Jacob, Supplanted His brother

God’s promises are not contingent upon manipulation or deceit. Trusting in God’s timing and process would have spared Jacob from years of strife and separation from his brother.

And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” Genesis 27:36

Genesis 27 recounts Isaac’s intention to bless his eldest son, Esau. Rebekah, upon learning of this, instructs Jacob to impersonate Esau to receive the blessing. Jacob complies with his mother’s plan, deceiving his father and defrauding Esau of his rightful blessing.

The word supplanter from Strong’s dictionary means: to be behind, to come from behind, to circumvent, to hold back, and to defraud. 

Defraud (according to Webster’s dictionary): to deprive of something by deception or fraud.

Deception, manifested through lies and manipulation, breeds distrust and division, corroding relationships over time. While Jacob’s actions seemingly secured immediate gain, his deceit ultimately lead to fractured relationships with his family.

God’s promises cannot be the impetus for striving or manipulation. Just as Joseph faced circumstances that seemed unfair, uncertain, and unending, God’s process holds a greater purpose if we choose to respond to it with godliness. Jacob didn’t need to Supplant Esau if he had trusted God and allowed him to fulfill His promise in His way and in His time. This could have also saved him years of running away from his brother.

Every circumstance presents an opportunity to deepen our understanding of God and our reliance on Him. While trials may evoke restlessness and drive, surrendering our striving allows God to shape us and our relationships.

Reflect on the areas of your life where restlessness and competitiveness prevail. Are deceit and manipulation undermining your relationships? Think of a time when your deceit or manipulation or someone else’s caused a division or a broken relationship. Reaffirm your trust in God, allowing Him to bring peace and restoration. Surrendering competitiveness opens the door to God’s transformative work in our lives and in our relationships.

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