Lesson 22 第二十二课

God chose Jacob and rejected Esau

1.    Isaac married Rebekah.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, grew old and she died.

Isaac mourned for his mother, but he was comforted when Rebekah became his wife.

Read Genesis 24:67; 25:20

Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah. And he married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother died.

25:20 Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. She was the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram. She was also the sister of Laban the Aramean.

Rebekah was born in the land where Abraham had lived before the Lord led him to Canaan.

Abraham also died. Isaac inherited the promises about the land of Canaan and the coming Deliverer that God had given to his father Abraham.

2.    Isaac and Rebekah had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

Read Genesis 25:21-23.

21 Rebekah couldn’t have children. So Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. And the Lord answered his prayer. His wife Rebekah became pregnant.

22 The babies struggled with each other inside her. She said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to ask the LORD what she should do.

23 The LORD said to her,

“Two nations are in your body.

    Two tribes that are now inside you will be separated.

One nation will be stronger than the other.

The older son will serve the younger one.”

   God knew all about Isaac’s sons before their birth.

Even before they were born, the Lord knew what kind of people Isaac’s two sons would grow up to be.

The Lord knows all about us even when we are in our mother’s womb. He knows everything about all people. Nothing is hidden from Him.

Read Genesis 25:24-27.

24 The time came for Rebekah to have her babies. There were twin boys in her body. 25 The first one to come out was red. His whole body was covered with hair. So they named him Esau.

26 Then his brother came out. His hand was holding onto Esau’s heel. So he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when Rebekah had them.

27 The boys grew up. Esau became a skillful hunter. He was a man who liked the open country. But Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed at home among the tents.

   Esau did not believe God's promises.

Esau had the same attitude as Cain had. Esau refused to admit that he was a sinner and needed to be accepted by God. He went his own way and lived only for the things of this world. His own desires were more important to him than the things which God wanted to give him and teach him. Esau did not value God’s promises.

   Jacob believed God’s promises.

Jacob had the same attitude as Abraham and Isaac had. Jacob believed God. He admitted that he was a sinner and needed God to send the Deliverer. He cherished God’s promises and wanted God’s mercy and care.

3.    God chose Jacob to be the next in line as the ancestor of the Deliverer.

Read Genesis 25:28-34.

 

28 Isaac liked the meat of wild animals. So Esau was his favorite son. But Rebekah’s favorite was Jacob.

29 One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from the open country. He was very hungry.30 He said to Jacob, “Quick! Let me have some of that red stew! I’m very hungry!” That’s why he was also named Edom.

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me the rights that belong to you as the oldest son in the family.”

32 “Look, I’m dying of hunger,” Esau said. “What good are those rights to me?”

33 But Jacob said, “First promise me with an oath that you are selling me your rights.” So Esau promised to do it. He sold Jacob all of the rights that belonged to him as the oldest son.

34 Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. Esau ate and drank. Then he got up and left.

So Esau didn’t care anything at all about the rights that belonged to him as the oldest son.

   Esau was Isaac’s firstborn son.

In those days, the firstborn had a right to a double portion of the inheritance from his father, and he would become the head of the family group at the death of his father. Because Esau was Isaac’s firstborn son, he should have received the rights of the firstborn. As firstborn, Esau was also destined to become the guardian of the promises from God which his father had inherited from Abraham. The Deliverer from God would have been one of Esau’s descendants. But Esau was not interested in the promises of God. Esau gave away all his rights and privileges as the firstborn son to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of food.

   Esau was like Cain.

Esau did not believe, and he did not follow the ways of God.

Think about this: Are you like Cain and Esau? Are your own desires more important to you than God and what God has to teach you about the Deliverer? Are you also going to turn away from God’s truth and follow your own way like Cain and Esau? Or are you going to be like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who admitted their sin and trusted in God to provide the Deliverer?

   Jacob inherited the promises instead of Esau.

Although Jacob was the second son, he wanted to inherit the promises which his father, Isaac, had inherited from Abraham. Jacob believed God and trusted Him to send the Deliverer.

Even before Esau and Jacob were born, God had decided that Jacob would be given the privilege to be the ancestor of the Deliverer. Eventually, just as God planned, Jacob was given the position of the firstborn.

   Esau was not interested in the promises of the Deliverer.

Although Esau did not care about the promises of the Deliverer, he did want the position and the privileges which came with being the firstborn. Therefore, when he knew that Jacob had been given the blessing that he should have received as the firstborn, Esau became angry.

   Esau planned to kill Jacob just as soon as their father died.

Genesis 27:41.

Esau was angry with Jacob. He was angry because of the blessing his father had given to Jacob. He said to himself, “My father will soon die. The days of sorrow over him are near. Then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.”

Rebekah, Jacob and Esau’s mother, heard about Esaus plan to kill Jacob. She advised Jacob to go far away to her brother’s home in Haran.

