Abraham’s part in the divine drama draws to a close (vv 1-11). As he dies the text notes, “God blessed his son Isaac after this.” This is a legacy that every parent desires, that God would watch over our children and assist them to succeed in all the aspects of life that matter.Read More
In Isaac’s life we see some repeat behaviors and events like those in his father Abraham’s life. Perhaps it is a bit “like father, like son”, but mostly we see that the author is clearly recording that God is keeping his promises to the patriarch and his family.
Like Abraham in Genesis 12, Isaac has a direct encounter with the Lordwhile in a time of famine.Read More blessing, character, presence of God
As a result of Jacob and Rebekah’s deception Isaac’s blessing was given to Jacob rather than Esau.This passage has always generated very understandable questions. The principal question is: How does God allow Jacob to receive the birthright and the blessing from his father as the result of deception?Read More blessing, deception @en, God’s faithfulness
The recognition that the blessing has been taken from him leads to Esau’s loud bitter cry, “Bless me—me too, my father!” The blessing he does receive from his father (27:39-40) in no way satisfies him. The grudge against his brother is deepened and he vows to kill Jacob when Isaac is dead (27:41).Read More consequences, deception @en, family conflict
Jacob leaves on his lengthy journey from Beersheba to Haran—an overland journey from the Negev desert in Israel to a southern province in modern day Turkey. Proceeding northward he comes to the region north of Jerusalem’s current location. There he rests for the evening on a stone pillow.In a divine dream he sees a stairway connecting earth and heaven and angels of God moving up and down. It’s no wonder Jacob views this as “the gate of heaven.”Read More blessing, covenant, God’s presence
As he moves closer to his uncle Laban’s territory near Haran, Jacob’s heart and mind are filled with the blessing of his father and the promise from his encounter with God. He arrives at a well, covered by a large stone. In a manner very similar to how his grandfather Abraham’s servant had been divinely directed to meet Rebekah so she could be Isaac’s wife, so Jacob arrives at a well where God has a divine appointment arranged.Read More blessing, guidance, joy
Jacob was no doubt especially joyful that his journey of discovery included a potential bride as beautiful as Rachel. However, he is about to see that the family issues of deception and envy are not entirely in the past.
Negative family traits, embedded in character, are difficult to overcome.Read More character, deception @en, family conflict
In the culture of the Ancient Near East at the time of Jacob, children—especially sons—brought status. Leah, “unloved” because she did not have Rachel’s beauty, was blessed by the Lord and she blessed Jacob with their first four sons. All their names speak of God recognizing her need and providing these children (29:31-35). The Lord shows how he watches over those who face partiality and rejection, just as he had done for Hagar (ch 16).Read More Ancient Near East, family conflict, underdogs
Through ingenuity, hard work and divine blessing Jacob is exceedingly prosperous (Genesis 30:25-43). This prosperity arises within a clear arrangement that Jacob had made with Laban to compensate for years of service. Nonetheless family intrigue is stirred up again as Jacob’s cousins begin to murmur that Jacob has taken advantage of their father. Jacob observes Laban was not as friendly as he had been before.(v 1-2).Read More deception @en, family conflict
Laban and his relatives set off in hot pursuit of Jacob’s party. They catch up to them in the hills of Gilead, a region east of the Jordan between the Dead Sea and the Sea of the Galilee. Before they have time to have an encounter the Lord intervenes by speaking to Laban in a dream. Laban is warned not to say a word to Jacob, not a threat or a promise. (vv 22-24). As he will communicate in his meeting with Jacob, he clearly understands he is to cause no harm to Jacob, although he could do so (v 30). Once again God is determined to protect his promised one.Read More family conflict, fusion spirituality