The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
Here's a little reminder of last weeks study.
Last week we read of Jacob deceiving his father, Isaac, with the help of Rebekah his mother. And the deception was so that Jacob could receive the blessing of the first born from Isaac.
So this week we will read of Eau's response to finding that his brother, Jacob had taken his blessing.
Gen 27:30-31 30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that your soul may bless me."
Through this whole ordeal it seems that Jacob just makes it through different situations by the skin of his teeth.
Gen 27:18 So he went to his father and said, "My father.' And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?"
Gen 27:20-22 20 But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the LORD your God brought it to me." 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
Gen 27:24 Then he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am."
Gen 27:26-27a 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near now and kiss me, my son." 27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him.
These were all close calls with the final one being right before Esau returns.
Gen 27:30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
God knew what was going on and God allowed it.
God is not trying to teach us dishonesty or ill-gotten gain is OK here. There are consequences to our actions, which we will see with Jacob and Esau.
But God had chosen Jacob to be the one to receive the blessing of the first-born. Why? Let's look further ahead at God's word through the prophet Malachi.
Mal 1:2-3 2 "I have loved you," says the LORD.
"Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?'
Was not Esau Jacob's brother?"
Says the LORD.
"Yet Jacob I have loved;
3 But Esau I have hated,
And laid waste his mountains and his heritage
For the jackals of the wilderness."
The word hated here means: "enemy" or as it says in the NLT "rejected" .
"Well that's not fair, what kind of a loving God is that?" You may be thinking.
Let's look at it a little more clearly in the book of Romans.
Romans 9:10-14 10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
This is referring to Genesis:
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said to her:
"Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger."
Even before Jacob and Esau were even born, God had decided that Jacob would be the chosen one and not Esau.
God is not surprised at anything that happens in your life. God is not sitting in heaven saying, "Wow, I never knew that ________ would do that. Now what should I do?"
No, God is the First and the Last. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. God is ALL knowing.
You cannot surprise God with your life. Just as God was not surprised with Jacob and his mother Rebekah and what they did. God was not surprised that Isaac would not be able to distinguish between Esau and Jacob.
God was not surprised that Esau would sell his birthright for a bowl of soup.
God knew all of this and still Jesus was a descendant of Isaac and Jacob.
No, God is not surprised about what you may have done this week or even today. God still loves you even when you make the wrong choices and fall into sin.
Now this does not give us the right to go ahead and sin. Just because God knows what mistakes you will make don't use this as an excuse to sin.
I know you are excited to find out what happened with Esau. So let's read on in Genesis.
Gen 27:32-33 32 And his father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" So he said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." 33 Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him--and indeed he shall be blessed."
You're who? My first-born son Esau, then who did I bless? Whoever it was will receive the blessing.
Isaac was a humble man and his word was as good as gold. If he said something he would not go back on his word.
Last week we read of how Isaac blessed Jacob with the blessing of the first-born son. And part of this blessing is making a vow to God.
Gen 27:28a Therefore may God give you
Have you ever made a vow to God and broken it. Maybe your vow was in marriage and your broke that vow, not only to your spouse but to God also. Maybe you have made that marriage vow and you are thinking of breaking it.
Eccl 5:4-5 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
For He has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you have vowed--
5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Even in marriage a vow to God is made, and that vow is to stay with your spouse no matter what. To pay your vow in marriage is to stick in there through thick or thin!
Here is another man who made a vow to the Lord and was a man of his word, regardless of what his vow was.
Judges 11:30-31 & 34-35 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, 31 "then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."
34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it."
Jepthah did follow through with his vow to God. That is why it says in Eccl 5:5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Don't use foolish words speaking from your mind instead of your heart. Don't make hasty decisions. If you don't really mean it, then don't say it.
If someone asks you to do something, don't just say yes to get him or her off your back. Be a man or woman of your word, this is what pleases God.
Gen 27:34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me--me also, O my father!"
Esau worked hard for his blessing and Jacob didn't.
Esau went out and hunted the food, cleaned and cooked it for Isaac. And after all his hard work he doesn't get the blessing he thought he would. He got the blessing he deserved.
Remember once again how Esau thought very little of his birthright and sold it for a bowl of soup.
He may have forgotten that he sold it to Jacob, or he was just going back on his word.
Either way he was working for something that was not rightfully his.
Think of your own life. Have you been working hard to get someone else's job? Maybe you see someone's ministry going real well and you want a piece of it. So you work hard to get what others are blessed with.
