The Kickback

“So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, ‘The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’”—Genesis 27:41 (NKJV)

Rebekah and Jacob deceived Isaac. Through premeditated trickery, mother and son persuaded Isaac to confer their family’s spiritual blessing upon Jacob instead of Esau. As the older son, it was Esau’s right to receive this blessing. He was understandably furious when he found out what happened, even to the point of vowing to kill his brother Jacob for his treachery once their father died.

When Rebekah became aware of Esau’s wrath, she hatched a plan for Jacob to run away from home. The idea was for Jacob to take refuge with Rebekah’s brother, Laban, who lived far away. After some time had passed and Esau’s emotions had settled down, she sent word to Jacob that it was safe to return so they could all be one happy family once again.

It sounded like a reasonable plan, but according to the biblical record this would be the last time Rebekah and Jacob would see each other. As we will see in successive days and weeks, the separation, necessitated by their sin, lasted longer than anyone had anticipated. Jacob wasn’t able to return home as hoped, and the cost for their conspiracy was much higher than either would have anticipated.

Now, when we pull back and look at God’s dealing with Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob, it’s clear His choice to inherit the mantle of spiritual leadership was Jacob, not Esau. Rebekah and Jacob sought to further this along because they sensed it was the right thing. However, they went about it the wrong way through deception. As a result, they suffered tremendous loss in the end.

There’s a powerful lesson here for all of us. At some point we’ve each been tempted to do what Rebekah and Jacob did. We sense there’s something that needs to happen, perhaps we even know it’s what God wants. But when it comes to how we accomplish it, we see a “quicker” or “easier” route that includes compromise.

Be careful! A greater loss is bound to follow when we attempt to do the right thing the wrong way. There will always be some sort of unwanted kickback when we compromise the means for the end. It’s always better to wait on the Lord to reveal His way of accomplishing His will.

DIG: What was the unintended kickback of Rebekah and Isaac’s actions?

DISCOVER: When have you personally experienced the consequences of trying to do the right thing the wrong way?

DO: How might this warning apply to your life right now? Consider what should you do.