Genesis 25C (2011) We are beginning to focus on the question of who will inherit the promises and blessing that God spoke to Abraham

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1 Genesis 25C (2011) We are beginning t fcus n the questin f wh will inherit the prmises and blessing that Gd spke t Abraham Cllectively, these prmises frm Gd cnstitute the birthright in the family f Abraham Every family in ancient times hnred and respected the birthright The birthright was the privilege f the first brn male, t receive a greater inheritance than any ther sn Specifically, the ldest sn inherited a duble prtin f the father s estate Mre imprtantly, the ldest sn wuld becme the authrity figure in the clan after the father s death Nw in the family f Abraham, the birthright has taken n special significance Gd granted Abraham unparalleled blessings and prmises Mrever, Gd declared that His prmises t Abraham wuld be inherited They wuld nt die with Abraham s bdy, but rather the blessings wuld mve frm generatin t generatin S by His prmises, Gd created an unprecedented inheritance, ne that was far mre valuable than anything the wrld has t ffer But Gd s prmises cme with tw imprtant caveats The first caveat is the inheritance Gd gave Abraham is largely a future inheritance While there will be sme earthly blessings included fr Abraham and his children in the present time, mst f the inheritance des nt materialize until they enter the eternal kingdm Abraham and his descendants receive the full measure f their inheritance n the future day when they have been resurrected and jin Christ in His kingdm n Earth 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

2 Genesis 25C 2 f 11 This fact creates an interesting and imprtant issue in the stry f Genesis Only thse wh believe in the prmises f Gd will find value in this birthright Withut faith in Gd s wrd and a trust that Gd will bring abut all that He prmises, the inheritance Gd has granted Abraham and his family are wrthless The secnd caveat t Gd s prmises is that Gd Himself decides wh receives His prmises amng Abraham s descendants We remember that Gd chse Isaac rather than Ishmael But as we nted last week, Gd s chice was vershadwed by Abraham sin in the way he fathered Ishmael We might be tempted t assume Gd s chse Isaac because he merited Gd s chice Or we might explain Ismael s rejectin as a result f Abraham s sin S as we mved int study the life f Isaac and his children, we watched Gd g ut f His way t emphasize His svereignty in the assignment f this birthright He began by withhlding Rebekah s ability t cnceive fr 20 years until Isaac prayed fr relief Then when Gd respnded t the prayer and allwed Rebekah t cnceive, He cmmunicated clearly that His hand was directing the events in her bdy Then Gd created twins when we knw He nly intended t grant His birthright t ne f the children Then Gd caused the twins t fight in the wmb s as t catch Rebekah s attentin This led Rebekah t pray fr an answer, giving Gd the pprtunity t explain His purpses further And we ended last week with Gd s striking answer and Paul s challenging explanatin 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

3 Genesis 25C 3 f 11 S let s return t the chapter in v.23 lking at the tw caveats that Mses makes the centerpiece f his narrative Gen. 25:23 The LORD said t her, ı Tw natins are in yur wmb; And tw peples will be separated frm yur bdy; And ne peple shall be strnger than the ther; ı And the lder shall serve the yunger. The Lrd s answer t Rebekah was wrded and timed t present a simple and undeniable statement f His svereignty cncerning the birthright He created tw by s they culd give birth t tw natins These tw natins wuld be separated frm birth The bys destinies were set and established by Gd frm befre they were brn One wuld be strnger than the ther and Gd has determined which wuld be which In case the wrld wasn t willing t recgnize Gd s handiwrk and acknwledge His pwer t cntrl these things, Gd des tw things First, He assigns the birthright t the yunger, skipping ver the lder Ordinarily, the lder wuld receive the birthright But Gd purpsely reverses this pattern t ensure His chice is visible and undeniable Secndly, Gd makes this annuncement t Rebekah prir t the birth f the bys In fact, He caused them t struggle in the wmb This caused Rebekah t inquire f the Lrd at that time Which gave Gd the pprtunity He desired t explain His purpses befre the birth tk place By presenting His chice f the yunger ver the lder befre the twins were brn, Gd prevents us frm falling back n any excuses fr hw the yunger ends up with the birthright 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

