Hebrews 11:20, Genesis 27:1 – 40
I have to admit that when I first read Hebrews 11:20, I was confused. What I remembered of the story of Jacob and Esau’s blessing was that Isaac was tricked. I didn’t understand how the writer of Hebrews could say that Isaac did it by faith. As I reviewed the story in Genesis, I began to understand a little better. Have you read the account in Genesis? If not, please do. I am going to focus on verses 27 – 40 in particular.
Jacob received Esau’s blessing and when Esau discovered that Jacob stole his blessing, he was very upset. He insisted that Isaac give him a blessing, too. Isaac’s response in verse 33 is what caught my attention, “Who was it, then that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him – and indeed he will be blessed!” I love Isaac’s faith! His faith that God would honor his blessing was shown again in Esau’s blessing. He prophesized that Esau would will serve his brother, “But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from your neck.” Esau never was a servant of Jacob’s, but he was bound to him in anger. When we harbor unforgiveness, we are bound to it. That also explains why Isaac said that he would have the power to throw off the yoke, because only the person hanging on to the unforgiveness has the power to release the yoke and forgive. The only person that is yoked is the unforgiver. Isaac prophesized about Esau’s anger toward his brother and his eventual forgiveness toward him.
God had already revealed to Rebekkah when she was pregnant with Esau and Jacob that the older would serve the younger. Now, as Isaac was older and ready to bless his son, he trusted that God would fulfill the blessing. Do we trust God in that way? Can we have faith that God knows what He is doing, even when the outcome is different from what we desire or expect? Once Isaac realized what happened, he seemed to accept that this was the way it was going to be. Please keep in mind that Esau was Isaac’s favorite son. He didn’t ask God to take it back or give Esau a similar blessing. He trusted that this matter was in God’s hands. He trusted that God would do what He felt necessary.
This makes me think of the boy who received a part in the school musical. He really wanted a particular part, but was much better suited for another. The teacher assigning the parts saw a much larger picture and gave him the part that worked best for him. Sometimes that is the way it is with God. We can only see a small part of a larger picture, but God can see all.
What a beautiful lesson in faith and trust in God! Oh, how I pray that I will always be willing to accept what God feels is best for me, even if it turns out differently than I hoped.