The Christian home should be a refuge of peace and unity.
This lesson is about twin sons who were born to Isaac and Rebekah, Esau being the firstborn and Jacob being the younger. However, God chose Jacob to be the one who would pass on the spiritual heritage of Abraham and Isaac to future generations of their descendants. Not content to trust God to give him this destiny, Jacob, abetted by his mother Rebekah, committed sinful deeds, deceiving his father and defrauding his brother to steal his God-given destiny. The adversarial relationship between Jacob and Esau proved to be a source of great distress for Isaac and Rebekah, and a source of long running enmity between Jacob and Esau.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
SIBLING RIVALRY…….Sibling rivalry is commonplace in families and usually does not become destructive of family relationships. However, the first instance between Cain and Abel, ended in murder. Much later, as told in the lesson, the sibling rivalry between Esau and Jacob had painful consequences for the twin brothers and their parents, and came close to ending in murder.
…….Someone take the chance to share your thoughts about sibling rivalry and it’s effects on relationships…….
BROTHERS BORN AS RIVALS
A. Isaac’s Prayers Answered
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 intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
…….Many people believe that God is simply just going to do what He is just going to do. People don’t pray because they feel that God’s desire will happen regardless. But the truth is, He longs to hear our prayer and acts upon them according to His will and timing.
(Matthew 7:7 Ask and it shall be given unto you.
James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.)
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 enquire of the LORD.
…….Rebekah knew that if God would answer her prayers in conception, then He would answer her questions concerning the struggle.
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.
…….The beginning of this life story starts contrary to custom, the older would serve the younger.
B. Twin Brothers Born
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 (literally means “hairy”)
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.
…….The meaning if the name Jacob means heel catcher or supplanter. Before Jacob took his very first breath, it could be said that he was fighting for the leadership role. The child in his infancy could have never had any intentions in his actions whatsoever. But God uses miracles, signs and wonders to cause His people to stay on track of the purpose. How many times have you seen God use signs and wonders that line up with promises of your future?
JACOB BUYS ESAU’S BIRTHRIGHTS
A. Parental Partiality
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.
Gen 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
…….Though this can never be proven as a fact, I would say the Rebekah may have taken advantage of having such a close relationship with Jacob simply because she knew the promise. Esau was a mans man, and most likely the reason he was his fathers favorite.
Though Isaac knew that God had chosen his younger son to be ruler, he could not accept it. It is possible that the partiality and favoritism shown was the emphasis of the sibling rivalry.
B. Esau Despises His Birthright
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.
Gen 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
Gen 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
Gen 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
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.
…….Why do we so easily give up on what we are created for?!
We all know the story and the prophecy, and it would have been no other way, but what if Esau could have been God’s man. What if, out of the love of God, mercy would have been granted and he would have taken the role as heir of his fathers.
But we all know that wasn’t the case. He so freely gave up what was placed in his hands.
From that day forward, he lived in bitterness against his brother and against his creator.
Now that Esau had given up what was his, obviously it was no longer his to desire. If he would have turned his heart over to God and said give me a new desire to please you, maybe God would have settled peace in his heart and used him in a greater way.
Does this story hit home? Are we so bitter against our brother or sister because we can’t have what is theirs? Do we sit and wish that God was performing that particular purpose in our life? Do we covet The things that are either no longer ours, or do we desire the things that were not ours to begin with? Do we take serious the role that God has created for us to fulfill, Or would we just freely give it up like Esau when we are tired and weary?
JACOB STEALS ESAU’S BLESSING
A. Jacob’s Deception
Gen 27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
Gen 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
Gen 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
Gen 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Gen 27:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
Gen 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Gen 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
Gen 27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
Gen 27:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
Gen 27:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
Gen 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
Gen 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Gen 27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
Gen 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
Gen 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
Gen 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
…….This story is a prime example of man trying to perform God’s Will rather than letting God do the work. Every child of God should desire to know what that work and purpose is for their life. But this story shows the danger of knowing the plan before we are ready to handle it.
So many of us get caught up in trying to do the work without the proper preparation and wind up making a waste of something that God intended to be good.
We must have patience knowing that there is a work, and knowing that every day is God’s work. Work for today, and know that today is working for tomorrow. The way we work today will tell how successful the outcome will be tomorrow.
B. Esau’s Despair
Gen 27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
Gen 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Gen 27:32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
Gen 27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
Gen 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
Gen 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
Gen 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me?
Gen 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
Gen 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
Gen 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
…….The end of this chapter in the life of the patriarchs resulted in a bitter and broken family. The consequences of sin never come out good. Isaac was in sin by showing favoritism and intending to make Esau the leader while knowing Jacob was the chosen one. Rebekah was in sin by persuading her son to lie, and trying to force God’s Will into action prematurely. Jacob was in sin by lying to his father and not trusting God to fulfill his plan.
The lesson of this story could sum up like this; God has a purpose and it is never our place to force it to happen. Acts of sin will never correlate with acts of righteousness, the outcome is always disastrous.
May we always be patient in searching for God’s Will, while working for today and following each step one at a time.
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