Tag Archives: Jacob

Genesis 32-34; Luke 10

Genesis 32:27-29

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

He answered, “Jacob.”

“No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, “but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 

“Why do you ask my name?” the man replied.

 Then he blessed Jacob there.

This text humbles me.

Because there’s something here that I’ve missed all along.

Every other time I’ve read the story, I’ve gone the same route:

Trying to ‘figure it out’

Asking questions like,

Who is the man Jacob wrestles with?

 Is it an angel?

 Is it Jesus?

 What’s the point?

 Is it about wrestling with God in prayer?

 Why doesn’t the author just explain it?

Missing what’s there right in front of me.

Jacob asks the question I keep asking.

And the man answers.

“Why do you ask my name?”

As an American I tend to miss things like this, we aren’t exactly the type of culture that chooses names with a purpose, let alone one that allows seeks the Lord’s counsel in naming our children. A friend of mine had a girl in his middle school Boys and Girls Club program named

‘La-a’

(pronounced ‘La-dash-uh’)

Yep.

But in the ancient cultures, a name wasn’t just an arbitrary word to keep track of different people, like a tracking number,

A name meant something.

 A name was who you are.

 Jacob’s name was important.

Heel-Grabber, one who contends with,

His name proved to be true,

Getting his brother’s birthright, as well as his blessing,

Gaining wealth from Laban’s flocks,

The debacle with Rachel and Leah,

Strife seemed to follow him wherever he went.

The man asks Jacob his name, not so he knows what to call him, but he’s asking him:

at the deepest level of your being Jacob,

Who are you?

 and when Jacob tries to turn it around and ask the same question?

It’s not about me right now, Israel

 It’s about you, and who you’re going to be,

 because of me

 And there’s the simple, but impossibly hard question I need to ask myself before every action,

before every word,

today.

What’s my name?

 Who does God say that I am?

Lord help me to become more and more, Who I am in you, Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in your sight.

 -Samuel,

son of Paul.

son of God.

From the archives. Originally published by (anglinsam) January 13, 2014.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Uncategorized

Genesis 49, Luke 2, Job 15, 1 Corinthians 3

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2049,%20Luke%202,%20Job%2015,%201%20Corinthians%203&version=NKJV

Genesis 49   And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:  … All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.

            Lord God, my father gave me his blessing before he died. My mother, who is aging, gave me her blessing, too. Lord God, You have had me bless my children and pronounce to them the good which You have in store for them, and we eagerly await Your unfolding of their futures. Yet Father, the Greatest of all Blessings is what You bestowed on me the millisecond that You adopted me so You would be my Father! You gave me an inheritance that will never spoil, You give my Your promises in Your Word that I am to live by, and You made plans for me and are continually unfolding my purpose. – and the One Who died to give me my blessing was You, Lord Jesus Christ. You gave me Yourself, my Very Great Reward!  (1)

Luke 2            Joseph also went, …with Mary… And she brought forth her firstborn Son, …and laid Him in a manger.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,… suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

And behold, there was a man, Simeon, … it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. … he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: For my eyes have seen Your salvation… A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Anna, a prophetess, … coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

At the Feast of the Passover… when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem … the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. …Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. …And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” … And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

           The Father with His Son – Lord God Almighty, You were SO excited and proud at the birth of Your Baby Boy Jesus!! You had the whole sky explode with Brilliant Angelic Lights and Music!! You inspired the shepherds to leave their flocks running to greet Your Son for His arrival to earth! And they told everyone about Your Special Son!! Simeon was overjoyed to see the Promised Messiah, just as You had told in a preliminary notification! Anna was excited to give You thanks and tell everyone about Jesus Who would bring people redemption!   

            You nurtured Your Beloved Son Jesus by Your Grace! And Your Son loved You so much that He wanted to be right in the midst of You and Your Work! He had been doing it already since the teachers were astonished by His understanding of You and Your Word! And You continued to bless Your Son Jesus!

