Gleanings from the Bible: Genesis 24-36

If ever you wanted confirmation that God can use anyone for his purposes then the stories of Isaac and Jacob should suffice.

Isaac seems bland compared to Abraham. He repeats his father’s failure in passing his own wife off as his sister but otherwise there is very little to report. Rebekah is something of a schemer and it obviously rubs off on Jacob, famous for his wiliness and deception. Mind you, you don’t get the impression that it would take much to fool his father Isaac and brother Esau.

It reminds me of an offer I received by post to buy the shares that had been given to me by the NRMA motoring organisation for loyal membership. The offer went something like this: “Your shares are worth $5.50 each and we are offering you $4 per share if you will sell them now.” I don’t have to spell out my response do I?  Now just consider Jacob’s offer to Esau: “Our father’s blessing to you, as the elder, is for you to be a part of God’s blessing to the whole world — but I will offer you a bowl of soup for it.” And Esau thinks it’s a good deal! What’s more, when Jacob comes to claim the blessing by pretending to be Esau, their father, Isaac, blind though he is, can’t tell them apart!

Afterwards, when Jacob runs away to his Uncle Laban’s he finds that conniving and deception run in the family. It’s just that Jacob turns out to be better at it.

And yet, in it all, God is working out his purposes. The affirmation of his Covenant promises are woven throughout the narrative and Jacob, who has recognised their value, seems to be brought to the end of himself in a wrestling match, as he calls on God to bless him.

Esau is blessed and his family line in mentioned, but it is Jacob who becomes know as Israel and his children are, well, the Children of Israel.

You see, we don’t have to be perfect, but recognising the value of God’s blessings towards us makes all the difference!


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