Title: Man’s Plans and the Sovereignty of God
Text: Genesis 27.1-40
CIT: Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Esau try to enact their own plans.
CIS: We must be careful not to force the plans of God by manipulating circumstances around us.
Introduction: Isaac’s life; Future, present, past; Here’s what he knows:
- 25.23 – God’s prophecy and plan
- 25.33 – Sold his birthright
- 26.34 – Esau’s disqualification
Transition: And yet, with his knowledge of God’s plan, he sets it aside and pursues his own plan.
I. Isaac’s Plan (1-4)
exp.: rd 1-4; that my soul may bless you before I die. Isaac knows God’s election of Jacob, but instead pursues his own plan. But Rebecca was on the other side of the tent wall – and tent walls are rather thin. Added to that, at his old age, He probably spoke at a higher volume!
Transition: So, upon hearing of Isaac’s plan, she springs into action…
II. Rebecca’s Interception (5-17)
exp.: rd v 5-10; Her Plan: deceive Isaac
- The Meal (rd v 5-10, 14); Jacob’s Hesitation: not out of moral or ethical standards, but out of fear – a curse! (11-13)
- The Disguise: (15-17)
i. His clothes
ii. Animal skins;
iii. Sent him in…
III. Jacob’s Deception (18-25)
- Lie #1: I am Esau Your firstborn…
- Lie #2: The LORD your God granted me success… I think it’s something to lie, I think it’s something all together worse, when we make God an accomplice to our lies.
- Lie #3: When questioned if he really was “Esau my son”, Isaac Lied and said, “I am”
- The dinner
- Betrayed with a kiss; a smell like Esau’s
- Is it ok to lie to bring about God’s plan?
- Can you be dishonest in your financial gain in order to prosper your family or ministry?
- Do pastor’s have the right to fabricate illustrations to make a point valid?
- Is it ok to lie to foreign governments to do mission work where doors are closed to missionaries?
IV. The Blessing (26-29)
exp.: Here is a 4-fold blessing of dominion:
- Prosperity: heaven & earth working together to bring him plenty. (28)
- Prominence: over the nations (29a)
- Position: over his brother and his brother’s posterity. (29b)
- Protection: blessings and curses (29c); we’re reminded of Gen. 12.1-3; God blesses Abraham and it continues through Isaac’s son.
Transition: Blessings: The messiah and the church.
V. Esau’s Own Doing (30-40)
exp.: rd v 30-33; I wonder what this was like…; Isaac’s violent trembling and Esau’s anguish; rd 34-40;
- Opposite of Jacob’s blessings
o 2 Kings 8.20-22
Transition: Next week, we’ll pick up with Esau’s hatred and Jacob’s flight.
Observations & Implications:
- The actions of everyone were detestable
- Isaac sought to circumvent the plan of God and institute his own.
- Rebecca chose to deceive her husband and bring about God’s plans by her own.
- Jacob was complicit in his actions toward his father. He feared getting caught, not doing wrong.
- Esau disregarded the Word of God and actually began to despise the promise of God.
- Everyone was affected by their decisions (Hughes: Everyone in the family sought the blessings of God without bending the knee to God. This little family was fraught with ambition, jealousy, envy, lying, deceit, coveting, malice, manipulation, stubbornness, and stupidity.)
- Rebecca lost her favorite son, and as far as we know, never saw him again.
- Jacob was sent away and spent 20 years in exile. He would suffer the deception of his Uncle Laban.
- Esau lost his birthright and his blessing. He was saddled with hatred, bitterness and resentment.
- Isaac, blind in more than one way, blew up his family.
- There is something truly amazing about the sovereignty of God in the midst of our rebellion and disbelief. Isaac opposed God’s plan and sought to rectify things his way. Rebecca and Jacob conspired to deceive Jacob to get their way. Esau was simply indifferent to the promises of God. And yet, God was victorious. This should be a reminder to us of how to act in the present – God is sovereign. And toward our future. God is sovereign and I want to be used as a positive example – not a negative one!