2018-11-07 / Religion

God uses imperfection in his perfect plan

Sunday School Lesson
Rev. James Temples

Genesis 27

It is important for us to remember that our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, can take imperfect parts and use them in the perfect plan that he has designed. When our God, Jehovah, choses a person as part of the eternal plan, he does not remove the will of this individual. Yes, all of us are born with a “sin nature” (see Romans 6, 7) that dominates our lives. This sin nature is made “dormant” as we yield the individual areas of our lives to the eternal plan.

God chose Jacob, before his birth, to be the individual through whose family line the Messiah would be born. However, this divine choice did not, automatically, grant divine approval for every act that this man would perform.

There is no evidence in scripture that Isaac, the father of Jacob, knew of the “business deal” that had been made by his sons. However, the “passing of the blessing” was seen as a recognition of the importance of this family in the plan designed by Jehovah. As Isaac advanced in age, he knew that the time had come for the “conferring of the blessing.” Abraham had passed this blessing to his son, Isaac, as a reminder of the importance their being faithful to the one who had called them.

The record tells us, “And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, my son, and he said unto him, behold, here am I. And he said, behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death, now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison, and make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die.” Genesis 27:2-4.

This plan must have been made while these two were alone. Since these people lived in tents, secrecy was not easily experienced. “And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son,” Genesis 27:5a. The eldest son “went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.” Genesis 27:5b.

Earlier in the record, we are told, “Isaac loved Esau…but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Genesis 25:28. This “divided house” continued in its dysfunctional way.

“And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death.” Genesis 27:6, 7.

It seems as if the scheming of Rebekah came as a “sudden insight” into a plan to manipulate the situation into “her direction.” She began to unfold her plan to her “favorite son.” “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.” Genesis 27:8. Specific instructions were given, “Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats, and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth. And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and bless thee before his death.” Genesis 27:9, 10.

Human scheming to obtain a promised blessing carries with it many unknown surprises. These surprises seldom bring this man-made plan to the final conclusion that had been desired. Yes, Jacob did receive the blessing, but at a great cost to his family and personal desires.

Even Jacob saw many flaws in the plan made by his mother. “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and, I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.” Genesis 27:11, 12. The answer given by Rebekah wrings at the heart of deception and carelessness regarding the things of God. “And his mother said unto him, upon me be thy curse, my son.” Genesis 27:13a. She only wanted to obtain the blessing for her “favorite son,” the end does not justify the means! Her direct instruction was, “only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.” Genesis 27:13b.

The scheme seemed to be unfolding according to the plan. Genesis 27:14. However, there were other details that needed to be considered. “And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son, and she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck.” Genesis 27:15, 16.

With the disguise complete, “she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.” Genesis 27:17. “Show time” had arrived. “And he [Jacob] came unto his father, and said, My father, and he [Isaac] said, here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn, I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.” Genesis 27:18, 19.

“Oh, the tangled web we weave.” “And Isaac said unto his son, how is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, because the Lord thy God brought it to me.” Genesis 27:20. The hearing of Isaac continued to be keen. “And Isaac said unto Jacob, come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, the voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.” Genesis 27:20-22.

The record tells us that Jacob obtained his blessing, but, oh, at what a personal cost! Yes, God used this imperfect man in his perfect plan of salvation for the lost human race. Are you willing to bring your flaws to our savior, and allow him to use you?

Rev. James C. Temples’ Sunday School Lesson has appeared in the Early County News each week since 1967. A native of Early County, Rev. Temples taught in public schools 32 years and 10 years at Southeastern College of Assemblies of God, in Lakeland, Fla. He also served as pastor and evangelist during those years. He can be contacted at P. O. Box 1484, Swainsboro, GA 30401; 478- 299- 2068. Email: temples_ james@ yahoo. co m

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