The Blessing Passes to Jacob
Key Verse: “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.”
THE EVENTS THAT LEAD UP to our Key Verse are important to call to mind. Isaac had taken Rebekah to be his wife, and she gave birth to twins—Esau being the firstborn, and Jacob being born after him. (Gen. 25:20-26) Following the custom of the day, Esau was considered to be the heir of his father, Isaac, since he was the firstborn. Later, however, when both boys were grown and now young men, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob “for bread and pottage.” (vss. 27-34) The culmination of these events ended with Jacob obtaining his father’s blessing, while posing in disguise as Esau, at the urging of his mother Rebekah. Isaac blessed Jacob with the words, “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: … and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”—chap. 27:29
Esau was so angered by these events that he sought to kill his brother Jacob. However, God overruled in this matter, and Jacob was protected. Esau left his home, and took heathen wives, contrary to the wishes of his parents. Jacob obediently followed these instructions, receiving this further promised blessing: “God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger.”—Gen. 28:3,4
Jacob, because of his faith in God’s promises, was now practically an outcast from his home, fleeing through fear of Esau. The narrative continues, relating the experience of Jacob’s dream, which he had as he rested from his journey. In the dream, Jacob saw a ladder set up on the earth, the top of which reached heaven. On the ladder, he saw angels ascending and descending. We then read: “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.” (vs. 13) God then reaffirmed the promise he had made to Abraham, saying, “Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, … and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (vs. 14) The Abrahamic Covenant promise had now passed to Jacob, and he was content with the loss of the things he had left behind to obtain this great favor from God.
In a greater fulfillment of these verses from Genesis 28, they prophetically point to a time of the regathering of fleshly Israel to their land. God has not forsaken his chosen people, just as he had not forsaken Jacob. We rejoice in these words spoken by God through the prophet: “The Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord.” (Jer. 31:11,12) Jacob is spoken of by Paul as representing natural Israel. Like Jeremiah, he also says that they will receive all the blessings promised to them at the end of the Gospel Age, when the work of developing spiritual Israel, pictured by Isaac, is complete.—Rom. 11:25-29