Lesson 13: Jacob and Esau
Jacob and Esau were twin boys who were born to Isaac and Rebekah. At their birth Isaac and Rebekah were told by God that the eldest boy, Esau, should serve (or be second) to Jacob. (Genesis 25:23) It was the custom in those days that the oldest, or the first born son received more blessings when his father died. So this meant Jacob was to receive the greatest blessing from his father, Isaac. It also meant that the promises that God had made with Abraham and Isaac would be renewed and fulfilled through Jacob. God by his wonderful knowledge could tell that Jacob would grow up to be the most God-loving man. God could tell that Esau would think more about himself than love the things of God.
Esau grew to love hunting and the field. Jacob must have loved his parents more and seemed to stay close to his home. One day Esau returned from hunting and was very tired. Esau said to Jacob, give me some of your pottage to eat. Jacob told Esau that he would give him his pottage if Esau would sell him his birthright for the pottage. Esau knew if he sold Jacob the birthright then Jacob would get the greatest blessing from their father. Esau cared very little about anything except that he was hungry and did not want to wait any longer for some food. So he sold Jacob the birthright for some food.
This scheme or plan of Jacob's to obtain the birthright showed that Jacob did not have enough faith in God to wait for God to give him the birthright. But it did show that Jacob valued the birthright and valued the blessings of God more than Esau did.Later Isaac called Esau and told him to go hunting for venison for him. Isaac thought he was soon to die and he wanted to give the greatest blessing to Esau. But Isaac should have remembered that God said that Jacob was to receive the greatest blessing instead of Esau. However, Rebekah overheard Isaac talking to Esau and she told Jacob to dress like Esau and get the blessing instead of Esau. This Jacob did and took meat for his father to eat. His father was old and could not see very well, but he asked if he were Esau. Jacob said that he was Esau and Isaac gave him his blessing. (Genesis 27:28-29) This we know was not right for Jacob and Rebekah to do. They both knew that Jacob was to receive the blessing because God said so. But they did not have enough faith in God. They should have waited for God to carry out his plans, but they were not as faithful as Abraham had been, even though Jacob and Rebekah were good people who tried to serve God. Yet in this matter they did not do right. Next we will learn how Jacob leaves his home and Rebekah never sees him again. Perhaps this was Rebekah's punishment for her part in deceiving in Isaac. God knows what is best for us. If He did not punish us for wrong, we might forget again and do more wrong.
1. What are the names of Isaac and Rebekah's twin boys?
2. Who did God say should receive the greatest blessings?
3. Why do you think God chose Jacob instead of Esau for the blessing?
4. When Esau grew up what did he like to go out doing?
5. What did Esau sell his birthright to Jacob for?
6. Was it right for Jacob to get the birthright this way?
7. Did Rebekah and Jacob do right in deceiving Isaac?
8. Will God punish us if we do wrong?