January 22.—Morning. [Or February 12.]
“A righteous man hateth lying.”
Genesis 27:1–5; 17–29
AND it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2, 3, 4 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
When Rebekah heard this she determined to obtain the blessing for her favourite son Jacob by a crafty stratagem. She prepared two kids of goats in a savoury manner, dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes, put skins upon his hands and neck that he might appear to be hairy like his brother, and sent him in to deceive his father.
17, 18 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me. (When we begin to sin we go from bad to worse. It was base enough of Jacob to utter so many falsehoods, but to bring in the Lord God of his father to give them the appearance of truth, was much worse.)
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? and he said, I am. (Thus Jacob persisted in his falsehood. This narrative shows us the truthfulness of God’s word, since it does not conceal the faults of its most eminent saints. Had the Old Testament been a cunningly devised fable, it would never have exhibited the great progenitor of the twelve tribes in so sorry a light.)
25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. (Isaac did not seek counsel of the Lord, hence his mistake. By this he was punished for his ill-placed partiality to Esau, for it was very unworthy of the patriarch to prefer his profanc son “because he did eat of his venison.”)
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
Thus the prophecy concerning Esau and Jacob was repeated with enlargements, “the elder shall serve the younger.” God’s purpose was accomplished, but this did not excuse Rebekah and Jacob, or screen them from the chastisements of God, which commenced at once. We ought never to do evil that good may come.
Father, to that first-born of thine
Thou hast the blessing given,
The power, and dignity divine,
Th’ inheritance of heaven.
O how shall I the younger son,
The Elder’s right obtain?
I’ll put my Brother’s raiment on,
And thus the blessing gain.
Father, I joyfully believe
Thou art well pleased with me;
Thou dost at my approach perceive
A heavenly fragrancy.
Thou dost thy gracious will declare,
Thou dost delight to bless;
And why? My Brother’s garb I wear,
My Saviour’s righteousness.
January 22.—Evening. [Or February 13.]
“I will not leave thee.”
ESAU vowed to kill Jacob, and therefore Rebekah was obliged to send her favourite son away. This she little expected when she travelled a crooked way to earn him promotion.
10 ¶ And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. (Alone, without a servant to attend him, or a beast to carry him, with only his staff to lean upon, the heir of the promises set out upon his long journey of about five hundred miles.)
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. (He had a hard bed and a cold bolster, but he had a sweet sleep, and a sweeter dream. Often when the head lies hardest the heart is lightest. Our times of great trial are times of heavenly visitation.)
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (Note the many “beholds” in the passage. They call for our special attention. The patriarch dreamed of Jesus—sweetest of all dreams. He saw how heaven and earth are joined by the Messiah, and how free is the intercourse between God and man by the way of the Mediator.)
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. (Having seen the Messiah as the ladder, he beheld the glory of Jehovah the covenant God, and received the covenant blessing. Every syllable must have sounded as sweetest music in his ears. Note that choice word, “I will not leave thee.” Whom God loves he never leaves. “Till I have done that which I have spoken to thee of;”—saying and doing are two very different things with men, but not with God.)
16 ¶ And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
He was full of awe, even to trembling. He felt as if he had slept in the temple of Jehovah, and therefore as a sinner he was moved with fear. He had not been afraid of wild beasts or heathen men, but now though filled with holy confidence he is equally filled with sacred awe.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. (We must honour God with our substance. Some set up a stone of remembrance, but they pour no oil on the top of it, for they offer nothing unto the Lord.)
19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el (the house of God): but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. (Here was a little of the bargaining spirit in covenanting for bread to eat and raiment to put on, but still there was genuine faith. He renounces all other trusts, casts himself upon the divine care, and dedicates a tithe unto the Lord. God has dealt so well with each of us, that we ought never to stint his cause. Can we not do something even now to honour the Lord with our substance and with the first-fruits of our increase?)
Jesus that ladder is
Th’ incarnate Deity,
Partaker of celestial bliss
And human misery;
Lo! up and down the scale
The angels move! with love!
And God, the Great Invisible,
Himself appears above.
 Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 43–44). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.