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Monday, November 17, 2014

Oh What a Tangled Web

Jacob repaid for his deception, Jacob and Esau, Older Brother's blessing, Genesis
image: Billy Frank Alexander
To read insights for last week's study, scroll to the bottom of the page HERE.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!" Walter Scott 

Not all things in life happen with equality. Some rewards and punishments must wait for heaven. 

But deception often brings earthly results. 

The Bible gives us an excellent example: Jacob and his mother successfully tricked Isaac into giving Jacob his older brother's blessing (Genesis 27). 

Fast forward and we find that Jacob meets his match. After working seven years to marry Rachel, her father Laban tricks Jacob into marrying her older sister Leah. 

Jacob stole his older brother's blessing and ended up as "the older sister's blessing" (Genesis 29:16-27). 

God seemed to approve of Jacobs's consequences by blessing Leah with many children and placing her in the linage of Christ* (Genesis 35:23-24).

Galatians 6:7 will eventually prove true, either here on earth or in heaven: "God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." 
* Through her son Judah

Bible Study 

This passage is interesting in that it reveals an in-depth look at deception. 

1. What underlying sin motivated Rebekah's plot to deceive Isaac? The following verse contains an important clue.

Genesis 25:21-23: Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

2. Did Jacob's conscience bother him?

Genesis 27:6-13: Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”

11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” 

13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”

Please work through study before reading these insights

1. God told Rebekah that Esau would serve Jacob, but she didn't trust God. She took things into her own hands despite God's words. We always make a mess of things when we take things into our own hands instead of leaving them to God.

2. Jacob had no conscience about lying to his father but feared getting caught. This is often the case with deceivers (note especially verses 11-12). In Genesis 39:6-10 note Joseph's reasons for not sinning with Potiphar's wife and compare them to Jacob's. Joseph speaks of violating Potiphar's trust and sinning against God. And that's why Joseph turned from sin and Jacob embraced it.  

Note verse 13. Rebekah did have "the curse" fall on her in the sense that she was separated from Jacob, her favorite son, because their deception angered Esau (Genesis 27:41-46) and she never saw Jacob again. In addition, she is known in Scripture as a deceptive, domineering mother who showed disrespect to her blind husband.  copyright, 2014, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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