Genesis 27: 1-40 – The World of the Text, Part Two

This week we are looking deeper at Genesis 27: 1-40, the story of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing.  Yesterday we looked at verses 1-29, and today we’ll look at verse 30-40.

As you can see, the effect of the blessing has already started.  Jacob has now received the authority as head of the household and Esau, and frankly, Issac, are crestfallen.  But once this has happened, there is no reverse of it, Jacob now has it all.  Issac summons a blessing for Esau, but nothing can undo what has been done.

One of the questions is why?  Why does it play out in this way?  What can we learn from this text?  There are a couple of reasons why many think we see it play out in such a way.  First, is Esau’s weakness. We see within the text earlier when he sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of soup.  The text says that he “despised” his birthright.  Carrying this legacy forward was going to be a difficult task.  We see that it would require great strength and many ways a willingness to survive.  Esau did not seem to possess that.

So, say what you will, we see Jacob does.  He reminds me of the parable of the unjust steward in the Gospels. That’s a passage that is hard to understand, but it seems to tell us that we should be wise and use the tools at our disposal to be faithful to the mission that God has given us. We see that Jacob, in his own ways, did just that.

But for me, the thing that I think that this passage shows us the most is how salvation is not something that comes from our works, but from God’s goodness.  Jacob had not earned His blessing or birthright.  He had not earned God’s trust or calling. Yet God gave them. God does not always (or often) use the “best,” in fact quite often in scripture He’ll use the ones you least expect, for this reason.

So He will receive the glory.  This is not about Jacobs’ goodness or Esau’s imperfection.  It is about God’s grace and how He can use even the most unlikely to further His plan.

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