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Title: Children of the Bible

Children of the Bible
Lesson 3
Lesson TextGenesis 2528-30
Genesis 2528-30 28 And Isaac loved Esau,
because he did eat of his venison but Rebekah
loved Jacob. 29 And Jacob sod pottage and Esau
came from the field, and he was faint 30 And
Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with
that same red pottage for I am faint therefore
was his name called Edom.
Lesson TextGenesis 2531-33
Genesis 2531-33 31 And Jacob said, Sell me
this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said,
Behold, I am at the point to die and what profit
shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob
said, Swear to me this day and he sware unto
him and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Lesson TextGenesis 271-4
Genesis 271-4 1 And it came to pass, that
when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so
that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest
son, and said unto him, My son and he said unto
him, Behold, here am I. 2 And he said, Behold
now, I am old, I know not the day of my death
Lesson TextGenesis 271-4
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons,
thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field,
and take me some venison 4 And make me savoury
meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I
may eat that my soul may bless thee before I die.
Lesson TextGenesis 275-8
Genesis 275-8 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac
spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field
to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And
Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold,
I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother,
Lesson TextGenesis 275-8
7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat,
that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord
before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my
voice according to that which I command thee.
Lesson TextGenesis 279-10
Genesis 279-10 9 Go now to the flock, and fetch
me from thence two good kids of the goats and I
will make them savoury meat for thy father, such
as he loveth 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy
father, that he may eat, and that he may bless
thee before his death.
Focus VerseGenesis 2523
Genesis 2523 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.
Focus Thought
Wise choices will determine the ultimate outcome
of our lives and bring about Gods unique plan
for us.
I. The Birth of Twins
Culture Connection Determining Our Destiny
The destiny of a child can have a complex set of
influencesmental and physical strengths, home
life, siblings, educational opportunities,
cultural influences, personality, physical
appearance, handicaps, and the influence of
mentors. Nevertheless, we are all ultimately
responsible for ourselves. We are personally
responsible for the choices we make.
I. The Birth of Twins
The sovereignty of God determines many things
about us (Matthew 627). Many of these things
cannot be changed. It is up to each individual to
take what God has given him and do something with
it. It is true that some have more opportunity
than others, but that is no excuse to be lazy or
indifferent. Our life and circumstances are not
duplicated by anyone else in the world. God
created us to be unique individuals. He has a
will for each of us.
I. The Birth of Twins
It is up to us to find His will and then fulfill
it. Only God knows our optimum potential and He
wants us to reach it. When we do, we will please
God (I Thessalonians 411). We cannot pine over
our weaknesses or missed opportunities, or
forebode over the uncertainties that lie ahead.
We must pursue after God and do our utmost to
please Him.
I. The Birth of Twins
Contemplating the Topic
Few things in life compare to the wonder of the
birth of a child. That joy and excitement was
just as real and wondrous for Isaac and Rebekah.
Their joy was doubled, for Rebekah knew there was
not one life but two inside of her. The Lord
confirmed this to her Two nations are in thy
womb, and two manner of people shall be separated
from thy bowels (Genesis 2523).
I. The Birth of Twins
When Rebekah held her two newborn sons in her
arms, she saw that each was unique, and the
Lords words regarding her offspring may have
echoed in her ears. The one people shall be
stronger than the other people and the elder
shall serve the younger (Genesis 2523).
Certainly with that prophetic backdrop she must
have wondered, as do all parents, just where
time, circumstances, and providence would take
her precious sons.
A. Early Signs of Aggression
Searching The Scriptures The Birth of Twins
  1. Early Signs of Aggression

The contentious relationship of the twins had
been foreshadowed even before birth. Every
expectant mother thrills at the first feelings of
movement from the life she is carrying, but
Rebekah experienced much more
I. The Birth of Twins
And the children struggled together within her
(Genesis 2522) to the point that Rebekah
inquired of the Lord about it. She could not
imagine how predictive this was of days ahead.
When the twins were born in quick succession,
the younger exhibited a unique sign of
aggression. And after that came his brother out,
and his hand took hold on Esaus heel (Genesis
2526). The import of this statement is founded
in Hebrew custom.
I. The Birth of Twins
The firstborn son enjoyed privileged status in
an Old Testament household. This strongly
patriarchal society afforded the eldest honor,
responsibility, and provision over all the other
children in the family. When a man distributed
his wealth and property among his sons, the
oldest boy received twice as much as any other.
This double portion, known as the birthright,
carried with it the responsibility to care for
his parents in their later years.
I. The Birth of Twins
Esau, as the firstborn, would receive this
birthright. But during the birth the younger son,
Jacob, grasped at Esaus heel as though trying to
hold him back and replace him as the favored
child. This portended serious and even devious
actions in the future.
B. Fathers and Mothers Preferences
  1. Fathers and Mothers Preferences

