January 9

Genesis 25 -- 27

Nimrod and Esau are the only two men in the Bible called hunters and they have much in common. The fact that Esau is described as a hunter like Nimrod the rebel gives us some insight into Esau's true character. We are told that Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field (Genesis 25:27). In light of Matthew 13:38: The field is the world, we conclude that Esau was typically worldly-minded. There came a day when Esau returned from the field . . . and said to Jacob, Feed me . . . for I am faint. Jacob, knowing the character of his brother, replied: Sell me this day your birthright (Genesis 25:29-31). Esau revealed his lack of interest in spiritual things when he agreed, saying: Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright be to me? (25:32-34). Esau could not have been at the point of death by missing one meal. He could have asked either his mother or one of his two Canaanite wives for a meal. God later called him a profane person (Hebrews 12:16).
Though much maligned by Esau and others, the fact is that, regardless of circumstances, Jacob purchased the Abrahamic covenant from Esau for what Esau thought it was worth. More importantly, God had told Rebekah that the elder shall serve the younger (Genesis 25:23).
Esau was born first and fell legal heir to the family birthright which included, among other things, the sacred position of spiritual leadership of the family and heir to the covenant between God and Abraham. The birthright was a link in the line of descent through which the Messiah was to come (Numbers 24:17-19). In contrast with Esau, Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents (Genesis 25:27). The Hebrew word for plain is the same word translated in other Scripture as perfect, upright, undefiled; so the word plain refers to Jacob's character -- Jacob was a man of God.
Throughout Scripture, God records His highest praise and blessing for Jacob: The Lord has chosen Jacob to Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure (Psalms 135:4); and Scripture records twice: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).
It appears that Isaac had allowed admiration for his worldly-minded son Esau to cause him to ignore the prophecy that God had revealed to Rebekah before their birth (Genesis 25:23). He chose to disregard Esau's sale of his birthright to Jacob (25:34), and even his marriage to two pagan women though they caused much grief (26:34-35).
It is encouraging to see that the moment Isaac realized that Rebekah had thwarted his evil scheme, he quickly and openly conferred the Abrahamic covenant upon Jacob, an obvious admission of how terribly wrong he had been (28:3-4). There is no hint that Isaac thought that Rebekah did wrong. The Hebrew word Yaacov (Jacob) is translated "supplanter." One of the definitions of supplant in Webster's Dictionary is "to take the place of and serve as a substitute for, especially by reason of superior excellence."
God verifies Esau's indifference to spiritual values in a warning to professing Christians: Look diligently lest any one fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright (Hebrews 12:15-16).
Word Studies:
26:8 sporting with = caressing, expressing love; 26:14 great store = a great number; 26:21 Sitnah = enmity, anger; 26:31 betimes = early; 27:36 supplanted = taken my place; 27:42 as touching thee = concerning you.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) and Gov. Bill Graves (KS) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WCVJ-FM, Jefferson, OH · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Edward & Shirley Mantych · Country: Rwanda (8 million) in central Africa · Major languages: Kinyarwanda and French · Religious freedom · 40% Roman Catholic; 21% Protestant; 14% belief in false gods, ancestor worship, and spirit-possession cults; 9% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord with a contrite heart as you pray (Ezra 9:5-6).
Optional Reading:
Matthew 9

Memory Verse for the Week:
Psalms 1:2