© Jeff Stacey | Last updated:4 November 2016
4B25. Initial reactions of Abraham and his chosen descendants:
These depended on their heart-motivations
4B25(a) Abraham and Sarah both initially reacted by laughing incredulously at God’s promise that she would bear a son in her extreme old age
When God first promised Abraham that he would be the father of a son born to Sarah, he initially reacted with laughing disbelief that she could become a mother in her extreme old age! Gen 17:17. Similarly, Sarah laughed incredulously when she overheard God repeat this promise to Abraham Gen 18:12. These initial reactions showed that they lacked faith in God concerning this “impossible” promise.
4B25(b) Jacob feared that Isaac might detect the deception
4B25(c) Esau condemned Jacob, then desperately asked Isaac for a similar blessing for himself
Esau initially reacted by condemning Jacob for deceitfully taking both his birthright and the patriarchal blessing rightfully due to him as the eldest son Gen 27:36a. He cried out three times for Isaac to bless him also Gen 27:34b,36b,38a then wept in despair Gen 27:38b when his father said it was impossible Gen 27:37b.
4B25(d) Jacob initially reacted by honoring God
When Jacob awoke he reacted fearfully by acknowledging God’s presence at the place where his dream had occurred Gen 28:16-17.
4B25(e) Jacob was outraged at Laban’s deception in giving him Leah instead of Rachel
When Jacob discovered next morning that it was Leah in bed with him he was justifiably outraged at Laban’s deception Gen 29:25. Yet it seems extraordinary that Jacob did not realise at bedtime that it was Leah and not Rachel with whom he was about to have sexual relations! (see Gen 29:17a). Had Leah covered herself with a veil? (see Gen 24:65b). Or had Jacob contributed to his own deception by being drunk or otherwise irresponsible the night before?
As for Laban’s “excuse” Gen 29:26 it would be extraordinary if Jacob had not been aware of such a custom after living there for seven years! It seems more likely that Laban simply invented this “custom”.
4B25(f) Jacob was stunned!
Initially Jacob was stunned and did not believe it when he heard that Joseph was still alive! Gen 45:26b.