It is fascinating to see the individuality of
each child in a family. Each has his or her own
skills, personality, physical and emotional
characteristics, and other differences. They are
as unique as snowflakes, and in reality that
diversity is what should bring great joy into a
I. The Birth of Twins
Jacob and Esau were no exception. Esau became a
man of the field who hunted and explored the
outdoors. Jacob was a man apparently more suited
to domestic chores and a life centered in the
home. Scripture indicates that a tragic
development took place because of these
traitsthe parents developed favorites between
the boys. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did
eat of his venison but Rebekah loved Jacob
(Genesis 2528).
I. The Birth of Twins
F ew things could be more destructive in the
development of two children than to have one
favored by one parent and the second favored by
the other. It is not hard to imagine the latent
animosity and open competition this would
produce. The seeds had been sown that would
blossom into open conflict and deception in the
days ahead.
II. Deception in the Home
Deception in the Home
The unfolding events in the lives of Jacob and
Esau are among the most infamous of the
Scriptures. Isaac, knowing his days were limited,
summoned his favorite son, Esau, and sent him to
the fields to hunt a deer so he could prepare
savory venison. After Isaac had dined, he planned
to confer on Esau the spiritual blessing afforded
to the elder son.
I. The Birth of Twins
Rebekah, having heard the instructions, summoned
her favored son, Jacob, and crafted with him a
plan whereby he would deceive his father and
receive the blessing for himself. She sent him
out to the flock of goats to choose two kids,
with which she would prepare savory meat that
Jacob could take to his father and pretend to be
Esau. What a tragic thing for a home that
should be marked by righteousness to be filled
with devious and insincere motives and plans!
I. The Birth of Twins
Deceit and subversion among members of a family
are not at all what God intended in the proper
order for a home. Honor, honesty, transparency,
and integrity ought to be the hallmarks of our
family structure anything less will lead to
spiritual and relational tragedy.
Transparency 1
A. A Sons Objection
  1. A Sons Objection

Who would not want his fathers blessing? Jacob,
a young man who craved the prosperity and favor
of God, especially desired his fathers blessing.
Yet Jacob realized that though his fathers
vision was dim, he had other senses that could
give Jacob away.
Genesis 2711-12
And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold,
Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth
man my father peradventure will feel me, and I
shall seem to him as a deceiver and I shall
bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing
(Genesis 2711-12).
I. The Birth of Twins
It is worth noting that Jacob did not pull back
from the plan because he was worried about
hurting his brother or about wronging his father.
His only concern was with what might happen to
him. All too often we make decisions solely on
the basis of what might happen to us, rather than
on the consequences brought on others by our
choices. How will this choice affect my spouse?
How will my children be impacted?
I. The Birth of Twins
What will this do to the church? How will the
Lord feel about this? Any believer ought to
consider these questions when contemplating a
B. A Mothers Subtlety
  1. A Mothers Subtlety

At a moment when she should have been offering
wise counsel, Rebekah demonstrated an ungodly
ability to scheme and connive. She anticipated
and addressed every possible challenge to Jacobs
identity. She seasoned the goat meat until it
tasted like venison. She told him to don one of
Esaus garments that exuded a woodsy scent. She
fastened goatskin on his hands and neck in case
Isaac touched him.
I. The Birth of Twins
She even assured her son that if the plan
backfired she would take upon herself any curse
that Jacob incurred. But for all her subtlety,
Rebekah offered something she could not produce.
She could in no fashion absolve Jacob of guilt.
If he was cursed, it would rest on his head. He
alone would have to pay for his sins and in the
days ahead, Jacob began to understand this as he
fled from home to escape the consequences of
Esaus wrath.
I. The Birth of Twins
Such is the nature of wrong choices. We each
will bear our own responsibility for them. We
cannot shift blame to parents, friends, family,
or a challenging childhood. Each of these may
have played a role, but ultimately we are
accountable for our own actions.
C. A Sons Learned Behavior
  1. A Sons Learned Behavior

Not long after offering a feeble objection to
his mothers scheme, Jacob found himself entering
his fathers chambers, claiming to be Esau and
passing off the goat for venison. Jacob was
responsible for this choice, but it is
interesting and instructive to see the effect his
mother had on him. He incorporated her character
and instructions into his life and decisions.
I. The Birth of Twins
From this we must take caution. Parents or
caregivers of children must realize that children
are molded by the influences around them. Much of
what a young man or woman becomes in life is the
composite of the behaviors, ideals, and character
they have seen patterned before them in their
formative years. Just as Jacob absorbed the
values and conduct of his mother into his own
life, our children will do likewise. Parenting is
a sobering responsibility.
D. A Fathers Delusion
  1. A Fathers Delusion

