Monday, July 14, 2014

Jacob Grabbed When God Was Always Giving

Going from Isaac to Jacob, one finds that laughter gave way to grabbing.

Jacob cheated his elder brother Esau out of his birthright, then deceived his father to get the blessings.

Hold on a second.

Who said that Jacob was a supplanted in this fashion?

Esau, the embittered older brother who was taken advantage of twice over:

"And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?" (Genesis 27: 36)

Now, are these allegations true, and to what extent?

When reading the Bible, I have learned the importance of context, which focuses on who said what, when, and why.

Esau Despised His Birthright
Jacob Never Stole it
Regarding the birthright, Jacob did not take it away at all. Esau gave it up:

"29And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25: 29-34)

Jacob was making food, and Esau was hungry.

Granted, Jacob traded the birthright when Esau was a weakened moment.

However, the Bible clearly declares: "Esau despised the birthright." "His" is in italics, so we can recognize that this birthright involved more than just himself.

Rebekah and Her Twin Sons: Jacob and Esau
Jacob did not trick Esau out of anything, as much as Esau thought of little more than his immediate, fleshly needs.

Now, regarding the first-born blessing, Rebekah the mother of the two sons received a declaration from the LORD:

"22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.
23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." (Genesis 25: 22-23)
The elder will serve the younger. God had foreordained that Jacob would be blessed, not Esau.
Paul the apostle explains why:
Jacob Deceives His Father Isaac --
But in Truth He Never Had To!
"(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;" (Romans 9: 11)
Many people have misconstrued this passage to mean that only certain people have been determined who will be saved, when in reality the passage is clear --- we are not saved by what we do, but by what Jesus has done for us, what the Father has given us.
So, Jacob was supposed to receive the first born-blessing in the first place!
The real problem for Jacob, and I submit for all of us who are children of God in Christ, is that we have to grab and take when God so freely gives us all things through His Son:
"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 31-34)
Even though Jacob deceived his father to get the first-born blessing, Jacob did deserve it:
"And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. " (Genesis 27: 33)
Why did Isaac quake so violently? He knew that the blessing was supposed to go to Jacob, and even though he had attempted to give it to Esau, everything worked out for Jacob to get the blessing anyway.
Some may argue that Isaac's fear had nothing to do with the prophecy which Rebekah had received. If that were the case, then Isaac could have written off the blessing which he had given inadvertently to Jacob. But he didn't, because He couldn't.
Not only did Isaac bless Jacob with the first-born blessing, he blessed him again:
"1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 4And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. 5And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother." (Genesis 28: 1-5)
Imagine this -- Isaac blesses Jacob a second time. If Jacob's getting the first-born blessing was such an evil act, why would Isaac bless him a second time?
Jacob is a picture also of all believers as we grow from trusting in our flesh to living by His Word and the guidance of His Spirit.
Even when we are in the flesh, just as Jacob dressed up as Esau, God still blesses us, and He keeps on blessing us until we learn to stop fighting and receiving from Him freely all things.
All things in Christ!

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