4 Genesis 25C 4 f 11 Paul says Gd declared this truth befre either had dne anything gd r bad s that it wuld be understd as Gd s chice that determined their utcme Nw let s see hw Gd s chice plays ut in their lives Gen. 25:24 When her days t be delivered were fulfilled, behld, there were twins in her wmb. Gen. 25:25 Nw the first came frth red, all ver like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Gen. 25:26 Afterward his brther came frth with his hand hlding n t Esau s heel, s his name was called Jacb; and Isaac was sixty years ld when she gave birth t them. Isaac was 60 years ld when Rebekah gave birth, 20 years after they were married...a sign that Gd was at wrk in this pregnancy And n the day Rebekah delivered, Mses says there were twins in her wmb, just as Gd prmised And the first t cme frth frm her was red all ver like a hairy garment The Hebrew wrd here means literally ruddy r reddish His hair was red, and since he was cvered in hair at birth, it made him appear reddish S they names him Esau The wrd means red, s he is named after his appearance Later, the natin Esau funds is called Edm, which als means red Fllwing Esau, the secnd brn emerges He emerges literally clutching the heel f Esau The Hebrew wrd fr heel is akeiv And based n the curius way the child left the wmb, Isaac and Rebekah assign the name Yaakv (which we prnunce Jacb) The Hebrew wrd fr Yaakv shares the same rt as akeiv, heel 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

5 Genesis 25C 5 f 11 S Jacb s name is a play n wrds His name is an invented Hebrew wrd It has been assigned the meaning heel catcher Later baed n events in Jacb s life, it came t mean supplanter It s imprtant t nte that neither f these names carries a negative cnntatin Sme interpreters take the name t far and assign meanings like thief r deceiver These interpretatins are simply nt accurate His name is simply a playful reminder f hw he was brn Thugh it des assume additinal meaning ver the curse f his life As we g further in the stry f Jacb, we will need t challenge many f the ppular ntins cncerning his persnality and his behavir It s safe t say that if yu ve studied Jacb s stry in the past, yu re been expsed t many f these ntins Jacb the sneaky thief wh tricks his brther and his father The selfish, scheming kid wh brke up his family If yu ve heard any f these stries, then I ask yu t set thse ntins aside fr the duratin f time studying the man Jacb Let the text f Scripture speak t yu and see if yu dn t cme t a very different perspective f this man The man wh Gd names Israel and uses t bring frth a natin Gen. 25:27 When the bys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man f the field, but Jacb was a peaceful man, living in tents. Gen. 25:28 Nw Isaac lved Esau, because he had a taste fr game, but Rebekah lved Jacb Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

6 Genesis 25C 6 f 11 Mses strytelling f the lives f Esau and Jacb prgresses quickly t adulthd Esau is a skillful hunter and a man f the field, while Jacb is described as a peaceful man living in the tents Immediately, we have ur first pprtunity t dispel ne f the mre cmmn miscnceptins cncerning Jacb When we hear that Esau was a skillful hunter and ut in the field while Jacb stayed in the tents, we may be tempted t imagine a scene frm a Disney cartn On the ne hand, we have rugged utdrsman Esau He has a size 46 chest and 30 inch waist The square jaw, tanned skin and chiseled gd lks Reminds yu f me, right? On the ther hand, we have Jacb, the mmma s by living in tents Pasty, weak, with a musey vice and weak cnstitutin Spends his days sewing, planting flwers and cking with the wmen Cntributing t the steretype, v.28 tells us that Esau was Isaac s favrite while Jacb was Rebekah s favrite S Esau was a man s man and Jacb was a mmma s by Based n all these assumptins, we re prepared t accept a false stryline reinfrced by lazy preaching that simply repeats the steretypes and never bthers t revisit the text f Scripture Let s take a secnd lk at what we re learning here, and we re ging t find the truth is actually ppsite First, Esau is a skillful hunter While hunting isn t a negative pursuit, the Bible typically uses this descriptin as a negative descriptin Yu remember the evil, rebellius Nimrd was described this way in Genesis Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

7 Genesis 25C 7 f 11 Gen. 10:9 He was a mighty hunter befre the LORD; therefre it is said, Like Nimrd a mighty hunter befre the LORD. The purpse f this descriptin is t paint a picture f a man wh relies n his wn strength while lacking humility Just as the directin east takes n a negative meaning in scripture by assciatin, likewise the descriptin f skilled hunter has a negative sense in Scripture But we dn t have rely n suppsitin and assciatin t understand Esau s heart Then we have Jacb Heb 12:16 calls Esau a gdless persn And in the cntext f that chapter, the writer f Hebrews uses Esau as smene wh was clse t the truth but never embraced it persnally Take a secnd lk at the text in v.27 Jacb is described as a peaceful man The Hebrew wrd fr peaceful is tam, which is actually the wrd blameless This the same wrd that was used t described Nah and Abraham and later Jb The wrd is als used t describe a hly and pleasing man in Psalm 18 Des it begin t challenge yur assumptins abut Jacb when yu learn that the Bible describes him as blameless? It shuld Remember, blameless desn t mean sinless It means he lives an upright life, endeavring t please Gd and maintain a gd testimny befre men And what abut living in the tents? 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

