Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18 || The Treachery And Flight of Jacob
Deeper Life Search the Scripture 1 May 2022
ADULT STS LESSON 18 | The Treachery And Flight of Jacob
MEMORY VERSE: “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. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him” (Genesis 27:22,23).
TEXT: Genesis 27:1-46; 28:1-22
Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
Jacob committed sins of deceit and treachery against God, his father and twin brother. Acting on the ungodly counsel of his mother, he deceived his father to get the blessings meant for his brother, Esau. It needs be highlighted that there is nothing wrong for children to crave the blessings of their aged, dying parents.
It is a common practice in Bible day and in contemporary times for dying parents to bless their children and give a parting charge. This may be in form of bequeathing assets, offering prayers or giving final instructions. It could be recalled that Abraham gave gifts to his children from his concubines, “and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived” and “gave all that he had unto Isaac” (Genesis 25:6,5).
This was what Isaac tried to do in the text which would also serve as a pattern for succeeding patriarchs (Genesis 49:1,33). “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). However, the Lord frowns at obtaining such blessings by fraud. “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Proverbs 20: 17; Isaiah 57:21).
The text reveals that there was absence of peace and a looming tragedy in Isaac’s family that was averted, albeit temporarily, through the flight of Jacob to Padanaram on the counsel of his mother. Sin always generates crises that can destroy the sinner. God calls on all present-day counterparts of Jacob who are on the run for any crimes they committed to seek His mercy and forgiveness through Christ. “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin” (Ezekiel 18:30). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
JACOB’S TREACHERY AND BETRAYAL OF ESAU (Genesis 27:1-40; 25:31-33; Leviticus 19: 1 1; Psalm 5:6; 101:7; Proverbs 12:22; 21:6)
“Isaac was old” and “his eyes were dim.” Weakness and loss of sight often come with old age, although Moses enjoyed unparalleled strength in old age (Deuteronomy 34:7). At this time, Isaac was close to the end of his life on earth. Knowing that death could come at any time, he made arrangement bestow the paternal benediction on Esau, his older son, whom he also loved for the venison treats. He directed Esau to prepare a savoury meat, such as he loved before the solemn bestowal of the special blessing on him.
However, the plan to deceive Isaac was conceived and initiated by Rebekah. While pregnant, the babies had struggled in her womb. Worried, she had inquired of the Lord what the outcome would be for her babies. The promise was clear and unmistaken: two manners of people are in your womb, differing in their dispositions and destinies; “the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23).
The revelation was not intended to make her help God fulfil it. He is able to fulfil His word without any human instrumentality as the all-sufficient One, except where and when He chooses to. Even then, He does not inspire people to employ unrighteous means to accomplish His righteous purposes.
Jacob initially had a prick of conscience and feared that his father could discover his impersonation and pronounce a curse instead of blessing on him. “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and 1 am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me and not a blessing” (Genesis 27:11,12).
Rebekah assured him of her readiness to bear any curse that came from the deceit. Encouraged by these words, Jacob hatched the plot. Ungodly influence of parents on children can derail and ruin them. The Scripture’s command is to bring them up in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). Isaac was surprised and suspicious that the savoury meat was ready earlier than expected. “Who art thou, my son?”(Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18)
Isaac asked. “And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn” (verses 18, 19). This was a clear case of impersonation. To his father’s question on how he was able to make the venison quicker than expected, “he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me” (Genesis 27:20). Jacob lied, this time, against God (Exodus 20:7). He used the name of God to establish his lies and deception.
Like him, many religious people swear in the name of God to obtain official documents, deceive marriage partners, pastors, friends and fellow Christians. The Scripture forbids Christians from swearing or using the name of God and Christ in vain. God expects our ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to be truly so in speech and writing (Matthew 5:33-37; Revelation 21:8).
In the same vein, those who prophesy lies in the name of the Lord without being sent by Him are workers of iniquity who will be barred from the Kingdom of heaven. Thus, believers are commanded to try every spirit to avoid being deceived. Isaac grew up with the boys and knew their voices. Doubting the identity of the impostor, he said further, “Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.” His conclusion was that the voice was that of Jacob but the hands those of Esau. Before eating the special meal, he still enquired: “Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am” (Genesis 27:24).
Jacob sowed deceit and got the blessings; he sowed the wind and would later reap the whirlwind. After the meal, his father pronounced blessings on him. “…See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” (Genesis 27:27-29). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
The blessings were temporal and spiritual. They contained, first, fertility of land: “dew of heaven,” “fatness of the earth,” “plenty of corn and wine.” Second, numerous and powerful descendants (verse 29). He would be preeminent among his kindred and other nations of the world. Third, invincibility before foes: he could not be cursed, defeated or enslaved. The blessings pronounced were perpetual and irrevocable. As soon as Jacob received the blessings, Esau returned. He felt undone by the betrayal, especially as they were irretrievable. Thus he cried, “Hast thou but one blessing, my father? …”
With a lamentable voice, he pleaded: “bless me …also.” When it became obvious that the blessing would not come, he “lifted up his voice, and wept” (Genesis 27:38). His father blessed him also saying, “Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck” (Genesis 27:39,40).
