In Case You Missed It -- Genesis 27 & 28, Psalm 18
Psalm 18:26 communicates one way in which God deals with humanity: “to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.” God demonstrates shrewdness towards Isaac; through deviousness, Isaac would persuade his wife Rebekah to lie about being his sister, and through shrewdness, God gives Isaac’s blessing to his less preferred son. However, this story of Jacob taking Esau’s blessing is not a “what goes around, comes around” sort of account. The story is about God blessing Isaac, but through Jacob instead of his older son, Esau. For this to happen, Rebekah and her favored son, Jacob, hoodwink the deceiver Isaac. Though God is still blessing Isaac, He is also dealing shrewdly with him (and don’t worry, God will deal shrewdly with Jacob for his own deceptions shortly). Though Rebekah thankfully finds a way to protect Jacob from the murderous rage of Esau, this conflict between brothers will force Jacob away from the land of their parents. Rebekah will never see her favorite son again. God often does not make verbal judgement against the wrongs done in Genesis. Rather, the chaos we see implies God’s disdain for all of the broken ways in which the characters deal with neighbors and family. Though God is blessing the world through Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob, this does not mean that the consequences of evil are avoided. This story demonstrates God’s shrewdness and kindness intermingled. This is easy to miss when the Bible has so many messy stories. God never overlooks sin, but He is always eager to show kindness to the undeserving as well. Loving kindness is the driving force behind the promised blessings, which must always remain our focus as we read about the descendants of Abraham.