Esau said, ‘This is the second time that he has cheated me. No wonder his name is Jacob. He took my rights as the firstborn son, and now he has taken away my blessing. Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?’
Isaac answered, ‘I have already made him master over you, and I have made all his relatives his slaves. I have given him grain and wine. Now there is nothing that I can do for you, son!’ (verses 36,37)
Read Genesis 27:30-45
You have to feel sorry for Esau. Born first, he has lost everything. Once because his younger brother played on his hunger, and again because his brother tricked their father. You can hear the bitterness in his voice as he says, ‘No wonder his name is Jacob’. We get the meaning only if we understand that the name Jacob means ‘liar, deceiver, cheat’.
Why did God let them get away with it? We will have to wait until eternity to find that out. But the story of Jesus’ family tree is full of things like that – social and spiritual scandals. It almost seems as though God deliberately chose a path for his Son that turned all the old conventions upside down.
Perhaps, when God announces his Son’s birth to the lowest of the low, the shepherds, we get an insight into the way God works. God’s grace is good news for the poor – the spiritually poor, the oppressed, those who have been told time and time again that they are outside of the kingdom of God.
I thank God that he has acted like that. If Jesus had come only for the spiritually rich or the politically great, then I would still be in my sin. But he chose to come for people like you and me. Amazing grace!
Father, I can’t fathom the reasons for your way of doing things; I just praise you for what you have done. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘God’s Promises for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1999)
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