Esau's decision to sell his birthright is used in the New Testament as an example of ungodliness—a "godless" person is one who will choose earthly pleasures before spiritual ones (Hebrews 12:15-17).
Esau cautions us to remain fast to what is genuinely essential, even if it means rebuking the pleasures of the flesh through his instructive example. The Bible uses the story of Jacob and Esau to illustrate God's choosing and calling. God providentially barred Esau from the Messianic bloodline, choosing the younger Jacob to carry on the Abrahamic Covenant (Romans 9:11-14).
Do you recall the tale of Sarah and Abraham? You should know that God formed a covenant (or promise) with Abraham, promising that he would have many descendants, found many nations, and, most significantly, that God would be with him and all of these nations. For many years, every first-born kid would get this pledge.
Birth of Jacob and Esau
Abraham had a son called Isaac as God kept his promise. The exciting aspect of this tale is that Isaac, who was then an adult and married to Rebekah, wass the protagonist. Rebekah was also unable to conceive, but Isaac knew from his father that if he prayed to God, He might hear him. Indeed, God heard Isaac's request and not just one kid but twins were born to his wife!
Have you seen how a woman carries her child in her womb? While the baby is developing, it moves! While a baby is inside its mother, it moves in the womb, and occasionally you may feel the baby moving.
Rebekah had the same emotions that all mothers have before a baby is born. She just felt her baby moving in her womb so much that she questioned God, "Why is this happening to me?"
She was concerned about the movement inside her womb. "Your children are quite different from one another; one of your children will lead a group of people that is stronger than the other, and the eldest kid will serve the younger one," God said in response. This was unusual since, typically, the younger siblings look up to the eldest kid in the family and desire to imitate what they are doing. However, in this instance, this was not the case.
Esau was the first and oldest of the twins. He stood out since he was crimson and covered with hair. He was swiftly followed by his younger brother, Jacob. The boys’ interests changed as they grew older. Jacob preferred to stay at home and complete tasks on his own, but Esau was an excellent hunter and loved being outside.
Jacob learned to cook with his mother because he spent a lot of time at home. He once prepared some of his scrumptious stew, which everyone enjoyed. Esau was quite hungry since he had gone out hunting early in the morning. Being quite hungry, he could smell the stew from far away.
Jacob and Esau Cooking
As soon as Esau arrived at his house, he pleaded with Jacob, "Please, give me some of your stew; I'm ravenous!" First, give me your birthright, Jacob retorted. Esau should have said, "I don't have a birthright," when Jacob requested it "No way! Since every present I receive is a gift from God, that is something precious for me, and I must use it."
In those days, the father's eldest son was the one who received his final blessings and more than half of his estate after his demise. Esau was so hungry that he made a casual commitment to give Jacob his birthright. Esau ate the soup and bread that Jacob offered him before departing.
Jacob and Esau Making Weapons
Years later, Jacob's mother, Rebecca assisted him in tricking Isaac and giving Jacob the blessing that Isaac had intended for Esau. As a result, Isaac blessed Jacob with all he had while giving Esau nothing.
There is so much hope in the story of Jacob and Esau.
Jacob and Esau are right up there, with Cain and Abel as the most well-known siblings in the Bible. Even though their rivalry with one another is legendary, the fact that they made up and got along is much more moving.
1. Why did Jacob steal Esau's birthright?
Esau disobeyed God's commandments, wed outside of Israel, and didn't value his ancestry. God's providential plan excluded Esau from the line that would produce Christ. Instead, God picked the imperfect but obedient Jacob to fulfil His promise to Abraham. Years later, Jacob's mother Rebecca assisted him in tricking Isaac and giving Jacob the blessing that Isaac had intended for Esau. As a result, Isaac blessed Jacob with all he had while giving Esau nothing.
2. What do we learn from the story?
Esau and Jacob are diametrically opposed to one another. Esau disobeyed God's commandments, wed outside of Israel, and didn't value his ancestry. Despite their flaws, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ultimately showed integrity and served God with their deeds. God would uphold His end of the bargain by creating His people from their kin and sending His Son into the world via that family. In the same way, if we respect and love God, He makes us serve His purpose.