Grace Over-Abounding Sin

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Genesis 27:1-271And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 2And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 3Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 4And make me savory meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. 5And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7Bring me venison, and make me savory meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death. 8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savory meat for thy father, such as he loveth: 10And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. 11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savory meat, such as his father loved. 15And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 16And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17And she gave the savory meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 19And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. 20And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me. 21And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. 24And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed: (Genesis 27:1‑27)
Isaac’s spiritual, as well as his physical sight, became dim in his old age, for we will always find that if there is any unjudged sin in our lives when we are young, it will become more apparent as we grow older. Isaac had loved venison, and loved Esau because of his venison, for many long years but now this fleshly desire almost caused him to make a great mistake. In fact, he would have missed the mind of God entirely if God had not come in and prevented it. The way in which God came in was surely very humbling to Isaac, but it reminds us once again of the faithfulness and grace of God in spite of all our failures.
Grace Abounds
Isaac asked Esau to make him savoury meat, and said that he would then bless him before he died. He seemed to forget how God had ordained that the blessing was to rest on Jacob his younger son and not on Esau (see Genesis 25:2323And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. (Genesis 25:23)). Jacob as usual planned and schemed, and this time his mother was with him in it. God would have seen to it that Jacob re­ceived the promised blessing in His own time, and it was not necessary for Jacob to deceive his poor old father to get it. There was nothing of faith in such an act, and we need hardly say that both Rebekah and Jacob had to reap bitterly for it. God overruled their plan, however, even though He did not, and could not, approve of it. In fact, this is the whole message of the Bible from cover to cover. It is where sin abounded that grace did much more abound (Romans 5:2020Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Romans 5:20)). Man’s record has always been one of sin — yes, sin abounding, while God’s record has al­ways been one of grace over-abound­ing all mankind’s sin. Surely no one but God could write such a book as the Bible, telling of His own divine love rising to its highest peak at the cross of Calvary, even when the heart of man came out at its worst. Yes, when man did his worst, then God did His best!
Blessing in the Path of Obedience
Jacob should not have told a lie even though his mother told him to do it. In this instance, he should have obeyed God first, for His Word says, “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 12:2222Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22)). She told him to get a kid of the goats, and she would make the savoury meat which his father wanted. Then she put skins on Jacob’s hands and neck so that he would feel like his hairy brother Esau, and cloth­ing him in Esau’s hunting suit, she sent him in to his father to get the blessing. How one lie leads to another and one deception to another! How much better to walk in “the paths of uprightness” and leave all the results with God, but Jacob told one lie after another and, strangely enough, he seemed to get what he wanted. But he only seemed to, for he reaped the results of this all his life. He was deceived by his uncle Laban many times — not just once — and then when he was old, his own sons deceived and lied to him. True, he got the blessing, but he would have got it without all this sorrow if he had waited God’s time.
These things may well be a lesson to us, for we are much like Jacob at times. We have plans of our own, and although we may not go as far as he did in deception, we sometimes try to get the blessing in a path of disobedi­ence. Remember, dear young reader, that the path of obedience is the path of happiness. God often tests His chil­dren’s faith, but He will always prove Himself worthy of all our trust.
Further Meditation
1. What did Jacob’s mother tell him to do for him to get the blessing from his father?
2. How did the types of lies that started in the life of Abraham grow in the life of Isaac and become even more elaborate in the life of Jacob?
3. In Twig the Collie by C. Massey, one of the two main characters digs himself a deeper and deeper hole with his lies. They all begin to unravel toward the end of the story and present a clear warning against lying lips that is healthy to hear. Besides that, there are many other important lessons in the book that make it well worthwhile.