Today’s Bible Reading:
Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 3:9-10
When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25: 27-34, NASB 1995)
I learned something new when I studied this passage. In verse 27 it is stated that “Jacob was a peaceful man.” Turns out that word “peaceful” is really loaded. The Hebrew term used here is the same word translated in other Scripture as “perfect, upright, undefiled.” So, the word plain refers to Jacob's character as a man of God. This is really a head scratcher because we know all to well that Jacob is certainly not perfect and upright. When next we see him, in today’s reading, he is working with his mother to deceive his father and “steal” the blessing that Isaac was going to give to Esau. Can it be a picture of our own relationship with God now in Christ Jesus? God has chosen us, He has defined our character despite our flaws, to be that of Christlikeness. I know how very imperfect I am and yet that is not who God says I am in Christ. He says I am perfect, holy, righteous.
Jacob and Esau present a difficulty to us with God’s calling of His people. I don’t really want to get into that, but here we see how, through the imperfect choices of Jacob and the very foolish choices of Esau, furthered God’s plan for the fulfillment of His covenant promise to Abraham. One brother despised those promises so much that he threw away any hope of receiving the blessings he should have inherited as a descendant of Abraham… for a plate of food. Esau despised it, and as the book of Hebrews informs us, that choice had devastating consequences. Could these brothers then present to us a picture of our choice to either accept or reject Jesus as the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer? A picture of that day that will come when those who have rejected the precious gift of God’s grace will beg and plead to receive the blessings of salvation but face the awful truth that it is then too late. They despised God’s plan in order to satisfy the oh so temporary longings of the flesh. And then those who are received into the Kingdom of God through no merit of their own but only by the blood of Jesus shed for them. Only by believing on Jesus.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done. (Hebrews 12:15-17)
May grace, peace, and mercy abound,