What an odd, even troubling story, about Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau. Oh, the family drama and deception! I suspect we all know the story pretty well about how the plot was hatched and carried out to supplant Esau with Jacob as the family heir. In Romans 9, Paul commented on this episode, declaring that all took place in order to fulfill God’s choice of Jacob. And to Jacob, there, in his dream of the ladder reaching to heaven, God stood above the ladder and said to Jacob, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac” (28:13). God hearkened back to Jacob’s father and grandfather and the promises made to them and, then, assured Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (28:15).
The story continues with Jacob marrying Laban’s daughters. Laban contrived to thwart Jacob’s desire for Rachel, but as with all things, matters worked out as God intended. Not only did Jacob leave Laban’s territory with Rachel, but he “increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys” (30:43). We might, from time to time, fear that the promise (see Genesis 3:15) is about to fail. Nope! Through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will come the Redeemer. God has said it. He will bring it to pass. Surely, if Jacob had had these words, he would sing them with us!
He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
still ‘tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, he leadeth me;
by his own hand he leadeth me:
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me. –"He Leadeth Me,” Joseph H. Gilmore (1862)