What do I do when I have the right to do something, but the required action transgresses my moral comfort?

Genesis 27:10-12

10 And you’ll go in to your father, and he’ll eat. Because of[1] that he’ll bless you before his death. 11 And Jacob said to his mother, Rebekah, “Look, Esau my brother (is) a hairy[2] man, but I’m a smooth[3] man, 12 Perhaps my father will touch and feel[4] me, and, in his eyes, I’ll be like a deceiving trickster[5] and I’ll bring a curse to myself and not a blessing.


This story is so intriguing!  Jacob has bought the birthright.  Isaac either doesn’t know (improbable) or wants to ignore the fact, and, now, Rebekah is scheming a way for Jacob to trick his father into giving him what is rightfully his… through acquisition.  I have to wonder whether Rebekah even put Isaac up to watching out for a moment when he could sell the soup at the right price…  i.e. for the birthright.

Rebekah told Jacob that he was going to take the food in to his father, and, simple, he’d receive the blessing before Isaac died.

Jacob isn’t so sure.  He said, “What were you thinking, mum?  Esau’s hairy, and I’m smooth-skinned.  What’s going to happen is that dad will touch me, feel my smooth skin, and he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.”

So here are the facts:

  1. Jacob bought the birthright, and, he believed, with it, the accompanying blessing… so, Rebekah and Jacob were going after something that they believed Jacob owned
  2. Isaac either didn’t know, or didn’t care about a “silly” deal between the two boys, and intended at least the blessing to go to Esau, the firstborn and favourite… and, by law, the birthright wasn’t really Esau’s to sell… only Jacob could change it (as I understand it)
  3. Jacob was feeling at best uneasy about the situation, mainly because he thinks he’ll get sprung.

My question, “What do I do when I have the right to do something, but the required action transgresses my moral comfort?”


Father, this is really challenging today, in that I need You to show me what to do.  Please help me to take Your path and to do things Your way.  Please help me to respect and honour and treasure all the gifts and rights that I have in You, and to use them to bring You glory.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

[1] עֲבוּר – ʿabuwr, ʿabur – Strongs 5668 – (prep) – “sake/account/because/so/order/for the sake of/on account of/because of/in order to/in order that/reason/so that/while”

[2] שָׂעִיר, שָׂעִיר, שָׂעִיר – saʿiyr, saʿir – Strongs 8163 – (adj) – “male/male goat/goat/goats/hairy/shaggy/pertaining to having more hair than normal/he-goat/buck/goat-idol/goat-demon/demon-posessed goat/rain shower/raindrops/gentle rain”

[3] חָלַק – chalaq – Strongs 2509 – (adj) “flattering/smooth/smoother/creamy/slippery/moist/slippery/slick/smooth speech”

[4] מָשַׁשׁ – mashash – Strongs 4959 – (v) – “grope/gropes/felt through/feel/felt … to feel/to grope/touch and feel [Qal] … to feel over/to fel through/grope/use touch to examine thorougly [piel] … to feel/make one grope [Hifil]

[5] תָּעַע – ta‘a‘ – Strongs 8591 – (v) – “scoffed/mocked/deceived … to be a mocker/mock [Piel] … mocker/trickster/person playing a cruel joke in order to deceive/deceiving trickster [Piel Participle] to ridicule [Hitpael] … mocking/scoffing at/jeering at [Hitpael participle]”