Kid’s Corner

The Messiah Must Come Through Jacob

November 4, 2018

Genesis 25:19-34

Genesis 25:19-34

(Genesis 25:19) Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham became the father of Isaac;

  Abraham’s servant brought Rebekah from Haran to be Isaac’s wife. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. After Isaac was married, Abraham lived thirty-five more years: he died at the age of 175 years old. Twenty years after Isaac was married, Rebekah gave birth to Esau and Jacob. Therefore, during the formative years of Esau and Jacob’s lives, they had the opportunity to know both their father and grandfather and receive spiritual guidance from them. They could have heard firsthand from Abraham all the events that were so crucial to his and Sarah’s life, all the details of the LORD’s visits with Abraham, the miraculous birth of Isaac in Abraham and Sarah’s old age, and about Lot before and after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most especially, they learned about the promises that the LORD had made to Abraham and Isaac’s descendants. They could also learn firsthand from Rebekah about her family in Haran and their history.

(Genesis 25:20) and 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.

  Bethuel was a nephew of Abraham, and the father of Rebekah and Laban. Paddan Aram or Padanarammeans “Plain of Aram,” which was the region that included the city of Haran (located in Syria), where Rebekah’s family lived. Arameans spoke the ancient language known as Aramaic.

(Genesis 25:21) Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.

  Perhaps remembering the experience of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of Rebekah and the LORD answered his prayer. The Bible does not tell us how long he prayed or how many times he offered his prayer. He could pray to the LORD based on God’s promises to Abraham and to him; God had promised to give him children. After giving thempromises of descendants, God tried both the faith and patience of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebekah, which reminds us to always pray for our children and patiently wait for God to achieve His plans for them and us.

(Genesis 25:22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

  Rebekah did not know why her babies seemed to be fighting within her, so she prayed to the LORD for an answer. Both Isaac and Rebekah were godly parents, and Rebekah went to the LORD alone when she was concerned about her children, and the LORD told her why her children were difficult.

(Genesis 25:23) The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”

  With more than one wife (see Genesis 28:6-9), Esau had two sons, Eliphaz and Reuel, and from Esau the Edomites became a nation (see Genesis 36:1-43). His descendants became many people groups and after many generations became nations that did not accept the faith of the Israelites. The two nations that the LORD spoke of were the two separate large groups of people that would come from Esau and Jacob. Eventually, of course, Israel would divide into a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom, but the LORD had no purpose in foretelling everything we know now to Rebekah. One nation would be spiritually and in every other way stronger than the other nation. From a worldly perspective, Esau never personally served Jacob; however, Jacob was stronger intellectually than Esau when he convinced Esau to sell him his birthright, and by doing so Esau became culturally and legally a servant of Jacob. As punishment for their sins, Obadiah prophesied of Esau’s descendants as a nation, “But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged!” (Obadiah 1:6).

Genesis 28:6-9, When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughers of Canaan;

And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;

And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;

Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

Genesis 36:1-43, 1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;

And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;

And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.

And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.

For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.

Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.

And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:

10 These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.

11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.

12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.

13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of BashemathEsau’s wife.

14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.

15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphazthe firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,

16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.

17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.

18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.

19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,

21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.

22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.

23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.

24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.

25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.

26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.

27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.

28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.

29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,

30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.

31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.

33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrahreigned in his stead.

34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.

35 And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.

36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.

37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.

38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.

39 And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.

40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,

41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,

42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,

43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.

Obadiah 1:6:How are the things of Esau searched out! howare his hidden things sought up!

(Genesis 25:24) When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

  These twin boys were different and became more different as they grew into manhood. Their descendants were also different spiritually.

(Genesis 25:25) Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.

  These boys were not identical twins. The meaning of Esau’s name is “hairy” or “rough.”

(Genesis 25:26) Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

  The fact that Jacob grasped Esau’s heel verified from their birth what the LORD had told Rebekah. The name Jacob means “holder of the heel” or “supplanter;” or “deceiver,” which Jacob became: his action of deceiving Esau  may gave given the name “Jacob” that additional meaning. Jacob would deprive Esau of the benefits of being a firstborn son. Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born, and Isaac was 60 when his twins were born.

(Genesis 25:27) When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.

  As a skillful hunter, Esau was physically more active and stronger than his brother Jacob. Jacob knew that in a fight between them, he would lose — one reason he would later flee from his brother. Since Esau spent much time outdoors, and Jacob stayed at home, Jacob would have had the benefit of learning more about the LORD and his family history directly from his family. Jacob developed his intellectual abilities while Esau developed his physical abilities.