            Father, You treat me and all of Your children, even those yet to be adopted by You, No differently! You are overwhelmed with excited anticipation for the time when we say “Yes!” to surrender to have Your Father-Headship over us! You send us Your people to encourage and build us up in what You say about us! You always talk to us, though we don’t hear or follow You as well as Your Son Jesus. And You put Your Grace and Favor on us – until You take us home to be with You permanently. (1) (2)

Job 15           Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: “Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,…Yes, you cast off fear, And restrain prayer before God. … Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you.

            Sadly, the very words that Eliphaz told to Job were words that Eliphaz should have said to himself. Later the Lord God told Eliphaz,My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore … offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” Job 42:7-8

            Too many times I have thought one way when the opposite was true, and very sadly I have spoken it. Lord God I have incurred Your wrath because of it! You called me to repent and learning from it. (Thank You for your Mercy Lord!) Yet many times, You, Lord God have held me shut to silence! Thank You!! I am always learning because I am sooo faulty!

             You tell me to discern, not condemn. To judge rightly by fruits and to look for the Progression of growth not Perfection. Judgment, meaning understanding and analysis, for the purpose of pointing people to You is good. Judgment, meaning condemning, is pointing them to hell, which is not good. Yes, Lord God, I know people are going to hell without change – Ah Ha! But that is where You come in!! Pointing to The Savior Who saves us from our sins that condemn us – that is Success Your Way!! Bravo my King Jesus!! (3)

1 Corinthians 3       “I fed you with milk and not with solid food .. for you are still carnal.

            God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers

            Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

            Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. … And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

            Lord God, I had been on milk for years! Until You called me to participate in a weekly in-depth Bible study where Your Word changed my heart, thoughts, perceptions, emotions and actions! – Your subtle and powerful work of Your Holy Spirit changed me from the inside out – while I was unconscious of the changes. All I knew was that I was in Your Potter’s Hand.

            Lord Jesus Christ, You have made me Your slave worker. I am SO honored, and especially to be a co-laborer with So many of Your fabulous, humble servant-children! Please keep their temples, and mine, clean and burning bright with Your Love and abhor the sins of the flesh! There is TOO much harvest to reap to waste workers or cause people to turn away from You. We are but dust and You are our Amazing Potter. You mix me with Your Holy Spirit living water, reach down deep within me and change me in places where no one can reach or fathom. I am completely powerless in the process – except I can yield, grieve the loss (of whatever) and be cleansed, renewed and newly empowered for Your next adventure of work under You! (4)

Bible Insights –

1-  2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:5-8, 15-17, 1 Peter 1:23, John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:1-14, Romans 8:14-17, Galatians 4:4-7, 1 Peter 1:3-5, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Jeremiah 29:11, Genesis 15:1

2- Luke 15:3-7; Acts 20:32; Jude 1:20-25; 1 Corinthians 14:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 10:25; John 10:27-30; Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 1:6; John 14:1-4; Revelation 21-22

3- James 1:19-20, Jude 1:23

4- Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3; John 4:34, Isaiah 64:8; Isaiah 49:16; Romans 1:1; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 1:10; Romans 6:22; Galatians 4:7; Ephesians 6:5-8; Philippians 1:1; Philippians 2:7; Titus 1:1; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1; John 4:35; Psalm 103:14; Psalm 119:25, John 4:13-14, John 7:38, John 4:34

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Gen. 32; Mark 3; Esther 8; Rom. 3

He makes things new.

These brothers at odds, and understandably so–one tricked his way into an inheritance. Their family divided. This is the start of a nation and people–though threaded thick with sin-theme (all of us). But God would make something new from it–something better. Jacob wrestles alone with God at night …

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” Genesis 32:28 NLT.

Made new.

A people on the verge of destruction–Haman’s plot sealed with a king’s signet ring. God uses Esther to bring about a different ending–and Mordecai writes words that empower and protect the Jews. There was great joy. A fate reversed, and hope–

made new.

Jesus on the Sabbath …

Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! Mark 3:1-5 NLT.

Restored. (Restored!)

Made new.

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. Romans 3:21-25 NLT.

Sinners, fallen short of the standard–declared righteous.

Made new.

Father God, when I wrestle with you, and you make me new. I hold out my hand to you, and you restore what is broken–even if others say you can’t (or shouldn’t). You make me new. Kindness undeserved, your mercy–thankfully received. My life in your hands, new joy (my fate reversed–from death to life!) and hope. Declared righteous, and yours.

