Recently, my husband and I spent some time with extended family members taking a tour of the cave at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. During the cave tour, there was a point when the guide turned out all the lights so we could experience what the first explorers had.
When the guide turned the lights back on, one of the younger tour members asked in a frantic voice, “Are you going to do that again?”
The guide assured the young tour member that she would not be turning the lights out again.
We all understood the concern experienced by this youngster about not being able to see.
Unlike being in a cave with no light, many of us experience a gradual loss of physical sight as we age.
This forces us to rely on others and use our other senses to process our interactions with others in this world.
Genesis 27:1 starts by telling us Isaac was old and his eyes had grown too dim to see.
What reasons does Isaac give for calling Esau to him?
What does Isaac ask Esau to do?
Review what the Lord told Rebekah about Esau and Jacob, his younger twin brother, when they were still in her womb.
Also, consider the following passage.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 
Why did Isaac favor Esau?
Read again our verses for today.
Did Isaac include anyone else in his plans to bless Esau according to the verses above?
Why would Isaac want to bless Esau privately?
Read the blessing Isaac intended for Esau.
Describe the responsibilities and benefits of Isaac’s intended blessing for Esau.
Review again what the Lord told Rebekah about Esau and Jacob his younger twin brother when they were still in her womb.
Based on Isaac’s actions in Genesis 27:1-4 and 28-29, do you think Rebekah told Isaac what the Lord said to her about their boys when they were still in her womb? Why or why not?
What do Isaac’s actions in Genesis 27:1-4 and 28-29 reveal about Isaac at this stage of his life?
Was Isaac’s physical blindness his primary handicap? Why or why not?
Even today, cultural practice frequently assumes that the oldest sibling will be the one who receives the responsibilities of “head of the clan” once the parental figures decline or die.
List some practical reasons for this as a frequent cultural norm.
Yet, scripture reveals God frequently bypasses the expected cultural practices.
Consider the following scripture from the book of 1 Samuel.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Remember Esau’s interaction with Jacob regarding his birthright? Esau came in from a hunting expedition famished and agreed to sell his birthright to his brother for a single bowl of lentil stew and some bread. Scripture then flatly states, “thus, Esau despised his birthright.” (See Gen 25:29-34)
The motivation of both Isaac and Esau in the passages we’re looking at today was favoritism and tasty food.
What is God’s motivation for describing this family’s weaknesses with us?
Is there anywhere in your past where your “eyes” were too dim to see, like Isaac and Esau’s? What happened as a result?
Like the young girl in the Silver Dollar City cave tour, whenever circumstances are “dark”, we can ask questions. In her case, she wanted to know if the lights would go out again, not just because it scared her, but so she would know what to expect.
For us, whatever the circumstance we face, past, present or future, if we ask God about them we can expect the following.
How do you practice listening to God for his direction? Share your examples in the comments below.
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