John Stancliff - Genesis 27

Our studies in Genesis are rich. One of my favorite Gospel subjects is coming up. I think of our young people trying to get something out of Genesis 27, our study for this coming Wednesday. As an older brother put it, we have a chapter concerning an unwise father, an over-anxious mother, and two sons not professing. Both sons were deceitful, which complicates matters.

To me, it is one of the best illustrations of false religion we have in the Bible. Much of false religion is the result of being over anxious to help and save at the expense of truth. This incident happened right in the family God had chosen. All through the Bible from here on we sadly have illustrations of false religion demonstrated dramatically by those who professed to know better.

Any honest person is troubled by the tactics used in Genesis 27. Regardless of man, the will of the Lord prevailed in the end, but there can be innocent victims. It is good to remember this chapter was only about a natural blessing. Esau could have gotten the natural blessing and it would not have changed God’s choice of Jacob, the second born getting and being the spiritual blessing for generations to come. The religious world sadly teach that natural blessing and wealth are a token of God’s blessing.

Again our questions, “Is God’s will accomplished by deceit, lying, taking advantage of blindness, human appetites? Does the Holy Spirit lie? Did Jesus ever lie or tell a ‘white lie?’”

Genesis 27:1, “And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see… And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.”

This is the first occurrence of the word "love" in the Bible. It was in connection with a human sentiment, and it was causing Isaac to follow in a wrong direction. Jacob, not Esau was God’s choice to be the leader. Human love Genesis 25:28 was clouding what Isaac believed. He knew the elder was to serve the younger (Genesis 25:23). This was something Esau never did and Isaac knew that, but, oh, what he loved (savoury meat and his first born) was what he followed!

These parents were making a serious mistake with their family. Jacob favoured Esau. Sarah favoured Jacob. Genesis 25:28, this is a human mistake that can have serious consequences.

Psalms 69:6, "Let not them that wait on Thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek Thee be confounded (confused) for my sake, O God of Israel.”

Rebekah’s solution caused confusion, hatred, fear, fleeing, and shame. Those who are honest and know God, wait on Him to carry out His promises in His time are not ashamed. Those who are seeking God are not confused by the honest life or issue at hand. Verse 22, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, 'The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'”

One honestly seeking God and feeling they have found it yet witnessing this 27th chapter would be very confused by what Rebekah did, "This is supposed to be God’s way and people and yet what I see is like false Religion.”

David got his blessing the honourable way. God said, "I’ll put your enemies into your hands and you can do as you like." What seemed right to David was to leave it in God’s hands. David would not lift up his hand against Saul. God gave him the blessing without human planning, scheming, stealth, lying, or reasoning. David, at one stage was feeling so down he said, "I’ll yet perish at the hand of Saul.” Yet David never stooped to taking things into his own hands.

Isaac had a lack of discernment. Favouring someone affects judgement. He favoured Esau, and Sarah favoured Jacob. This lack of discernment must have been a very large item, or else, why couldn’t his wife go to him and visit concerning the matter? She seemed to understand God was wanting to use Jacob. She maybe understood God’s plan to some extent, and must have felt desperate in such a dilemma. What she chose to do was at a terrible cost to herself. I don’t think she ever saw Jacob again.

It is a tragedy if we are so pressed that we feel we have to use deception with those who have faith (or anyone) in order to accomplish the will of God!? There is something wrong. Maybe there is something wrong with their faith and also our faith? In Jacob’s situation, if God wanted him to get the blessing he could have gotten it in an honourable way. God would have seen to that.

A young girl (later went in the Work) wrote me about a problem her family were involved in as a result of lack of faith in God’s order. She also told me that it seemed they were all losing out (and they did). She said, "They don’t seem to have faith in God. They seem to feel they have to do it all and figure things out on their own." The result of this situation that she was ashamed of was a confusion to any one seeking God. Psalms 69:6, "Let not them that wait on Thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake...”

