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Bad Luck

Open your eyes to what's really going on.

Genesis 27:46-28:5 (ESV)

Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother's father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!” Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

Okay, this is strange. Jacob had tricked Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing. Then Isaac trembled very violently and said [to Esau], “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?” — Genesis 27:33a (ESV)

Now it looks like all is forgotten, and Isaac’s happy. He even asks God to give the blessing of Abraham to Jacob. How is that possible? What changed?

This looks like it has something to do with the LORD’s prophesy to Rebekah in Genesis 25:23.

And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” (ESV)

When Isaac tried to give his blessing to Esau, he either didn’t know about the prophesy, or wasn’t thinking about it, or was resisting it. Now he’s mindful of God’s will for his sons and is good with it.

There’s no indication that Rebekah kept the prophesy secret (or had any reason to). However, that was years ago, and she might have told it to Isaac in a way that didn’t stick. It meant a lot to Rebekah—she was distraught over the battle going on inside her—but Isaac may have been busy and just said something akin to, “Yes, dear."

But now it seems to be on his mind. Maybe she reminded him of the prophesy and that calmed him down. Or maybe, as he was shaking in disbelief over how he’d been deceived, he recalled it and connected the dots on his own. No matter how the change happened, Isaac had been on the wrong side of God’s will.

He was, to use the New Testament expression, “kicking against the goads.”

Have you ever done that—noticed that things were going against you in ways so extraordinary that they felt supernatural? That can be a great blessing in disguise.

Any time you’re amazed at your “bad luck,” open your eyes. Consider that God might be trying to get your attention.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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