Peter Barnes: Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-40
SERMON NOTES: A RUTHLESS DECEIVER
– God does not necessarily choose the best – Gen.25:22-23; Rom.9:10-13; 1 Cor.1:26-31. For Esau, see Gen.26:34-35; Heb.12:16.
- Sin leads to division in the people of God.
– Isaac is the only one of the patriarchs who is married to one wife, but he still gets it wrong (25:28). Hence 27:1-10. Calvin refers to Rebekah’s ‘hasty zeal’, but that is being very generous.
– Tolstoy in Anna Karenina wrote: ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’
Sarah and Hagar contend in Gen.16:1-6. Jacob experiences tension between Rachel and Leah, his two wives in Gen.30:1-2.
- We should pursue God’s will in God’s way.
– Jacob deals harshly with his brother to obtain the birthright (Deut.21:17; Gen. 25:29-34).
– Genesis 27 tells of terrible deception and lies. On 27:21, Luther says that if he had been Jacob, he would have dropped the dish and run away. But Jacob kept his nerve.
– Rebekah never saw her favourite son, Jacob, again.
- God overrules in all things to achieve His purposes.
– Jacob has been blessed with the promise of prosperity (27:27-28), pre-eminence over the nations and the family (27:29a), and God’s protection in the world (27:29b).
– Rebekah sinned, Jacob sinned, Esau sinned, and poor Isaac sinned – but God used all their selfish and ungodly deeds to achieve His predestined purposes. We see this most graphically at the cross.