Courtney (66books365)

3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans

Genesis 31, 32; Matthew 20:1-16

I have been learning more and more each day that God will always be there for me: strong, compassionate, loving, merciful, and true no matter what the circumstances, whether I am pursuing Him whole heartedly or not. He seeks to bless me. He seeks to care for me. He seeks to provide for me. He will always deal with me in a right, fair and just way.

In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, the landowner made an agreement with the workers he hired in the early morning that he would pay them a denarius for their work. All the other workers that he hired throughout the day were told that they would also receive a fair wage for their labor. When everyone received the same wage regardless of the amount of hours that each worked, the laborers who worked from the early morning complained, believing they should receive more because they worked more.

But [the landowner] answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.’ Matthew 20: 13-14 (NKJV)

I can completely trust my Heavenly Father to deal with me in a right and fair way. When He paid the price for me by sending His Son to become a curse so that I am redeemed, I agreed to that payment when I asked Him into my heart. Whether others have worked for 40 years, 10 years, 6 months, or 1 day, I can only expect to receive the same priceless wage at the end of the day.

Now I could complain about it, thinking I deserve more, like the workers, but in reality, no matter how much ‘work’ I do each day for God, it doesn’t come close to being enough for the price He paid for me. I may wish for more, but what more can I truly ask for when ALL has been given. He gives me exactly what He agreed to give me – His life, when I was still his enemy. I can fully trust in His dealings.

But there is another type of landowner, a landowner like Laban; one who looks out only for himself, one who cheats, one who is dishonest and untrustworthy. If I deal with him I can only expect to be dealt with poorly. Like Laban, he will change my wages to suit him, he will become discontent with my work, and he will eventually seek to destroy me when I try to escape his clutches.

Jacob worked for this type of landowner for 20 years, but he learned to put his trust in God and in the midst of the circumstances, God protected him from Laban’s mistreatment and provided for Jacob’s household and blessed him abundantly.

Sometimes when I am being dealt with dishonestly I believe that I am alone. I think no one sees. But this story helps me remember that God sees all and rectifies all wrong dealings. As my landowner, He provides for my blessings when I am trusting Him and doing right before Him.

[And God said to him…], “For I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.” Genesis 31:12b (NKJV)

Each of us can choose which type of landowner to work for – one who will cheat and seek to destroy I one who will deal in a just and true way. I have chosen to work for the one who was willing to pay the ultimate price for me.

Lord, thank You for dealing with me in an honest way, for sending Your Son and through His death and resurrection, giving me new life. Thank You for redeeming me and paying me a wage that I don’t deserve no matter how much work I do in Your Kingdom. Thank You for protecting me from the landowners who seek to cheat me. Thank You for providing for me and blessing me every day. Amen

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

5 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Genesis 28, Matthew 27, Esther 4, Acts 27

 Faith-Fullness

          And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His Spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:50-51 ~ Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me …then the LORD will be my God… and of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”  Gen 28:20-22 ~   ” And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.%2028;%20Matt.%2027;%20Esther%204;%20Acts%2027&version=NIV1984

      Genesis 28 – Jacob heard his father’s command and blessing, and obeyed. Enduring great inconvenience, he married within his faith. Esau ran in the opposite direction. (“See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau” Hebrews 12:16)   Jacob’s faithfulness brought God near (James 4:7-8). Hearing the Lord’s promised blessings caused Jacob to react. A verbal contract backed up by tangible actions: Jacob vowed that “the LORD will be my God” and “of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”   

Matthew 27 – Jesus’ friend betrayed him. The religious leaders chose to kill the “good teacher”. The soldiers mocked the Son of God. The official ruler declared Jesus innocent. Yet All the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!” v.25. God’s actions said, Let it be so.

            The Son of God chose to die for each of them, and me. He carried out His mission to the point of being forsaken by His God and Father. (v.46, Psalm 22) Jesus gave up His Spirit. No one took it from Him. His Father proved that the Sacrifice was acceptable by tearing the curtain of the temple in two from top to bottom. (v. 50-51) A witness stated, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

            Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself so that I can be acceptable to His Father and am enabled to live for God on His terms.  

