Esau and Jacob :
Different peas in the pod
25, 27 & 28)
and Jacob were twins. We tend
to think more favourably of Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God.
But, honestly, what do we feel when we think of Esau?
Negative feelings? Pity,
because he was twice deceived by Jacob?
Contempt that he could be so easily deceived by Jacob?
Revulsion that a man not living in poverty could sell his
birthright, for a bowl of bean stew? What
kind of man would do that? What
do we really know about Esau?
Let’s start at his birth. Esau
was born red in colour; Jacob was presumably the normal colour of a baby
of that place. And from birth,
Esau’s “whole body was like a hairy garment” [Genesis 25:25].
Jacob, on the other hand, had smooth skin [Gen 27:11].
Say, they were not identical twins, were they?
they identical in their nature? Esau
was a lover of the great outdoors. Isn’t
that what “a man of the open country” [Gen 25:27] means?
Was his twin the same? Well,
the same verse tells us, “Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the
tents”. So Jacob was a lover
of the great indoors? And if
the Bible mentions that Jacob was a quiet man, doesn’t that imply that
about their skills? Any
similarities there? “Esau
became a skillful hunter”, Gen 25:27 tells us.
His father, Isaac, revealed what his weapons were, when he said
“Now then, get your weapons - your quiver and bow – and go out to the
open country to hunt some wild game for me” [Gen 27:3].
Isn’t it difficult to get near to wild animals in open country?
Does that mean that Esau must have been a good archer able to kill
an animal from afar?
about Jacob? Did he have such
skills? He was no hunter,
unlike Esau. But looking at
how he got Esau to sell him his birthright, could we say that he had
entrepreneurial skills? Wasn’t
Jacob quick to see in a situation an opportunity that he could turn to his
financial advantage, and swiftly act on it?
Yes, Jacob “sold” the famished Esau a bowl of lentil stew that
he was cooking, and charged him a very high price: Esau’s inheritance
so Jacob had some cooking skills? But
should we ask what the man was doing, cooking when there were women around
to do this normally feminine chore? Not
really, for Esau was apparently also a good cook, of wild game.
After all, he could turn it into “tasty food” that Isaac liked
was in fact Isaac’s pet, while Jacob was his mummy’s pet.
And whereas Esau got married twice at or before the age of 40,
Jacob was still single at 40. My,
my, Esau and Jacob could hardly have been more different could they?
Despite being twins. God
makes every person unique, different from every other person that has ever
lived or will ever live. Aren’t
we all wonderfully made? And
isn’t our Maker absolutely wonderful to be able to do all this through
amazing micro-codes called DNA?
twin brothers. God loved one
but not the other. He said in
Malachi 1:3, “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated”.
This is puzzling. Why
did God hate Esau? What had
Esau done? The apostle Paul
must have pondered this same question.
He gives us an answer in Hebrews 12:16, where he wrote: “See that
no one is ….godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his
inheritance rights as the eldest son”.
But what was wrong with that?
it be that because it was God who determined which twin would be the
eldest son who gets the inheritance birthright, when Esau sold away his
birthright in such a casual manner, Esau did not give a thought for God
and his plans? In the case of
Jacob, however, God was often on his mind, even when he was lying!
When Isaac, mistaking Jacob for Esau, asked him how he had found
game so quickly, Jacob answered: “The Lord
your God gave me success”. And
immediately after Jacob had a dream at
often is God on your mind and on your lips?
on 19th May 2004
Lai Pak Wah (DipCS) who will shortly be
leaving for Vancouver with his wife Rina and their daughter Fide in order
to pursue Masters-level studies, based his message on Paul’s letter to
the Galatians. After setting out the background of Galatians, and giving a
sketch of the false teaching that Paul was trying to counter, Pak Wah
focused on 1:11–16, in which Paul begins to defend the divine origin of
his apostleship and his teaching.
In vv. 11–12 Paul asserts that the origin of his
teaching lay in a revelation of Jesus Christ. By upbringing he was a
zealous Jew, and he had displayed that zeal by taking a lead in the
persecution of the early Christian believers, whose teaching he saw as
pernicious folly (for how could the Messiah of Israel have died on a
cross?). He was not obvious convert material. But an encounter with the
risen Christ turned his life around (vv. 13–14, described in more detail
in Acts 9, 22 and 26). He now saw Christ as the one who has ‘redeemed us
from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us’ (Gal 3.13; cf.
4:4–5), and the teaching of a crucified and resurrected Messiah became
the centre of his theology.
Please pray for Pak Wah, Rina and Fide as they set
out for Vancouver. Pak Wah, whose first training was in the sciences, is
exploring the possibility of a teaching vocation in theology, focusing on
theology and the sciences. Pray that God will guide Pak Wah and Rina as
they decide what is the next step after studies at Regent.
Chapel will take a recess next Wednesday as it is a
public holiday. On 9 June, Dr Quek Swee Hwa will be leading the Chapel.
A Blessed Birthday to ...
Justin Lee 24/5
Tan-Chua Chiew Peng 24/5
James Goon 26/5
Peter Lim Hong Sing 26/5
Lawrence Chan 28/5
Yoong Yuen Soo 29/5
Richard Chia 31/5
Judy Ong 2/6
Rachel Goh 2/6
Leo Mun Wai 2/6
Mr Joshua Maruta 3/6