(Genesis 25:28) Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

  Though Esau was often away from home hunting, Isaac loved Esau for the food he could bring the family from his hunting. Rebekah loved Jacob because he spent most of his time with the family. Working and eating together enabled Jacob to learn much from Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob lived at home as the shepherd of the family flock, who also learned how to cook as well as other domestic duties. Later, he would be a successful shepherd for Laban in Haran.

(Genesis 25:29) When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished;

  Having described their family situation, Genesis reveals how Esau lost his birthright. Jacob had obviously learned how to cook good food at home from what they raised in their fields. We do not know if Esau’s hunt was successful or not, but he came home starving.

(Genesis 25:30) and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

  The name Edom means “red,” the same as the meaning of “Esau.” There are recipes on the Internet for red lentil stew, a member of the pea family.

(Genesis 25:31) But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”

  Having spent much time at home and perhaps knowing what the LORD had told Rebekah, Jacob probably knew far better than Esau the value of the birthright, and thought it worth bargaining for, if given the opportunity.

(Genesis 25:32) Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”

  Like many people, Esau followed his emotions at the moment rather than his reason. Without considering all the possible consequences, which often result in poor decisions and even sinning, Esau figured that if he died his birthright was no good to him, so he made a poor trade for a bowl of stew.

(Genesis 25:33) And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

  Jacob gave Esau the opportunity to reconsider his decision by asking Esau to swear an oath that he was selling his birthright to Jacob. This oath would make the bargain or sale legally binding in that culture. Jacob had the wisdom to make the bargain and make sure that the bargain was legal. This birthright may not have included the father’s blessing (but it was probably assumed that it did). Esau may not have taken the time to think about the value of his birthright or blessing, because when Isaac called Esau to go hunt for him, Esau expected to receive his father’s blessing. The birthright gave the oldest son twice the material inheritance at the death of the father. Financially, for example, if the inheritance were $100.00, Jacob would now get $66.66 at his father’s death and Esau would now get $33.33. Esau would now get half as much as Jacob at Isaac’s death.

(Genesis 25:34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

  Having received Esau’s binding pledge, Jacob fulfilled his part of the bargain and even gave Esau some bread along with his stew. Esau did not seem to regret his bargain, for after eating he simply left. To despise means “to feel contempt for or a deep repugnance for” or “to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.” Because of his attitude, Esau was not mentally or spiritually qualified to be the head of the family at the death of Isaac. Surely, Esau would have preferred to keep hunting outdoors with enough inheritance to support a comfortable lifestyle rather than show concern for passing on the truths of the LORD to his family and help them grow spiritually and mentally. Esau proved he was unfit to follow in Isaac’s steps.

 

The Messiah Must Come Through Jacob

November 4, 2018

Genesis 25:19-34

 “The LORD said to Rebekah, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger’” (Genesis 25:23).

  Before they were born, the LORD had good plans for both Esau and Jacob. Each one did what they wanted to do according to their different abilities and interests. Esau loved hunting and the outdoors, and he provided game for the family. Jacob loved staying at home among the tents, where he learned how to cook and care for the family’s sheep. By staying home, Jacob also learned much about the adventures and encounters with God that Abraham and his father Isaac experienced, for he could know his grandfather during his early years. Both twins were loved by their parents. Isaac loved Esau for the fresh game he brought him. Rebekah loved Jacob, perhaps because she knew “the older will serve the younger,” so she looked out for him. For the LORD to fulfill His plan of salvation that had proceeded from Adam through Noah, Abraham, and Isaac, the Messiah that the LORD had promised to send could not descend from both Esau and Jacob. One of them had to be chosen by the LORD. God chose Jacob, and God arranged for Jacob to have the interests and opportunities he would need to carry on the line of faith that would eventually lead to the Messiah. God fulfilled His words to Rebekah: Esau became an ancestor of the Edomites; Jacob became the ancestor of Israel. Both had the opportunity to know and obey the LORD and pass down the knowledge of the LORD to their children and grandchildren. But the Messiah would come through Israel (Jac0b).

