PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 27
Theme: Selfishness
Key Text: Verse 36


            “This chapter,” to use the introductory words of Guy King, “is not a very pleasant one.” In fact, the account before us is one of those stories that we might be tempted to cover up. After observing the great spiritual traits in the lives of the patriarchs, what is seen here is very bewildering. Furthermore, it is almost embarrassing to see those of some religious stature, performing as mere worldlings.  However, since the Bible is not of human origin, but divinely inspired, nothing is covered up! God tells it all! And, there is no record more revealing concerning the matter of selfishness.


1. Selfish Intentions
            Without question, Isaac had not forgotten the Lord’s prophetic word concerning his boys. Before their birth, it was clearly revealed that “the elder” son, Esau, would “serve the younger” son, Jacob (Gen. 25:23). But, now, for some reason, the old father thought he knew better than God. Thus, in his physical blindness (see 27:1), and his spiritual blindness, as well, he stubbornly attempted to “bless” Esau (27:4). One cannot help but notice further selfish interests on Isaac’s part, requesting “savoury meat” (27:4) before the blessing is bestowed. Of course, unknown to him, Isaac was setting the stage for a very ugly performance.


2. Selfish Inventions
            Rebekah seems to have been the strategist behind this entire production (see 25:5-13). She not only invented the acts, the scenes, the characters, and the unusual apparel for her playwright, but she successfully marketed it, as well. And, although we would not take away from Jacob’s theatrical abilities, basically, he obeyed his mother (see 27:8, 13), carefully and craftily quoting her prepared script. Together, however, manipulating their blind audience for their own selfish purposes (see 27:14-29), they accomplished their wicked goals.


3. Selfish Indentions
            Just because the last act was completed and the curtain was pulled, those involved had not seen the end of the play entitled “Selfishness.” Rebekah, the beautiful bride of former days, lived in sorrow and loneliness the remainder of her life. The trustful, loving heart of Isaac was so hurt, it became as quiet and hard as granite. The deceptive practices Jacob learned from his mother almost became a way of life for him. And, the marks made on Esau only contributed more to his damnation. Also, it goes without saying, most suffering in the human family is wrought by selfishness.



            When I was a boy, I heard Rev. Jack Palmer, a missionary in Peru, South America, tell how the natives hunted and captured a monkey. First, a hole was cut in a gourd and delicious nuts placed inside for bait. The trap was then taken high up in a tree and left there. Later, when the natives returned, they found their prey. When the animal discovered the nuts, he was so selfish he hung on to as many as possible and, consequently, couldn’t get his hand back out of the hole. May we determine, with the Lord’s help, not to hold on to our selfish desires, but deny ourselves, take up our cross, and whole-heartedly follow Christ.