This sermon was based on Genesis 25:19-34
The Birth of Esau and Jacob
19These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23And the Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
24When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
29Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) 31Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
- Esau made a choice for today with no regard for tomorrow. He chose instant gratification over future Blessing.
- We often do the same thing in different ways. We often choose instant gratification over future blessing. We choose the small benefit in front of us now rather than wait for the big benefit in the future.
- If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re probably all much more prone to giving into instant gratification than we’d like to admit. We often put our immediate physical comfort over long-term spiritual blessings. For example, we all know that when we’ve had a tough day, when we feel discouraged or anxious or angry, the best thing for us to do is to go and spend time with God in prayer. We know that praying, reading our Bibles, having fellowship with our church family will yield real spiritual benefits but so often we choose our immediate physical comfort over spiritual blessings.
- The Hebrew word (Tam) translated as quiet here more accurately describes a person who’s level-headed, solid or sound. One commentator says that this word implies that Jacob was ‘toughly dependable and a formidably cool opponent.’
- Jacob took advantage of his brother’s weakness and used it for his own advantage. He put his aspirations and desires above others and only thought of his own future.
- We can be prone to doing the same. Putting what we want, our goals, our desires above those of everyone else just like Jacob did.
- You know we mustn’t forget that even though both Jacob and Esau were responsible for their choices and had to live with the consequences, God was involved the whole time. God chose Jacob. God chose to bless him and to make him into a nation. God chose Jacob through who’s line the Messiah, God’s own Son, the Saviour of the World would be born, through whom God would accomplish his plan of redemption for the world!
- Our choices matter, they have consequences but ultimately God’s choices matter the most. What God chose to do was to die for us, to reconcile us to himself, to free us from the consequences of our sin and rebellion against him. God chooses to make us his children, He chooses to be with us, to never leave us, He chooses to speak to us and to work in us and to change us through His Holy Spirit.
- Even our bad choices can’t get in the way of God’s good and perfect plan for us. He can use even bad choices with negative consequences for his purpose and use them for our ultimate good. That’s how amazing God is.