Today we see how lying, scheming, and manipulating ruins a family. Starting with Jacob talking Esau, a man driven by the flesh, into selling his birthright for a bowl of stew. “And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
When a famine hits the land, Isaac trusts the Lord and doesn’t flee to Egypt as his father Abraham did. But Isaac does follow in the footsteps of Abraham by lying to Abimelech about his wife saying, for his own protection, that she was his sister. However, the Lord protects Rebekah as He did Sarah. God is growing Isaac into a man of great faith like his father Abraham and using his wife in the process.
We see spiritual maturity in Isaac when disputes arise with the herdsmen of Gerar over wells they dug. Instead of fighting, Isaac trusts the Lord and simply keeps moving and digging more wells until the disputes stop. Then Isaac says, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” So the Lord blesses Isaac saying, “‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.’ So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”
Later, when Isaac falsely assumes that he is dying, Rebekah and Jacob lie and scheme to steal Esau’s blessing from Isaac instead of trusting the Lord. Remember, the Lord already told Rebekah that her older son Esau would serve her younger son Jacob (Genesis 25:23). However, since Rebekah and Jacob manipulate the situation, Esau wants to kill Jacob. So Jacob flees to his uncle Laban’s house. Rebekah instructs Jacob to stay with her brother a few days, but it’s twenty years before he returns home. It is possible that this is the last time that Jacob sees his mom.
Scheming never works out well for anyone, and sin always costs more than we want. Currently this family is severely broken. Yet, over time, we will see the Lord grow Jacob’s faith and restore the brokenness. However, before that happens, the family drama continues, and out of this messy family will come the twelve tribes of Israel, so keep reading! (Genesis 25:27-28:5)