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Sunday: Jacob and Esau — 14 Comments

  1. Who inherits the farm? How often have I seen that issue arise in our modern world? Even in an era where family farms are disappearing, overtaken by corporate ownership. So it is interesting to note that the Jacob and Esau story shows that the issue was alive and well ~3000 years ago.

    And the other interesting issue is how do you treat your children equally when they have very different personalities. Isaac and Rebecca took sides which is so easy to do. We make moral judgments about how they handled the situation but I am not sure that we do all that much better today. Carmel and I have two very different children (now adults) and while we tired to treat them equally we had to learn to treat them in a way that suited their personalities too. Looking back now, I wish I knew as much then as I know now.

    Perhaps, more than anything else, we can learn from this story that God works with dysfunctional families, and our ignorance. The story of Jacob and Esau is one of those "warts and all" accounts where God takes us just as we are and moulds our character though experience and interaction. That is both a comfort and a challenge to committed Christians.

    • "Looking back now, I wish I knew as much then as I know now."

      As my father in law used to remark, "Zu früh alt—zu spät schlau." (Too soon old—too late smart.) This is why we should pray continually, especially when we working through relationships with family, friends and anyone else God brings into our sphere of influence. God knows the influence our lives have on the lives of others, especially our children.

      Especially our children. Sin is constantly crouching at their door, just waiting to dominate them, and we as parents must work with them prayerfully and humbly to subdue it. Much too often, our character defects—expressed in our words and actions—aid and abet the work of the Adversary of our souls.

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching our children. God will lead in spite of ourselves if we are willing to let him. In accordance with their temperaments, he will show us how to win our childrens’ hearts as they come to know God’s love through us.

  2. Lying and trickery only brings negative results in the long run, it's much better to be honest work hard for what you want. When a person starts with a lie then they will continue covering with another. In the end only heartaches results.

  3. Big lesson for parents this week.
    Lets love all our children equally in order to save future bad consequences.
    deep quote here "The results were tragic, adding whole new layers of dysfunction to an already dysfunctional family."


  4. My take on Jacob and Esau is that if Jacob would have let Esau obtain the birthright and blessing, God would have worked it out for the linage of Christ to come through Jacob because Jacob was interested in being faithful to God which was more of a criteria for the blessing than being the oldest. This was not taught. Issac was bent on his misguided affection towards Esau, who had disavowed God, and Rebekah hadn't learned to wait on the Lord. Unfortunately Jacob who was of accountable age, had to go through some hard knocks before he learned to rely on God. Yes many lessons for us today.

    • I agree. This is a good example of the ways of the world vs. the ways of God. It shows the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit.

  5. Today's lesson illustrates well that God is no stranger to being ready, willing and able to get involved in helping us through and beyond our dysfunction - and to do so with utmost compassion. Unfortunately that process can be, and unfortunately often is, considerably painful and messy at times along the way.

  6. Esau and Jacob had different personalities, just like the twelve disciples were different. I believe that the LORD has a place and a mission for each personality.
    Just because Esau was an outgoing Artisan and Jacob was a introverted Idealist doesn't mean one was more suited to receive Isaac's blessing than the other. The criteria was who was willing to submit their lives to the LORD, initially both wanted to control the outcome and went about it the wrong way.

  7. I see Jacob in these verses as being a shrewed and coniving brother towards Esau. Esau comes worn and tired and asks his brother Jacob for some of his stew and Jacob takes advantage of this and makes a bargain for his brother Esau's birthright. Jacob should have just been merciful to his brother Esau and just shared his stew with him. I see absolutely no kind of pesonality trait of "worthiness" for any kind of blessing from his father Isaac or even God for Jacob in these verses of Genesis 25:21-34. In fact it was this very, coniving shrewdness of Jacob, that led Esau to then hunt down Jacob to kill him later when Jacob then decieved his father to pretend to be Esau when Isaac was ready to bless Isau with his birthright before Isaac died.

  8. This is too familiar story with us. How many times do we take advantage of our neighbors when they come to us with emergencies compelling them to dispose of their only valuable property and we bargain to purchase the property at no value?
    We are not any different from Jacob if we don't emphasize with our fellow brethren.

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
    Matthew 7:12

  9. Awareness that life is more than food and drink stands at the beginning of the spiritual relationship with our Creator. If someone is satisfied with life as it presents itself in its physical form/reality, no hungering for the spiritual side of life develops. Through the Grace of our Creator Father, this spiritual hunger can develop into full awareness that man has a Creator which reaches out to His children. This developing spiritual hunger can become more powerful than the need to eat and keep the body alive.

    The best example of the power of this spiritual hunger is demonstrated by the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a man like us, but He recognized the spiritual calling and desire to walk with His Father and do His Will exclusively.
    At the time of Jacob's insistance that Esau sell him his birthright, it appears that Jacob was open and receptive to include the spiritual aspects of life. It most likely also included the understanding of the God-given, spiritually based promises given to his fathers Abraham and Jacob to enlarge their family's impact on others – Gen.25:31-34.

    I looked up what Esau’s birthright meant: … (the right to be recognized as firstborn). The birthright (bekorah) has to do with both position and inheritance. By birthright, the firstborn son inherited the leadership of the family and the judicial authority of his father. 'Wikipedea'

    Yes, his mother insisted on Jacob becoming the leader of his father’s family, even to the point of using deception, in order to make this ‘birthright’ his. Interestingly, the God of his fathers was not Jacob's God at the time of the deception and might not have been Rebecca's either. He would accept Him as his God later one, though, when he encountered him on his way to Haran – Gen.28:20-22, and later again, on his way home as he wrestled with the angel and committed himself to accept his father's God – Gen.32:22-32.

  10. By the way, it was not until after I posted my last one about Jaob's coniving shrewdness about his brother Esaus's birthright that it came to me that it was Jacob's own mother who then helped her son Jacob to deceive her husband Isaac to pretend to be Esau and give Esau's birthright blessing to her son Jacob. Here again we have the same tactics (of Sarah to tell her husband Abraham to have a child by her maid to try to help God fulfill His Promises to them with wrong actions.) But it is also strange to me that God blesses Jacob like He blessed Hagar and Ishmael etc. inspite of the wrongs actions of these people who are also part of the true people of God. And in Jesus, all who claim His Spilled Blood are also now blessed by God and are considered to be "Abrahams' seed."


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