Saturday, November 24, 2007

Genesis 25 - Esau and Jacob

Esau and Jacob

Gen 25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
Gen 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
Gen 25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

As Sarah, before her, she was barren until Isaac entreated the LORD; then she became pregnant. Verse 26 says that Isaac was sixty years old when Rebecca gave birth. They waited twenty years, and God was faithful, for the promised covenant was to be through their seed.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.

From the womb, the two son's struggled against each other. Their children would continue to be struggling to get along. In a spiritual sense, it is as the struggle between our flesh and obeying God's Holy Spirit.

Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

God told her that two nations were in her womb the younger would rule over the older. They were chosen, one above the other before birth.

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

One was chosen, the other rejected. Paul points out God's choice was not based on the performance of Jacob or Esau. The choice was made when they were not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil. Does God know who will be saved, by his choice? Perhaps so, yet we are commanded to witness. I do not think it wise to continue to witness where we are openly rejected, like in Atheist chat rooms, but let God's Spirit direct you. He uses us in the process and our prayers do move his hand.

This points out to the all knowing sovereign will of God. Is it fair? Of course it is, he knows what is right and his will shall be done. It was foreordained. This is the election or the choice of God, by his perfect will. I will not say that our part is unnecessary, we are commanded to witness. God draws people to Jesus by his spirit. Jesus was foreordained to be the way for us to be reconciled to God.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

The chosen are known by God, from the beginning of creation, yet that does not excuse us from witnessing. He chose us with a purpose. Our purpose will not be fulfilled if we do nothing; it requires obedience.

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
John 4:37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

Gen 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

Esau means hairy. No, this was not Harry, as in Harry Potter, although they may have some similar traits. Jewish legend called Esau an idolator, from the womb. His people were the Edomites; Edom means red.

Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Jacob, meant heel holder, a supplanter; one who replaces another by force or schemes. The idea of a "heel-catcher" meant something in that day. It had the idea of "trickster," "con-man," "scoundrel," or "rascal." It wasn't a compliment. This title fit Jacob.

Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

The word plain, can mean an ordinary quiet sort of person. The same word was used for Job, being a blameless or perfect man.

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Gen 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

As often happens, there were favorites. Not often are different children favored by mom and dad. Isaac loved Esau, a man's man, a strong hairy hunter. Rebekah loved Jacob, who was mild and liked to cook. God also favored one over the other.

Mal 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

God hated or rejected Esau, from the womb. Yet, we often witness by saying God loves all the same. In Christ Jesus, God loves us. If we continue in disobedience we may be rejected. God does not favor those who reject him, yet we are not God and should not condemn, but use godly wisdom. To be loved by God, we should love him in return. This is the greatest command.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Those who continue in unbelief, they are condemned, that is why we pray for them. Where there is life, there is hope.

Gen 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
Gen 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

Edom, means red. The descendents of Easau were called Edomites. Herod, in the time of our Lord, was an Edomite.

Gen 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

Actually God had given Jacob the birthright in the womb, he did not have to trick Esau. This just confirmed the prophesy. It was not stealing, for it was already his. This reminds me of Jesus. Jesus did not steal the name or nature of God, he always was God. Jacob was given the inheritance in the womb, but he sought it by fleshly means, using his trickery. Phil 2:6 (Jesus) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Gen 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

Esau, is a type of those who had no regard for God's eternal kingdom, but was more interested in a quick fleshly fulfillment. This may be the curse on our generation, we want things, now. We are an impatient people used to having our fleshly needs and desires.

Gen 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

The son of the birthright received a double portion of the inheritance, but he also became the head of the family and the spiritual leader upon the passing of the father. And, in the case of this family, the birthright determined who would inherit the covenant God made with Abraham, the covenant of a land, a nation, and the Messiah. Esau had no regard for this, but chose a bowl of stew.

Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

As a Christian, I see others who were once with us, who turned away from Christ for some worldly pursuit. This is heartbreaking.

Return to your first love

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Do not fall away

2 Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Not of us

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Edomite leaders

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It takes effort to follow God, to pray, to witness to study and to teach. These are things that will last. Earthly things will pass away. Will God receive us and our work for him or will we be rejected, as Esau, who despised his inheritance? Salvation is by faith in Jesus and without him we are lost. In him, we can do the good works of God.

Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Jesus' reference to violence refers to both the intensity of spiritual warfare surrounding the ministry of Jesus and His herald, and also to the intensity required to persevere in following God and "taking" the kingdom into our hearts. Stand fast and move forward in God's Spirit.

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