Thinking Further

The Messiah Must Come Through Jacob

November 4, 2018

Genesis 25:19-34

Name _____________________________

 

1. How old was Isaac when he married Rebekah, and how old was he when he became a father?

 

 

2. What did Isaac and Rebekah do when they had problems? What does their example and the results tell us?

 

 

3. How did the LORD explain to Rebekah what was happening to her?

 

 

4. How were her twins born? How did they grow up to be different?

 

 

5. What does it mean to despise something? What did Esau despise? What was a benefit of receiving what he despised?

 

 

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

 

1. How old was Isaac when he married Rebekah, and how old was he when he became a father? 

40 years old and 60 years old.

 

2. What did Isaac and Rebekah do when they had problems? What does their example and the results tell us?

   They went to the LORD in prayer. The LORD will answer the prayers of those who believe in Him and go to Him in prayer. The LORD will keep His promises to us, and we can pray to the LORD believing in and remembering His promises to us in the Bible.

 

3. How did the LORD explain to Rebekah what was happening to her?

   (Genesis 25:23) The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

 

4. How were her twins born? How did they grow up to be different? 

  Esau was born first, and he was hairy, so they called him Esau. Esau grew up to be a hunter and his father loved him. Jacob was born second, and he was grasping Esau’s heel, so he was named Jacob, which means “supplanter.” Jacob stayed home among the tents and learned how to cook (and cared for the farm?) and his mother loved him.

 

5. What does it mean to despise something? What did Esau despise? What was a benefit of receiving what he despised? 

  To despise means “to feel contempt for or a deep repugnance for” or “to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.” Esau despised his birthright. He would receive double the inheritance and become the responsible head of the family at the death of the father.

 

Word Search

The Messiah Must Come Through Jacob

November 4, 2018

Genesis 25:19-34

Name ____________________________

 

W F N Q P N D E R E W S N A I

D E I M S G A I A B R A H A M

T W S H Y E O T G E O G J N O

Z E A Z D I P Q I S R C U W Q

L B A I L E F A P O K W A X D

M Y C O F A Y L R L N L T J W

R J R B P U C A E A C S D U C

Z D P S K L E S R U T O V S W

V Y N L Q S M V T P H E X K E

F G A H A K E B E R L T D W Q

E H E U D T X T O V P A E I H

Z P M Q G M W E J U S N B B S

E X A B N U D N M A Y V M A X

J F R H L O S U S E J A F T N

T Q A D M T H G I R H T R I B

 

Abraham

Isaac

Rebekah

Esau

Jacob

Aramean

Bethuel

Laban

Prayed

LORD

Answered

Nations

Separated

Edom

Birthright

 

True and False Test

The Messiah Must Come Through Jacob

November 4, 2018

Genesis 25:19-34

Name ___________________________

 

 Circle the true or false answers. Correct the false statements by restating them.

 

1. Rebekah was the daughter of an Aramean named BethuelTrue or False

 

2. Isaac and Rebekah were forty years old when they married. True or False

 

3. The LORD answered the prayers of Isaac and Rebekah. True or False

 

4. The LORD told Rebekah that the younger of her twins would serve the older. True or False

 

5. The firstborn came out red and was hairy all over, so they called him Esau. True or False

 

6. The second born son came out with his hand grasping Esau’s heel, so they named him Jacob. True or False

 

7. Laban was sixty years old when Esau and Jacob were born. True or False

 

8. Esau was a good hunter and Jacob made tasty stew. True or False

 

9. Esau said he was about to die, so what good was his birthright to him. True or False

 

10. Jacob despised his birthright. True or False

True and False Test Answers

Genesis 25:19-34

 

1. True

2. False

3. True

4. False

5. True

6. True

7. False

8. True

9. True

10. False

 

Prayer

  Father, our world today encourages us to be very Esau-like and Jacob-like in our thoughts, words, and actions: to live for the moment and to make the achievement of our personal desires and wishes more important than anyone else’s. Deliver us from such a self-centered point of view. Keep our minds on higher, holier pursuits. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

ADULT LESSON

School of Ministry Lesson

November 4

Siblings’ Rivalry

 

Devotional Reading: Matthew 16:13–20

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Background Scripture: Genesis 25:19–34

19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:

20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.

23 And 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.

24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:

30 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.

31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

34 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.

Key Verse

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 25:23

 

Lesson Aims

After participating in this lesson, each learner will be able to:

1. Summarize the account of Rebekah’s pregnancy, the birth of her twin boys, and the account of how Jacob obtained the birthright from Esau.

 

2. Explain what contributed to the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau and which influences today create such rivalries.