Esther 4 – I have been born into my family and circumstances. God knows what He is doing. The Holy One never makes mistakes. Every moment I have a choice. I can stand up for what God says and does, or I can back down and perish. God Word tells me how I can live the life God desires for me, pointing others to Christ Jesus. I can help save eternal souls along the way. Or I can wimp out and be ashamed of my Awesome Magnificent Good God. I can fear man and try to control my temporal life, valuing anything more than my relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet I must account to God for my ignoring His commands, for causing pain and eternal suffering of other people, and all to my deep personal detriment. Esther chose the right thing. Fast, pray, seek God’s power and strength, and then go and do as God commands with boldness for the love of God and people.  162  

Acts 27 – In my life I have all sorts of trouble. I can’t even predict them in order to prepare for them. So I must cling to my relationship with Jesus and His Word. I must live by God’s Holy Spirit. Only then can I ride out the storm with His Peace, wisdom and protection, for His good purposes and glory.   

         Lord God, Creator of my soul, I do not want to be like Judas or Esau. I do not want to turn my head, heart or will against You, the Son of God. But when I do, by my thoughts, attitudes, words and actions, Lord, remind me “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10  You are eager to forgive me. All I have to do is repent, hate my sin by seeing it as You see it, and then live with You and not against You. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

            Father God, I want to be like Jesus, Jacob, Esther and Paul, doing Your will. Lord, I surrender my thoughts and patterns to Yours. Build within me a breach of loyalty to the ideologies of those who do not take Your Word to heart and action. Reveal to me where I am yoked with “disbelief” in my marriage, parenting, in business attitudes and practices, and in cultural (im)morals. You sealed me with Your Holy Spirit to be your forever-child. May I live conscious of Your Goodness and fully tithe before taxes cheerfully out of gratitude for Your Son taking Your wrath for me!! Thank You! – What a small price to pay (out of Your gifting to begin with!) for eternal salvation!! Use Your money Your way to increase Your Kingdom my Lord! I delight in Your Presence. It is more joyous to me than anyone or anything else! Thank you that Your Word is true! If I live Your way You will have Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! I look forward to it!! Amen        

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

Leave a comment

Filed under Acts, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Genesis 47; Job 13; Luke 1:1-38; 1 Corinthians 1

Scripture

Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?” 

And Jacob said to Pharoah, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.”  So Jacob blessed Pharoah, and went out from before Pharoah.

Genesis 47:8-10 (NKJV)

Observation

Jacob is a changed man.  He is 130 years old as he comes before Pharoah, with nothing at all to boast about.  Pharoah was a great ruler, and not once did Jacob brag about what a great person he was back in the land of Canaan.   He presents himself to Pharoah with the words, “Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life”.  He says that he does not measure up to his fathers.  Jacob is giving glory to God for his life and he makes no boast that he has accomplished anything great.  He recognizes himself for who and what he is, a sinner saved by the grace of God.   

Application

I was 33 years old the day that Jesus saved me.  That was almost 12 years ago.  This passage made me think about all that God has accomplished in me and through me in the 12 years since He entered my heart and became my Lord and Savior and it also made me think about the 33 years prior.

My life prior to Him was a life that was very rapidly heading on a very dangerous path of destruction.  I was a rebel.  I was angry at everyone and everything.  I often suffered terrible consequences and awful pain, heartbreak and loneliness for the choices I made.  I have hurt and broken the hearts of people who loved me and cared for me.  I also am very fortunate to be here typing these words today, for I believe to this day, that if Jesus had not come and captured my heart at the time that He did, I would either be in jail or no longer alive to tell this story. 

I am here today because Jesus has changed my heart by the power of His cross and the power of His Holy Spirit.  I sometimes wonder what my life would be like today, if Jesus, instead of waiting 33 years since the day I entered the world had instead, come into my life and my heart as a little boy.  I sometimes feel awful for the time I’ve wasted but also, I know in my heart that He saved me in His perfect timing.  He knew what He was doing.  I truly believe that the level of love and overwhelming joy I feel towards Him today is magnified to a deeper and higher level, because He has made me consciously aware of the radical change He has done in me.  I could trust that He who started a good work in me will complete it and this makes me praise Him with an even higher level of love and intensity.   

