Diverted Plan

Genesis 26:34-27:13

26:34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 26:35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. 2Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

5Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”

11Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” 13His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”

Childhood Dream

Pause for a moment. Look back to your childhood. How did you spend your time? Did you pretend to be adults? Young girls feed, dress and take care of dolls pretending to be mothers with babies. Young boys play with toy cars. What did you wish to be when you were young? Have you achieved your dream, yet?

Some have figured out their career path but many are still searching for it.

If you find no fulfillment in the career path you are taking, you keep shifting to another career until you find fulfillment. When you find contentment in your career, in your work, know and remember that it is God’s gift for you. Really?

The wisest king of Israel admonished us in Ecclesiastes 3:13: Find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

What does this verse imply? To find a career or job that we can enjoy, we have seek the help of God. Some may not agree but it has been observed that material wealth can never give us contentment. Whichever career we pursue, we may prosper or not yet, true contentment in life comes from the contented God.

Vacation leave is designed to have a break from work. But if you enjoy your work, you may not even think of taking a break or having vacation. By God’s grace, we can be happier even in our career or work. It’s God’s gift for believers.

How can enjoyment of work be learned? Church ministries are avenues to learn from. Before getting involved in church ministries, pray and ask guidance from God for you to discern which ministry you may prefer to be involved with.

See? To enjoy the ministry you may prefer, it testifies that Christ is at work in your life. When ministry involvement is motivated by human effort, it results to frustration, disappointment and resentment. Only by God’s grace we can enjoy it.

King Solomon teaches from his experience in Ecclesiastes 5:19: To accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.

With ministry involvement, we learn from those who enjoy serving the Lord in the ministry. When you learn to enjoy your ministry involvement, take the same life principle on how to find enjoyment in the ministry, and apply them in all the toils or labors that may face in your life, may it be at work or even at home.

The Lord prayed in John 17:15-17, My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

There are many problems in this world, and Christ prayed not for us to be removed from this problematic world but to be protected from the evil one and to be sanctified, to be purified by God’s word. Set apart, consecration, sanctification or purification by God’s words helps us to grow mature spiritually. Read the Bible.

As we mature in our faith, we grow to trust that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. One may ask: Does God really work for our good even with corrupt officials? Don’t we easily resist officials who don’t follow or abide with the law?

There’s a controversial story of Christian who escaped from an oppressive regime. Government officials did not want to issue him a passport. So, he used another man’s passport. When the immigration officer glanced at the passport picture and glanced at the man who handed it, he laughed in mockery.

The passport picture was fat person but the man who used the passport was very thin and sickly. For whatever reason, the immigration officer laughed sarcastically at the sickly traveller. He did not even suspect that the passport belonged to another person, so, he just approved the person’s departure.

It teaches in Proverbs 3:34, The Lord mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.

Mockery is a display of foolishness. The immigration officer was more concerned of mocking others than doing his responsibility. And God used that foolish mockery for the sickly passenger to escape from the oppressive country.

In James 3:13, Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Humility is a display of wisdom that comes from God. As Christ performs His lordship over our life, we don’t entertain mockery. He would inspire us to believe that God will take care of us, and we trust that He will certainly not ignore sarcasm against us. Avoid mockery and you avoid foolishness.

Has someone laughed at you when you failed? You’re walking with much confidence, then all of a sudden your toes hit something on the ground, you stumbled down, and people who were watching you laugh. It hurts much, right?

Why would God allow us to hurt our toes, stumble or fail in our plans?

We can learn from the lifestyle of Esau and Jacob. God dealt with Esau and Jacob very differently. The Lord loved Jacob but He hated Esau. Why? When Esau get married, his parents did not prevent him but his Hittite wives became the source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

1. Source

26:34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 

26:35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Why did Esau’s marriage to Hittite women cause his parents to grieve? It was his choice. He was an adult and did not ask for his parents’ consent. Well, should adults be required to seek parents’ consent when choosing a spouse?

Is it essential for parent to take part in the selection of spouses for their children?

It says in Proverbs 10:1, A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

And in Proverbs 17:25, A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

Those verses did not specifically mention choosing spouses but for sure, they include all aspects of life. Will your parents be glad if you get involved in illegal activities? Will your parents be glad if you marry someone from a family of people who persecute them or from a family of people involved in illegal activities?

Parents don’t necessarily reject for the sake of rejection. But in marriage, spouses become in-laws and part of the family. Parents are also concerned of the implication to their family and the name they have taken care of or preserved.

Soap Opera

In a “Soap Opera” or TV Drama series, two young lovers were surprised when the father of the woman appeared suddenly before them. The young man introduced himself to the father: “I am the boyfriend of your daughter,” but his girlfriend denied it and said: “No, no! He is just an ordinary friend.”

The young man was hurt. Later, she called her boyfriend and explained that her parents want her to have a famous and financially secure boyfriend. The young man was a newly graduate and does not have much saving yet.

It’s very common drama storyline. Parents get involved in the love life of their children for whatever reason. They wish to establish, guard or extend their legacy perhaps. Such can be told with Esau’s marriage with the Hittites.

Isaac and Rebecca learned from experience that obedience to the Lord brought blessings to them. They may have observed that the Hittite wives of Esau influenced him to ignore or dishonor God that’s why they were saddened.

And, it happened that Isaac’s blessing was given to Jacob. Was it because Esau followed the lifestyle of his Hittite wives and he dishonored God?

Isaac planned to bless Esau when he speculated that he may die sooner.