Jacob put his mothers plan into action, and it
worked just as she expected. Isaac saw only a
vague form of the person who offered him a
favorite meal. He was amazed at how swiftly
Esau had bagged a deer, dressed it, and cooked
the meat. Surely the favor of God rested on his
favorite son. Isaac inhaled the heady aroma of
the stew and the familiar essence of the fields
on Esaus clothing. He patted his sons arm
and felt the course hair.
I. The Birth of Twins
But Jacob did not clear one important hurdle.
When he went near unto Isaac his father and he
felt him, and said, The voice is Jacobs voice,
but the hands are the hands of Esau (Genesis
2722). When Isaacs senses of sight, touch,
smell, and taste failed him, his ears still
testified of truth. They were the last of his
senses to be deceived. In a spiritual sense,
perhaps this is why faith comes by hearing, and
not by what we see or feel.
I. The Birth of Twins
Our other senses may be more easily deceived, but
whatever we hear must line up with the Word of
God or it is the voice of deception attempting to
get us to give away our blessings. Regrettably,
Isaac succumbed to the deceit perpetrated on him
and bestowed the following blessing on Jacobs
Genesis 2728-29
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven,
and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn
and wine let people serve thee, and nations bow
down to thee be lord over thy brethren, and let
thy mothers sons bow down to thee cursed be
every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he
that blesseth thee (Genesis 2728-29).
I. The Birth of Twins
With those words, the favor of God bypassed the
firstborn son who had expected to receive it, and
settled on the younger son who had craved it and
acquired it by deceit.
E. Children Influenced by Their Parents
  1. Children Influenced by Their Parents Disharmony

When viewed in total, the deception occurring in
the home of Isaac and Rebekah was the direct
result of the disharmony between them. Isaac
favored Esau. Rebekah favored Jacob. One parent
worked against the other.
I. The Birth of Twins
When a husband and wife are at odds with one
another, they are sowing seeds for a harvest of
tragic circumstances in the lives of their
children. We can learn some important lessons
from the lives of Isaacs family. 1. Parents
should forgive each other for their childrens
sake as well as for their own sake. Unforgiveness
produces all manner of spiritual ills, not the
least of which is the cutting off of the flow of
mercy in ones own life. (See Mark 1126.)
I. The Birth of Twins
But beyond the personal ramifications, the
fallout into childrens lives is truly
devastating when parents harbor animosity toward
one another. Children who grow up in a home where
their parents rehash old hurts and savor
bitterness will have a warped concept of the
mercy of God and of their duty to show mercy to
others. The childrens future marriages are
already in danger of failure even before they
have been formed because of the patterns of
behavior they have witnessed daily.
I. The Birth of Twins
2. Parents should live reconciled. Children are
not blind. They know conflict occurs in every
marriage. But they should also see that
reconciliation is an ongoing process.
Dysfunctional families often have three glaring
voids in the parental relationship they do not
talk they do not trust they do not touch.
Children must see parents talking with one
another, not just at one another. They must see
parents who do not assume the worst in their
spouse but trust him or her.
I. The Birth of Twins
They must see parents who openly demonstrate
tender affection to one another. When these
components are present, the children will see
conflict as a minor element of a marriage that is
consistently reconciled. 3. Parents should
present a unified message of instruction. Hearing
two parental voices disagreeing on matters of
instruction and spiritual direction places
children in grave danger.
I. The Birth of Twins
Parents should resolve disagreements on
principles and positions behind closed doors so
the children hear only one clear and certain
message. Pauls words to the Corinthian church
family apply to the natural family as well.
I Corinthians 110
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same
thing, and that there be no divisions among you
but that ye be perfectly joined together in the
same mind and in the same judgment (I
Corinthians 110).
III. A Blessing Received
A Blessing Received
Jacob desired blessing. This trait lifted him
out of the pit of all his character flaws.
Granted, his insatiable desire for the blessing
of God drove him to unnecessary and improper
lengths to obtain it. But such a worthy desire
for blessingif one does what is necessary and
proper to obtain itwould serve the New Testament
believer well.
I. The Birth of Twins
We live in a culture that craves blessings but
wants to receive them on its own terms. People
too often are not willing to submit themselves to
scriptural imperatives or to yield themselves to
the oversight of a pastor. Not only do they want
to hold the reins of their own lives, but they
also demand that God favor them with all manner
of spiritual and natural blessings. This is
simply not the scriptural pattern.
I. The Birth of Twins
Behaving in certain ways cannot make us worthy
of blessings but by obeying Gods Word and His
voice, we can position ourselves to receive what
God delights in giving. It is conditional on our
part If ye abide in me, and my words abide in
you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be
done unto you (John 157). Desiring the favor of
God motivates us to live in such a manner as to
allow His blessings to flow into our lives.
A. A Birthright Valued
  1. A Birthright Valued

