Reading For Monday Genesis 25:19-34
The story is moving to the next generation as Abraham passes and Isaac is married. Isaac and his bride face the same infertility that his parents faced. You can imagine how many times Isaac had heard the story of his birth recounted many times. He had learned that God could be trusted and that indeed nothing was impossible for him. So when faced with the disappointment that accompanied the infertility, he prayed to the Lord for his wife and God answered. The Lord grants his prayer because he keeps his promises. Rebekah conceives and you can imagine their delight in this welcome news.
The pregnancy was filled with complications. There was a struggle within her and she knew something was not right. Perhaps, when she spoke with the other women, servants, and midwives, they told her that this was not normal. She inquired of the Lord and learned that she was having twins. She discovered that these boys were actually two nations and peoples that were struggling within her. This must have raised many questions in her heart and mind. She was also told that the birth order of these boys would not function in the customary way and the older would serve the younger.
This prophecy transpires from the moment of delivery. The first son comes out red and hairy. This son however, cannot make it out without his brother grabbing his heel and holding tightly. As the boys grew, Esau was the outdoorsy type that loved to hunt. Jacob was quiet and stayed close to home. Isaac gravitates toward Esau and Rebekah tends to favor Jacob. The siblings were completely different in appearance and temperament. The parents played favorites. There seem to be similar family traits being passed to the next generation. Everyone knew that Isaac, and not Ishmael, was the favorite. So we should not be surprised when we learn that Isaac and Rebekah governed their home the same way—choosing favorites (25:28).
The twins were different spiritually as well as physically. Esau was immoral and godless (Heb 12:16), while Jacob possessed some spiritual awareness. Jacob coveted the birthright which belonged to Esau. The birthright involved headship of the family, family priesthood, a double portion of wealth, and designation as covenant agency.
Jacob longed for the birthright so much that he was willing to secure it in an unscrupulous way and take advantage of his own family. Esau came in from the field very hungry and requested that Jacob give him some of the stew he was preparing. Instead of loving his brother, Jacob demanded first that his brother sell him the birthright. Esau's immediate need was more important than the privileges which might be his in the future so he swore an oath and sold his birthright for stew. Because of this, Esau despised the birthright.
Thing To Consider:
- Do you go to God when facing difficulty or do you just try to fix things yourself?
- Are there family patterns that need to be broken in your life?
- Do you manipulate family to get your way?
- Is there any unforgiveness in your life toward your family?