False religion says, "The end justifies the means." A Bingo or dance in the church basement is not so good, but it will raise money for the Church. The dance and entertainment aren’t so good, but it will keep the young folks. As with Abraham and Sarah, human reasoning got ahead of Divine intervention. When we take things into our own hands we confuse the issue. Those professing are ashamed of us and those looking on, seeking to find God’s way are confused. "This person is supposed to be serving God, but I don’t see any difference between them and the religious world.” (Psalms 69:6)

Types of false religion will come when we take our own way even if we are professing to serve God.

False religion is because people do not believe God means what He says. As in Judges 21:25, false region is started by, "every man doing what is right in his own eyes." Sarah felt she was doing what was right. Korah, in Moses day was doing what he felt was right in his own eyes, when he and others were saying to the workers, "You are taking too much on yourselves." This is typical of false religion.

Genesis 27:12, "My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver." He was a deceiver, but not worried about that, only that he might get caught! In the world today, the only sin they seem to see is the fear of getting caught. Sarah said the curse be on her. Others can’t take our blame on the judgement day.

False religion takes advantage of human weakness and tendencies:

Verse 1 - Blindness, "His eyes were dim.” People are blind in the world today and false religion prospers.

Verse 8 - Listening and obey the voice of man and not God, "My son, obey my voice." Jacob was 57 to 77 years old. He was old enough to stand on his own feet. He could have told his mother that he would not be a part of such deception and God would have honoured that and worked it out for him to get the natural blessing if He wanted it for Jacob.

Verse 9 - Human appetite. The flesh desires savoury meat. Esau was dynamic, a hunter with his stories, living from chance and excitement. Jacob loved that and favoured him. Rebekah favoured Jacob.

Verse 13 - Feeling someone else can take the blame for us. As with the religious world in Jesus day, that voice seems to be taking full responsibility. "Upon me be thy curse." Matthew 27:25, "His blood be upon us and our children.”

Verse 15 - Garments, robes satisfy human minds. The priest puts on the robe and then it is, "Holy Father.” A priest I knew very well told me he asked the housekeeper, "Do you believe in the Devil?" She replied, "I guess I do, I’m looking at him.” But when he puts the covering on it is, “Holy Father.” He realized something was wrong.

Verse 19 - Lying. Jacob told Isaac wrongly that he was the first born son, and then twice lied again about it. Jacob, (as the blind seeking truth today), had doubts about the authenticity of it all. "Are you my very son Esau or not?” Jacob lies again.

Verse 20 - “How is it that thou hast found it so quickly?” Jacob blames the Lord for what he did himself, “The Lord thy God brought it to me.” Ezekiel 13:6, “They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, 'The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them.'”

The religious world use God’s name as a cover up. The money for the shingles on the Church roof comes from a Bingo, but the claim is that "God provided.” "Praise the Lord!" A lady said, "God gave us this van." Her dad said, "Who is making the payments? I think you should thank your husband.”

Verse 21, “And Isaac said unto Jacob, 'Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son.'” Feels right. Blind people go by their feelings and false religion takes advantage of that. The hands felt right. Feelings can be deceiving. The sons of Aaron offered strange fire. "Feels the same, looks the same." Later Isaac said the smell was right, ah, but the voice isn’t right. Only going by human senses.

Verse 22, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, 'The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'” The actions, claims are not in harmony with the voice.

Verse 25, “he brought him wine, and he drank.” Wine brought into it. Affects the human judgement. World knows a deal gets signed more quickly over alcohol.

Verse 26, “Come near now, and kiss me, my son."

Verse 27, "And he came near, and kissed him:” Human senses. Judas kiss of betrayal, and then Jacob using a human sense, smell.

Again our questions, “Is God’s will accomplished by deceit, lying, taking advantage of blindness, human appetites? Does the Holy Spirit lie? Did Jesus ever lie or tell a ‘white lie?’”

This makes me question, what kind of copy letter am I of Christ? In the olden days I would get the 13th carbon copy of a letter. II Corinthians 3:3, "For as much as ye are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ…” Is it a letter that is clear to read and will not lead to confusion or embarrassment for any? Is it easy to have around or is it hard to look on and people are repulsed by it? Does it show partiality. Would we hurt someone? "You are least important in my life so get the 13th copy."