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Genesis 27:15-29 - Exposition

The stolen blessing: a domestic drama.-2. Isaac and Jacob, or the successful stratagem.

I. JACOB 'S DECEPTION OF ISAAC . Jacob's impersonation of Esau was—

1. Deftly prepared . The ingenious Rebekah, having dressed him in the fragrant festal robes of the princely hunter, covered his smooth skin with the soft, silky hide of the camel-goat, and put into his hand the simulated dainty dish which she had cooked. It is a melancholy thing when either woman's wit or man's sagacity is prostituted to unholy ends.

2. Boldly avowed . Entering his father's tent, and approaching within easy reach of the invalid's couch, at the same time imitating Esau's intonations, the heartless impostor calls upon his aged parent to arise and eat of his son's venison, in response to his father's inquiry also openly declaring himself to be Esau; in which was a fourfold offence—against his venerable father, against his absent brother, against himself, and against God. Never is a lie, and seldom is a sin of any kind, single or simple in its criminality. That scheme cannot be a good one of which the first act is a lie.

3. Persistently maintained . In the face of his father's searching interrogation, careful examination, and manifest trepidation, Jacob brazens out the imposture he had begun, covering his first falsehood by a second, and his second by a third, in which he Verges on the limits of blasphemy, allowing himself to be handled by his aged parent without betraying by a word or sign the base deception he was practicing, and at length capping his extraordinary wickedness by a solemn asseveration of his identity with Esau that carried with it in the hearing of Isaac much of the impressiveness and weight of an oath,—" I am thy very son Esau!" It is amazing to what depths of criminality those may fall who once step aside from the straight paths of virtue.

4. Completely successful . Critical as the ordeal was through which he passed, he was not detected So God sometimes allows wicked schemes to prosper, accomplishing his own designs thereby, though neither approving of the schemes nor holding the schemers guiltless.

II. ISAAC 'S BENEDICTION Or JACOB . The patriarchal blessing which Isaac uttered was—

1. Divinely inspired as to its origin. It was not within the power of Isaac to either conceive or express it in any arbitrarily selected moment, or in any particular way or place that he might determine. Least of all was it the production of -Isaac's ordinary faculties under the physical or mental impulse of delicious viands or paternal affection. It was the outcome of an unseen afflatus of the Divine Spirit upon the venerable patriarch's soul ( Hebrews 11:20 ).

2. Providentially directed as to its destination . Intended for the firstborn, it was pronounced upon the younger of his sons. Had Rebekah and Jacob not interposed with their miserable trick, there is reason to suppose that God would have discovered means of defeating the misguided patriarch's design; perhaps by laying an embargo upon his lips, as he did on Balaam ( Numbers 22:38 ); perhaps by miraculously guiding his speech, as afterwards he guided Jacob's hands ( Genesis 48:14 ). But nonetheless is the Divine finger discernible in carrying the heavenly blessing to its predestined recipient, that he does not interfere with Rebekah's craft, but allows it, beneath the guidance of his ordinary pro vide nce, to work out its appropriate result.

3. Richly laden as to its contents embraced

4. Absolutely permanent as to its duration . Though Isaac subsequently learnt of the deception which had been practiced towards him, he felt that the words he had spoken were beyond recall This was proof decisive that Isaac spake not of himself, but as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. His own benediction, uttered purely by and from himself, might, and, in the circumstances, probably would, have been revoked; the blessing of Jehovah transmitted through his undesigned act he had no power to cancel.


1. That those who attempt to deceive others are not infrequently themselves deceived.

2. That those who enter on a sinful course may speedily sink deeper into sin than they intended.

3. That deception practiced by a son against a father, at a mother's instigation, is a monstrous and unnatural display of wickedness.

4. That God can accomplish his own designs by means of man's crimes, without either relieving them of guilt or himself being the author of sin.

5. That the blessing of God maketh rich and addeth no sorrow therewith.

6. That the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

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