Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Twenty – “I’m here. Who are you, my son?” – Isaac (Gen. 27: 18)
Our question for yesterday was all about Esau. “What good is a birthright to me when I’m hungry right now?” Would Esau later come to regret sacrificing something precious for a momentary satisfaction of a physical hunger? Yes.  Can you relate?
Today we will switch our focus to the other twin…Jacob.  Remember what Jacob’s name means? “He deceives.”  Boy, does he ever! Where does he get his sneakiness from? Turns out, he learns it from his mother, Rebekah.  Here’s the scene: Isaac is getting on up there in years, and he realizes the end is near.  We are told that Isaac’s eyes were so weak that he could no longer see. (Gen. 27: 1) Isaac calls over Esau, and says, “I know the end is near, and I want you to go hunting and kill some game and then come and fix me one last meal before I give you my blessing and die.”  So, Esau gets his bow and arrows, and heads out hunting.
But sneaky Rebekah is eavesdropping, and she sees an opportunity.  She tells Jacob what she overheard, and tells Jacob to bring her a couple of goats, and that they will prepare something tasty for old Isaac, and then get him to give the blessing to Jacob.  “But that won’t work, Mama,” Jacob says. “Esau is a hairy man, and I’m a man with smooth skin…what if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” (Gen. 27: 11) Can we all just pause here and appreciate the weirdness of this whole scene?  Because it just gets weirder.
Rebekah’s solution is to dress Jacob in some of Esau’s clothes (which smell…outdoorsy) and to cover his hands and neck with goatskins. Jacob, in his Esau costume, goes in with the goat dish and says (disguising his voice?), “My father.” And then we get our question for today.  Isaac says, “Who are you, my son?” He literally can’t see who is there, but I think this question is one that Jacob (and all of us) should ponder.  “Who are you?”  Who IS Jacob?
He is a deceiver, but that’s not all.  He is the one who was prophesied to be the next in line for God’s covenant. He is the once whose deceptiveness will be turned back on him later in life, when he falls in love with Rachel.  He is the one who will “wrestle with God,” and have his name changed to “Israel,” which means, “He struggles with God.” (Gen. 32: 22-30) In other words, Jacob is complicated. He is flawed, but God doesn’t give up on him.
Carl Jung is quoted as saying, “The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.” 
Reflection: Who are you? 
Action:  Take time to look back over your life, and write in your journal how you see that God is still working on you.

Pastor Sam

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