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Bible Pathways - January 9, 2006

January 9, 2006

Read Genesis 25 -- 27

In Today's Reading:

Abraham's death; birth of Jacob and Esau; Esau sells his birthright; Isaac blesses Jacob with the Abrahamic Covenant

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 (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 as a man of God. God records His highest praise and blessing for Jacob: The LORD hath chosen Jacob unto Himself (Psalm 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 (Genesis 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.

Though much maligned by Esau, the fact is, Jacob purchased the birthright for what Esau thought it was worth. More importantly, God had earlier told Rebekah that the elder shall serve the younger (25:23). So God had chosen Jacob to receive the birthright even before he was born.

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, and he chose to disregard Esau's sale of his birthright to Jacob (25:33-34).

But the moment Isaac realized that Rebekah had thwarted his evil scheme, he quickly and openly conferred the Abrahamic Covenant upon Jacob, which was an obvious admission of how terribly wrong he had been (28:1-4). There is no hint that Isaac thought that Rebekah did wrong. The Hebrew word Jacob is often 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."

To malign Jacob is to misinterpret God's Word. The writer of Hebrews referred to Esau as a profane (godless) person (Hebrews 12:16). Before their births, God knew that Esau's descendants would become enemies of Israel for generations to come and He knew Jacob was a man of integrity. He had preordained that Jacob would be in the lineage of Jesus.

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

Christ Revealed:

As the spiritual Seed that would bless all the nations of the earth (Genesis 26:4). Now to Abraham and his Seed (Descendant) were the promises made. . . . as of one . . . which is Christ (Galatians 3:16).

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 Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. W.A. Brinkman · Government Official: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) · Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East · Major languages: Greek and Turkish · No open evangelism or conversions to Christ · 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Psalm 79:13).

Optional Reading: Matthew 9

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:13

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