The Bible warns against profanity such as Esau displayed by despising and selling his “birthright” for temporary satisfaction from food. “…For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:16, 17). Our spiritual birth came at a high cost: the death and resurrection of Christ.
With this experience, we are entitled to the inexhaustible blessings of God in life and hereafter. To mortgage this spiritual experience of salvation for employment, admission into educational institution, scholarship or any other privilege, opportunity or favour is profane. It is obvious that birthright is inseparably connected to inheritance of blessing. Any believer who loses his salvation experience will be disinherited from the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Hebrews 10:38,39). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
JACOB FLEES FROM CANAAN TO HARAN (Genesis 27:41-46; 28:1-9)
Parental preference causes trouble in the family. From this account, it appears that Isaac and Rebekah lacked unity of purpose in their children’s upbringing as each parent had a favourite. Parental favouritism, domineering nature of the wife and tractability of the head of the family have grave consequences in parenting (Genesis 37:3,4).
Christian parents must avoid these pitfalls and diligently heed the Scripture’s admonition:.”And, ye [parents], provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Treachery and crookedness beget strife. Esau brewed with anger and hatred over the loss of his birthright and blessings. Incensed by his brother’s betrayal, Esau devised a plan to eliminate him. His plot to kill Jacob filtered into the ears of his mother. She advised Jacob to flee to Laban her brother, calculating that distance and time would soothe Esau’s anger.
But “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19). Jacob’s flight was meant to be for “a few days,” until his brother had forgotten “that which thou hast done to him” (Genesis 27:44,45). Instead of just a few day as his mother thought, Jacob ended up spending twenty long years in a foreign land. He later learnt that time and distance would not atone for sins against God and fellow man as Esau still harboured murderous intention against him.
Forgiveness and reconciliation come to those who truly repent of their evil deeds. God will overlook past sins when we heed His universal command to turn away from them (Acts 17:30; 3:19). Those who fail to repent of their sinful lifestyle will surely be judged.(1 Timothy 5:24). Isaac came to realise that the paternal benediction flowed from the Spirit of God (Genesis 27:37).
He had also come to accept that it was divine providence that willed the blessing to Jacob. He therefore called for Jacob, blessed him and gave him a command. “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan” (Genesis 28:1). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
The seriousness with which the patriarchs adhered to divine instructions and passed them to their descendants is worthy of emulation. Recall that the seed of the woman was to come through the lineage of Jacob. God’s charge to believers of all ages is to marry “only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39) and not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). After hearing the charge his father gave his brother concerning marriage, “Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife” (Genesis 28:9).
JACOB ENCOUNTERS GOD AND RECEIVES THE PROMISE OF BLESSING (Genesis 28:10-22; 48:3; Numbers 23:10; Hosea 12:3; Malachi 3:10)
Although Jacob had employed ungodly means to accomplish his scheme, Esau was unworthy of the blessings for despising his birthright without genuine repentance (Hebrews 12: 16, 17). Jacob’s deceit and treachery led to his flight from home. His initial fear of bringing a curse upon himself did not happen as the betrayal was successfully hatched. He was however not free from the guilt and loneliness it brought.
On his way to Haran, Jacob encountered God. In a dream at night, he saw a ladder from earth to heaven, on which angels ascended and descended. “And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the Iand whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of” (Genesis 28:13-15). This encounter with God at Bethel was life-changing. The Lord affirmed the Abrahamic covenant with him and promised to bless, protect and bring him back safely. Filled with awe at the divine presence and the angelic hosts, Jacob declared that Bethel was the gate of heaven.
This was the first time he would have any direct revelation of God and relationship with Him. He responded positively by erecting a stone of memorial to God. Besides, “Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” (Genesis 28:20-22).
It is not enough to have godly parents, we must have personal encounter with God to receive salvation and other blessings He has for us. Like Jacob, believers should reciprocate divine benevolence by devoting their lives to serve God as well as honour Him with their tithe and offering (Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:10). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18
Questions for review:
1. What does God expect persons who are on the run for crimes they have committed to do?
2. What were the immediate consequences of Jacob’s deceit and treachery?
3, Explain how Jacob was able to obtain the blessings of the firstborn.
4. What blessings were pronounced on Jacob?
5. Give reasons for Esau’s unworthiness for the rights of the firstborn.
6. What can believers learn from Jacob’s encounter with God? 7. What is the meaning of Bethel?
Thanks for reading Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 1 May 2022 | Lesson 18