 

3. Take the first step to resolve a family rivalry.

HOW TO SAY IT

Aram     Air-um

                                                  Bethuel   Behthew-el.

                                                    Haran     Hair-un.

                                                     Isaac     Eye-zuk

                                                    Jacob    Jay-kub.

                                                   Laban      Lay-bun.

                                      Mesopotamia       Mes-uh-puhtayme-uh.

                                                   Nahor     Nay-hor.

                                           Padanaram       Pay-dana-ram.

                                               Rebekah     Rehbekuh.

Introduction

A.Lucy and Jacob

  The classic Peanuts comic strip often featured a theme centered around a promise that Charlie Brown’s nemesis, Lucy, makes to hold a football on the ground so he can kick it. Charlie is wary; he knows that Lucy will pull the ball away. Lucy pleads for another chance, claiming that she has changed. She gives Charlie her “bonded word” that she will not pull the ball away. So Charlie backs up, runs toward the ball, and (of course) Lucy yanks it away. Charlie is seen flipping into the air with his predictable exclamation of “Aaugh!” Then he lands on his back with a Wump!

  Lucy’s clever, deceptive behavior is similar to that of Jacob, the focus of our next four lessons. In today’s Scripture passage we see him taking advantage of his brother Esau’s hunger in order to pull away from him something much more significant than a football: the family’s birthright. But this was no cartoon; it was a series of events with tragic consequences for Jacob and his family.

B. Lesson Context

   Today’s lesson begins a new unit of lessons that continues our studies from Genesis this quarter. The unit’s theme of “God Blesses and Re-creates Regardless” highlights God’s ability to work through the life of one flawed man in particular: Jacob.

   Initially, Jacob had very little regard for anyone except himself. He was a man who lived by his wits, by his ability to outwit and outmaneuver anyone who crossed his path. Eventually he learned to acknowledge God, not himself, as the one in control, though the consequences of his deceitful tactics dogged him through much of his life.

  “Siblings’ Rivalry,” the title of this lesson, could serve as a subtitle for the book of Genesis as a whole. Before we read of Jacob and Esau’s tension, we read of Cain and Abel and of Ishmael and Isaac (Jacob’s father). Later in Genesis, we see the friction between the two sisters Leah and Rachel. Then there is that of Jacob’s sons. Thus today’s account doesn’t lack for company!

 

I. Distressed Mother

(Genesis 25:19–23)

A. Big Picture (vv. 19, 20)

19. And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac.

  The book of Genesis is arranged by the use of the phrase the generations of (compare Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1, 9; 37:2). The verses just prior to this one record “the generations of Ishmael,” Abraham’s son through Hagar. But that account lasts only through verse 18. By contrast, the record of the generations of Isaac that begins here continues through Genesis 35:29—more than 10 chapters! That speaks to the relative significance of these half brothers.

Genesis 2:4, These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

Genesis 5:1, 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Genesis 6:9, These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Genesis 10:1, 1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

Genesis 11:10, 10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Genesis 11:27, 27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Genesis 25:12, 12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham

Genesis 25:19, 19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:

Genesis 36:1, 1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

Genesis 36:9, And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:

Genesis 37:2, These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

Genesis 35:29 , 29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

20. And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

  Genesis 24 records the arranged marriage of Isaac to Rebekah (last week’s lesson). Bethuel is the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor. Herbrother Laban eventually becomes father-in-law of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, through Jacob’s marriages to Leah and Rachel, Laban’s daughters.

The term Syrian is a geographical designation rather than an ethnic one. The term Padanaram means “plain of Aram” (another name for Syria). It is a part of Mesopotamia, to which Abraham had sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:10).

 Genesis 24:10, 10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.

B. Barrenness (v. 21)

21. And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreatedof him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

 

  Barrenness is a characteristic of three prominent women in the book of Genesis: Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel. This condition, viewed as shameful in biblical times (Genesis 30:23; Luke 1:25), becomes the backdrop for God to show His power to reverse such circumstances. But God does not grant this request simply to relieve heartache. He is committed to let nothing—not even a seemingly irreversible condition like barrenness‌—prevent Him from keeping His covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:2).

Genesis 30:23, 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:

Luke 1:25, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Genesis 12:2, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

  Isaac, distraught over his wife’s condition, turns to the Lord in prayer. Thus did his father Abraham express to the Lord his own concern over Sarah (Genesis 15:2, 3).In each case the barren woman is empowered to conceive.

