Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Genesis 25:19-34


Read Genesis 25:19-34

19 This is the story of Abraham’s son Isaac. 20Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. 21Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. 22She was going to have twins, and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the Lord for an answer.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are within you;
You will give birth to two rival peoples.
One will be stronger than the other;
The older will serve the younger.”
24 The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. 25The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau.f 26The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob.g Isaac was 60 years old when they were born.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoor life, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed, but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
29 One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry 30and said to Jacob, “I’m starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was called Edom.)h
31 Jacob answered, “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the firstborn son.”
32 Esau said, “All right! I am about to die; what good will my rights do me then?”
33 Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights.”
Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the firstborn son.

Think

This famous story from Genesis sounds quite strange.  If we remember that God had promised to do great things through Abraham's family then Esau's giving up of his birthright might indicate his attitude to the opportunity that God has given his people.  So Jacob buys it.

How many opportunities to serve God do we squander because of our selfishness and greed?

Pray

Loving God, help me to take hold of the opportunities you give me today - help me to serve you to the best of my ability.


23  25.23: Ro 9:12
f esau: This name is taken to refer to Seir, the territory later inhabited by Esau’s descendants; Seir sounds like the Hebrew for “hairy”.
g jacob: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “heel”.
h edom: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “red”.
33  25.33: He 12:16

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