Title: Esau & Jacob: A Microcosm of their story.
Text: Genesis 25.19-34
Introduction: Rd v 1: These are the generations of; 10x’s – 2.4; 6.9; 10.1; 11.10, 27; 25.12, 19; 36.1, 9; 37.2; A couple of notes:
- So, this story is a microcosm of the overall story of Jacob and Esau. What we see here is what we’ll see throughout Genesis as pertaining to these two.
- This story is not conventional. It doesn’t go along with what you and I think should be right. God does what he wants and it doesn’t always make human sense. So, don’t get mad! Don’t get upset at what you cannot understand.
Transition: Read v 19-20; Two main characters here: Isaac & Rebecca: Based on all that you know about Isaac and Rebecca, tell me your understanding of their personalities. Isaac is probably more reserved and Rebecca is more outgoing. Introverted vs. Extroverted; just curious, what about the couple represented here?
1. A Familiar Problem (19-23)
exp.: v 21; Barren;
- Isaac’s Intercession; rd v 21a; Twenty Years! Rd v 26; Q.: Didn’t God promise? Why pray? Wait for responses. Al Mohler: Prayer doesn’t change God – prayer changes us. It moves us onto his agenda. James 5.16c;
- Rebecca’s Pregnancy; rd 21b; God is gracious and grants his request; Q.: What if God hadn’t answered? He had divinely brought them together. He had divinely promised a lineage. What did they need to do? Trust! Q.: How do you see their trust? They didn’t take things into their own hands: no maidservant to bear a child.
- The Twins Turmoil: A struggle ensues, giving us some insight, a foreshadowing if you will, of the events of their lives. This caused Rebecca great stress, both physically and emotionally. So, she does what her husband did! She prays and inquires of the Lord. God reveals his great purpose.
- There are two inside of her – not just one.
- Before they’re born, God tells her exactly what he is doing. He’s creating two nations.
- Before they’re born, God tells her that he has chosen the younger over the older. And the older will serve the younger; 2 Sam 8.14; Obadiah 18-21;
ill.: This is a theme in Genesis; Cain & Abel; Abraham was not the 1st born; Isaac was not the 1st born; Jacob isn’t either; Judah will be picked to line the Messiah – 4th in line;
app.: A Familiar Problem, but these two don’t take things into their own hands. Instead, they trust God and take it to him in prayer!
2. A Theological Conundrum: Election (24-28)
exp.: rd 24-; The time comes for her delivery – for them to be born;
- Esau: rd v 25; red; 1 Samuel 16.12; 17.42; hairy; Esau sounds like hairy; he would be this way as a man;
- Jacob: rd v 26; it’s kind of like a picture of one pursuing the other; maybe, you might say he’s trying to trip him up; Do you have a footnote?
Do you realize that God chooses? Romans 9.10-18; Malachi 1.2-3; Why? That God’s purpose of election might continue. Semitic Comparison; Gen 29.30-31; Luke 14.26; The love of one is so great, it looks like hate in comparison. We actually see this in the next two verses; rd v 27-28; A quiet man; lit.: sound or solid. Hughes quotes: which Derek Kidner calls “the level-headed quality that made Jacob, at his best, toughly dependable, and at his worst, a formidably cool opponent.” Jacob was self-contained, conventional, and controlled.
Really, what is attractive about either one? Esau is impetuous and hasty. Jacob is devious and conniving. From earthly standards, yes, Esau would be more attractive than Jacob. But seriously, from a godly standpoint, aren’t they both poor choices?
Transition: This becomes even more obvious when you see the next story.
3. An Example of how they lived their lives (29-34)
exp.: read v 29-34; Esau – impetuous and hasty; Jacob – devious and conniving; A quick search of these names in the NT and Esau is seen three times; Romans 9.10-13 (quoting Malachi); Hebrews 11 (in reference to Isaac’s faith) and then in Hebrews 12.16-17; sexually immoral or unholy; I don’t know if these go together or if unholy sits alone with like Esau.
Hughes, in quoting Thomas Carlyle writes:
He is the kind of man of whom we are in the habit of charitably saying that he is nobody’s enemy but his own. But, in truth, he is God’s enemy, because he wastes the splendid manhood which God has given him. Passionate, impatient, impulsive, incapable of looking before him, refusing to estimate the worth of anything which does not immediately appeal to his sense, preferring the animal over the spiritual, he is rightly called a “profane person.”
app.: Both men hold the characteristics of shallowness and of being self-serving. Nothing really attractive about either of them. And yet, God had a plan.
Transition: So, what will you take home with you tonight?
Observations & Implications:
- God is Sovereign – we can’t think of his ways like our ways.