Genesis 25:21 – And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Genesis 25:22 – 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.
Genesis 25:23 – 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.
Hello readers, back with a new blog today, and from the book of Genesis chapter 25, the beginning of the story of Jacob and Esau. Isaac’s wife Rebekah had been barren, but Isaac prayed to God, God heard his prayer, God answered his prayer, and she conceived. This in and of itself is a picture of salvation. Salvation is a miracle, we are all spiritually barren, born into this world in sin, but when we ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save us, to forgive us our sins, and give us eternal life, God hears that prayer, God answers it. It is God’s will that all people get saved, and thus anyone who asks to be saved is praying according to God’s will, and Jesus promises to answer our prayers. John 16:24 – Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 1 John 5:14,15 – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. Ask to be saved, and you will be saved. Take the cup of salvation as David wrote in Psalms. We all have no excuse, forgiveness of sins and eternal life is right there, it is a free gift, we need but take it.
So Isaac prayed, and Rebekah conceived. What a blessing from the Lord it was, the barren became fruitful. But the Bible says the children struggled together within her. She asked, it it be so, why am I thus? This is a question we can all ask, we all do ask. The “why” questions we ask God, which we cannot get our head around. After all, what a weird blessing this was for Rebekah. She had conceived, but now she had twins fighting in her womb. What a strange blessing… if it was a blessing from God and it was, why was there a struggle inside her? Why did struggling accompany the blessing. This is why she asked the question. When you get saved, you will ask this question. God blesses us with forgiveness, eternal life, the promise of heaven and future glory and blessedness, such great and precious promises that we in our mortal frames do not even begin to grasp them… yet here we are, in the fight of our lives. Christians have the struggle within. We are saved, we are forgiven, but why is it like this? Read Romans 7, Paul knew all about this struggle. The Spirit pulls this way, the flesh pulls that way, the Spirit against the flesh, why does it have to be this way? What kind of a blessing is this? We are a new creature in Christ, but we are still an old creature in the flesh, why does it have to be so? The truth is this life is a testing ground, it is our great and terrible wilderness, it is our forty days and forty nights, it is our time of sojourning, pilgrimage, we are strangers in this world when we are translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a walk of faith, a walk that tests our faith, that builds our faith, God refines, purges and purifies us, God sanctifies us and separates us to himself. Life is not easy here on earth, true believers can expect tough times as their faith gets tested, as they get rejected by the world, attacked by the devil, as they war within themselves. The wicked seem to prosper and do well, while believers do not seem to benefit at all… why has God made it this way? Look at Biblical examples, such as Naboth and Uriah, Naboth got falsely accused and stoned to death all for simply obeying God in refusing to sell his vineyard that was rightfully his, and Uriah got a big old knife in the back from the king who he loved and served, who stole his wife from him while he was out fighting the kings battles.
Rebekah went to ask the Lord what was going on. And God told her. God told her that there were two nations in her womb, and two manner of people would be separated from her bowels, and that the elder would serve the younger. Today I want to focus on this part of the story, today I will be focusing on “two manner of people” – Esau and Jacob. These two sons of Isaac are a picture of many great truths of God’s word, these two are a picture of the flesh and the Spirit in a believers life. Just like Rebekah had the struggle within, we have the struggle within, our Esau vs our Jacob. The co-existent internal battle we have until we physically die and are forever liberated from our sinful mortal frames. Death is the pathway to victory and blessedness, the passing through the Red Sea for the believer. But death is the wretched door to eternal, irreversible damnation for the unbeliever. It is that serious. But today I want to focus on a slightly different aspect, because I believe according to God’s word, and as we shall see, that these two boys represent the two manner of people… two types of people of which we are all one or the other. There are two types of people in this world, saved and unsaved. That’s all there are in this life. What we do with the Lord Jesus Christ determines which category we fall into, which path we follow, which destiny we realize. God knew what these boys would be like, he knew the outcome, but they made their own choices, just because God knows the choice you will make, doesn’t negate the fact you have a choice. Esau and Jacob both had freewill and the ability to make choices, but God said Jacob have I loved, but Esau I have hated. And we will see why.
These boys started at exactly the same start point. They were in the womb together, they were twins. We all start this life the same. We are all born into the world, we are all made from the same dust. We all have the same starting point. We are all sinners that need to be saved. We are conceived in sin, we inherit the same sin that started in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve disobeying God and plunging humanity into approximately six thousand years of pain, suffering, turmoil, struggle. Sure, people are born into vastly different circumstances, but God is the righteous Judge of the earth. The Bible says shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? So we need to stop looking around at others, we need to stop with the excuses and look at our own lives, because when you stand before the Judge, it will be between you and God. God knows what he’s doing, and we only look on the outside, God looks on the inside, we are short sighted, but God is eternally sighted, we are very finite but God is infinite, we know nothing but God knows everything, we are all liars but God is truth. Esau and Jacob had the same starting point, and yet in the process of time one would get saved, and one would not. Esau is a picture of unsaved man, Jacob a picture of saved man. Jacob and Esau started out the same, but the difference between them was that Jacob got saved, he valued what Esau did not. Are you a Jacob or an Esau? It wasn’t until later in his life that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel by God, because Jacob didn’t behave very saved at the start! Because he wasn’t. He was a sinner just as in need of God’s salvation as Esau was. It wasn’t until his struggle with God and brokenness at Peniel that his name was changed, where he was a changed man. A new name for a new man.
