By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Jacob’s very name denotes that he was a deceiver, a liar, and a “heel grabber.”
The text today demonstrates him living up to that name. The deception begins, not with Jacob, but with Rebekah. Jacob and Esau’s own mother overheard Isaac’s desire to bless Esau as his firstborn and favorite son and she began to devise a plan to steal that for Jacob.
The firstborn blessing was more than a greater piece of the estate. The firstborn could receive two-thirds of the inheritance, the rights of the patriarch and the responsibilities of the religious duties over the family.
This blessing is something they would have contended over all their lives. Jacob heeded the poor counsel of his mother and cleverly prepared to deceive his father and steal the birthright for himself.
Warren Wiersbe points out that there are as many as six lies Jacob tells to his father in stealing the birthright.
Isn’t that the nature of sin — that it always breeds more sin?
First, he lied about his name. Isaac was likely suspicious at the outset but Jacob committed to his scheme and lied about who he was, pretending to be his brother.
Second, he then lied about the food that was prepared.
Thirdly, he even lied by claiming it was “my game” trying to convince Isaac once more that he was Esau back from a successful hunting trip.
Fourth, Jacob even invoked the Lord to further sell his lie. He gives false glory to God praising Him for bringing success to his hunt.
I fear many of us have tried this same blasphemy to sell a lie before. The fifth lie Jacob sold was wearing the goatskin that when Isaac drew him near he would even feel hairy like Esau.
This was a preplanned lie and he prepared for this moment with the skin. Finally, after Isaac had eaten and was nearly fully convinced he invited his son to come forward and kiss him.
Jacob’s plan had worked, Isaac smelled him and felt him and was convinced this was his son Esau. So, the sixth lie was his kissing and professing his love for his father.
His love was hypocritical and his kiss was merely another ploy to deceive his father and steal the birthright.
Jacob received the blessing stolen from Esau by deceiving his father and blaspheming God.
This was a moment that would mark Jacob’s life and destroy his reputation while wrecking his fraternal relationship with Esau.
Jacob may have received the blessing but how many curses did he bring upon himself and his family in the process.
No matter the end, his means could not be justified. Jacob had lived up to his name and sealed his reputation as the heel grabber who deceived his family and himself to steal what was not meant to be his.