Last week we read about how Esau impetuously gave away his birthright for a bowl of stew. His hunger demanded to be fed and he gave away something of great value for a momentary gain. This week we see Esau being tricked again by his younger brother Jacob. The new holder of the birthright is now also the holder of the blessing.
The deceptiveness of this story has always bothered me. Not only did Jacob deceive his father to receive his blessing, but he had the help of his mother to do it! I don’t know who I feel worse for – Isaac or Esau!
In ancient times, a person’s word was considered to be as binding as we would consider a written contract today. This was especially true when it was given in the form of an oath. Because of the circumstances surrounding the blessing that Isaac was giving, it was irrevocable. The best Esau could hope for was that his father would give an additional blessing to him.
Have you ever experienced something like this – when someone gets “blessings” they don’t deserve? It can be a hard pill to swallow when we think that someone else got what was rightfully ours. How do you react in those circumstances?
As we read further in the book of Genesis, we will see that God has a plan for both Jacob and Esau. He has a plan for each of us too even when things don’t seem to make sense at the time. Romans 8:28 is a verse that I try to remind myself of when things don’t go the way I had hoped: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Kim Feld Director of Small Group Ministry