Although my life and my thought patterns today are drastically different than before, I cannot applaud myself for the changes that were made and I certainly cannot brag about what a better person I am.  It is all Him and not me at all.  Just like Jacob, I am simply a sinner that is saved by His grace.  I have been crucified with Christ.  I am a new creation and it is all entirely because of a wonderful, beautiful, merciful Savior, who has been gracious and patient with me down through the years of my existence.  How wonderful and amazing He is!

Prayer

Lord, I praise you for who you are and my heart longs to sing to you and love you with every fiber of my being.  I am amazed as you allow me the opportunity to reflect back over the years of what you have accomplished in me and through me.  These eyes have witnessed miracle after miracle that You have made!  I am alive today.  My heart is transformed.  I am passionately in love with you and it is all because of what you have done. 

Lord, your work in me is not finished.  I sense an even deeper calling for even greater things that you will accomplish.  Would you use me more?  Would you take this existence and show me your purpose now and in the days ahead?  But even if you choose not to do this, I will still praise you and listen to your still, small voice in my heart, guiding me to walk where you lead me, not because I am a good person or because I am set apart, but because you are the love of my life and the light of my world.  You are the delight of my heart and now that I have tasted and seen how merciful and good you are, I cannot live apart from you.  You bring abounding joy to my heart and to my life.  You make my dreams pleasant.   No matter where you want to lead me or where you want me to be, if you are not the one that is orchestrating everything, then it is not worth living at all. 

Thank you for saving me.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being my God and choosing me to be your child.  I love you with all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my strength. 

John (johnd7264)

1 Comment

Filed under Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament

Genesis 25, Matthew 24, Esther 1, Acts 24

Scripture

Genesis 25:19-34  (NKJV) 19 This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. 21 Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?|” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

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.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.[a] 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[b] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.[c]

31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Application

Wow…the more times I read through this specific passage, the more times I find example after example in my own life that resonated with what transpired here.  Truthfully…how many times have I willing sold what was bestowed upon me, just to have the satisfaction of attaining an immediate desire?  The sad reality of the answer to that question, is that numbers could not contain it.

If I step back, I can acknowledge that my personality is one that’s always looking for what’s next, is always planning how to get there and just about always uses persistence as a tool to make it happen.  This part of me has a great many benefits, but one of the problems with this characteristic, is that when I get distracted by some new venture, goal or endeavor…my pursuit follows just like a tail follows a kite.  And while sometimes that venture, goal or endeavor isn’t necessarily bad…it might also not be what I was made to do (or be) as designed by God.

Esau was a man of impulse…a man of action…and a man of the here and now.  And because of that, the significance he placed in his birthright was not properly held in high regard.  I was a bit puzzled by this, so I did some additional research about Esau and found that he was a man made by his own means.  He worked, he hunted, he provided and he was raging with an independent heart.  Discovering this began to show me that Esau probably had a difficult time even understanding the concept of a “birthright”…the only “rights” he was familiar with, were one’s he earned through his own hard determined work.  It wasn’t that he didn’t want the birthright…he probably just couldn’t conceptualize the very nature of such a thing or what a great honor it was to have it bestowed upon him.

This, unfortunately, is the battleground I often find myself in.  It’s not that I have a hard time accepting what Christ did for me on the cross…this I have assurance of…but instead, it’s with the blessings he bestows upon me on a daily basis.  The dichotomy of it is that I can quickly reflect on endless numbers of blessings God has given me for the simple reason that I am His son…but at the same time, I can also find endless numbers of times where I have instead sabotaged blessings from God by choosing the immediate feel-good binge of the day.

The God breathed reminder into my own life which has come from this passage, is that I need to constantly be on the watch for the many Jacobs nipping at my heels to dethrone the birthright God has bestowed upon me…despite my Esau personality.  I am uniquely and wonderfully made by God.  His plan, purpose and desire for my life should never be replaced with the temporary feel good desire of the now.

~Dave

2 Comments

Filed under Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan