Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
When the time came for her [Rebekah, Isaac’s wife] 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.
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
– Genesis 25:24-34
God communicated through His covenant promises that He had determined to bless the whole world though the family line of Abraham and his son, Isaac.
God revealed to Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, that contrary to their societal customs, the younger would have prominence over the older child.
Isaac and Rebekah’s sons’ power struggle started in the womb and continued for decades.
The younger son, Jacob, was born second, but during the birth process grasped his brother’s heel. This led to him being named, Jacob, which depicts in the Hebrew language “heel grasper,” a Hebrew idiom for a person who deceives.
Our passage above shows that Isaac and Rebekah created a dysfunctional family dynamic by each playing favorites with their sons.
Although God had already revealed that the family line of Jacob would be the dominate one, Jacob took matters into his own hands to gain the birthright by his own efforts-efforts that included manipulating and taking advantage of his brother.
The Big Question
Have you faced situations in your life where you were tempted to “help” God accomplish His will by manipulating circumstances and taking advantage of others for your own benefit?
What did you learn about God and yourself as a result of these situations?
Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.