Good morning! As usual, there are so many things to notice in today’s reading. I hope you’ll notice that the blessings to Abraham are going specifically to Isaac (and not Ishmael) and to Jacob (and not Esau).
And I hope you’ll notice that Esau chose a wife from among the Canaanites, which never ends well.
And I hope you’ll notice that YHVH reveals Himself very clearly and very graciously to Jacob in a dream. Jacob doesn’t say, “Wow, I ate too much pizza last night. That was a crazy dream!” Instead, he acts upon it, raising up a pillar of remembrance and choosing to give a tenth of all his increase back to YHVH.
The thing that popped out at me today, though, is that Rachel asked Jacob to “obey her voice.” The Hebrew words here are שְׁמַע בְּקֹלִי, pronounced shema b’koli. The word shema is famously used in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, so famous that Jews today recite these words twice a day.
“Hear, O Israel: YHVH our God, YHVH is one! You shall love YHVH your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
The word hear is shema (Strong’s #8085), which means “to perceive or apprehend by the ear; to listen to with attention; to obey.” In other words, don’t just hear a noise, but take action on it. Obey is a good translation of what Rachel said to her son Jacob in Genesis 27.
“Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you” (Genesis 27:8).
I don’t think Rachel should have tried to deceive her husband. It bothers me that their relationship, so sweet a few chapters ago, has deteriorated to this point.
However, I do want you to see that Rachel has taught her favorite son to obey. Jacob is in the habit of obeying his mother, and he will carry that habit over into obedience to YHVH, his heavenly father.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which YHVH your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).
“My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9).
“Children, obey your parents in YHVH, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
And I couldn’t help remembering what Yeshua said:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
It should be noted that His sheep obey His voice. They listen to Him and His commands with attention, to obey, just as a son obeys the voice of his mother and honors her.
And in Matthew 25, we find one of my favorite parables, the story of the talents given to the Master’s servants. Please note how the third servant was not a good listener:
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.’
“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:24-29).
I’d like to point out how similar this is to something Yeshua says in Mark:
“‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’ Then [Yeshua] said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him'” (Mark 4:23-25).
Pay attention to the voices you listen to, and teach your children that hearing means obeying. To those who have been trained to hear and obey, more blessings will come.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Any Amazon links mentioned in this post are affiliate links. That means I make a small commission from any purchases you make at Amazon after visiting my site. This helps our family purchase books and supplies we need to study for future ministry.
To Study Further:
- Why does it look like YHVH doesn’t care about Esau? Read what Paul says about this in Romans 9.