Christian Living
Greater Than Our Disobedience
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Jul 18, 2022
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TIMELY BOOK FROM DR. YOUSSEF

Read Genesis 27:1-28:5.

I think we are all more like Isaac than we'd care to admit. That's because, without a gut-check from the Holy Spirit, we tend to act on our emotions instead of on the Truth of God's Word.

Isaac knew what God wanted for his family—for his sons. The Lord had told Rebekah, "[T]he older will serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23). But Isaac wanted his oldest boy, Esau, to be favored, and he became more resolved to favor him with each passing year. Thus in his old age, Isaac made a secret deal with Esau (see Genesis 27:2–4)—willfully going against the will of God.

God is looking for humble obedience, a broken and contrite heart in those times when we stumble, so that He might lift us up.

My friend, in the course of our lives, we all face situations like these. Satan tempts us daily to act on our emotions rather than the Truth of God's Word. The choice before us is this: Will we allow our sinful impulses to get the best of us, or will we allow God's will and His Word to drive every decision we make?

Instead of being open with his family, Isaac made his own secret plans because he knew he was going against God's revelation spoken to Rebekah. Then in response to Isaac's stubborn, self-guided resolve, Rebekah betrayed her husband, plotting with Jacob to deceive his father so that Isaac did give his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Learning from the misdeeds of this family, we must ask ourselves, "Am I living my life in secret or in the open?"

When Isaac realized he had been tricked, Scripture tells us he "trembled violently" (Genesis 27:33). This was the trembling of repentance, of godly sorrow for his prideful actions. At that moment, he was filled with guilt—but it was a good guilt, for it led him to repentance. And that is why, two thousand years later, the New Testament describes Isaac as a man of faith: "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future" (Hebrews 11:20). 

You see, even God's chosen people make mistakes. But in His grace, God does not demand perfection of us—that would be impossible, which is why He secured our righteousness through the perfect life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Rather, God is looking for humble obedience, a broken and contrite heart in those times when we stumble, so that He might lift us up (see James 4:10; Psalm 51:17, 147:6).

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for giving me Your righteousness. May I remember Your goodness when I sin so that I turn to You in repentance with humble confidence that Your love overcomes my transgressions. I long to be transformed. May Your Spirit work in my heart to make me new day by day. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Isaac trembled violently and said, 'Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!'" (Genesis 27:33).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Fear Deceives, Grace Frees: WATCH NOW