Sovereign God Uses Sin for His Purpose [Genesis 27]
18Then he came to his father and said, "My father." And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" 19Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me."
20Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me." 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24And he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" And he said, "I am."
As I read this story, I realize that I have a problem with it. It just doesn't sit right with my theology. Yes, Jacob was acting in obedience to his mother but he still told intentional lies. Shouldn't God jump in and correct the wrong? Instead He uses it. Did Jacob have such strong faith that He believed that "the LORD your God caused it to happen to me," or is he using God to get what he wants? Also, rumbling around in my mind is the answer God gave Rebekah when she asked Him about her difficult pregnancy. The Lord had told her then that these two boys were struggling because there were two nations in her womb. "And the older will serve the younger." (Gen. 25:23). Is Rebekah being a conniving mother, trying to get what she wants? Or does she remember those words and is frantic that God needs her to outsmart her husband who is going to do it all wrong? Either way, she is wrong. I am sure the pain is great when later she has to send her son away.
What was Rebekah not believing about God? That God could do the impossible to accomplish His purpose. And what am I not believing? That He is so sovereign that He could also use her sin and her son's sin to unfold the future He had purposed. I am coming to recognize that I don't believe that God uses sin to accomplish good. I struggle with this because I have an age-old lie that God only loves me when I am good. I think He rewards me with love when I am good and that when I do evil He withholds love from me and instead repays me with evil. So like Rebekah, I mistrust God's love and sovereignty and try to out guess Him.
Lord, I thank You for this story that shows Your love, compassion and mercy even when we are faithless. Thank You that You would have still blessed Jacob instead of Esau even if Rebekah had not arranged it because You can do the impossible. You are able to accomplish Your sovereign purpose. I praise You that You understand our inability to believe who You are and You keep nudging us to the truth. How great is Your love that You can and do love us while we sin. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)