Tragic Stories Touch Secret Wounds

English: Isaac Feels Jacob as Rebekah Looks On...
English: Isaac Feels Jacob as Rebekah Looks On, watercolor by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter-a-Day Genesis 27

Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” Genesis 27:37 (NLT)

As an actor, I find it interesting to read the theatrical lengths to which Rebekah and Jacob went to make Jacob convincingly play the part of Esau and deceive Isaac. As  I read today’s chapter, I also thought what a tragic story is revealed in these past few chapters.

  • How twin brothers could be so different
  • The conspiracy of (seemingly) heaven and earth to favor Jacob from birth
  • The parental favoritism that divides the parents and family
  • The deceptive stealing of birthright and blessing
  • The fulfillment of Jacob’s given name (which in Hebrew sounds like both “Heel” & “Deceiver”)

I couldn’t help, as I read, to think of other epic stories told on film such as Legends of the Fall and The Godfather which deal with similar themes of fathers and sons, of favoritism and blessing, and of tragedy and loss. I believe that there is something very compelling in these stories for us because they tap into very human realities from our very own family systems and experiences. These are things which families rarely speak about or even acknowledge, and  their suppression makes the truth and reality of them even more powerful when we read or see similar themes so artfully articulated in story. It’s like scratching at an old wound.

I walk away from some stories and chapters with more questions than answers. Today’s chapter is one of them. Why did God seem to honor the deception of Rebekah and Isaac? How could Isaac so passively allow these things to happen? How and why does God utilize human brokenness and sin to bring about His will?

It’s a good morning for a cup of coffee and a thoughtful conversation around such interesting questions.

7 thoughts on “Tragic Stories Touch Secret Wounds”

  1. First of all, I LOVE Legends of the Fall and am glad to have found a man secure enough to admit it’s a good film.
    Secondly, I think that Jacob makes a good foil for Joseph. One waited patiently for God to fulfil the prophecy for his life, the other took matters into his own hands. One took advantage of his older brother, the other showed mercy to his. And, in a way, they parallel the Adam-Christ connection: the latter is greater than the first. I can’t wait til we get to the next generation and see what connections show up.

    1. That’s a GREAT take, Samantha! I love the contrast of the two stories and characters. There’s a lot of great fodder there for conversation. Not only from the perspective of history and God’s Message, but also from the perspective of how we see God using different persons/personalities/experiences in our own families and lives.

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