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#386 THE OVERULING POWER OF GRACE, GENESIS 27:30-46

In the last chapter, we learned how Isaac brought about such a state of confusion in his own household by his foolishness. In his appetite for worldly things, he ignored the clear oracles of God. As previously pointed out, the life of Abraham teaches us the doctrine of the election of God. God chose Abraham, drew him out, and brought him to the Promised Land.

The life of Isaac teaches us the work of regeneration. In regeneration, we must understand that it is all of the grace of God. Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham, would have forfeited and thwarted the coming of the Messiah through his foolish appetite for earthly things. If you and I are truly among the blessed of God, we are the spiritual sons of Abraham. Abraham, the father of the faithful, is a pattern of God working regeneration in the hearts of His people.

As God works out regeneration in the hearts of His people, and we see Isaac as a type of that regeneration, then we begin to understand our own hearts and why we have such tendencies toward the things of the flesh and this life. We see how God overrules all these things for our good. In this chapter, we have the tremendous lesson of the working of the flesh and the overruling power of grace.

We have seen how Jacob, taught by his own mother, deceived his father. This demonstrates the corrupt nature of the human heart. In this passage, GEN 27:30-46, the Word of God teaches us that if we sin against the Lord, "...be sure your sin will find you out," NUM 32:23. That lesson is so tremendously instilled in this portion of the chapter. Even though we are God’s dear children, we have that tendency to sin and do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord. That will not alter the fact that we are children. If you have children, and they are disobedient and rebellious, that does not alter the fact that they are your children, but it does alter how they will fare in the love of the father. They may wind up in his chastisement and discipline, but they still remain his children.

Jacob and Isaac were truly dear children of God, but the Lord did not leave their sins unnoticed. We will learn from this lesson that "be sure your sin will find you out." It is so important that we realize what God's Word teaches about His reward. The Lord says, "he shall reward every man according to his works," MAT 16:27. You and I are going to be rewarded, and that reward is sometimes very painful to the flesh because He rewards us for our iniquity in this life. Sometimes we have riddles in this life that we just don’t understand. "Why is it that the Lord allowed that person to do that thing to me?" If we look back, we can probably trace it to a sin for which the Lord is chastising us. He may be chastening us with the very thing in which we sinned.

In MAT 16:27, we read, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Do you think that what we do and what goes through our heart is immaterial? No, the Lord rewards us exactly according to our works. Jacob deceived his father, and what was his reward? His reward was that deceit followed him all the days of his life. His father-in-law deceived him ten times. At the end of his life, he found out that he had spent twenty years thinking his son Joseph was dead. His own children had deceived him. They had taken Joseph’s coat, dipped it in the blood of a goat, and brought it to their father to deceive him into thinking that Joseph had been slain. They had actually sold him as a slave into Egypt. They had deceived their father.

The Lord rewarded Jacob according to his doing. When you and I do things that are deceitful, the Lord will allow that very sin to haunt us all the days of our life. We might be loved, and the Lord may consider us His children, and we may very well be the children of God, but our sin will find us out.

God rewards every man according to his works. That reward is not only at the day of judgment, but also in this life. See that in PRO 13:21: "Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed." That is not in the day of judgment. That is in this life. When we have sinned, the evil that we have committed will pursue us all the days of our lives.

See how David's prayer is not only for God's protection from the wicked, but that God would reward the wicked according to their doings. PSA 28:4 states, "Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up." This is seen not only in practical life, but it is also what the Word of God teaches, and it is the lesson of our chapter.

The history of Isaac, Jacob, and Esau are an awesome record of how God rewards us in this life for our works. You and I are going to have the true reward of our own works in this life.

In GAL 6:7-9, we read, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [We all understand a little bit about farming. We know that you don’t go out and sow oats and harvest wheat. Whatever you put into the ground is what you harvest. That is so basic that Scripture uses that to teach us that whatever we sow, we are going to harvest.] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. [The Lord wants us to do from the heart what is right in the eyes of the Lord. He knows our hearts. We might be able to pull one over on another person or agency, and no one may ever know it. That same agency, however, comes back to haunt us. The Lord rewards us. That same situation comes back to us, and we must face it.] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." If we do what is right, the Lord says, we will reap if we faint not, if we do not give up.