Genesis 15:2, And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

Genesis 15:3, And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

 What Do You Think?

How can we ensure that life’s difficulties drive us closer to God rather than further from Him?

 

Digging Deeper

Analyze motives and spiritual maturity of Bible characters who made wrong choices in this regard (Matthew 13:20, 21; 26:69–75; etc.).

C. Battle (vv. 22, 23)

22a. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus?

 

  An expectant mother can often feel the baby inside kick. Rebekah, however, seems to be experiencing an unusual amount of such activity. She does not yet know that she is carrying twins; she is only questioning why the movement within her is so intense. Perhaps she suspects that there is more than one child responsible for this. In truth, though, the sibling rivalry has begun!

 22b. And she went to enquire of the Lord.

    Just what this action consists of is difficult to determine. It appears that she goes to a specific place as opposed to simply praying, which is what Isaac has done. Perhaps it is a place that has come to be associated with the presence of the Lord for some reason, much as is the case later with Bethel (Genesis 28:16–19). What is most important is that Rebekah is going to the right source with her question.

Genesis 28:16-19, 16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! thisis none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

23a. And 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.

 

  In some clear and unmistakable manner, the Lord speaks to Rebekah and answers her inquiry, just as He has answered Isaac’s prayer for a child. Rebekah is carrying twins, but they are described as two nations. The nations are not specifically named; all that Rebekah is told involves the future of each.

 23b. And the elder shall serve the younger.

    The prophecy then focuses on the children themselves. The promise here is not the norm in the Old Testament world. Typically, the older sibling is to be given greater prominence within the family. The Law of Moses later stipulates that the firstborn son be given a “double portion” of the family’s wealth (Deuteronomy 21:15–17). But in Genesis, the younger sibling is generally more favored. In addition to Jacob, this is true with Abel, Isaac, Rachel, and Joseph.

This illustrates what the Lord will later say through the prophet Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). One may also see the preference for the younger sibling as illustrating the principle of grace at work: the individual who does not deserve prominence or blessing (the younger) receives it nonetheless.

Deuteronomy 21:15-17, 15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:

16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:

17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

Isaiah 55:8, 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

 What Do You Think?

What are some reliable ways to discern God’s will or purpose in times of confusion?

 Digging Deeper

Consider the distinction between what God generally requires of everyone (from Scripture) and what God may want specifically from a particular person in a given context.

Distinctive Boys

(Genesis 25:24–28)

A. Esau’s Birth (vv. 24, 25)

24, 25. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

 

A child’s name in the Bible often reflects some detail in the circumstances of the birth itself (Genesis 38:27–30; 1 Samuel 4:19–22) or includes a statement of hope or vindication (Genesis 30:8, 20). In this case the unusually hairy appearance of the firstborn son yields the name Esau, from the Hebrew for “hairy.”

Also quite striking is the redness of his skin. Both details will play an important role in the sibling rivalry that will characterize these boys: the color red (of Jacob’s stew) will figure in Jacob’s act of cunning in obtaining Esau’s birthright, and the hairy appearance will enter into the deception of Isaac in Genesis 27.

Genesis 38:27-30, 27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.

28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.

29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

1 Samuel 4:19-22, 19 And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.

20 And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.

21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.

22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

Genesis 30:8, And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.

Genesis 30:20, 20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.

 

B. Jacob’s Birth (v. 26)

26a. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob.

 

  The second of Rebekah’s twins is marked not by his appearance but by a rather curious action for a newborn: his hand seizes Esau’s heel. From this he is given the name Jacob, from the Hebrew word for “heel.” At this point, no one can anticipate what kind of “heel-grabbing” this infant will eventually engage in. Nor can anyone anticipate how the characteristics of Esau will play themselves out in his life someday. Whoever names these twins (probably their parents) may be chuckling as they do so. But deceit and heartbreak await this family, not laughter.

Jacob’s heel-grabbing will come to have a much more sinister connotation to it: grabbing the heel as if to pull a rival back and impede his progress so that the heel-grabber can move ahead of him. This is what Jacob will become known for doing—especially and tragically to his own brother and father.

26b. And Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

 

  Isaac married when he was 40 (Genesis 25:20, above), and now he is age 60. Thus he has had to wait 20 years for his sons’ births.