Read Genesis 27:42-44.

42 Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said. So she sent for her younger son Jacob. She said to him, “Your brother Esau is comforting himself with the thought of killing you.

43 “Now then, my son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Stay with him until your brother’s anger calms down.

Jacob left his father and mother’s home and began the long trek to the land of Mesopotamia. This is the land where his grandfather, Abraham, and his mother, Rebekah, had lived.

Read Genesis 28:10.
Jacob left Beersheba and started out for Haran.

4.    God spoke to Jacob in a dream.

It was a long way from Canaan to Mesopotamia, so on the way, Jacob had to sleep out in the mountains.

Read Genesis 28:11.
11 He reached a certain place and stopped for the night. The sun had already set. He took one of the stones there and placed it under his head. Then he lay down to sleep.

   One night as Jacob slept, God gave him a dream.

Occasionally during those times, God would speak to people through dreams, but ever since God’s message to all people has been completely written down, God’s usual way to tell us what He wants us to know is through the Bible.

Read Genesis 28:12.
12 In a dream he saw a stairway standing on the earth. Its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and coming down on it.

Through this dream, God was showing Jacob something important about the coming Deliverer.

   The Deliverer would become the way for people to come to God.

Through Jacob’s dream, God was showing that the Deliverer would be like a ladder reaching from earth to heaven.

Think about this: Why was it necessary that the Deliverer be like a ladder? It was necessary because all people are separated from God. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were in oneness with God. But when they disobeyed, they were separated from God, and as a result, all of us who are Adam’s descendants have also been born separated from God. There was no way that people could come to God and be in oneness with Him unless God provided the way. In the garden in Eden, He promised that the Deliverer would come to destroy Satan and reconcile people to God. And through Jacob’s dream, God showed that the Deliverer would be like a bridge between God and man. Through the Deliverer, people would once again be able to be in oneness with God.

This is what God was showing Jacob: Even though all people have been separated from God because of Satan’s lies and Adam’s disobedience to God, God planned to send the Deliverer who would make it possible for God and man to be reconciled and reunited.

5.    God gave Jacob the same promises He had given to Abraham and Isaac.

Read Genesis 28:13-15.

13 The Lord stood above the stairway. He said, “I am the Lord. I am the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your children after you the land on which you are lying. 14 They will be like the dust of the earth that can’t be counted. They will spread out to the west and to the east. They will spread out to the north and to the south. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you and your children after you.

15 “I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

   God was continuing to work out His plan to send the Deliverer.

Although many years had passed since God gave the first promise of the Deliverer in the garden in Eden, and although Abraham, whom God had chosen to be the forefather of the Deliverer, was now dead, God had not forgotten His plan. God is faithful to do whatever He says He will do.

   God promised Jacob that the coming Deliverer would be one of his descendants.

One of Jacob’s descendants would become the ladder that would make it possible for people to be in friendship with God. When Jacob woke from his dream, he knew that God had given him the same promises that He gave to his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac.

Read Genesis 29:1.
Then Jacob continued on his journey. He came to the land where the eastern tribes lived.

Jacob lived in the land of Mesopotamia for many years. Then God spoke to Jacob again and told him to return to his own country, the land that God had given to Abraham.

Read Genesis 31:13.
“‘I am the God of Bethel. That is where you poured oil on a pillar. There you made a promise to me. Now leave this land. Go back to your own land.’”

Jacob had married two sisters, and he had become the father of twelve sons.

During his stay in Haran, God had protected Jacob because it was through one of his descendants that God’s promise of the Deliverer was to be fulfilled.

   During Jacob's journey to return to the land of Canaan, God changed Jacob’s name.

From this time forward, Jacob would have a more important name than the name, Jacob. His new name was to be Israel. This new name which God gave to Jacob meant that through the difficult experiences Jacob had been through, God had taught Jacob not to depend on himself but only to depend on God. The name, Israel, also meant that because Jacob no longer depended on himself but on God, God would fight for him.

Read Genesis 32:28.
Then the man said, “Your name will not be Jacob anymore. Instead, it will be Israel. You have struggled with God and with men. And you have won.”

Questions

1.     How did God know, even before they were born, what type of people Jacob and Esau would be?.

2.     Did Esau admit that he was a sinner?

3.     What was more important to Esau than the things which God wanted to give him and teach him?

4.     Did Jacob admit that he was a sinner?

5.     Did Jacob value God’s promises to send the Deliverer?

6.     Did God choose Jacob or Esau to be the ancestor of the Deliverer?

7.     What did Jacob see in the dream given to him by God?

8.     What did this dream mean?

9.     After Jacob had spent many years in the land of Mesopotamia, where did God tell him to go?

10.     How many sons did Jacob have?

11.     What new name did God give to Jacob?