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Pastor Brant Seacrist

SEPTEMBER 13, 2020


TEXT: GENESIS 25: 19-24

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SUBJ: The birth of Esau and Jacob and the purpose of God in their birth and the things surrounding their lives as witnessed in the doctrine of divine election.

AIM: That we might understand the purpose of God in displaying the ruin of all in order that he might show mercy.

INTR: Abraham lived to see the next generation appear, but not the lesson that would be left for us all in all that transpired.
1. It is evident that Isaac had a sense of the promise and the role that he and his sons had in it and so was concerned that all be done in order.
2. Like Abraham, he was impatient and sought the Lord accordingly and was heard.
3. It is in the New Testament that the full impact of these things is realized along with the explanation and clarification of the doctrine of the election of grace.

THESIS: The purposes of God are not always seen in the present but come to be realized in time and will appear in perfection in eternity. “His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; / The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.”

I. A struggle foretold (vv. 19-23)
1. Generations of Isaac and the lineage of Rebekah is here drawn to our attention that we might see further the mystery of the divine operations in that which was to come.
2. Isaac prayed for Rebekah in that she was barren. It had been twenty years and in that he knew of the promise he prayed with the desire that it be fulfilled.
1) He was answered as the Lord was intreated and
2) The conception quickly followed but perhaps not as anticipated.
3. The struggle between Esau and Jacob began in the womb and it was not ordinary
1) The resultant pain was sensed as having some connotations beyond her understanding and
2) She sought the Lord and learned that it was indeed more complex
4. We learn of the contrasts even before the births:
1) Two nations – these children would father nations that would be in conflict
2) Two manner of people would emerge despite their upbringing
3) Two levels of outward strength with the Lord making the difference
4) The elder to serve the younger!

II. A distinction made (vv. 24-28)
1. The birth of the twins – it is certain that they were not identical.
2. Their appearance was noted and recorded:
1) The first was red and hairy and took on a superior appearance
2) The second took hold on the heel of his brother as if trying to emerge ahead of him.
3) Remembering what Rebekah had heard from the Lord.
3. The hunter and the homebody
1) Esau was the kind of man men see as heroes or at least he-men – the rugged hunter and outdoorsman who would impress us all.
2) Jacob was a simple man dwelling in tents – unimpressive and a homebody.
3) The affection of Isaac was upon Esau who brought him venison and
4) Rebekah loved Jacob (It may have been that here thoughts were influenced by what the Lord had revealed to her before the birth and it is possible that Isaac did not know this).
4. The whole issue is put into perspective by Paul in writing to the Romans: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (Romans 9:10-14).
5. They were both without merit in the womb and manifested depravity in life.

III. A birthright despised (vv. 29-34)
1. There came a day when Esau came in from the field and found Jacob cooking a pot of lentil soup
2. Esau was exhausted and desperate and asked Jacob for food:
1) The character of both is revealed at this point in that Esau was all about the things of this world and Jacob was an opportunist.
2) We would have thought that a brother seeing a brother in need would have been glad to help.
3. The birthright was no small matter in that it included a double portion of the inheritance, headship over the family and perhaps even a priesthood?
4. Esau, in his sense of independence, saw no need of the birthright and agreed with an oath.
1) So, the first part of what the Lord had revealed to Rebekah was accomplished by the supplanting of Jacob.
2) But the word of Esau is that he despised his birthright.
5. It is evident that Jacob would not distinguish himself – The purpose of God stood. And
6. See then, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:14-17)
7. Esau became the example of contempt for the things of God and Jacob was the object of mercy.