Jacob was doubly deceptive. First, he stole his older brother Esau’s birthright (Genesis 25:29-34), then he steals Esau’s blessing with his mother Rebekah’s help (27:1-29). Did the promise continue in Jacob because he was deceitful and, therefore, deceived God? No, because God had already chosen Jacob before he was even born. When Rebekah was pregnant with the twins, God said the older, Esau, would serve the younger, Jacob (25:23).
So, why Jacob over Esau? God only knows. For some reason, despite Jacob’s proclivity toward sinful deception, God chose him for the promise. Perhaps that is the lesson here: God chooses us for His salvific promise despite ourselves. Perhaps also this is indicative of God’s habit of choosing lowly things of the earth to bring about His salvific purpose, which we will see again in Joseph’s story.
This character of God to choose the lowly for His promise of salvation brings to mind Mary’s Magnificat, “He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52). What is most clear here is that sin cannot thwart God’s plan of salvation. Man may act deceitfully and commit gross acts of evil, but our sin is not nearly powerful enough to stop or alter God’s plans. Therefore, if you think your sin is too great for God to forgive, do not deceive yourself; you are not that powerful.
God’s plan of salvation always continues despite our grandiose sins. Indeed, they have no effect against God’s plan of promise. Our sins are like an ant that gets in the way of a human foot—the grace of God squashes our sin and keeps going forward until the destination is reached, which is in the death and resurrection of Christ our Lord until His Parousia.
Theology Terms Used
- Parousia: the second coming of Christ.