Just yesterday, I had a man in my office, who said, "Ralph, I came here to tell you that for the help that you have given to me and my parents all these years, we have done nothing for you in return. I came here to reward you. I came here to bring you something in exchange." He left me a check.

I replied, "I want you to understand one thing. I believe the Lord has rewarded me."

He said, "But my conscience told me that I was not able to go any further without doing something to reward you."

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap." I reaped yesterday for good that I had done in helping a person years ago. The Lord says we will reap if we don’t become weary. We continue doing what is right. We continue sowing in love, and we will reap if we don’t faint.

God warns that we shall reap confusion if we sow with lies. If I go to do my assessment, and I don’t put on there what is true, the Lord says, "Be sure your sin will find you out," NUM 32:23. What will be the end? When I am caught, I may pay ten times more than what I thought I saved.

In HOS 10:12-14, it says, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children."

When the Lord brings confusion into our lives, and things come against us so that we cannot understand the riddle, we need to go back into our own lives and examine what we have done in the sight of the Lord. We must examine our own hearts and seek wherein we have brought this upon ourselves. Sometimes, we may have lied or cheated here or there, and no one saw it. The problem is, the Lord saw it. What is the end? The Lord says, "ye have eaten the fruit of lies [In other words, you have gained by telling a lie.]: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people [among your own household]." The Lord will send such confusion that we will be at our wits’ end. Then we have to go back into our own lives and discover wherein we have sinned. When we find where we have sinned, we must come out and confess it before the Lord. If we acknowledge our iniquities, He is faithful and just to forgive and remove the confusion.

Now see the confusion Isaac brought about in his own family by allowing his appetite for the things of the flesh to stand ahead of the Word of God. Isaac allowed his appetite for the venison of his son, and he recognized the character of his son as wicked, to overrule his own good judgment. GEN 27:30-33 reads, "And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly [Isaac trembled because his conscience smote him, and he understood what happened. He understood that his son Jacob had come in deceit and lies and had gotten Isaac to do what God had commanded in the first place. But look at the confusion. Isaac now has Esau coming with his venison to receive the blessing, but the blessing has already been pronounced upon Jacob. Isaac stood with his heart convicted before the holiness of God , and he understood what he had done. He continued…], and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed."

The Lord convicted his heart to the extent that he didn’t dare try to reverse that blessing. His heart was convicted that this confusion had been brought about by his sin. He knew the oracle of God. He knew that God had decreed that Jacob should have the blessing. It was because Isaac had ignored the Word of God that he now had two sons waiting for the same blessing. He had brought it upon himself, and he recognized that. See the confusion. He had his son Esau sitting before him, pleading for the blessing because Isaac had told Esau that he would give it to him. What could Isaac say?

Isaac knew that God had said that Esau should serve Jacob, and he knew that Esau had profaned his birthright. Isaac knew these things, but he wasn’t honest before the Lord. Take notice in HEB 12:16: "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright." Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob for a morsel of food, and Isaac knew it. Isaac knew that God had told his wife that "the elder shall serve the younger," GEN 25:23. He thought he could overcome the oracles of God. He didn’t realize that by his conduct, if God had not overruled it, he would have frustrated the coming of the Messiah because the Messiah was to come through Jacob. Isaac would have frustrated the whole plan of salvation if the Lord had not overruled him for our good. The coming of the Messiah was to save and redeem His entire church.

Satan caught Abraham in the same trap. Abraham would have preferred Ishmael to Isaac.

In this chapter, Isaac is doing the identical same thing. He would have preferred Esau ahead of Jacob. We see in Isaac a type of the work of regeneration. We also see in our lives how often we would forfeit our own salvation and destroy ourselves for all eternity if the Lord did not intervene. The Lord overrules our foolishness and says, "Hitherto and no further." The Lord stops us in our tracks. In His providence, He corrects our wrong, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel it in the flesh. That doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t repay us with confusion and many bitter tears.

God's Spirit restrained Isaac from altering the blessing he had pronounced upon Jacob. God had already pronounced upon Jacob the blessing Isaac thought he was pronouncing upon Esau. God did not allow Isaac to alter that. "And Isaac trembled very exceedingly..." His soul was filled with horror as the Spirit of God convicted him that he had slighted the clear Word of God to Rebekah his wife in GEN 25:22-23: "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.

