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Bible Pathway - Jan. 9, 2011

Read Genesis 25


As the great patriarch Abraham dies, we meet Isaac's family — his wife Rebekah and their twin sons, Jacob and Esau. God reveals His plan for: (1) His people; (2) salvation (Gen. 25:23). Esau despised his birthright (25:32-33). God sends "Living Water" to resolve conflict (26:32-33). God said: I loved Jacob. And I hated Esau (Mal. 1:2-3).

Esau and Jacob were twin brothers, but Esau was born first and thereby became legal heir to the family birthright which included, among other things, being heir to the Covenant between God and Abraham. This birthright was a link in the line of descent through which the Promised Messiah was to come (Num. 24:17-19). In 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 as a man of God. God records His highest praise and blessing for Jacob: The Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself (Ps. 135:4).

Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me . . . with that same red pottage (stew); for I am faint (Gen. 25: 29-30). Knowing the character of his brother, Jacob replied: Sell me this day thy birthright (25:31). Esau had no interest in spiritual things so he agreed, saying: I am at the point (about) to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (25:32-34). Esau could not have been at the point to die by missing one meal, but he revealed how worthless he considered the birthright. Jacob purchased the birthright for what Esau thought it was worth.

It appears that Isaac's admiration for his worldly-minded son Esau caused him to ignore the prophecy that God had revealed to Rebekah before the twins' birth (25:23). Furthermore, Isaac chose to disregard Esau's sale of his birthright to Jacob (25:33-34).

After Isaac had conferred the Abrahamic Covenant on Jacob, Esau later came to receive a blessing. Isaac realized that Rebekah had thwarted his evil scheme. There is no hint that Isaac thought Rebekah did wrong. A short time later, he sent Jacob to seek a wife with his blessing (28:1-4). The Hebrew word Jacob is often translated "supplanter." One of the definitions of supplant is "to take the place of and serve as a substitute for, especially by reason of superior excellence."

To malign Jacob is to misinterpret the Word of God. The writer of Hebrews referred to Esau as a profane (godless) person (Hebrews 12:16).

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God . . . or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright (Heb. 12:15-16).

Thought for Today:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seekly goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matt. 13:45-46).

Christ Revealed:

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. . . . not . . . as of many; but as of one . . . which is Christ (Gal. 3:16).

Word Studies:

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 to; 26:9 of a surety clearly; 26:10 lightly ignorantly, have lien have had sexual relations; 26:11 charged warned, commanded, ordered; 26:13 waxed became; 26:14 store household; 26:19 springing water running water, literally "living water." Jesus promised living water (John 4:10); 26:31 betimes barly; 27:15 goodly raiment choice clothes; 27:28 fatness best; 27:37 corn grain.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bruce and Joyce Rutherford's anniversary • Government Official: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) • Country: Paraguay (5 million) in southern South America • Major languages: Spanish and Guarani • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Confess wrongs you have committed to the Lord and to those whom you have hurt; ask for forgiveness (Matt. 5:23-24).

Optional Reading: Matthew 9

Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 4:2

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