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The following is chapter 6 in the children’s series, If They Could Talk; the story of our redemption as it unfolds from Genesis to Revelation. This is the story of Jacob as found in Genesis 25-28.
That which appears urgent mustn’t be confused with that which is important. You humans often confuse the matter. Isaac’s oldest did.
Isaac married a fine woman. She was Rebekah, and she would give birth to the next child of promise—but twins were in her womb. Only minutes separated the boy twins but how different they would be. The eldest was Esau, a ruddy brute of a man; the second was Jacob, a man of a gentler spirit.
Minutes separated them, but it may as well been years as far as Jacob was concerned. The eldest was Esau, and the covenant blessing was his.
Isaac’s flocks were many, I was but one ram of a thousand. But I was the only one to see Esau squander his birthright—all for a bowl of stew.
I was far from the flock that day; a common occurrence for those whose head is down seeking the next patch of desert grass. Head up for just a moment, I paused my pursuit. It was then I noticed younger twin Jacob. An aroma of root and vegetable lifted from his blackened kettle, suspended over warm coals.
I looked in time to see piling through the brush older twin Esau. Looking ragged and unkempt (his usual appearance, I might add), he moved straight for the simmering stew and pleaded for his fill. Jacob offered the terms: “Your birthright for a bowl.”
This was no choice at all.
All knew that Esau stood in line to receive the Creator God’s pledge. The pledge given first to grandfather Abraham, then passed to father Isaac, and now Esau was next in line to receive the greatest promises ever given to man. Certainly no thought would be given to such an arrangement; the terms much too steep. Besides, camp and dinner waited over the next hill.
All Esau seemed to hear, however, was hunger’s knock—drowning out all sense and memory of God’s blessing and promise.
Esau chose. The birthright was scorned; the promises forfeited for a belly of broth.
Seasons passed. Isaac’s eyes dimmed, and his days grew short. Unaware of the birthright’s transfer, Isaac called older Esau to bestow the blessing. Jacob caught word and posed as his brother; an unaware and blind father completed the sibling switch by blessing younger Jacob instead.
The Creator would later confirm the pledge’s passing by speaking in the night to a sleeping Jacob. “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac.” “Your descendants will be many, like the dust of the earth.” “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”
But the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t even get along? How could they be used to restore man’s severed relationship with God? I wonder with you.