The majority of believers struggle with the biblical figure of Jacob when they consider his life in the privacy of their thoughts. The basic question they ask is – how can a thief, a liar and a coward be considered the father of God’s People, Israel?
The blind elderly Isaac had two different blessings in store for his sons. One was the blessing of the first-born son prepared for Esau, and the other was the blessing of Abraham prepared for Jacob. The first was the general blessing of prosperity and power, but the second one had to do with a special blessing of Abraham.
Jacob place in the covenant was not based on his faithless act. In fact, Jacob, upon his return from Haran and before meeting Esau, sent him reparations; thereby honestly acknowledging the sin of his youth. In so doing, he returned that which he had stolen (Gen.32:1-21). Prior to meeting Esau, Jacob’s encounter with the angel of the Lord enabled him to overcome even his fears. (Gen. 32:22-30)
In his life, Jacob experienced the opposite of the things described in the stolen blessing; while at the same time, his life unfolded in accordance with the great covenantal blessing that Isaac had bestowed upon him. (Gen.47:9). Prosperity and power belonged to Esau (Gen.27:28-29), but God had promised Jacob the blessing of Abraham – a heritage of children and land (Gen.28:1-5).
So how can the blessing stolen from his disposed brother Esau establish Jacob’s legitimacy as the patriarch of God’s people? The answer is that it does not. The Blessing of Abraham does so instead.
This article originally appeared on Israel Study Center, January 15, 2017, and reposted with permission.