This week we continue our look at the life of the Old Testament patriarch, Jacob, through the book is Escaping with Jacob by David Ramos. As we read last week, temptation strikes when we are at our weakest - and also when we desire to be something greater or different than we are. In this lesson, the downward spiral of Jacob's character continues, this time encouraged by his own mother.
Week 3: Read Genesis 27:1-17 (Broken Beauty)
"Isaac calls in his eldest son and gives him the task of hunting and cooking in order to receive his final blessing. However, there were other ears listening in on the private conversation. Rebekah desires the blessing for her favorite son - whether out of spite for Esau or pride in Jacob. It seems that Jacob has gotten his skills in deception from her.
The scene is set. Esau is off hunting while Jacob is being transformed into an odd replica of his brother: smelly, hairy, and carrying good food. Rebekah reassures her son once more that this will work and sends him in to manipulate his dying father.
This is not the backstory one would expect from the man who would go on to become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Neither is this family environment one you would expect for a group of people who have clearly been promised by God that they are an integral part of God's plan. This doesn't look or sound anything like what we would expect "God's people" to behave like. Sons taking advantage of their fathers, wives of their husbands, siblings of each other. Everything about this is broken.
And that is exactly the point. The brokenness of Jacob is ultimately for the glory of God. Every crack in his shape is another opportunity for God's light to shine through.
There is aa Japanese art called "kintsugi." In this practice, one repairs broken items such as pottery with a lacquer made from precious metals (gold, silver, platinum). The precious metals fill in the cracks, and instead of hiding them, the process makes them stand out. The reason they do this is because they believe brokenness is part of the object's history and should be shown rather than hidden.
Jacob's life is the story form of kintsugi. God did not want Jacob's brokenness to be hidden. He didn't want to disguise the ugly parts of his story. God chose to show the painful, uncomfortable scenes because he was committed to filling those cracks with beauty. As we will see, Jacob's deception hurt his father and brother to the core of their hearts. It caused a divide within their family that would last decades. But even amongst all that pain, the story was not finished. There was still beauty to be found.."
Takeaway from today's lesson: Our brokenness is an essential part of our stories.
Prayer: God, thank you that you have amazing plans for me, despite my failures and scars. Help me to see the beauty you see in myself and in others. Amen.