

The good news is that God continues to work that blessing through you and I, no matter how deceptive we might sometimes be. God is ever more faithful that we are, and we are grateful!


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