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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jacob's Birthright

We're reading Genesis mid-20's to early 30's this week (I'm trying to catch up, thanks to the cold).

I wonder, did God want to use Esau to fulfill His promise to Abraham? Esau was the firstborn son. By tradition, he should have inherited everything. If he had kept his head and controlled his appetites when presented with that bowl of lentil stew, would Jesus have come from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Esau?

I wonder.

What about Jacob, the deceiver? He offered that bargain to his brother, the little sneak. He tricked his dad into giving him the blessing that should have gone to Esau. Yes, I mean tricked. He wrapped himself in goatskins so he would feel hairy like Esau if his father touched him. That's malice aforethought in my book, and I understand completely why Esau was hacked about it.

I don't believe God wanted Jacob to do what he did. God is truth. He doesn't lie or deceive or trick people. It is contrary to His nature. God didn't condone Jacob's actions; He allowed them. Part of that free will thing.

The amazing part to me is how God was able to use Jacob at all. The guy's a mess from the get-go. He's a pathological liar. How great is the God who can redeem such a man and use him to bring Jesus into the world?

The Bible shows in every chapter how holy God is and how corrupt man is. It's not an easy book to read, but I'm glad we have it.

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