Monday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 28, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 25:19-34 (NKJV)
25:19 This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son.
Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.
21 Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said to her:
“Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.”
24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
33 Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way.
Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Today’s lesson describes the well-known saga of two contrasting and competing Biblical characters, Jacob and Esau. Even before they were born there would be competition between the two: “But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her: ‘Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.'”
From the wrestling in the womb to even the birth process itself, these two would be struggling with one another. It all came to a head with the issue of the birthright, which was due the older brother, Esau. Jacob tricked him out of the birthright, taking advantage of Esau’s hunger by selling him the most expensive bowl of stew in history. The ensuing conflict would even be passed on as Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, would be enemies of Jacob’s descendants, the Israelites.
In this account we see how easily man can be swayed. If left unchecked, sin festers within us and eventually seeks to devour. We should constantly be on our guard to check sin at the door, lest we fall into even greater sin, as did Jacob and Esau.
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.