A Daily Genesis

Genesis 28:1-7

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 28:1a . . So Isaac sent for Jacob and blessed him. He instructed him:[/B]

This is the first time, at least on record, that Isaac has shown any real interest in Jacob's spiritual condition. You just have to wonder if Jacob received any religious instruction at all from his dad. I would not be surprised if Rebecca has been Jacob's only tutor up to this point.

Isaac went through a very traumatic experience. I think he was shaken, and it appears to have succeeded in bringing him back to his senses. Now he renders upon Jacob the full extent of Abraham's blessing; which he really should have done a long time ago.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 28:1b-4 . .You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father, and take a wife there from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.

. . . May El Shaddai bless you, make you fertile and numerous, so that you become an assembly of peoples. May He grant the blessing of Abraham to you and your offspring, that you may possess the land where you are sojourning, which God assigned to Abraham.[/B]

It would have been much wiser of course, if circumstances had permitted, to keep Jacob at home and dispatch a trusted servant up to Haran to fetch a wife back down to Canaan like Abraham did for Isaac. But at this point, I guess that option was out of the question. Isaac's patriarchal laxity is having quite a domino effect upon Jacob's future. He's going to be tricked into taking two wives, sisters at that, and squander twenty years of his life indentured to a very crafty, dishonest man.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 28:5 . .Then Isaac sent Jacob off, and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau.[/B]

I just have to wonder if Isaac would have thought of Laban at all if not for Rebecca putting a bug in his ear.

Not only was Laban an Aramean, but so were Abraham, Lot, Sarah, and Rebecca. The boys (Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and Esau) were born in Canaan. So of what country were they? Canaan wasn't a united sovereignty like the USA. It was a frontier territory. Along the coast were Philistine colonies; the remainder populated by many communities scattered all over the place much like Native American peoples were in America's early days.

I don't know about Ishmael and Esau, but Isaac and Jacob looked ahead to a future country that they would call home. That country didn't exist just yet in Jacob's day, but it would eventually, and he would be a somebody there-- Abraham's covenant guarantees it. Those men haven't missed out on anything. According to the New Testament's Jesus, they will all return some day and live in that land as citizens in land promised to Abraham.

"I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 8:11)

The writer of Hebrews said, that although those three men were pilgrims in Canaan, they will one day live inside it as citizens in a town of their own.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb 11:8-10)

I don't know exactly how much detail those men knew in their day; but that "city with foundations" is going to be some piece of work. (cf. Rev 21:2-27)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 28:6-7 . .When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, charging him, as he blessed him "You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women" and that Jacob had listened to his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram,[/B]

That had to shake Esau up even more. Up to this point, for many, many years, he had been daddy's little boy. Now, practically overnight, Jacob takes center stage. It must have been very disturbing and I have no doubt it made Esau feel extremely insecure; probably for the first time in his life.

Jacob listened to his parents. The difference between Jacob and Esau really shows in that respect. Esau did pretty much whatever he pleased. But Jacob wasn't like that. Even at 75 years old he took his parents advice. American kids today are famous for ignoring their parents guidance; and they usually end up regretting it too.

His dad was smart all along, but the boy was too immature at the time to see it. He thought smartness came packaged with youth. In his mind; older people were expendable, obsolete, and out of touch with reality. But education doesn't necessarily make one wise: just conceited.

Although Esau was Isaac's favorite, I really don't think he ever disciplined, scolded, nor lectured his eldest son for anything. I think he let Esau run wild so as to avoid stressing their relationship. Even though Esau's wives were a misery to Isaac and Rebecca, apparently no one ever spoke up and said anything about it till now; and as a result; Esau fell for one of the oldest ruses in the book:

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong;
Gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
-- Thomas Paine --

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