The Epic Story of Jacob and Esau

jacob and Esau 1

One of the epic stories of Genesis is the story of Jacob and his older twin Esau.  It is a story that most church goers are very familiar with, but the significance of the story is still being played out on the earth to this day.

The thing I never considered about the story of Jacob and Esau, is that Issac and Rebekah had known the prophesy about the older serving the younger for all the boy’s lives.  This was not an unfamiliar situation to Issac, since he too was elevated above his brother Ishmael.

His brother had been banished, so he knew how it felt to be a party to that sort of thing.   Issac may have felt guilt over his brother being banished.   He may have longed for the companionship of his older brother and there is some intimation that he tried to reconcile with Ishmael as he got older.

It is most probable that Issac realized the birth order and the prophesy about his boys was going to be a potential problem within the family.   Issac surely longed for a solution to the problem he saw coming. He probably thought long and hard about how to divvy up the blessings to the boys.

The strange thing with this whole story is that I have always concentrated on the stolen blessing.   I have not given much thought to the original blessing Issac intended for Jacob.   Though Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, Issac still did not alter the originally intended blessing to Jacob and that blessing is much more significant to the big picture. The second blessing of Isaac originally intended for Jacob in found in Genesis 28: 1-4 and goes like this…

May God almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
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.

Transferring the blessing of Abraham to Jacob is the big deal here. Isaac knew all along Jacob was to get this Spiritual blessing. He was saving it for him. Maybe that is why Isaac trembled violently when he realized Jacob had tricked him.  I imagine Isaac had carefully structured the blessings in such a way as to maintain peace among the brothers.

So why did God allow Esau to be stripped of his blessing?  Maybe God is saying to those who live by the flesh and the sword, you can fend for yourselves.  He gives not only the Spirit blessing to those who live by faith, but takes away from those who trust in their flesh and gives what is theirs to the faith walkers to include the physical blessing, the blessing of power, the blessing of family, and the blessing of honor.

So, does it matter who Esau’s descendants are?  Well, I don’t think so, but they are all who live by the sword and who seek earthly power…who put their confidence in men…In governments and political parties…and in businesses and the economy.

Jacob inherited Abraham’s blessing…to be the father of ”the blessing” who will eventually be Jesus the Christ, and Abraham’s descendants are always those who live by faith in Christ.

Who is Esau today?  Are not all who live away from a trust in the true God a descendant of Esau?

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