Bible study: God's uses imperfect people to carry out His perfect plan

Genesis 27:18–30


God has a plan that He will achieve. God chooses to utilize humans in his grand plan, yet God accomplishes His plan through flawed families and people.

The narrative of these verses highlights a family who had forgotten the promises of God. Isaac prayed for a son for his childless wife and she conceived twins.

The sons struggled against one another in their prenatal state, and their struggle for priority continued into adulthood. They were therefore susceptible to making bad decisions. God informed Rebekah that she would have two sons which would result in two nations.

Against the culture of the day, God purposed that the older son would serve the younger son.

Trap set (18–20)

Isaac and Rebekah each had a favorite son. Esau was Isaac’s favorite son, and Jacob was his mother’s favorite son.

She took matters into her own hands in an attempt to ensure that Jacob would be the one who had primacy over his brother.

Rebekah devised a plan of trickery in order for her favorite son to receive the greatest portion of the father’s inheritance and authority.

She did not need to resort to trickery.

God had already revealed to her that the older brother Esau would be subservient to the younger son (25:23).

The son who received the blessing would become the head of the family.

Rebekah prepared blind Isaac’s favorite meal. Jacob took the meal to his nearly blind father but claimed to be Esau, the favorite son.

Jacob claimed to have found the game quickly because God made it happen, thereby involving the name of God in his deception and lies.

Deception carried out (21–27)

Isaac was blind, but he could still hear. The voice was Jacob’s voice, and Isaac discerned that something was not right. Isaac must have known the nature of his sons.

He requested Jacob (who was disguised as Esau) to approach him to feel his hairy skin. Upon a direct question by Isaac, Jacob claimed to be Esau.

Jacob served his father a meal of game and wine. Isaac then pronounced the blessing meant for the older son over Jacob.  The blessing was a proclamation of the father’s desire for the future of his sons.

The Word of God will help modern believers not to be deceived by the ways of the world.

Blessings granted (28–30)

Isaac did not wait for the other brother (thought to be Jacob) to be present during the blessing. No doubt he knew the issues that would arise between them. Isaac pronounced abundance of crops and wine.

As well, he unknowingly transferred leadership of the family from the oldest son to the youngest son.

The blessings extended beyond the immediate family to include nations and related people groups that would serve the lineage of Jacob.


This lesson was written by Mark Rathel, professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Fla., and originally published by The Baptist Paper. This study is based on the Explore the Bible curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources.