I got a tremendous sense of frustration as I read this passage this morning. These Old Testament characters are REPEATEDLY deceptive. Specifically in today's chapter it is Rebekah and her son Jacob who deceive Isaac and sabotage Esau.
The relationship between Rebekah and Jacob strikes me as highly dysfunctional. There may always be a danger when a mother plays favorites. Although there is no indication in the Bible that Jacob struggled with this issue, I think mothers who smother and dominate their sons are opening them up to the possibility of same sex attraction.
Jacob seems very willing to take direction from his mother. In fact, he doesn't seem bothered at all by the fact that they plan to lie to his father. He only seems bothered by the possibility that they might get caught. "What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing," he says in verse 12.
Rebekah helps Jacob carry out the deception and Isaac blesses the younger son, not Esau his firstborn. Reading this chapter, I feel sorry for Esau. He seems like a decent enough fellow. Rugged. Hairy. Harworkng. The kind of man John Eldredge praises in "Wild at Heart." True, he is a bit impulsive earlier in Genesis when he sells his birthright to Jacob. But in this chapter he doesn't do anything wrong. He just gets to serve as an example of how sometimes life is beyond our control. Circumstances or people can rob it from us.
Ultimately my frustration is not going to get resolved in this chapter. While I detest their deceit, as does God, He still chooses to use them and honor them. Because of Abraham they are his chosen people and his plan of righteousness and redemption will prevail through, and in spite of, them.