January 20, Genesis 27-29

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27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak 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, “Look, I am old and do not know the day of my death. So now take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me. Then make me a delicious meal that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I can bless you before I die.”Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau. So while Esau went to the field to hunt some game to bring in, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen! I heard your father talking with your brother Esau. He said, ‘Bring me game and make a delicious meal for me to eat so that I can bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ Now, my son, listen to me and do what I tell you. Go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, and I will make them into a delicious meal for your father—the kind he loves. 10 Then take it to your father to eat so that he may bless you before he dies.”11 Jacob answered Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a man with smooth skin. 12 Suppose my father touches me. Then I will be revealed to him as a deceiver and bring a curse rather than a blessing on myself.”13 His mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey me and go get them for me.”14 So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were in the house, and had her younger son Jacob wear them. 16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the delicious food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.18 When he came to his father, he said, “My father.”And he answered, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”19 Jacob replied 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 bless me.”20 But Isaac said to his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”He replied, “Because the Lord your God made it happen for me.”21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau or not?”22 So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac. When he touched him, he said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24 Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”And he replied, “I am.”25 Then he said, “Bring it closer to me, and let me eat some of my son’s game so that I can bless you.” Jacob brought it closer to him, and he ate; he brought him wine, and he drank.26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came closer and kissed him. When Isaac smelled[a] his clothes, he blessed him and said:Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give to you—
from the dew of the sky
and from the richness of the land—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow in worship to you.
Be master over your relatives;
may your mother’s sons bow in worship to you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
and those who bless you will be blessed.30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had left the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau arrived from his hunting. 31 He had also made some delicious food and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.”32 But his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”He answered, “I am Esau your firstborn son.”33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably. “Who was it then,” he said, “who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it all before you came in, and I blessed him. Indeed, he will be blessed!”34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!”35 But he replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”36 So he said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?[b] For he has cheated me twice now. He took my birthright, and look, now he has taken my blessing.” Then he asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”37 But Isaac answered Esau, “Look, I have made him a master over you, have given him all of his relatives as his servants, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.[c]39 His father Isaac answered him,Look, your dwelling place will be
away from the richness of the land,
away from the dew of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you rebel,[d]
you will break his yoke from your neck.

Esau’s Anger

41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau determined in his heart: “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”42 When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen to me. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44 and stay with him for a few days until your brother’s anger subsides— 45 until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose you both in one day?”46 So Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick of my life because of these Hethite girls. If Jacob marries someone from around here,[e] like these Hethite girls, what good is my life?”

Jacob’s Departure

28 So Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite girl. Go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you become an assembly of peoples. May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” So Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.Esau noticed that Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to get a wife there. When he blessed him, Isaac commanded Jacob, “Do not marry a Canaanite girl.” And Jacob listened to his father and mother and went to Paddan-aram. Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, so Esau went to Ishmael and married, in addition to his other wives, Mahalath daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. She was the sister of Nebaioth.

Jacob at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He reached a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took one of the stones from the place, put it there at his head, and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground with its top reaching the sky, and God’s angels were going up and down on it. 13 The Lord was standing there beside him,[f] saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land on which you are lying. 14 Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.”18 Early in the morning Jacob took the stone that was near his head and set it up as a marker. He poured oil on top of it 19 and named the place Bethel,[g] though previously the city was named Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to you a tenth of all that you give me.”

Jacob Meets Rachel

29 Jacob resumed his journey[h] and went to the eastern country.[iHe looked and saw a well in a field. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it because the sheep were watered from this well. But a large stone covered the opening of the well. The shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep when all the flocks[j] were gathered there. Then they would return the stone to its place over the well’s opening.Jacob asked the men at the well, “My brothers! Where are you from?”“We’re from Haran,” they answered.“Do you know Laban grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked them.They answered, “We know him.”“Is he well?” Jacob asked.“Yes,” they said, “and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with his sheep.”Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.”But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.”While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep,[k] he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly.[l12 He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.

Jacob Deceived

13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then he took him to his house, and Jacob told him all that had happened.14 Laban said to him, “Yes, you are my own flesh and blood.”[m]After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had tender eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he answered Laban, “I’ll work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”19 Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Since my time is complete, give me my wife, so I can sleep with[n] her.” 22 So Laban invited all the men of the place and sponsored a feast. 23 That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.25 When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Wasn’t it for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?”26 Laban answered, “It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn. 27 Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger one in return for working yet another seven years for me.”28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week of celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 And Laban gave his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel also, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Jacob’s Sons

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to conceive. 32 Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben,[o] for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction; surely my husband will love me now.”33 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “The Lord heard that I am unloved and has given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon.[p]34 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “At last, my husband will become attached to me because I have borne three sons for him.” Therefore he was named Levi.[q]35 And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah.[r] Then Leah stopped having children.

Here we see deception at an all time low.  Jacob and Rebekah deceive Isaac.  Jacob deceives Isaac to receive the blessing.  Jacob even uses God’s name in vain.  In verse 20, Jacob says,  “Because the Lord your God made it happen for me.”  Many think taking God’s name in vain is simply saying “God” in an irreverent way, but it actually is ascribing to God something He didn’t say.  So when we say God told me to do this or that or God won’t allow me to do this or that we have to make certain it is God who said those things.

We see later in the reading today that Leah was blessed with bearing children because she was unloved.  If you feel unloved today know there is one who will always love you.  God is the all loving creator of the universe.  He loves you beyond your wildest dreams or being loved.  Rest in the fact that you have a heavenly father who loves you immensely.

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