Jacob Deceives Isaac

The Bible in Art: Jacob Deceives Isaac

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Verses for Consideration: Genesis 27:41-45


41 Esau held a grudge  against Jacob  because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning  for my father are near; then I will kill  my brother Jacob.”


42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau  had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you.  43 Now then, my son, do what I say:  Flee at once to my brother Laban  in Harran.  44 Stay with him for a while  until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him,  I’ll send word for you to come back from there.  Why should I lose both of you in one day?”



One of the golden nuggets in the treasure of God’s Word is the honest way the Lord speaks of families. As he describes believers of old, he does not paint pictures of ideal families, as if none of them had the family problems we face today. Instead, we see examples of parental favoritism and sibling rivalry, and we see how they can grow into bitterness and hatred.

But our Lord God does more than put problems on display -like daytime soap operas do. He shows us that family weaknesses come from personal and individual sins.

In tricking her husband and bringing Jacob into the plot, Rebekah sinned. Isaac sinned against better knowledge. Yet these were sins for which Christ died. The blood of Jesus would wash their sins away, just as it washes away the sins of our families today.

What’s more, God continued to guard and shelter this family as the vehicle through which the Savior would come. He kept the promise of Abraham’s offspring alive and well in the midst of human weakness.

Christian families still have their problems. Moms and dads and children, young and old, will have reason to look back and wonder, “Why did I do such foolish things?” But they will also be able to look back at God’s mercy and see that he did not give up on them and cast them off. They can look back to the cross and see how God graciously forgave them there and how he has continued to bestow his forgiveness on them.

Bitterness that grows from jealousy and envy can end. With Jesus to guide us and stand beside us, husbands can live in love and sacrifice themselves for their wives, while wives can respect their husbands in the Lord. Children can love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. The family can learn God’s Word and grow in grace day by day.

Prayer: Dear Lord, inspire me to invest time and effort to know you better through your Word. Then bless me in spite of my weaknesses. Amen.


Title: Isaac Blessing Jacob (1673)

Artist: Jusepe de Ribera