Many Christians can feel superior to unsaved people. But reality is, just like Jacob and Esau, both these boys who became did wrong. We all have done wrong. We all have sinned. We all have sinned, we all sin. Jacob and Esau were both sinners. Saved people still sin after they are saved, their flesh still sins, we sin before, we sin after. However saved people have their sins paid for, forgiven, atoned for, absolved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The difference between someone who is saved and not saved is that a Christian is a sinner who has been saved. A saved person sees they are a sinner and gets saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, by receiving his forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith. All this means that there is nothing to get self righteous about at all. Before or after. It is what Jesus has done, not what we can do. Because quite simply… we can’t “do”… we equally all are sinners who need to be saved. There is nothing for us to glory in and be proud of ourselves for. That’s why the Bible says, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. God is our glory. God is our pride, our hope. We are all just humble earthen vessels which bear great treasure. We are all broken pitchers, which have the light of Christ inside us, which when smashed, shine forth that light. We are the lepers who came to Jesus leprous, but left Jesus cleansed of our leprosy. We are the blind that see, the deaf that hear, the dumb the speak, the lame that walk! Look at Jacob, he did bad things, he wasn’t always faithful by any stretch, he wasn’t near perfect, his was in many ways a more tumultuous and troubled life than Esau. But the big difference is, his heart was towards God, whereas Esau had no interest in God. Jacob valued the birthright, Esau did not, Jacob placed his faith and trust where Esau did not. If you take the “God” element away from Jacob, he is just another sinner. It is God that makes the difference in our lives. He is the good in our lives.
Esau is a picture of an unsaved person, Jacob a picture of a person who gets saved. They both had their faults. They both had strengths, they both had weaknesses. We all start out in life like these two, but most of us will turn out like Esau. Esau, who sold his precious birthright for a morsel of food. The birthright is the Lord Jesus Christ, he sold away Jesus, he valued Jesus so little. Esau saw no value, no profit, no benefit in it at the time, and later he would only regret losing the blessing associated with the birthright, not the actual birthright itself. He thought no more on his birthright. He was more interested in the things of the world, his hunting. When Esau was born he was red all over, he stayed red all over, he was a sinner who never had his sins covered by the blood of Christ. Esau went his way. He was not interested in Jesus, who is THE way. Esau was interested in his own way. Esau interested only in carnal, earthly, fleshly things. He was interested in himself, his way, his interests, his ambitions, his desires. Esau’s today are the same, they place little value on spiritual things, on the the things of God. The see no profit, no benefit, no need for the cross of Christ, the forgiveness of Christ, the life of Christ, the blood of Christ, the water and blood that flowed from his pierced side on Calvary. Job 35:3 – For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?
Jacob is a picture of an unsaved person, who gets saved. Jacob chose to follow God, whereas Esau chose not to. Both were made from the same dirt. Both had their problems, their issues, a troubled childhood, both had to deal with the consequences of their actions, both did bad to the other, and were badly treated by others. These are the issues of life. Bad things happen. We do bad things. Bad things get done to us. But in amongst this, Jacob placed a high value on getting the birthright and the blessing. He had faith in God. That was what delineated the path of these two brothers. Two brothers, who took very different paths, which lead in completely opposite directions. It is incredible how two twins could end up so different. They went from the same womb, to one being in heaven and one being in hell. What a great divergence! Polar opposites! All stemming from the value they saw in the birthright. All stemming from their relationship to God. They grew up, and what was in their hearts was revealed and played out in the process of time. Esau’s heart was not towards God, Jacob’s was.
Jacob is a picture of those who get saved today. The Bible says now is the accepted time… today is the day of salvation. Jacob wasn’t perfect, Jacob was a sinner, Jacob was a deceiver, Jacob was a crooked unit, he swindled and got swindled… but in amongst all his faults he was saved by simple faith. He believed God and obtained the promises. And so can we. How much stress and pressure this takes off us! Our eternal destiny and forgiveness doesn’t hinge upon our own efforts, because we can’t do anything, it is Jesus who did it all, alone, at the cross he said It is finished. Believers aren’t perfect, but God in them is perfect, the new creature born of the Spirit of God is perfect… but believers have battles, warfare, struggle, they battle unbelief, they stray from the fold, they backslide. But Jesus, the faithful shepherd of the sheep keeps us, he is the keeper of the sheep. We fail and are faithless, but God is faithful, he is faithful to us, we need to ask him to give us faith. Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief! We can look at the story of Jacob and Esau and think that Esau did less “wrong” than Jacob, why does he go to hell, why does he find no place of repentance? A bit like we can read about Joab and think hey, he was a pretty good guy. That’s why it’s dangerous to look at others, to compare to others, to base what you do with Jesus relative to others. You may look at someone who calls themselves a “Christian” and reject Christ because of hypocrisy or whatever fault you see… but they may not even be truly saved themselves! You can’t see anybody’s heart, get to know Christ for yourself. They may be struggling with sin just like you do, their sin doesn’t excuse your unbelief! Someone else’s sin doesn’t excuse or justify your own sin. Why will you go to hell because of someone else? It is God that looks on the inside. It’s what you do with Christ that matters, that determines the course of your very existence, that determines everything. Your life will be determined by what you do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Will you be an Esau or a Jacob? What manner of person will you be? Are you saved or unsaved?