Genesis 27 tells a story of intrigue and deception. Jacob and Esau are twins, sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau, as the firstborn, by tradition should inherit both the birthright and the blessing. Unfortunately, years ago, he had traded away his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Now his father is dying, and it’s time for Isaac to pass on the family blessing to his eldest son.
Rebekah has other ideas, and schemes to arrange for her favorite, Jacob, to also steal the blessing. Isaac sends Esau out to hunt and prepare game for a special meal, just the way his father likes it. When Esau leaves, Rebekah arranges for Jacob to dress up in goat skins and sends him in with a meal she prepared to deceive his blind father. The scheme works; Isaac believes Jacob is indeed his son, Esau, and he gives him the blessing intended for Esau.
How in the world would a father not be able to discern between his sons? It seems unbelievable to us, but in Isaac’s confusion, we see a lesson for ourselves as we try to navigate through the lies and deception of the culture in an attempt to live by spiritual truths.
Isaac was blind; he could not see, so he had to depend on all his other senses to tell him what was true. Jacob felt like Esau, he smelled like Esau, he claimed to be Esau, he brought food that tasted like Esau’s food, and he even gave credit to God for his quickness in preparing the meal. Isaac hesitated at the sound of Jacob’s voice, but the overwhelming “evidence” of his other senses pushed him to believe that he was indeed blessing Esau.
Satan is a deceiver (Revelation 12:9) and he has been deceiving humans since the Garden of Eden. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He is a master of deception, and if we depend only on our human senses to discern truth vs. lies, we will most certainly be led astray.
Just because something or someone sounds right, or feels right, or says the right things doesn’t mean it is right. What Isaac needed more than anything was the ability to see. He needed his eyes to be opened, so he could clearly discern between Jacob and Esau. We, too, need spiritual eyes to see the truth. We must have our eyes opened by the Spirit of God to understand and discern.
How do we see? We ask God to enlighten our eyes, through His Word, and through the person of Jesus. Only God can give us spiritual sight that allows us to see through the deceptive lies of the enemy, and the ungodly culture in which we live.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:8)
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. (John 1:9-10)
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
How do you know what is true? Are your eyes opened, or are you like Isaac, blind, and groping in the dark, being deceived by those you trust to tell you the truth?