Esau stumbled across the field, almost faint
with hunger. As he neared home, a tantalizing
aroma wafted past his nose and drew him to the
fire where Jacob was stirring something in a
cooking pot. As he stood there Jacob scooped a
spoonful out of the pot and lifted it to his
mouth for a taste. Esaus stomach growled. Give
me some of that. Im so hungry I could eat a
I. The Birth of Twins
As Jacob reached for a bowl, a thought suddenly
occurred to him. He said, You can have the
biggest bowl of pottage Ive got . . . if youll
sell me your birthright. On the surface it
seemed malicious, as though Jacob were taking
unfair advantage of his brother in need. But the
other side of the issue makes it clear that Jacob
valued the birthright more than his brother.
I. The Birth of Twins
He must have been watching for years for an
opportunity to obtain it. He saw the worth in
being the favored son, in contrast to how Esau
viewed it.
B. Blessing Bestowed by the Father
  1. Blessing Bestowed by the Father

Not only did Jacob receive the birthright, which
was a legal transaction, but he also secured the
blessing of his father. There was a pattern of
spiritual transference in the Old Testament from
father to son. A man had the spiritual authority
to pass blessings onto his children as he neared
the end of his life.
I. The Birth of Twins
One can find this pattern in Jacobs life when he
blessed all his sons in Genesis 49, and in
Josephs blessings of Manasseh and Ephraim in
Genesis 4813-20. There are two important
points here. The first is that fathers still have
the power to bless their children with their
words and should do so often and repeatedly. The
second point is that all blessings ultimately
come from our heavenly Father, and even if our
natural father will not bless us, our heavenly
Father can.
I. The Birth of Twins
In our dysfunctional world, many have never
known the rich blessing of a godly father. While
no other human relationship and nothing material
can fill that void, the Lord declared that He
would be a Father to the fatherless. (See Psalm
685.) In that capacity, God can lay His hand on
our head and pronounce blessings on us that no
one can possibly deny us. No matter the natural
family lineage, our spiritual Father delights in
blessing His children.
IV. Diminished Blessing
Diminished Blessing
Against the canvas of Jacobs strong desire for
the blessings of God, both natural and spiritual,
the tragedy of Esaus life stands out in stark
contrast. This firstborn son, who should have
been favored and blessed, instead found himself
relegated to secondary status in the account of
history. Ages might have spoken of the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. Instead he is known for
careless affections, wrong decisions, and
ineffective prayers.
A. A Birthright Disdained
  1. A Birthright Disdained

Perhaps no moment in Esaus life is more
striking than his sale of the birthright for a
bowl of pottage. It would have taken very little
extra effort for Esau to leave Jacobs fire and
proceed to his home where servants would have fed
him. Instead, when Jacob made his offer, Esau
failed to recognize the value of his birthright
and he traded it for a bowl of stewed lentils.
I. The Birth of Twins
Note the way Scripture describes this attitude
Thus Esau despised his birthright (Genesis
2534). Had one asked him that morning how he
felt about his birthright, Esau probably would
have expressed his gratitude for it. He would
have told of its importance and role in his life.
But when temporal needs pressed in on him, he
failed to keep its worth in proper focus. From
Gods perspective Esaus failure to realize the
worth of his birthright was tantamount to
despising it.
I. The Birth of Twins
Esaus casual attitude toward his inheritance
prompted one of the Scriptures most scathing
indictments. As it is written, Jacob have I
loved, but Esau have I hated (Romans 913). God
expressed His disdain for a man who showed
disdain for his inheritance. So we ought to
carefully examine the worth of the inheritance of
our heavenly Father, lest in a moment of temporal
need we trade it for something as worthless as a
bowl of pottage.
I. The Birth of Twins
One man rightly said that all Esau had to show
for his exchange was a full stomach, an empty
heart, and a dirty bowl. What a tragedy!
B. A Lesser Blessing
  1. A Lesser Blessing