And 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." The Lord had clearly foretold this, and Isaac was ignoring the Word of God. Do you see the consequences when we do not uphold the authority of God’s Word? We bring such a state of confusion in our own lives.

Isaac had thought to reverse God's clearly revealed will and place Esau before Jacob as we see in the blessing that he thought he was placing upon Esau. When Isaac placed this blessing upon Jacob, he thought he was giving it to Esau. We read in GEN 27:29: "Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee." When Esau came, and Isaac understood that he had given the blessing to Jacob instead of Esau, his conscience convicted him, and he didn't dare try to withdraw that blessing and place it upon Esau.

What fearful lengths sin will quickly lead to when once the first step is taken in the wrong direction. When we take that first step, it may seem like such a little sin. We can cheat just a little right here or a little there. Who will know about it? The Lord knows, and what does He do? He lets the cheating add up, and it multiplies. In the end, He pulls the rug from under us. When that happens, all of a sudden, we are tumbling and toppling, and we don’t know what’s happened. We have to go back and analyze what we have done.

One of my own children came to me one time. He was in such a state of confusion, a total state of bankruptcy, and he wanted to know what to do. We went over his situation, and I analyzed it. I pointed out to him, "You don’t realize what you’ve done here. In fact, you have stolen from those people. In your own mind, you thought what you were doing was honourable, but in fact, you were wrong.

When he understood what was wrong, he went back with the Lord going before him. The Lord helped to correct his problem in such a remarkable way that within three weeks, his business was back in order. Now the Lord is blessing him. I was talking to him recently, and he said, "Dad, you don’t know what it is to live under the blessings of God until you’ve missed them. Then you start to understand."

The Lord looks on when we are doing something wrong and says, "Oh, you’ve cheated here, and that was not right there. You have violated the law of love there." We have to go back and make amends. After we have made amends, we come in a repentant spirit before the Lord, and He forgives. We must see that sin leads to such a fearful life. One sin generates another. It keeps multiplying. The end result is that the Lord intervenes, and we have such a state of confusion. There’s no end to it.

See how this sin of Isaac not only lead to his wife teaching her son deceit, but how boldly Jacob dared to attribute his deceit to an act of God! See how horribly sin multiplies! Read in

GEN 27:20: "And 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." How dare he attribute his deceit to an act of God! One sin builds to another sin. The deceit that Rebekah taught her son reached the point where he attributed his sin to an act of God.

Notwithstanding the state of confusion that Isaac had brought upon himself, God's decrees had not been altered. This is the remarkable thing of salvation. Even though we of ourselves have such a corrupt nature and would bring such total destruction upon our salvation, the Lord’s decrees have not altered. The blessing had gone to Jacob, and Isaac could not reverse it. We read in GEN 27:33, "And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed." There will be no altering of the blessing. There is no reversal because now his conscience told him that what he had done was wrong in the eyes of the Lord, but the Lord had overruled it. God’s decrees shall stand.

After Esau had finally come to realize the true consequences of having sold his birthright, we see how he pleaded with his father to repent of the blessing he had placed upon Jacob. He pleaded with his father to withdraw the blessing from Jacob and give it to him even though Esau saw what he had done.

GEN 27:34-36 states, "And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry [Sometimes when the consequences of our sin truly come upon us, it rends our hearts and tears our flesh. Now Esau understood what he had done in sinning against the Lord when he sold, profaned, his birthright.], and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright [Jacob did not steal his birthright. Esau sold his birthright.]; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. [It was not Esau’s blessing. It was Jacob’s blessing. Esau tried to take Jacob’s blessing. Esau is pleading for his father to repent of what he had done in blessing Jacob and to do it the way he had originally planned to do it.] And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?"

