We often focus on Jacob the cheat, as if his bad habit was restricted to him, only his doing. But when I look at those around him, it looks more like a family problem.

Firstly, the parents have favourites. Isaac loves his “first-born” Esau, maybe having a special regard for him because he was the elder. Jacob was Mama’s pet.

Spoilt pet!

When people encourage and teach children to deceive, they’re spoiling them.

Rebekah heard the father’s request that Esau make his special dish to serve Isaac and receive his parting blessing.

What did she do? Involve Jacob in a scheme to deceive. The young man was not around to hear the father’s request of his brother. He was himself a bit hesitant, knowing that, while the old man’s eyes did not see too well, his sense of touch would detect that Jacob was not his hairy skinned Esau.

The mother fixed  the” younger” son’s skin to make it feel hairy. She acted like someone cheating in an exam. She cooked Isaac’s favourite stew, gave to Jacob, and had him pretend that he was Esau. How deceitful! The mother made Jacob look real good, delivering the food much sooner than his Dad could have anticipated.

Jacob was the final liar, yes. He could have owned up when the father sensed that there was dissonance, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 

But he did not. When his father asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”

So yes, he stole Esau’s blessing. But he was prompted, and he had a lot of help.

 

Help us Lord, to neither deceive, not lead others into deceiving. Amen.

About Joan Delsol Meade

Unashamedly Christian, though not a Christian imperialist. A Dominican from Montserrat, Caribbean woman, home maker, pastor and community builder. Child advocate and sponsor

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