Genesis 27:1-19: Cheat.
“When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for his elder son Esau and said to him, ‘My son.’ ‘Here I am,’ he answered. 2 Isaac said, ‘I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your equipment – your quiver and bow – and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.’ 5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 “Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.” 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so that I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.’ 11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.’ 13 His mother said to him, ‘My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.’ 14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her elder son Esau, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. 17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. 18 He went to his father and said, ‘My father.’ ‘Yes, my son,’ he answered. ‘Who is it?’ 19 Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.’” NIV UK
This story makes for disturbing reading. It is sad to see the active deception in this dysfunctional family. We want to believe better things of these Bible characters. But Bible families are real families. They are flawed. ‘All human life is here’, in this Book.
Rebekah’s actions are breathtakingly bad. She encouraged one of her sons, Jacob, to cheat his brother and deceive her husband, his father. Jacob himself was happy enough to go with the plot. He just didn’t want to appear as a deceiver. It seems to me, as I read this, that he wasn’t bothered about sinning. He just didn’t want the consequences.
Integrity involves the integration of the inner and outer worlds. Lack of integrity leads people to just ‘keep up appearances’. They don’t care what they are like or do, so long as they can hide the truth and get away with stuff. May God keep each one of us from such a cavalier attitude towards truth.
‘The birthright had been already promised to Jacob, and there was no need for him to win it by fraud!’
PRAYER: Lord, keep me honest.