It is very important to understand that Esau sought repentance in his father Isaac, not for himself. Esau did not repent of his own sin of profaning his birthright. We read in HEB 12:16-17, "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Many commentators have tried to explain that and say if you’re not one of the elect, you can have the desire to repent, and you can seek it with tears, but you’ll never find repentance because you are not elect. That is not what that Scripture is saying. These verses are teaching us that he found no place of repentance in Isaac. Isaac had no room to repent of placing the blessing on Jacob. There was no thought in Esau’s heart of having remorse over his sin. He had no thought of changing his attitude toward having sold his birthright or of having forgiveness for his own sin. Esau sought repentance from Isaac.

Even though Esau "...cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father," and "...Isaac trembled very exceedingly," in all the confusion he had brought upon himself, the Lord restrained Isaac from withdrawing the blessing from Jacob. Even though his son was crying bitterly, Isaac’s heart trembled exceedingly because the Spirit convicted him of his sin of deserting the oracles of God and how God had overruled his foolishness. God preserved the coming of the Messiah.

In GEN 27:37-38, we read, "And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept." Can you imagine the confusion that Isaac saw before his very eyes, the confusion that Isaac brought into his own family? Isaac realized that his own wife had taught his son how to deceive in order to overcome his sin, and that the curse on Rebekah is not only upon Isaac but also upon his children and their children unto the third and fourth generation. Confusion is the reward of sin.

All these bitter tears were not tears of remorse for his own iniquity. They were only tears over the consequences of his sin, which revealed the murder in his heart. You and I can have much grief over our sin. Many, many pulpits will teach that we must flee to the blood of Christ for a pardon. They don’t mention any remorse over sin. All they want to do is escape the consequences of sin. They want to go to heaven, but they don’t want to change their walk of life. They want to have the religion of Balaam and have the reward of unrighteousness in this life, Cf. 2PE 2:15 and then be able to die the death of the righteous, Cf. NUM 23:10. See the hypocrisy of such teaching. If we do not teach repentance and remorse over sin, and if we do not teach turning away from sin, "turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" EZE 33:11, we may as well not teach the blood of Christ because it cleanses no one from sin who has not repented. That is a solemn reality.

Esau had no repentance over his sin. That’s why Esau was never brought into the fold. Esau was only crying about the consequences of his sin. The end result was that it revealed murder in his heart. In GEN 27:41, we read, "And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob." Was there any remorse over his sin? No. It hardened him against his brother so that he wanted to commit murder. There was no repentance or thought of it in Esau. The only repentance about which we can speak here is seen in HEB 12:17 where it says, "he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears," because he wanted Isaac to repent. If there had been repentance in the heart of Esau, he wouldn’t have been plotting to kill Jacob.

Isaac’s appetite for the things of the flesh, having blinded his eyes, led to further departure from the principles his father Abraham had taught him. Abraham had taught Isaac a principle that was not to be violated. The fruit of these sins continued to multiply and cause a departure from the living God and His ways. In GEN 27:42-44, we read, "And these words [i.e. that Esau was going to kill Jacob] of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran."

What a horrible tragedy! Where’s the authority of God? Why didn’t this bring them back before the Lord as humble praying supplicants, saying, "We have sinned; we have sinned. What must we do?" If you and I are in our right place and find that we have sinned against God and see the consequences of that sin coming down upon our heads, it should bring us back before the Lord saying, "I have sinned." When Nathan came and told David that he was the man that had sinned, David said, "I have sinned." Nathan replied, "And the Lord has forgiven thee." When we have sinned and come back before the Lord and concede and confess, "Lord, I have sinned; I was wrong; I did this, and I was wrong. Forgive me," then there is room for forgiveness.

But what did Rebekah do? She adds sin unto sin, saying, "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away." This was a gross violation of the principle that Abraham had taught Isaac.

Now see how this state of confusion brought about such a violation of the principle Abraham taught concerning Isaac. In GEN 24:6-8, we read, "And Abraham said unto him (his servant) Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. [The Lord had called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, from the serving of idols, into Canaan. This land was to be for him and his seed forever. Abraham told his servant to be careful not to take Isaac back to Ur of the Chaldees.] The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again." And what did this very wife the Lord provided for Isaac, do? She said to Jacob, "Obey my voice, and go back.." This was a gross violation of the revealed will of God. What is the fruit of this action?

