There is a journey from our desires to God’s. Have you ever been surprised about how the Bible comments on itself? The writer of Hebrews wants the recipients of the letter to keep the faith. To encourage them, he wrote about people who have kept the faith in the past. He included Isaac in this list.
Hebrews 11: 20 It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. But when I turn back to Genesis 27 and 28 to read that story, all I see shows a lack of faith, manipulation, and deception. Where is the faith in the blessings?
Story of Human Desire
Isaac and Rebekah had trouble conceiving children. God blessed them with twins. During the pregnancy, the babies struggled in the womb. Rebekah asked God why. Genesis 25: 23 And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.
Rebekah must have told Isaac what God had told her, but Isaac still wanted to bless his favorite, the older son, Esau. Rebekah responded by a plan of deception, which Jacob agreed to.
When Isaac realizes that he has blessed Jacob and not Esau, his response is interesting. Genesis 27:33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!”
Does Isaac know that God has had His way even with his scheming? Is the shaking a result of his awe of God? To his credit, Isaac does not try to undo the blessing he unknowingly gave the wrong son. I think he is beginning to realize that God is in control. We see in this story that there is a journey between our desires and God’s.
The Story of Faith
I think the story of faith comes between the first blessing of Jacob in Genesis 27 and his second blessing in Genesis 28. The first blessing was of human origin. It is not a bad thing to want blessings for our children, but we should be guided by God as we give them.
The first blessing resulted in a family split. Esau wants to kill Jacob. There will be consequences for Rebekah who willing took a curse on in her manipulations. Genesis 27: 13 But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!”
Rebekah continued to scheme and asked that Jacob go and look for a wife to get him away from Esau. She thinks this will only be for a short time, but it ended up being twenty years. She will die before Jacob returns and will not see her favorite son again.
Jacob, the deceiver, will meet his match in his Uncle Laban. He will receive a strong dose of his own medicine there and grow to trust God.
Renewal of the Covenantal Blessing
Isaac gives Jacob the blessing that God had first given to his father, Abraham. God had renewed the promise with Isaac and now Isaac continues this blessing to Jacob. Genesis 28:1So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, “You must not marry any of these Canaanite women. 2 Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters. 3 May God Almighty bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! 4 May God pass on to you and your descendants the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham.” 5 So Isaac sent Jacob away.
The Spiritual Journey of Faith
There is a spiritual journey between the two blessing for Isaac. He moved from wanting his own way to turning his will over to what God desired. We all travel the journey from our desires to God’s in our faith walk.
Perhaps you have lied and schemed to get your own way, but it didn’t turn out like you thought it would. Life may be a mess as a result. You don’t have to stay there. God is merciful and gracious when we ask for forgiveness with the attitude of changing. When we humble ourselves and turn our desires over to what God desires amazing things can happen.
Isaac was doing his own thing and tried to ignore what God wanted. God broke in and Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob that God wanted him to receive. The “blessing” of Esau, which sounded more like a curse, was allowed to stand. It described what Esau would become. If Isaac can be included in the faith chapter, we each have hope that God will intervene in our lives to build our faith.
To hear more about the faith of Isaac, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/faith-makes-a-difference-isaac