Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16 || Esau Sells His Birthright
Deeper Life Search the Scripture 17 April 2022
ADULT STS LESSON 16 | ESAU SELLS HIS BIRTHRIGHT
MEMORY VERSE: “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob” (Genesis 25:32,33).
TEXT: Genesis 25:1-34
Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
The marriage of Isaac to Rebekah in accordance with God’s instruction was the theme of the preceding chapter. Aside the fact that Isaac received great comfort through that union after the demise of his mother, God blessed the couple with fruit of the womb, as this study reveals. The need for companionship might have led Abraham also to remarry after the death of Sarah.
Meanwhile, after twenty years of barrenness, Rebekah had a set of twins — Esau and Jacob — who were two distinct personalities in nature and attitude to life. As it were, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, a barter of patriarchal heritage for pottage of lentils. This underscores his preference for physical satisfaction over a godly heritage.
TWILIGHT OF ABRAHAM’S LIFE (Genesis 25:1-18; 35:29; 1 Chronicles 1:32,33)
After the marriage of Isaac was consummated with Rebekah, Abraham decided to settle for a new family. His marriage to Keturah produced six children (Genesis 25:1; 1 Chronicles 1:32). This should serve as an encouragement to those who have lost their spouses. Remarriage is scriptural and attracts spiritual and physical blessings if it is done according to God’s word and will.
Ruth remarried after the demise of her first husband (Ruth 3: 1; 4:13). Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to encourage young widows to marry (1 Timothy 5:11-14). However, it is important that such marriage should be handled with much prayers and patience. In spite of Abraham’s new family life and responsibilities, he did not forget that God’s covenant with him was to be fulfilled through Isaac. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
Thus, Abraham put his household in order before he died. “And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country” (Genesis 25:5,6). This meant that Abraham made Isaac the heir of his estate by reserving the covenant blessings for him. He then gave gifts to Ishmael and the six children of Keturah before they were sent away. Brethren who remarry must not forget their covenant with God nor neglect the children they had with their late spouse.
Parents should know that they ought to lay up or bequeath material blessings to their children and be wise to make this known before their demise to avoid bickering and infighting among siblings. God gives common blessings to every creature but reserves covenant blessings for those who are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Sinners can only enjoy general blessings such as rainfall, sunshine, air and many others that the Lord allows so as to lead them to repentance.
However, God makes His regenerated children to be joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ. Although only Isaac enjoyed the covenant blessings without any opportunity for the other sons of Abraham to be heirs, the new covenant leaves admittance to become heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ open to whoever wills. “And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:7,8).
Abraham later died at the age of 175 and was buried by his sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Much could be learnt by looking closely at the family life of Abraham, our father Of faith. one, he resumed normal life after the death Of Sarah. Believers should accept the reality of death and not continue to sorrow as those who don’t have hope. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
Two, it is always good for families to make plans for the days after their departure. Abraham planned for the marriage of Isaac and the financial stability of all his children. He also planned for the continuation of covenant blessings through Isaac. A writer once said, “it is not enough to know the will of God, it is equally important to know, plan for and do God’s will in all situations”.
Like Abraham, parents must ensure that they provide for their children as those who fail in this regard are worse than infidels. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8).
THE TWINS: ESAU AND JACOB (Genesis 25:19-26; Hosea 12:3; Romans 9:10-12)
After their nuptials, Isaac and Rebekah had no issue for twenty years. As a man of prayer and meditation, he did not try to solve the problem the way his parents did. They kept waiting and trusting the Lord. “And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:21).
Similarly, Zacharias and Elisabeth were “both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years” (Luke 1:6,7).
Hannah also had delay in childbearing. Delay in childbearing in these cases was for a while; God eventually gave them children. Thus, believers should avoid resorting to unrighteous means of having children. God knows our needs and He is more than willing to grant them if we persist in righteousness, prayer and faith in Him.
Isaac prayed and God answered him by giving Rebekah a set of twins. Therefore, believers should cultivate the habit of praying without ceasing and fainting, and God will grant all their requests. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7,8).
Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
While Rebekah was pregnant, the children struggled within her. Then, she decided to enquire from the Lord. “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” (Genesis 25:23).
The prophecy gave the picture of the lifestyle of the twins right from birth. Esau and Jacob grew up to be two distinct personalities. “And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents” (Genesis 25:27).