When Siblings Struggle

  For years, twins Alexandria and Anastasia Duval shared the ups and downs of life, experiencing together business enterprises, bankruptcies, and moves to various places. On May 29, 2016, the sisters were seen in a parked vehicle on a cliff 200 feet above the ocean in Hawaii. Alexandria was in the driver’s seat. Witnesses saw a fight break out between them, with Anastasia pulling Alexandria’s hair. Then, according to witnesses, the vehicle accelerated and made a sharp left turn over the cliff. Alexandria was injured, and Anastasia was killed in the crash at the bottom of the cliff.

  Shortly thereafter, police charged Alexandria with second-degree murder, alleging that she intentionally drove off the road. But a judge said there was not sufficient evidence for the charge. Four months later, however, a grand jury accepted the murder charge, and Alexandria was arrested in New York and held for extradition to Hawaii.

  The Bible also includes tragic tales of siblings who struggled against each other. We know about the later struggles of Jacob and Esau, but today’s passage tells us the problem began early—before birth! Many of us wonder how we can work with God to overcome family strife. Let us pray we do better at it than Jacob and Esau did. Perhaps God gave us their story to encourage us to strive not to be like them!

—C. R. B.

 

C. Boys’ Preferences (v. 27)

27. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

 

  The account now moves forward in time, though no specific number of years is given. The text simply reads that the boys grew. Of more importance is how different the boys become, though they are twins: Esau becomes an outdoorsman, a cunning hunter and a man of the fieldJacob is more of a homebody. The Hebrew word rendered plain describes someone who is orderly and methodical, more of a quiet and private person. Jacob is certainly not the rugged, robust individual his brother is.

 

D. Parents’ Preferences (v. 28)

28. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

 

  Not only are these boys different, but their differences affect the attitudes of their parents toward them. Isaac is drawn toward Esau, while Rebekah favors Jacob. With Isaac a reason is given for his preference: he likes the kind of food Esau prepares from what he captures when he hunts. Although venison refers to deer meat in modern English, the Hebrew word can designate any kind of game obtained by hunting.

  No reason is given for why Rebekah becomes especially fond of Jacob, but this is likely because he spends so much time among the tents where Rebekah presumably spends most of her days. If there is already any degree of sibling rivalry between Esau and Jacob, the fact that the parents play favorites can only exacerbate the problem.

 What Do You Think?

How can parents ensure they do not exhibit favoritism regarding their children?

 Digging Deeper

Consider both dos and don’ts.

What Makes Children Different?

  I was born 4 years before my first brother, 8 years before the second, and 12 years before our sister. We differ in many ways, but others see us as very much alike, especially in our sense of humor. At family reunions, our spouses make a game out of simultaneously cringing at our puns and time-worn stories.

  Some psychologists call sibling differences a matter of divergence: when one child excels in an area, the others seek to excel in divergent ways. A second way to explain sibling differences comes from the fact that they experience the family environment differently. If their parents divorce, siblings of varying ages will react differently. A third explanation comes from exaggerated comparisons. Though two siblings might both be friendly, the extremely outgoing child will be labeled the family’s extrovert while the other is seen as the introvert.

  Esau and Jacob differed in appearance from birth, and soon their personality differences became apparent. Their differences were likely exaggerated by the dysfunctional way their parents responded to them. Many of the difficulties the two brothers experienced later in life might have been mitigated if they had received wiser parenting. Rearing children is difficult, but we can make it less stressful if we use godly wisdom in doing so.

—C. R. B.

III. Despised Birthright

(Genesis 25:29–34)

A. Offer Given (vv. 29–31)

31. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint.

 

  The word sod is an old past tense of the verb seethe, which originally meant “to boil.” We still speak of someone seething with rage as “boiling mad.” The usage here describes Jacob as boiling or cooking pottage, or stew. As Esau comes from the field, the text does not say whether he has been working or hunting. But he is faint, or weak. Apparently it has been some time since his last meal.

 30. 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.

The red coloring of the food may come from the lentils (Genesis 25:34) in the stew. Esau’s craving for this food leads to another name for him: Edom, meaning “red.” (Remember that verse 25 tells us that Esau came out of the womb “red.”) Esau’s second name, Edom, is eventually used to identify his descendants: Edomites.

Genesis 25:34, 34 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.

 What Do You Think?

  How can we ensure that our decisions are driven by a sense of right and wrong rather than self-gratification?

 Digging Deeper

  Distinguish between those who make selfish choices intentionally and those who do so because of ignorance or blind spots.

31. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

 

  To this point, the idea of a birthright has not been mentioned in the book of Genesis. The Hebrew word behind this translation appears a total of 10 times in the Old Testament in reference to humans, and 5 of them are in the account of Jacob and Esau. The other 5 occur in Genesis 43:33; Deuteronomy 21:17 (discussed earlier); and 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2.

Genesis 43:33, 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

Deuteronomy 21:17, 17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

1 Chronicles 5:1. 1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

1 Chronicles 5:2, For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)

Obviously, Jacob is well aware of the birthright’s importance. Esau may have returned from a hunting expedition, but Jacob is now the hunter who sees his prey, and his “heel-grabbing” skills go into action. He sees in his brother’s appetite an opportunity to offer a deal and thus take the lead within the family hierarchy.

          B. Offer Accepted (vv. 32–34)

32. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

 

Esau exaggerates his condition, claiming to be at the point of death, and thereby reasons that a birthright is worthless to a dead man. In his mind, if the birthright cannot keep him from starving to death, then what good is it?

 33. And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

    Abraham’s servant had sworn an oath that he would carry out Abraham’s desire that he find a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s relatives in Haran. The oath was accompanied by a specified gesture (Genesis 24:1–9). With Esau and Jacob, the two may exchange a verbal agreement accompanied by a gesture (something similar to a handshake). The deal is finalized: the birthright has been sold.

 Genesis 24:1-9, 1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.

And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:

And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?

And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.

The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

What Do You Think?

  What can we do to protect ourselves from those who use our weakness to take advantage?

 Digging Deeper

  Consider how Psalm 55:20, 21; Proverbs 7:21; Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 2:18–27; and 3:7–10 help identify characteristics and tactics of manipulative personalities.

Psalm 55:20, 20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.

Psalm 55:21, 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Proverbs 7:21, 21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

Romans 16:17, 17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Romans 16:18 , 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

2 Timothy 3:6, For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

1 John 2:18-27, 18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

34. 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.

 

  The word lentiles refers to a member of the pea family, whose seeds are often used even today in making soups or stews. But the contents of the stew are not nearly as noteworthy as the contents of its eater’s heart. Esau has no qualms whatsoever about what he has just agreed to. He has despised his birthright, something that involves far more than mere material possessions or wealth.

This birthright is linked to a spiritual legacy that Esau should have viewed as a sacred trust. Instead he has bargained it away for a bowl of stew. He may walk away with a full stomach, but his heart is pitifully empty.

Conclusion

A. The Real Rivalry

  While “Siblings’ Rivalry” is the title for today’s study, that is not the only rivalry on display. In fact, it is not really the main rivalry. Both Esau and Jacob fought another battle even more intense than the one that developed between them. This battle was within each man.

  The Scriptures place special emphasis on Esau’s treatment of the family birthright. Both Old and New Testaments are equally grim in their evaluation of his actions. Our text says that Esau “despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:34). One can see why the writer of Hebrews uses the word profane to describe Esau (Hebrews 12:16). He is not using profanity in his language, but his interests and actions are linked solely to what gratifies his desires.

Genesis 25:34, 34 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.

Hebrews 12:16, 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

  Jacob had his own battle, as demonstrated by his actions in today’s lesson. He could have simply given Esau what he wanted—a bowl of stew. But Jacob, the schemer and “heel-grabber,” saw an opportunity to further his own standing; and he took full advantage of it. Just like Esau, he too was looking out for number one (himself).

  Eventually Jacob’s craftiness yielded a bitter harvest of additional deception and heartache. The remainder of Genesis tells us of the conflicts that the practice of deception produced within his wives and his sons. While there was certainly sibling rivalry between Esau and Jacob, each man was his own worst rival. Each gave in to the temptation to make himself and his desires of supreme importance.

  Esau and Jacob are not the only competitors in this battle. Paul knew this struggle as well. He describes its intensity in Romans 7:7–25. He desires to do what is good and right before God, but he is constantly at war with “the law of sin which is in my members” (7:23). However, he also knows the key to victory in this battle: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (7:24, 25). That is the key for us as well.

Romans 7:7-25, What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:23, 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7:24, 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Romans 7:25, 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

B. Prayer

  Father, our world today encourages us to be very Esau-like and Jacob-like in our thoughts, words, and actions: to live for the moment and to make the achievement of our personal desires and wishes more important than anyone else’s. Deliver us from such a self-centered point of view. Keep our minds on higher, holier pursuits. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

C. Thought to Remember

Live for the Master, not for the moment.