The Jacob of Genesis 27 began a young thief for a good cause. He stole his brother Esau’s birthright blessing from his father by trickery. Esau had devalued the blessing and made it equal to a meal of stew when he sold it to Jacob. (Gen.25:29-33) Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, had led her son into sin just as Eve had encouraged Adam. Jacob knew that his deceit of tricking his father, Isaac, was wrong. He even pronounced God’s response to the sin in Gen.27:12. Rebekah tried to calm his fears by saying that she should be the one to receive the curse, however, no price had been paid to God and Issac who gave the blessing. It was intended for the firstborn. (There is only one instance where personal sin was transferred to another person. That was when Christ Himself took on our sins because there was no other way we could be forgiven.) God gave Jacob over to his guilt and a curse. (Isa.43:28) But God also blessed Jacob by promising his offspring to multiply and receive the land they were on at that time, which became Israel. Gen.28:10-14
Jacob had to flee and never received his father’s land. He and his family wandered in the desert in a foreign land where he fell in love with Rachel. Treachery was returned to Jacob by Rachel’s father, Laban, when he bargained for 7 years of Jacob’s labor to allow Rachel’s marriage, but instead received Laban’s firstborn, Leah. Ironic , yes. It took another 7 years of labor to finally win Rachel’s hand in marriage. More problems became apparent when Rachel could not conceive children for several years. Gen. 30:1-3 When she did finally bear Joseph, Jacob loved him more than the children born to him by Rachel’s handmaid, Bilhah or his other wife, Leah. The first children became jealous and were deceitful to Jacob when they plotted to get rid of Joseph. Joseph was sold as a slave and sent to Egypt, where his morals and God’s blessings elevated him to power. I believe Jacob’s curse over his own deceit and God’s blessings caused him to draw closer to God. Eventually, at God’s urging, he returned home and made peace with his brother, Esau. Then he wrestled with an Angel to obtain God’s blessing. Gen.32:9-28 Jacob was then renamed Israel. It is to Jacob’s credit that he earnestly desired God’s blessings. We all should. He was willing to risk much to receive it as a young man, and he was willing to fight (the Angel) as an old man to be blessed. We all need to draw near to God and hold on until we receive His blessings. I think God likes that. But, Jacob had a dark side also.
He constantly wanted to do things his own way instead of God’s way. Ultimately, this resulted in his blessing a grandchild of Joseph’s incorrectly. Joseph, who was a true man of God, saw this as sin. Joseph’s children believed their father and Ephraim thought he had been blessed through sin. He and his family turned from God because of this and all his family became cursed by God later. God would not even hear prayers in their behalf after they had totally rejected Him and mocked His messengers. The story account is a warning, that we are to honor God and accept His total will instead of seeking our own desires as the world does.