We read in EXO 3:6 that "The Lord made Himself known to Moses saying "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." The God of Abraham was also the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Why did Jacob have to flee? Why couldn’t he come and confess his sin before the Lord and make restitution, reconciling himself to his brother so that he would appease his brother’s wrath by reconciliation instead of by fleeing back.

That same God of Abraham would have gone before Jacob just as Abraham said, "...he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence." Rebekah made it seem as though the urgency lay in getting him a wife from the land of Laban, her brother. Laban was the one who consented to let her come to Isaac. What happened? Jacob went there and served seven years for Laban’s daughter, but he was deceived and given the wrong daughter. The Lord allowed deceit to multiply until he used the deceit of Laban to drive Jacob back to the Promised Land. Look at the years of confusion and misery and deceit that they harvested as the fruit of their sin. Instead of coming before the Lord and seeking His wisdom and direction, Jacob went and did as Rebekah said.

Again we see Rebekah resorting to human reasoning and running from the consequences of her sin, adding sin unto sin, standing in the way of sinners instead of meditating upon the way of God. We begin to understand that Isaac is a type of the work of regeneration. We see in the corruption of our own evil hearts that sometimes we can identify these same seeds of corruption in our hearts. We can understand why the Lord has dealt thus with us. He overrules our foolishness and does not allow us to destroy ourselves. Do you believe in a sovereign God? If you don’t, there is no salvation, because you and I would work out our own destruction every time if it weren’t for the overruling grace of God to overrule our foolishness. He uses these chastisements to bring us back to Himself. If it weren’t for this overruling, sovereign grace of God, there is not a sinner who would ever be saved.

This state of confusion brought about such a violation of that principle taught concerning Isaac. Rebekah was using human reasoning in having Jacob run from the consequences of her sin, adding sin unto sin, standing in the way of sinners instead of meditating on the way of God.

Take note of PSA 1:1-3: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly [Jacob was walking in the counsel of the ungodly. Rebekah, I believe, was a dear child of God, but what she was doing was absolutely ungodly.], nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. [The godly meditate in the Word of God. How do we know in what manner to guide and govern our footsteps except by the principles taught in the Word of God? If the Word of God is our authority and a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, then it becomes a place of refuge in a time of trouble. We flee to the Word of God, we delight in the law of God; and we meditate in it day and night.] And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Whatever you do will prosper.

What Rebekah did was very ungodly! She used another lie to escape the consequences of her first lie. That’s how lies work. You tell a lie. Then when someone calls you on your lie, you have to tell another lie to cover it. The further you go, the bigger the lies get, and the faster you have to run. Wouldn't it be better to admit the truth, come right up front, and confess that, "I am wrong"? In JER 3:13-14, it says, "Only acknowledge thine iniquity…for I am married unto you." We must see the marriage union between Christ and us. We must acknowledge our iniquity because the Lord says, "I am married unto you." You’re His bride, He will not let you go out and spoil your wedding garments with the filth of the world, with filthy lies."

In GEN 27:46, we read, "And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?" She’s telling Isaac that she wants Jacob to go to Padanaram to the house of her father to get a wife because her heart is so vexed with the daughters of the land. That’s not true. Read the verses just before this. When she heard that Esau purposed to kill Jacob, she said, "Flee thou to Padanaram." Why couldn’t Isaac and Rebekah sit down before the Lord and meditate before Him, telling Him what wretches they had both been, and asking Him, "What now must we do?" She planned to deceive Isaac one more time and tell him that the motive of her heart was vexation over the daughters of the land. That was not her motive. She was going to have Jacob flee the consequences of sin.

You cannot flee the consequences of your sin. We have to face and acknowledge our sins, confess them, and ask forgiveness. One sin brings on another. Again, the Lord overruled it all for good. The Lord allowed this training that Jacob received in Padanaram to be the very thing that brought Jacob to Peniel where he had to confess that his name was Jacob which meant liar, sinner, trickster. That was the first time that Jacob really came before the Lord and confessed all his sin. The Lord used the journey through Padanaram, the deceit of his father-in-law, and the reward of his own sin to bring Jacob to confess what a deceiver he was himself. In fleeing to Padanaram, Jacob broke a principle. He should have fled to the Lord. He should have said, "Lord, I have sinned; I have sinned. Forgive me." The Lord could have altered the heart of Esau as he did at Peniel. He didn’t have to flee for his life.