But God is saying to you, No, this is not for you. I have something else for you. But all you see is the possibilities in the future if you can only work hard enough to get there.
Today stop what you are doing and seek the Lord first. Ask Him if this is what He has for you or if there is something else.
If you are not in the Lord's will, you will work hard but gain little or nothing at all. It's very possible that someone else will receive the reward you were seeking.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't work hard. And it's not a sin to do a good job and be recognized for it.
The sin is when you try and take what is not rightfully yours. Just as Esau was trying to get what he gave away.
Gen 27:35-36 35 But he said, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing." 36 And Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!" And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?"
Esau finally spills the beans. Isaac thought that Jacob was deceiving him but in reality he was only taking what Esau gave to him.
I think Isaac knew this and his anger towards Jacob subsided because of Esau's words here.
Still Esau wants something for himself. "If I can't have the best, I'll take what's left over." kind of attitude.
Gen 27:37-38 37 Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?" 38 And Esau said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me--me also, O my father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
Isaac was telling Esau that the blessing reserved for him was now gone. But Esau knew that there were more blessings. Basically he would have to take the blessing that would have been intended for Jacob.
Gen 27:39-40 39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:
"Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,
And of the dew of heaven from above.
40 By your sword you shall live,
And you shall serve your brother;
And it shall come to pass, when you become restless,
That you shall break his yoke from your neck."
Esau gets his blessing. Not as good's as what he would have gotten. But this is the consequence of sin and not being thankful for what you have.
Esau was not thankful for his birthright and he lost it along with the blessing that went with it.
Be happy and content with what you have. If you are then God may bless you with more. If not you may lose what you have.
1 Cor 3:12-15 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
A yoke was intended for two animals. To break this yoke would mean a separation of Jacob and Esau.
Gen 27:41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
Remember last week I told you to remember how old Isaac was at this time? Do you remember how old he was? If you said around 140 years old you are right.
Gen 35:28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years.
Isaac died about 40 years after all this had happened. I say this because through this whole story we think of Isaac as a old crippled man lying on his deathbed. We also imagine the Jacob and Esau as young teenagers but as we saw last week they were around 80 years old.
These are grown men, all of them and they should know better, right?
It just means at any age you can mess up. Yes the older you become the more you know, but that doesn't always make you any more wiser.
Gen 27:42-45 42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, "Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. 43 "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 "And stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away, 45 "until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?"
Look at verse 42 again. I wonder who told Rebekah? Just a thought.
"Your brother Esau sure is mad. He's planning on killing you. You better go to my brother Laban's for a few days.
A few days, are you kidding? And whom does Rebekah send him to? Laban. Do you remember him back in chapter 24? He was the one we called the greedy one of the family. He was the one looking at the bracelet and nose ring that was given to Rebekah.
This is the one Rebekah is sending Jacob to. Maybe he would be better off facing Esau?
Gen 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?"
I believe Rebekah, but then I don't. She may have feared the daughters of Heth since we read of how bad the marriage between them and Esau made them feel. But I also think Rebekah was very smart and she was giving Isaac and excuse to send Jacob to her brother Laban.
Gen 28:1-5 1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2 "Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother.
3 "May God Almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
4 And give you the blessing of Abraham,
To you and your descendants with you,
That you may inherit the land
In which you are a stranger,
Which God gave to Abraham."
5 So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Padan Aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Reading Isaac's blessing to Jacob here tells me that Isaac took to heart Esau's previous words where he spilled the beans and told Isaac what really happened.
And with this understanding Isaac knew that Esau was not the chosen one to carry on the blessing to his father Abraham. Isaac knew that Esau didn't care about his birthright or his family name.
So Isaac blesses Jacob once again and sends him away.
Here the yoke is broken, as Isaac had said it would be. But also it means that Jacob and Esau's relationship would be severed, all because of hasty decisions.
Is there someone in your family that you haven't spoken with in a while? Have you rejected them as part of your family just as Esau did with Jacob?
Isaac is leaving now, but for more then a few days, which we will see in the coming studies.
Esau and Jacob will not share to joys of raising a family and of enjoying each other's nephews and nieces.
Yes it will be a long time before they see each other again.
If you have rejected someone in your family, why not make a phone call or go see them today. Don't put it off any longer. What if they reject you? You will never know until you try!
Remember that the children of Israel rejected Jesus, but still Jesus went to them and still Jesus loved them!
It's easy to love when you are loved back. Real love, loves even when you are not loved back.
Matt 5:43-48 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.