Gen. 25:24-26 – “When the time came for [Rebekah] to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.”
- You'd think by age sixty, Isaac would have learned to call on God when so much of this culture's character was built on their names; but God's involvement is not mentioned. Esau means, “hairy.” Jacob means, “he grasps the heel;” figuratively, “he deceives.” Can you hear Rebekah calling the boys for lunch? “Come on, Hairy and Heel-Boy, your lentil stew is getting cold!” Maybe more accurately: “Hairy and my little liar, get in here!” A single decision can affect entire lifetimes – ours and others. The words we choose can build and/or destroy character. Why not stop and consult the Creator before our words create lasting regret?
- Do you think Isaac and Rebekah sat down one night, when the twins were infants, and said, “Okay, you love this one, and I'll love that one?” Isaac's love for Esau grew out of his own selfish appetite, and don't you imagine Rebekah's love for Jacob grew from their extended time together in camp? Life happened to this family. Love grew wild, haphazardly – unattended. When life happens unintentionally, sin enters proportionately. I've heard it said, “We can't choose who we love.” Perhaps. But we can make smart choices about how we spend our time, and we can be intentional about showing love to those the Lord has placed in our lives.
- Though it's difficult for our Western culture to fully understand the ancient Middle-Eastern concept of birthright, here are a few of the perks Esau conceded to his brother for a bowl of lentil stew:
- A unique “firstborn” standing before God
- Second only to his parents in honor among those in camp
- A double portion of their father's inheritance
- Governing the family upon his father's death
- Serving as the priest or God-representative of the family (http://studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=25&verse=34#Ge25_34)
- Jacob hit the jackpot for his bean-soup recipe! Of the four characters in today's devotional, Jacob seems to be the only one showing some intentionality – misguided though it may be. But wait – who taught Jacob the importance of the birthright? Perhaps Ima Rebekah wasn't as “unintentional” as I accused her of being. Hmmm. Did Esau's nonchalant attitude come from Isaac's lack of spiritual emphasis/training, or was it because of an innate character flaw? Esau's underlying reason for the choice is uncertain, but his attitude is clearly stated. Esau DESPISED, DISDAINED, REGARDED WITH CONTEMPT something God considered holy, and his decision would echo through generations and nations.