Update: I wrote this last night, before going to bed, but apparently it didn’t publish. So here is yesterday’s post, and today’s is forthcoming.
This chapter jumps around a bit; it begins with genealogy related to Abraham’s second wife. I’m not going to list it all here. The long and short of it is that Abraham leaves his inheritance to Isaac, but makes sure all his other children are provided for before sending them east.
Sometime after this, Abraham passed away at the ripe old age of 175. Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave (vault?) next to his wife, Sarah.
Ishmael lived to 137 years and begat 12 children; if you recall, God and Abraham had this conversation back in Genesis 22.
Next we return to Isaac. His wife is unable to bear children, but after he talks to God, she becomes pregnant. She can tell that something is amiss, and the Lord tells her, in Genesis 25:23,
“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.”
We get a description of birth, with the first child, Esau, coming out “red,” and his brother Jacob hot on his heels — literally.
Esau grew to be an outdoorsman, a hunter, it seems, while Jacob was more intense.
Anyway, time passes.
Esau comes in one day from the fields and Jacob is cooking. Esau must have been starving, because Jacob asks him for his birth-right in exchange for some dinner. Esau gets snarky or snippy, it seems, and again Jacob tells him to swear on it. Jacob must make a mean lentil stew. And so God’s word is fulfilled, with Jacob gaining the inheritance of his older brother.
Matthew Henry makes a few good points that I will repeat here: firstly, he discusses the level of patience and prayer that we see from Isaac and Rebekah, which shows that God’s promises will be fulfilled in due time; secondly, we see the surrender of a divine birth-right for a worldly pleasure. Esau gives away his inheritance, his blesséd destiny to the land of Canaan for a bowl of stew.²
How often do we turn away from God, from our futures, from ourselves, only to gain some temporary gratification? How often do we cause ourselves harm, or do things we regret, because they feel good in the moment?
Think past your material needs, the so-called desires of the flesh. We can be present in our body, we can exist in the moment, but we can be in a state of spiritual peace. We do not need to keep chasing food and sex and drink and entertainment. It is difficult, because it is often all we know. That is not to say that we need to be in a state of ascetic denial, just that we need to be centered. We need to remember to “rest in God,” to enjoy the love that arises therefrom, and carry that strength and peace throughout our lives.
Good night, everyone. Peace be upon you.
¹ Willenbrock, Mark. Retrieved from http://www.laurierking.com/7702.html