Giving God a hand - Hope 103.2

Giving God a hand

By David ReayFriday 22 Jan 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Genesis 27:5-10

5 But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, 6 she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. 9 Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. 10 Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.” (NLT)

This passage is part of one of the more sordid and sad parts of the Old Testament. Rebekah wants her younger son Jacob to get the ‘official’ blessing from her dying husband, Isaac. So an elaborate deceit is arranged whereby the blind father is tricked into giving his blessing to Jacob rather than Esau who was the older son and legally entitled to such a blessing.

What is interesting, though, is the fact that God had already indicated to Rebekah that Jacob would be the one blessed by God. Esau would not be neglected, but God’s great universal purposes would be furthered through the line of Jacob not Esau. It appears as if Rebekah was not content to let God work things out. She seems to want to give him a helping hand. And in doing so, she lied and deceived and caused Jacob’s life to be endangered.

A similar thing had happened earlier in the episode of Abraham and Sarah. Not content to wait for the birth of the promised son, they did a deal whereby the servant Hagar gave birth to a son more or less on Sarah’s behalf. That didn’t turn out well, though God’s overall purposes were not thwarted.

We sometimes want to give God a nudge and do all sorts of things so as to speed up his purposes. True, we do play a part in these purposes. But once we resort to impatience or deceit, we are expressing faithlessness. God can’t be trusted so we have to get involved. And so often we mess up. And so often, God doesn’t let our meddling derail his great and good plans.

David Reay