By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.
Rebecca's ruse in concealing Jacob and taking advantage of Isaac's blindness to extort from him the blessing that would otherwise be wasted on spiritually void and unworthy Esau lends itself to much speculating: does God endorse lying and deception? Certainly not! This text though can provide for the unspiritual soul an acceptable excuse for such practices. Far be it from Hashem to endorse the darkness of devilish lies; in presenting us with such a story, the God of Light actually reveals to us an eternal messianic truth.
The Jewish people had certain expectation for a Messiah, expectations that are right, and true. Many expected the Messianic Redeemer to be a great military hero like King David or the judges of old, one who would deliver them from the tyrannical hand of Rome. The Messiah truly is all that, but as Balaam prophesied, I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh (Numbers 24:17), the Messiah’s coming follows a pattern of concealment.
In musing on the coming of the Messiah we are reminded of Nehemiah. Before revealing his kingly mandate to rebuild Jerusalem, Nehemiah spent time under the cover of night to scout out Jerusalem incognito (Nehemiah 2:11-16). We see the same pattern in Queen Esther, who concealed her identity before she was able to put her life on the line to save the nation (Esther in Hebrew means: concealed). We also remember how Joseph received the brothers he would later save under the concealed identity of an Egyptian Viceroy so he could test them (Genesis 42-45).
Jacob shows us that the Messiah will initiate His mission in a concealed manner. We also learn from the patriarch that the Messiah will spend a long time in the exile of the nations until He finally returns in glory to the land of His birth.
The Messiah did come to His people to fulfill their deepest yearning and expectation, but His coming was concealed. Until this day He appears to them under the identity of a stranger but oh, what a rejoicing it will be for the whole world the day He reveals Himself to His people. It will dwarf the rejoicing of Joseph’s brothers, even that of the Hebrew nation as they were saved from the clutch of Haman.
Far from teaching us to lie and deceive, the story of Jacob and Isaac teaches an eternal truth, a truth concealed under a seeming lie. Rebecca received the promise that Jacob should inherit the blessing of Abraham, so instead of deception, their story teaches us love, devotion, and faith for the Commandment and the Promises of God.
In our daily discoveries in the Words of Truth, may we do more than read and study; may Abba grant us also to understand the Truth that is concealed underneath the Words.