The Psalmist said, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly," but he also said in PSA 1:4, "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away." Our sins drive us away from the Lord. Due to Rebekah's curse, which she brought upon herself and her whole household, Jacob was driven away by the wrath of his brother.

We read in GEN 28:1-2, "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother." Why didn’t he do like Abraham and send his servant to get a wife and let Jacob remain in the Promised Land that the Lord had given him? He had to take this journey for the Lord to purify him and purge him of his deceit. Those twenty years of misery and serving under rigor was the reward for his deceit.

Even though Isaac and Rebekah had acted so foolishly, God overruled all to fulfill His eternal counsel. In the Old Testament, we have the record of the slips and falls of Isaac and Abraham, but in the New Testament, we read only of their virtues because we now look at them in Christ. Christ has washed them from all their sins. Their lives’ journeys brought them into Christ. We read in HEB 11:20, "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come." In the New Testament, this record states, "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau." It was by faith. When Isaac pronounced that blessing upon Jacob, even though he thought it was upon Esau, it was the Holy Spirit that gave him the utterance, the words of that blessing, because the Lord overruled it for his good.

Isaac said to Esau in GEN 27:40, "And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." We will see the fulfillment of that pronouncement. Scripture states, "By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau." In 2SA 8:14, it states, "And he put garrisons in Edom [descendants of Esau]; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went." Esau became the servant of Jacob. The descendants of Esau were brought into servitude. In the reign of Jehoram, we also see Isaac's prophecy fulfilled that Esau should break that yoke from off his neck.

In 2CH 21:8, we read, "In his days the Edomites [descendants of Esau] revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king." They broke the yoke from off his neck. The prophecy of Isaac was fulfilled.

How many are the lessons for you and me from the awesome history of Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau who bartered the revealed will of God for their own human reasoning! What a lesson for us today to understand the authority of God’s Word and that when we have a problem, we come to the Lord and confess, "Lord, I have sinned. Forgive my sin and give me a sense of direction. Let me know what is Thy will." We must stop bartering the revealed will of God for our human reasoning. It was human reasoning that Rebekah used to try to accomplish her purposes.

The apostle Paul was accused of teaching the very principle that Rebekah used in her human reasoning, but see what he said in ROM 3:8: "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just." Your damnation is just if you think that you can do evil that good may come from it. That is what Rebekah taught her son. She advised her son to deceive his father in order to bring about the oracles of God. The apostle Paul says, "whose damnation is just."

If God would deal with any one of us according to our sins, we would all have to confess that our damnation would be just; but blessed be His holy name, there is mercy for the descendants of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is the father of all the faithful. For the descendants of one who made so many slips and falls, there is still mercy. In ROM 5:20-21, we read, "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound [God overruled it for good.]: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." God the Father looks upon the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect obedience. That perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed to you and me so that we can stand before a holy God. We cannot come before him in our own righteousness, because we have all sinned in thought, word, and deed continually. But we can stand righteous before God "through the righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." That is our source of righteousness.

Even though Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob were all saved in the end, never forget that Scriptural law of sowing and reaping. GAL 6:7-9 states, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Rebekah suggested her son find refuge in fleeing to her brother Laban, but she never lived to see him again. The Lord took her life. She did not live to see him back. The mills of God grind very slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. Everything of self will be ground to powder so that the grace of God may lift us into that blessed image of Christ.

Read MAT 21:44: "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." If Jacob had come and fallen upon that stone which is the Lord Jesus Christ, he’d have been broken. It would have broken his rebellion, his hard and stony heart, and he could have poured out his soul unto the Lord. He would have found forgiveness. "But on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." When we bring God’s hand upon us, it will grind us to powder. Everything of self will be ground to the point that the wind will blow it away. There will be nothing left of anything of self.

May these things teach us how utterly foolish it is to attempt to circumvent God. We need to learn this from history. We are told that these things "are written for our admonition," ICO 10:11. As we read in PRO 19:21, "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

In all of God’s dealings with us, we can be encouraged. Our Lord’s overruling power of grace is at work and is conforming us to the image of His beloved Son. ROM 8:28-29 reads, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Amen.


These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.

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