The Scientific Method

May 26, 2010 at 9:26 am | Posted in Genesis | 12 Comments
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Rebekah and Jacob concocted a scheme to get Jacob the blessing of his father, Isaac, but they did not need to do this. God had already ordained that Jacob would receive it. Jacob’s name is complex. In Hebrew it is Yaaquob, which sounds like aqueb. Aqueb is the word for heel. Aqueb also sounds like aqab, which means “to supplant or sneak up from behind and overtake by surprise.” So, while the name “Jacob” actually means “may God protect,” it became a nickname for someone who is a trickster or a “heel-grabber.” Jacob, of course, came out of the womb grabbing Esau from behind, as though he were trying to overtake him. This paints Jacob in a bad light, but at least he wanted the spiritual blessings. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. God can deal with you to change your means if your motive (heart) desires Him.

Now, after that brief interlude about Jacob’s name and his birth, let’s go back to the narrative of Issac:

And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death. Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.

Genesis 26:11-19

The old wells had living water.

And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.

Genesis 26:20

Esek meant “contention.”

And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.

Genesis 26:21

Sitnah meant “hating” or “strife.”

And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

Genesis 26:22

Rehoboth meant “enlargement.” Isaac wanted God to enlarge his territory not just to get more land – he wanted to enlarge his influence. The Philistines saw his tents and altars every time he moved. We should ask God to enlarge our sphere of influence for witnessing.

Once again, we see in Esau evidence of his lack of desire for spiritual things.

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Genesis 26:34-35

In Chapter 27 Jacob’s trickery shows that his name was well-deserved. He attempts to supplant his brother by creeping around behind his back, although the scheme seems to be more of Rebekah’s idea.

And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.

Genesis 27:19

Isaac is lying down, probably bedridden.

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.

Genesis 27:21

Apparently, he can’t see. He is blind both physically and spiritually. He has closed his eyes to God’s command. He should not have been wanting to give the blessing to Esau. God had commanded that Jacob was to get it, and, furthermore, Esau had evidenced a flesh-driven nature.

Little children, in elementary school, are commonly taught the “scientific method.” I know it’s more complicated than this, but, basically it boils down to teaching them to take matter and examine its properties, and learn about it, using their natural senses. Touch it. Look at it. Smell it. Taste it. I’m not opposed to children being taught that way, but think of the spiritual implications. In Genesis Chapter 27, Isaac employed a form of the scientific method with Jacob. Jacob and Rebekah plotted to deceive Isaac into thinking that Jacob was Esau. Isaac touched him. He listened to him. He couldn’t see him but, no doubt, he smelled him. And he came to the wrong conclusion! It would have been better for Isaac just to believe God’s promise by faith, that Jacob, although the younger, and not Esau, was to receive the blessing.

And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

Genesis 27:6-10

We are not told how Rebekah made goat meat taste like venison, but look at Jacob’s concern:

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

Genesis 27:11-12

Jacob did not want to break the “11th Commandment:” Thou shalt not get caught.

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Hebrews 12:16-17

Isaac trembled after being deceived, but Esau did not accept any of the blame. He sought the blessing “carefully” with many tears. Then, when Jacob was sent away to keep Esau from killing him, look at what Esau did:

When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

Genesis 28:6-9

He took a third wife from Uncle Ishmael’s family.

Just as a side note, Genesis 28:22 is the second mention of the practice of tithing in the Bible, the first being Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek.


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