Indeed, there were great differences between them in the areas of body structure, disposition, character and profession (Genesis 25:25). Esau was the father’s darling and Jacob the mother’s favourite (Genesis 25:28). Isaac was not a hunter but he loved to enjoy the benefits of his son’s vocation. Esau knew how to please his father: he often gave him venison and that earned him the affection of his father. Rebekah, on the other hand, loved Jacob.
Esau and Jacob became enemies despite being children of the same parents. Christian parents are to beware of undue preference of any child in the family. Every child should be appreciated and given fair treatment by both parents. Joseph, the favourite son of Jacob, suffered in the hands of his siblings partly because of parental preference.
Preferential treatment of children breeds conflict, animosity, enmity and division among the children and can turn the home to a battleground. Such enmity can be passed down to subsequent generations of such families. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
THE TRAGEDY OF ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT (Genesis 25:27-34; 19,36; Hebrews 12:16, 17)
The right and honour Of the first born in Israel was a special one. The honour included a double portion of the family inheritance together with becoming the heir after the death of the father (Genesis 49:3; Deuteronomy 21: 1 7; 2 Chronicles 21:3).
However, in a situation Where the oldest son despises his birthright, he loses both the headship position and the privileges attached. Jacob had interest in the birthright and seemed to value it more than Esau.
The former struggled with the latter for it right from the womb. An opportunity to get the birthright eventually came when Jacob noticed that Esau was very hungry. He promptly dangled the bait: bread or birthright?
Surprisingly, Esau preferred bread to his birthright when “Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright” (Genesis 25:31). “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob” (Genesis 25:32,33). This was a bargain between Jacob and Esau on the birthright, which was Esau’s by providence but Jacob’s by barter.
Jacob demanded an oath for confirmation and Esau “sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:33,34).
By this action, Esau traded off the invaluable benefits of his birthright for an immediate pleasure of food. He acted on impulse by satisfying his hunger for food without any flicker of thought about the future consequences of his choice and action.
The second birth or salvation brings a believer into God’s family and sanctification makes him possess inward righteousness through Christ. It is this entrance into the Kingdom and possession of God’s righteousness that qualifies an erstwhile sinner to inherit inexhaustible blessings in life and eternity. Thus, it is profane for any believer to trade off his Christian experiences for fleeting pleasures and transient blessings such as securing a job, earning promotion, winning a marriage partner or making money in business. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
Those who do such disqualify themselves from God’s kingdom. It was for sinful pleasure (incest) that Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, also lost his birthright” (1 Chronicles 5:1). The fall of Esau is a warning to all believers to avoid similar pitfalls (1 Corinthians 10:6). The devil has always capitalised on man’s need for food in designing temptations to make him fall.
Adam and Eve fell for it. He also approached Christ when He was hungry to demand that He turn stone to bread to satisfy His hunger. But Christ overcame by quoting the word of God that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). To overcome similar temptation, do not exaggerate or rate your need above your spiritual experiences, relationship with God and obedience to His word. Esau’s claim that, “I am at the point to die” did not mean he would have died if he ate no food that day.
Esau’s thought and undisciplined personality betrayed him. He fell headlong and lost divine endowment. It was better for him to suffer hunger and retain his birthright with all accruing blessings than despise it to earn disgrace, dishonour and denial of the blessings of the firstborn. He sold his precious inheritance and did not budge after the deal unlike Peter who wept bitterly in penitence after denying the Lord. Those are the characteristics of a profane person. Esau later sought for it with tears but it was too late.
Christians are admonished to beware, “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: 16, 17).
Believers should flee from all appearances of evil. Every urge to mortgage our spiritual inheritance, the doctrines of Christ and hope of heaven for any earthly benefits must be resisted vehemently by all heaven bound believers. We must know that our soul’s salvation and inheritance here and hereafter are priceless. Above all, we must abide in Christ, put on the whole armour of God in these last days and engage the enemy in spiritual warfare to continue to enjoy our God-given victory until the end. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 17 April 2022 | Lesson 16
Questions for review:
1. Mention one blessing of marriage in the text.
2. How should a believer handle the loss of his/her spouse?
3. List three virtues in the life of Abraham that godly parents should emulate.
4. How did Isaac handle the delay in childbearing in his family?
5. What does it mean to sell one’s birthright?
6. Mention some steps believers should take to avoid being profane like Esau.
7. What should Esau have done to avoid the tragedy of selling his birthright?
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