We’ve been talking about the story of Jacob and Esau for about a month now. When God said to stop, I had no idea how long this red light would be. I think there’s a reason He doesn’t tell me these things….
This Sunday (6/24/12) and last (6/17/12), we’ve focused specifically on the way Jacob approached Isaac. Not just using Esau’s name, but for all intents and purposes, becoming Esau as he requested and received Isaac’s blessing. As I read the story from Genesis 27, a theme started popping out. Now 130 years old, Isaac was blind, which opened the door (in Rebekah’s mind) for Jacob to slip in and receive the blessing instead. Without his sense of sight, Isaac relied on his other senses to discern the identity of the one who approached him. Rebekah and Jacob seemed to know that Isaac would do this and had prepared to convince him, using three of his remaining four senses: touch, taste, and smell.
[Aside: The sense of hearing was the one difference between Jacob and Esau that couldn’t be changed, but Scripture devotes only verse specifically to Isaac’s sense of hearing (vs. 22). Instead of dwelling on what they couldn’t change, Rebekah and Jacob focused on what they could. I am so tempted to branch off onto this topic, but I’m going to save it for another time. You’re welcome.]
While Isaac depended on his senses to clarify identity, Jacob and Rebekah used them to confuse his judgment. Jacob did receive the blessing that Isaac had intended for Esau, but everyone – Jacob, Isaac, Esau, Rebekah, … – knew that it was not because of who Jacob was or what he deserved; rather, it was because of the worthiness of the name Jacob assumed as he approached Isaac.
I’m quite sure that, when Jacob came into Isaac’s presence, his knees were shaking and his voice was quivering (probably making him sound even less like Esau … stopping myself again from this tangent. Lol.) As Christians we are called to “fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace” (Heb 4:16a, AMP). No costume of any kind could trick God into blessing us… Just ask the Pharisees. Instead Jesus Himself stands with the Father, and calls us to come in His name – the only One worthy of blessing.
To be continued …
I’ll be posting a follow-up early in the week, so check back Tuesday-ish. I’ll be discussing the five senses and how they can help us understand what it means to approach God in Jesus’ name.