Highlights In Today's Reading:
As the great patriarch Abraham dies, we meet Isaac's family — his wife Rebekah and their twin sons, Jacob and Esau.
Only two men in the Bible are called hunters — Nimrod and Esau. The fact that Esau is described as a hunter like Nimrod, the rebel, gives us some insight into Esau's true character. He revealed his lack of interest in spiritual things when he said: 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 because of missing one meal. Obviously, he had no concern for the things of God, who later called him a profane (godless) person (Heb. 12:16). The family birthright included, among other things, the sacred position of spiritual leadership of the family and heir to the covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants. The birthright was a link in the line of descent through which the Messiah was to come (Num. 24:17-19).
Though much maligned by Esau and others, the fact is that Jacob purchased the Abrahamic covenant from Esau for what Esau thought it was worth. In sharp contrast with Esau, Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents (Gen. 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. God declares twice: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3). And David records: The Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar (special, sacred) treasure (Ps. 135:4).
Many today, like Esau, are willing to gratify fleshly cravings in total disregard for God's will in their lives until it is too late. Then, like Esau, they find fault with the people of God and blame their failures on someone else. Inevitably, the faithful servant of God will be falsely accused and betrayed; but, it is encouraging to see from Jacob's experience that it is impossible for anyone to keep the chosen servant of God from accomplishing the perfect will of God.
Rather than criticizing others, we need to guard our own hearts: Looking 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. . . . Afterward . . . he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance (no way to undo what he had done), though he sought it carefully (desperately) with tears (Heb. 12:15-17).
Thought for Today:
It is not too late for us to impart godly spiritual values to our children or someone else's as long as we have them ourselves.
As the spiritual Seed that would bless all the nations of the earth (Gen. 26:4). Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. . . . as of one . . . which is Christ (Gal. 3:16).
25:6 concubines =secondary wives without inheritance rights; 25:8 gave up the ghost =died; 25:16 castles =settlements; 25:21 intreated =prayed earnestly; was intreated of him =granted his prayer; 25:23 two nations =the Israelites and the Edomites (36:9); 25:29 sod =cooked, boiled; 26:3 Sojourn =live temporarily; 26:8 sporting with =showing loving affection; 26:9 of a surety =clearly; 26:10 lightly =ignorantly; have lien =had sexual relations; 26:11 charged =warned; 26:13 waxed =became; 26:14 store =household; 26:19 springing =running; 26:31 betimes =early; 27:15 goodly raiment =choice clothes; 27:28 fatness =best; 27:37 corn =grain.
Pray for Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Official: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) • Country: Tonga (109,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: Tongan and English • Religious freedom • 55% Protestant; 22% Mormon; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Cry and pour out your soul in prayer in time of affliction (Is. 26:16).
Optional Reading: Matthew 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:21