No sooner had Jacob left Isaacs room with the
deceitfully received blessing than Esau entered
with the venison prepared as his father had
asked. One can nearly hear the horror in his
fathers voice as he trembled very exceedingly
when he asked, Who? where is he that hath taken
venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of
all before thou camest, and have blessed him?
yea, and he shall be blessed (Genesis 2733).
I. The Birth of Twins
It began to dawn on Isaac that he had been duped,
and that it was impossible to undo.
Transparency 2
I. The Birth of Twins
Esau begged for a blessing of his own. His
weeping mingled with his fathers as they cried
together over the unfolding of events. All too
late, Esau began to value the blessing as he
cried, Hast thou but one blessing, my father?
bless me, even me also, O my father (Genesis
2738). In response to that appeal, Isaac did
pronounce a blessing on Esau, but it was of much
less magnitude than the one pronounced on Jacob.
C. Blessing Not Reclaimed by Tears
  1. Blessing Not Reclaimed by Tears

Windows of opportunity sometimes present
themselves briefly and then are closed. Esaus
casual treatment of birthright and blessings led
him to seasons of deep regret over what he
missed. The Bible says that he found no place of
repentance, though he sought it carefully with
tears (Hebrews 1217). But in spite of this
fervent and passionate prayer, Esau could not
undo the mistakes of his past.
I. The Birth of Twins
Gods gracious and everlasting mercy does not
provide complete amnesty for the consequences of
bad choices and mistakes. Many times individuals,
though redeemed by the blood of Jesus, still have
to live with the aftermath of poor choices made
in moments of weakness. Mercy does not guarantee
the removal of consequences, and our tears do not
automatically erase the cost of previous moments
of indiscretion.
V. Choices of the Chosen Child Rewarded
Choices of the Chosen Child Rewarded
As Jacob progressed through life, he began to
see the fruits of the birthright and the
blessing. God gave him a wife. His flocks
increased in abundance. God met with him and
spoke to him promises of future providence.
Something in Jacobs hunger for Gods favor
secured for him the ongoing blessings of God.
These blessings were manifold, but consider two
A. Name Changed from Jacob to Israel
  1. Name Changed from Jacob to Israel

One of the significant blessings this
spiritually hungry man received was a change in
his name. All his life he had been known as
Jacob, which meant supplanter or deceiver.
After wrestling with the angel of the Lord at the
Brook Jabbok all night, the angel declared, Thy
name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with
men, and hast prevailed (Genesis 3228).
I. The Birth of Twins
Jacob never again referred to himself by his old
name. In his mind, he was delivered from the
awful reputation of his past. How much better to
be called a prince that has power with God than
to be known as a deceiver! In like fashion the
spiritually hungry today can be set free from the
reputation of the past and be renamed by a
new-birth experience. Those who hunger after Him
never again have to be what they were before.
B. Father of Twelve Tribes
  1. Father of Twelve Tribes

Israels other notable blessing was to become
the father of twelve sons and twelve tribes. The
entire nation of Gods people bears his princely
name to this day. Surely not the least among
Israels sons was Judah, through whose lineage
the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was born. A man who
hungered after God became the avenue whereby God
reached out to hungry people everywhere.
I. The Birth of Twins
Internalizing the Message
We can learn a host of lessons from the life of
Jacob. We can observe principles needed to
pattern a godly home and to avoid the trap of
favoritism in child rearing. We can see how
childhood traits if left unchecked can develop
into aberrant adult characteristics. We can learn
from Esaus casual treatment of spiritual
heritage and privilege.
I. The Birth of Twins
Perhaps chief among the lessons to be acquired
from this life is that God always rewards right
choices. Jacobs life, though filled with
problematic episodes of less than ethical
conduct, is nonetheless marked by one singular
quality. He had a passionate and burning desire
for the favor of God. Clearly such a desire does
not excuse ethical lapses or dishonest conduct.
The ends do not justify the use of all means.
I. The Birth of Twins
However, what we do observe is the flow of
blessings in the life of Jacob in spite of
repeated needs for repentance. Gods mercy
repeatedly brought Jacob back to right
relationship with Him and back into the position
to receive Gods blessings. It would appear
that the Lord was pleased with the priority Jacob
placed on pursuing His favor.
I. The Birth of Twins
Jacob clearly demonstrated his passion for the
favor of God when he grappled with Gods angel at
the brook. After he had wrestled all night long
he declared, I will not let thee go, except thou
bless me (Genesis 3226). He had a bulldog
determination to be blessed.
I. The Birth of Twins
In like fashion, we who are the recipients of
New Testament salvation must have in us a
fervent, consuming desire to access the favor and
blessings of God, and we must pursue them within
the bounds of biblical and pastoral guidelines.
Our determination to make right decisions must
eclipse any cultural or societal trend. If we,
like Jacob, cling tightly to the Lord and His
ways, we will enjoy the flow of blessings of
which Jacobs life testifies.