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Sunday word: God may overlook a trick of purpose


Mankind has deceived one another many times. Tricks by chicanery are a common occurrence among us. Every act of deceit is meant to achieve a particular purpose. It will always be a bad deed to the victim, while it may look as a good move for the perpetrator. Many times we are misled to believe in things that will lead to our disappointment, or some betrayals and double-crossing acts that cheat us out of some perceived expectations. Treachery will always live among us.

Our scriptures carry many stories of deceitful acts meant to achieve wished for objectives. In some instances, those caught on the wrong side are duly punished while others suffer no consequences. We have the story of Esau and Jacob, the two sons of Isaac, son of Abraham. Esau was the elder brother of the two and as such it was his birthright to receive the prominent blessing before the Lord from the father. Furthermore the first born son would naturally get the most of any inheritance after the father’s death. In this instance treachery was used by the mother, Rebekah, to transfer the divine blessing from the father to Jacob, her favoured son. Yet Rebekah never received any rebuke from the Lord our God (Genesis chapter 27).

There was a set purpose to overlook the mother’s deceit against her own first born son, Esau. Rebekah’s act was meant to fulfill a set objective which was in fact put in place by the Lord our God. If we read from Genesis 25:21-23, we will get to the bottom of the matter. It reads: Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled within her; and she said, “If it is thus, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations (twin sons) are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger”.

God Himself had pronounced that “the elder shall serve the younger”, meaning that despite Esau being the elder brother, the Lord had instead ordained Jacob the younger sibling, to be the blessed one. Rebekah already knew of this in advance, hence she went on to trick her blind husband Isaac. This was to fulfill God’s already set purpose.

For those not in the know of the mechanics of the story, it goes like this: When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his older son Esau, and said to him, “My son”, and he answered, “Here I am”. He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me, and prepare for me savoury food, that I may eat it, and bless you before the Lord before I die”.

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game, and prepare for me savoury food, that I may eat it, and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. Go to the flock, and fetch me two good kids that I may prepare from them savoury food for your father, such as he loves; and you shall bring it to the your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies”.

But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing”. His mother replied, “Upon me be your curse, my son, only obey my word, and go, fetch them to me”. So he went and took them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savoury food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house and put them on Jacob her younger son; and the skins of the young goats she put upon his hands and upon the smooth part of his neck; and she gave the savoury food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

So Jacob went in to his father, and said, “My father”. And Isaac replied, “Here I am; who are you my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your first born. I have done as you told me, now sit up and eat of my game, that you may bless me”. But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success”. Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau”. And he did not recognise him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands (because of the goat skins he wore); so he blessed him. Isaac asked again, “Are you really my son Esau?” Jacob answered, “I am”. Then he said, “Bring it to me, so that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you”. So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son”. So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments and then blessed him (Genesis 27:1-27).

Indeed, Jacob’s kiss to his father was the kiss of deceit, and the smell of his garments was the smell of betrayal. It takes two to tango. Mother and son collaborated to trick Isaac and usurp the divine blessing earmarked for Esau. They are equally guilty of the conspiracy to trick.

No chicanery could be greater than this, yet the Lord our God allowed it to happen in fulfillment of a predetermined destiny. Moreso, the Lord is a God of forgiveness. He knows of the weaknesses of mankind and our propensity to sin. Instead of punishing us for our misdeeds continually, He thereafter decided to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from the punishments for such sins. Amen.

  • Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly – God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile/whatsapp: 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com

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