The other day, my family was on vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN. I was not on this particular trip, but my wife relayed a comical story she overheard while out eating lunch with the family. On this particular day, they had chosen to go to The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grill. (If you’ve never been, I highly recommend the praline grilled pork chop. You can thank me later.) At the table beside beside them, were a group of ladies from Wisconsin.
Female Customer: “Excuse me, Mam. What do you call this drink here? It’s delicious!
Waitress: “Ummm. Sweet Tea.”
Female Customer: “What do you sweeten it with? This is wonderful!”
Waitress: “Ummm. Sugar…”
What are some foods associated with localities, and which ones have you tried? Which ones have you liked?
Evidently, Issac and Esau love a good meal. Just last week we read about Jacob and Esau’s trading a birth right for a bowl of soup. I can sympathize. I love a good meal too. In these verses, we see God’s covenant plans continue over the setting of a meal. Through theses verses, we see that God is merciful to use even the most unlikely people to build His kingdom.
I. God’s plan continues through a dysfunctional family (Gen. 27:1-10)
Remember last week we saw that Esau, who would’ve normally received the birthright and family blessing gave this up to Jacob, who manipulated these away from Esau through a bowl of soup. However, Isaac intended to bestow this blessing on Esau, not Jacob because Esau was his favorite after all.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me,4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” 5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.”
Evidently, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. last week we saw Esau act impulsively over food, this week, his father is doing the same. Gen. 25:28 says that, “Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game.” This plays into the narrative above. Despite God’s pronouncement over Rebekah and Jacob and Essau’s soup-gate, Isaac still plans on Esau receiving the family blessing.
QUES: How does Isaac’s family show it is dysfunctional?
Isaac may not seem to be much to blame here, but his inviting of only one son to the family blessing would have gone against custom. Rebekah picks favorites as well, but helping Jacob manipulate Isaac. Esau ignored the spiritual and only sought fleshly desires. Jacob was all too willing to live up to his name and take advantage of his older brother.
Families today are still plagued by sin. How?
Despite Isaac’s family and their sin, God still chose to work through them to accomplish his plans. He can do the same in our families today.
Ironically, God’s choice of Jacob was going to take place, even though it was occurring through the sins and dysfunction of Issac’s family.
God is not the author of sin (1 John 1:5) and never temps people to sin (James 1:13), but He is sovereign over sin. God can use sin and dysfunction to bring about His will, as we see here, but we see this most clearly in Jesus dying on the cross for our sin-the greatest evil of all time producing the greatest good.
II. God’s plan continues through a deceitful son (Gen. 27:18-20; 25-29)
18 So he (Jacob) went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.”
25 Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,
“See, the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!
28 May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth
and plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
Jacob and Rebekah quickly move into action and prepare a meal from a couple of goats from the family farm. They think through as many possible hindrances to their plan and begin to serve Isaac before Esau returns.
Isaac is suspicious, but Jacob hard heartedly responds that God was responsible for his quick success.
APP: Don’t pull God’s name into our sins.
Don’t overlook Isaac’s specific blessing in verse 29b – “Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.” This is directly against God’s pronouncement while the twins were in utero.
APP: If God has clearly spoken His will, we aught not seek to counter it.
Jacob proves, once again, to be completely unworthy of the promises of God given to him.
III. God’s plan continues through His mercy and grace (Gen. 28:10-15)
10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Once again, we see the sovereignty and faithfulness of God over His people. Considering Jacob’s unworthiness to receive anything from God, much less a blessing of this magnitude, we see God’s mercy as well as we see God’s covenant with Abraham enter its 3rd generation.
Mercy refers to God’s compassion. Both mercy and grace are undeserved, meaning humanity can do nothing to earn God’s mercy and grace. if one could, then it would no longer be the free gift of mercy or grace.
QUES: Is this the family you would expect God to use to bring about His redemptive plan? Why do you think he chose to work this way?
QUES: Do you have flaws that cause you to think God couldn’t save you or work through you? How are these addressed by the gospel?