Genesis 26:34 - 27:17
If you are like me, you have probably looked back and wondered what you were thinking when you made some choices. Part of the reason you look back and shake your head is because you are now a bit older and have learned some things along the way and would now never make the choice you made then. Another reason is because God has changed your heart and things that were acceptable years ago would never be acceptable now. It is interesting that we do things out of our human nature that seems perfectly natural and we don't think of how it is displeasing God. But when we give our lives over to Him and He changes us, our focus changes to how we can please Him rather than pleasing our own human desires. Today, I am continuing on through Genesis and I am looking at a decision that Jacob makes that brings tension between himself and his brother, Esau. Please turn to Genesis 26:34 - 27:17.
The first poor decision I want to point out is that Esau chose two of the Hittite women to be his wives. We are told that this becomes a source of grief for Isaac and Rebekah. We are not told exactly what they did that caused grief; however, I'm sure that their customs were different from how Isaac and Rebekah were raised. In fact, when it came time for Isaac to be married, Abraham made sure that Isaac wouldn't marry someone from the area; he had to marry someone from Abraham's family. This was probably to ensure that he would be marrying someone who honored God. I am pointing this out now because it is something that I will come back to in a few days. But this also shows that a decision we make that we feel is only affecting ourselves always has an affect on others.
Going on in these verses, we read that Isaac was ready to give Esau his blessing. This was an important ritual that was part of their culture. The oldest in the family would receive a blessing by their father before he passed on. If you have been following along with me in Genesis, you will remember that last week we looked at the fact that Jacob easily took Esau's birthright, which meant that he would be receiving the inheritance left by his father. So, now Rebekah was planning a way for Jacob to have Esau's blessing. The thing that caught my attention the most in this story is Jacob's reaction to his mother's plan. She wanted Jacob to receive the blessing, so she planned a way to trick Isaac into believing that Jacob was Esau. Jacob's reaction was not, "That would be wrong! I can't deceive my father that way!" No, his reaction was, "But he will know it is me because of my smooth skin." The idea that he would be deceiving his father wasn't the big issue for him, it was the fear that he would receive a curse instead of a blessing if he got caught.
That motivation could have caused him to make a decision to not follow along with this plan; however, since Rebekah removed that fear he went along with it. This is where our motives play an important part in our decision making. Are we motivated by the desire to please God, or are we motivated by our sinful desires? If the motivation is to please God, no matter what obstacles are removed to please our human desires, we will make the choice to please God. However, if our motives are to please our human desires, we will go in the direction of least resistance. This means that we will easily follow a path that will allow us to please our human nature as soon as we see a path open. Our definition of right and wrong will not match God's, it will match what gives our human nature pleasure. James 1:14-15 (NLT) says, "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death." Our human desires will lead us to sin; however, we can choose to be motivated by our desire to please our Creator.
Do you desire to please your human nature or God?
This post is linked with Sharing His Beauty and Monday Musings.