2. Speculation

27:1When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. 2Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

Isaac was old and well advanced in years. He speculated that his days were getting shorter, and it’s time for him to bestow his blessing upon Esau.

Isaac favored Esau not just because he was the first son but maybe Isaac enjoyed the taste of wild games that Esau hunted. He may find it appropriate that giving his blessing should be celebrated with feasting of wild games.

It says in Genesis 25:28, Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Even though Isaac grieved because of Esau’s Hittite wives, it was very appropriate for him to give his blessing to Esau being the firstborn son. Jacob may not find good reasons to complain about it. Why did Isaac wait until he had grown very old and had weak eyes before he gave his blessing to Esau?

God has been very much involved in their life, for sure. The Lord declared when Rebecca was still pregnant with their twin sons in Genesis 25:23, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.

Interestingly, Rebekah favored Jacob. Most mothers favor children who help them in household chores. Similarly, Rebekah favored Jacob because he was helpful with household chores. Jacob may have taken over the responsibility to cook for the family so that Rebekah favored him.

Jacob was an expert cook. When Esau came home from hunting hungry, he salivated and exchanged his birth right with the stew that Jacob cooked. Jacob took advantage of the hungry Esau to take the right of the firstborn from him. Jacob took also the blessing that was supposed to be given to Esau.

Listen: The career we pursue can be a cause to lose blessing from God!

Esau was a great hunter. Jacob was a great cook.

Esau may have felt proud and confident that their father Isaac liked his hunting career. Yet, the same hunting career that Esau made him loved by his father was the very reason that he lost his birth right and blessing.

Did God ordain the right of the firstborn and Isaac’s blessing to be taken by Jacob as proofs that He loved Jacob and hated Esau?

It says in Malachi 1:2-3, Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated.”

Did God hate Esau because he married Hittite women? Or, did the Hittite women influence Esau to worship foreign gods and practice things that were abominable to the Lord? It was not about ethnicity of his wives that the Lord hated Esau. It’s Hittites’ practices of wickedness that the Lord cannot accept.

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth

In the genealogy of Jesus written in the Gospel of Matthew, most of the names listed were men. Amazingly, there were only names of women included: Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. All those 3 women were not Israelites. The inclusion of their names suggests that God is inclusive regardless of ethnicity.

Tamar was a daughter of Canaanite man married to the son of Judah. Judah commented about Tamar in Genesis 38:26: She is more righteous than I.

When the Lord ordered Joshua to destroy everything in Jericho, yet it says in Joshua 6:25, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho.

Pertaining to Ruth, Israelite women said to Naomi in Ruth 4:14-15, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

God is not prejudiced about other ethnic groups. Actually, Christ commands us to “go and make disciples to all nations.” The word “nations” is properly translated as “ethnic groups” which pertain to different “races or culture.”

We conclude that the Lord hated Esau because his Hittite wives may have influenced him to serve other gods and not necessarily because they’re Hittites.

Can we also conclude that the Lord allowed Jacob to have the blessing intended for Esau as proof the He loved Jacob and hated Esau?

Did God give Rebekah a scheme for Isaac’s blessing be given to Jacob?

3. Scheme

5Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”

11Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” 13His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”

If the scheme she planned brings curse, Rebekah was willing to take it because of her love for Jacob. Did she speculate or think of helping fulfill what God told her that the older will serve the younger? Can God bless Jacob even more without having the right of the firstborn and blessing from Esau?

Anyway, the offshoot of her scheme to their family was not very pleasant. When he heard that was deceived, Isaac was extremely distressed. When Esau learned that his blessing had been given to Jacob, he held grudges toward Jacob, and even planned to kill his brother.

Not waiting for God’s proper timing to accomplish His purposes in our life has unpleasant result. Such is our human independent nature. We want to be the boss, master, or lord of our life. We follow our desire which we assume as will of God. Even after we accepted Christ as Lord, we still want to take over our life.

Many are misguided in our interpretation of free will and submission to Christ.

King Saul Rejected

The misguided interpretation of God’s will is exemplified when the Lord instructed King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3, Attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.

It continued in 1 Samuel 15:9, But Saul and the army spared Agag king of the Amalekites and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

King Saul partially obeyed the Lord’s instruction. He found it hard to destroy the best sheep and cattle. He may have thought of getting rich faster. His life was full of resentment after his disobedience to the Lord’s instruction.

Likewise, Rebekah may have misinterpreted that Isaac’ blessing should be given to her favored son Jacob so that God’s declaration (the older will serve the younger) will be fulfilled. Her scheme brought distress to her family as a result.

Obeying the Lord’s instruction does not guarantee the absence of problem. But in the midst of difficulties, blessing is included if we obey Him. The problem we may face reveals the strength of our faith in God when we overcome it.

It says in Romans 2:9-11, There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil:  but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: For God does not show favoritism.

God’s commands are designed for us to experience His righteousness.

God is righteous so that He rewards obedience and punishes disobedience.

God is also gracious and merciful as exemplified in the crucifixion of Christ. When we accepted Christ as Savior, He saved us from eternal punishment, and when we allow Christ to perform His lordship over our life, He empowers us to obey His instruction, and through obedience, we experience more of His grace.

God’s grace, blessing and obedience to Him are inseparable.

So when we accidentally follow our human inclination, by His grace, God diverts our plan and lead us to the best design He has prepared for us.

When plans fail, ask Jesus to perform His Lordship over your life at all cost, and to redirect you to the best opportunity He wants you to experience.

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.