8 Genesis 25C 8 f 11 Here s anther miscnceptin based n an ignrance f the culture Living in tents desn t mean remaining in the tent all day, r being afraid t g utside, etc. The term is simply a descriptin f the life f a nmad We culd just have easily described Abraham as a man living in tents Likewise, Isaac was a man wh lived in tents The term refers t shepherding and wandering frm pasture t pasture with the animals Jacb fllwed in the ftsteps f his grandfather and father by remaining a wanderer But Esau rejected his father s life and lifestyle, preferring t rely n farming and hunting These prfessins necessarily required Esau t remain in ne place and put dwn rts Esau claimed sme plt f land and made it his hme Remember why Abraham and Isaac have refused t make this same decisin The Scripture tld us that they remained wanderers and never tk wnership f any significant part f the land as a shw f faith in Gd s prmises They understd that the inheritance Gd prmised wuldn t becme reality until they enjyed it in their resurrected life They resisted any pprtunity t put dwn rts because they didn t want t make a claim in this wrld and frfeit their claims t the greater wrld t cme And nw we find Jacb cntinuing in this way while his brther Esau has frsaken the pattern S if remaining a wanderer is a sign f faith in Gd s prmises, what des it say abut Esau if he chses nt t wander? 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

9 Genesis 25C 9 f 11 Then we have the issue f Isaac and Rebekah and their favritism f the different bys Isaac is clearly enamred by Esau s strength and his ability t put meat n the table We can understand this, since Isaac has nly knwn shepherding and living ff the land Nw alng cmes a sn wh spices up life He brings back game, an exciting taste fr Isaac Ntice in v.28 we re tld that Isaac s interest in Esau stems frm that enjyment f wild game Isn t it fair t say that Isaac s favritism fr Esau was driven by the flesh? There is n gd reasn t shw favritism amng yur children But Isaac s chice f Esau was made wrse because it came as a result f his fleshly desire fr exciting fd Rebekah n the ther hand favrs Jacb What might explain her preference fr Jacb? Remember that the Lrd spke t Rebekah with a wrd cncerning the tw children and Gd s plan fr Jacb Rebekah is hlding Jacb dear in her heart because f Gd s prmise She knws Jacb will be the sn Gd will give the birthright But there s a deeper issue in this family, ne that will be cme even clearer in the next chapter but which we can already see here Ntice in v.23 that the Lrd speaks t Rebekah nly in revealing the future fr these children There is n recrd that Isaac heard these wrds He desn t knw that there will be twins and that the lder shall serve the yunger 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

10 Genesis 25C 10 f 11 We see cnfirmatin f this in v.24 when the text says behld, Rebekah gives birth t twins The wrd behld cnveys a sense f surprise Wh wuld be surprised by twins? Certainly nt Rebekah, nly Isaac Why didn t Rebekah reveal these wrds t Isaac? We can imagine many reasns, perhaps, but ne thing seems bvius Rebekah and Isaac weren t wrking tgether in this marriage We see this clearly in the way Mses describes each ne chsing a different sn as favrite Rebekah has accepted the Lrd s decree cncerning Jacb but she hasn t shared that wrd yet with Isaac, r s it wuld seem And as Isaac allws his flesh t draw himself t Esau, Rebekah grws mre defensive ver Jacb, knwing Gd s prmise is t bless Jacb ver Esau But remember what we learned last week, that in this culture the patriarch had the right t assign the birthright t whmever he chses S we can detect a tensin develping in ur stry Isaac will ne day transfer the birthright t ne f his sns While the Lrd has declared t Rebekah that the sn t receive the Lrd s blessing will be Jacb, Rebekah hasn t shared that revelatin with Isaac Meanwhile, Isaac is preceding under the natural assumptin that Esau the ldest will receive the blessing And Isaac s fleshly attractin t Esau s lifestyle has blinded him t Gd s wrk in Jacb s life And Rebekah grws mre cncerned fr hw Gd will bring abut His prmise t bless Jacb 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

11 Genesis 25C 11 f 11 She begins t fear smething will have t be dne r else Isaac will mve against the Lrd s wishes and cnvey the blessing t Esau If yu can t tell already, Isaac s family is sliding int a dysfunctinal, sap pera husehld And the stry lines are multiplying fast Will Rebekah reveal t Isaac that Jacb is Gd s favred child? Will Isaac g against the Lrd s wishes and grant the birthright t Esau anyway? Hw will the Lrd ensure His preference fr Jacb will be hnred? Jin us next week fr ur next episde Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

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