The next section of chapters will cover the next generation, and be defined by conflict between two of Abraham’s grandchildren – Jacob and Esau. Though he is the younger son, Jacob will be the one through whom the blessing of Abraham is transmitted. He will eventually be renamed Israel and his twelve sons will become (roughly) the twelve tribes of Israel. On one level, the point of Jacob’s life is that God chose to bless him because of his sovereign choice and because of his grace. Jacob is not a particularly likeable character. At a human level, he deceives his father, manipulates is brother, and cheats his way to the all-important blessing. God’s sovereign choice in salvation is to bless people who do not deserve it. On the other hand, Esau is also responsible for the fate that befalls him (Heb 12:16). First of all, he despised his inheritance and sold it for a bowl of soup. Second, he married into the surrounding nations by taking “Hittite wives” (Gen 26:34-36, Gen 27:46) which threatened to introduce religious compromise.
Connect and Reflect: When we see God choosing Jacob we see undeserved grace (Rom 9:10-13). When we see God rejecting Esau we see warnings about how unbelief in the promises of God causes us to value the wrong things (Heb 12:15-17). How has God acted with sovereign grace in your life to give you what you don't deserve?
Romans 9:10-13 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
Hebrews 12:15-16 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God… that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.