THE STRUGGLE FOR BIRTHRIGHT
The twin boys were delivered with Esau as the first born while Jacob was the second to come out which made him to be the younger one. According to their custom, the first is the heir of all that the father had. Unfortunately, there was a revelation from the LORD that was given to Rebekah which said the younger shall be the heir while the elder will serve the younger. But as the boys grew, the Bible says,” Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field, and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison, but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pottage and Esau came from the field, and he was faint. And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me I pray thee, with that same red pottage, for I am faint. therefore was his name called, Edom And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die, and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day ; and he sware unto him; and he sold his birthright to Jacob. Then 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 25:27-34).
Right from the womb, Rebekah experienced struggle between the two boys. During delivery, Jacob took hold of Esau’s heel as if to say I need to come out first. Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob. What a family feud!!!. The differential love expressed by the parents must have been apparent to the boys themselves and this must have caused a lot of rivalry between them. Jacob seemed to be the one that had his eyes on the birthright right from the womb (what an irony) and God had already ordained him to be the recipient of the blessing . Why do we have to struggle for what already belongs to us? This is what we face every day of our lives. Being uncertain of the future, people use different methods to want to secure it,They go along with the world in their deceit, using crooked ways to defraud people so as to be rich at other people’s expense. The wealth obtained this way does not last. Eventually they become bankrupt and owe so much in debt.
Jacob used the desperate situation of his brother as an advantage to force him to swear to sell the birthright to him Though whatever transpired between these two brothers was actually the plan of God concerning Jacob. Jacob was the one God approved to continue the lineage of Abraham, but should he had done it this way? I might be wrong but I do not think that this way of taking over the birthright was the only way to inherit the blessing of Abraham. But our God does whatever He likes. He could have prevented Esau from coming out first so that Jacob could possess the blessing legitimately. He did not do it that way. He also pronounced to Rebekah that the elder one would serve the younger, so that explains the way each came out. We give honor and adoration to our God who is unquestionable and His ways are perfect and different from our ways. But definitely Jacob eyed that position and he did everything he could to get it. The other side of the matter is Esau himself that sold his birthright for a piece of bread and pottage. Why should Esau allow his love for food to make him lose what is as important as birthright?. What we don’t value, we lose it. Because Esau despised his birthright, he lost it that day to his brother who knew the value of birthright. How can bread and pottage replace your God-given right? It was unfortunate that later on when he wanted it he could not get it though he sought it with tears. The lesson here is that we must value or appreciate the gift of God upon our lives, and use it to the best of our ability. The more we use our gifts, the more God will pour more upon us.
The other lesson that is very critical is the way the parents separated the children. Both children should have been loved equally by both parents, Even if there was differential love for each child (which is natural), it must not be obvious. Therefore we must borrow a leaf from this episode, and love our children with the love of God. God loves us because he created us and we must love our children because God created them and gave them to us. The Lord will give us the grace to be obedient to his word in Jesus name, Amen.