Isaac’s dependence upon his five senses resulted in deception, this provides a warning to all who depend on speculative evidence for truth.Genesis 27:30
— Jeffrey Perry (@bestfishingdad) July 22, 2014
“After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
~ I would recommend reading Genesis 27.
We can identify two major characteristics of Isaac in the first few verses of chapter 27, Isaac’s physical description and attitude description. Isaac’s physical description is of an old, weak man. We know from the first few verses in chapter 27 that Isaac was 40 years away from death and that he was nearly blind. Isaac’s death at 180 years is accounted for us in Genesis 35. Isaac was 137 years old at the time of this account. We know this because Isaac was 60 when Jacob and Esau were born (Genesis 25:26).
The attitude description is of a father that favored one child over the other. In Verses 5 and 6 notice the division within the family. We see how Isaac spoke to “His” son Esau. And Rebekah said to “Her” son Jacob. Throughout the blessing, Isaac repeats the phrase my son, perceiving it to be Esau. Even after the blessing, Isaac speaks to Esau directly in verse 37 and states, “So what can I possibly do for you, my son?” Isaac’s dependence upon his five senses resulted in his deception, and this provides a warning to all who would depend solely on speculative evidence for truth. John J. Davis states in his book Paradise to prison, “This dependence on his senses turned out to be his undoing.” The enemy has always provided impressive substitutes for the real thing, and unfortunately many do not discover the deception until tragedy has occurred. God in His all-knowing knew this would happen. Before Jacob and Esau were born, God said, “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” (Genesis 25:23).
Isaac’s natural desires were evidently more important to him than spiritual and moral values. We know Isaac had a thing for wild game (Gen 25:28) and here he placed his craving for food over the blessing. If Isaac wanted to bless his son, he would have called him in and blessed him. Instead, we read in Genesis 27:3 that there was a condition attached to the blessing, “Go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.” Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to go out to the open country to hunt and bring an offering to the Lord before the blessing? Matthew Henry makes an interesting comment in this section in his commentary, “Prayer is the work of the soul and not of the lips only; as the soul must be employed in blessing God, and so it must be in blessing ourselves and others. A blessing will not come to the heart, if it does not originate from the heart.” I conclude that Isaac’s spiritual condition seemed very self-seeking. He may have sensed that his days were numbered, so the nearly blind patriarch summoned his favored son to receive a final blessing in exchange for some venison. Isaac’s lack of spiritual discernment speaks for itself.
How can we apply this today?
While I read this narrative I tried to place myself in Isaac's shoes. He was aware what God had said, he knew the younger son would rule the older, but it seemed Isaac felt God was either wrong, or he did not want what God had said to come to pass. I pictured myself as a father with two boys. I imaged God speaking directly to me a divine revelation about one of the boy's. The illustrated revelation was, "The younger would be a professional in hockey." While the children grew up the oldest boy was very athletic and very eager to win in everything he did. This represents Esau in the narrative. The younger boy was a book nerd and was very unsociable. A complete contrast as was Jacob in the narrative. As time came to pass and the boys grew, the older was active in college hockey, whereas the other would watch, observe and ask a million questions about the game. It would seem logical that the older would fulfill the revelation and that God could have been wrong. It is natural to abandon faith in what God said and invest time and energy into the older boy throughout his college career in personal training and developing. Meanwhile, the younger son works as a coach to help for college. Next thing I know, my older son breaks his femur and ends his college hockey career while my younger son goes on to become a credited hockey coach winning 4 Stanley Cups.
In this illustrated story and the narrative in Genesis 27, the sin was placing trust in something other than what God had said. John J. Davis adds this thought from his book Paradise to prison, "Satan has for millennia provided impressive substitutes for the real thing, and unfortunately many do not discover the deception until tragedy has occurred." Some key principles are trust and faith in God. We must trust what God has said and not to get between the hammer and the work. During the waiting period we need to walk by faith and not by sight or in this case lack of.
When was a time that you tried to take back control over what God has placed on your heart?
Have you ever removed your yes that was placed on the table because it did not fit your preference?
God, you are for us and you only want what is best for us. Forgive us for placing our faith and trust in something other than what you have specifically called us for by your Spirit. Thank you for the life and example of Isaac and his family to learn from. God, empower us to live boldly for you and be patient while we wait for your timing. In Jesus name, AMEN.