But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away— until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Genesis 27:42-45a
Jacob’s deception doesn’t stop at the bowl of stew for the inheritance. Later when their father, Isaac, is old, poor in eyesight, and about to die, the time comes to give the family blessing to the firstborn son. This is a big thing! It is like the head of household transfer. Isaac tells Esau to go hunt game to prepare a meal and he will receive his blessing.
Though God had already told Rebekah (the mother of the twins) that Esau (the elder) would serve Jacob (the younger), she conspires with Jacob to deceive Isaac into giving him the blessing. She encourages Jacob to pretend to be Esau, complete with putting goatskins on his body to be hairy like Esau. It works. Jacob gets the blessing.
Naturally, Esau is angry, causing Jacob to escape to the land of Rebekah’s family to avoid Esau’s revenge. Jacob may have gotten the blessing, but now he is fleeing the place he grew up and his family for fear of his life.
But God uses all of it. His plans won’t and can’t be deterred by our bad decisions. The Messiah who will make all things right is coming from this family line; from the heel-grabber currently running for his life.
God’s flawless plan is worked out through incredibly flawed people. We get to rest in knowing that God has a purpose for us and it doesn’t depend on us being perfect (we never will be!) or manipulating our way into it.
Questions: Did you ever think the family line of Jesus was surely full of upstanding people who always did the right thing? Does it surprise you that Jacob plays such an important role in the story of Jesus, given his early deception?