By the time we get to Genesis 27, God is the obvious focal point of the Genesis story. He is mentioned in all but three of the chapters thus far. In this chapter, Jacob lies about God, and demands a blessing from God, but the scenes depicted are of a life that fairly well exclude God.
What was Isaac thinking?
Did Isaac know Esau had sold his birthright? When God said: “The elder (Esau) will serve the younger (Jacob), how did the parents understand that? Surely Esau understood he had traded his birthright. Why is he upset that Jacob receives the attendant blessing – upset enough to threaten murder? If Rebekah knew about the traded birthright, why is she scheming to get Jacob what is rightfully his? If she knew nothing about it, why is she scheming to take from her oldest son what rightfully belongs to him?
It is a story of ignored promises and ignored agreements, but mostly, it is a story about ignoring God. What a mess! No wonder God is silent.
Esau is pictured as a man who lived for the moment. Never mind the blessing of God (traded for a bowl of soup!). Never mind the will of God. Esau believed you could ignore both and still get his due. He was wrong.
In this third longest chapter in Genesis, Moses makes plain what all Israel needs to know: there is no blessing outside the people of the blessing, and the people of the blessing need to take their birthright seriously.
What a powerful message for Christians!
There are not multiple ways to God’s blessing. There is only one way: to be the people of the blessing. That is only accomplished through Jesus. To leave the people of the blessing is to leave the blessing, and to discount, trade, give or throw away the blessing is to lose it all. There is, really, nothing else.