A study in separation - Jacob, part 3
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.Genesis 25:29 (NKJV)
A perfect storm was brewing along with Jacob’s stew. As we’ve seen, from an early age, Jacob was very self-oriented. He was constantly fighting with his brother Esau in the womb, striving for supremacy and superiority. He was driven and compelled to come out on top and in better shape than the other guy.
We also saw that Jacob’s tendency to make his own way for himself festered and flourished in a family setting where it was very clear that he wasn’t his father’s favorite son. Esau laid claim to that prize. Esau was the great hunter who put dad’s favorite meal on the table. Lacking in his father’s favor, Jacob learned to trust in himself more and more.
Esau was also the firstborn, even though it was only by a few seconds. And as the firstborn, he was entitled to the family birthright, which was the mantle of spiritual authority in the home. It was something very significant, something Jacob wanted badly. So Jacob, true to his nature, schemes a way to get it for himself. Watch what happens when he catches Esau in a rare moment of vulnerability:
And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.”…But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright…”And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”…So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. (Genesis 25:30-33 NKJV)
Just as he reached out to grab Esau’s heel, Jacob is making a grab here, too. Instead of simply feeding his hungry brother, Jacob’s self-preserving nature kicks in and he leverages the situation to get something that wasn’t rightfully his. And he does get it…but as always, there will be consequences for acting in a spirit of self-preservation.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?