This is the story of a popular family in the Bible – from Abraham to Judah. They were indeed a chosen generation, a people who had a “Covenant” with God. But despite this, they were also a family deeply tarnished by atrocities and lots of scandal…
Let’s Talk About Esau
So, what did Esau do that was so grievous, distasteful and unforgivable?
This got me thinking.
The poor guy has done “nothing so out of ordinary”, only that he was a product of a series of poor decisions; this was compounded by a scheming mum, a two-faced twin brother, and a gluttonous dad. This is my opinion.
And when God said he had loved Jacob and hated Esau, what did that even mean?
Back Story… Esau and Jacob
Abraham had Isaac in his old age. Isaac grew up inheriting much wealth and a large estate. He even got himself a mail order bride. But he didn’t seem to inherit his father’s lion heart.
Fast forward, he and his wife Rachael had a set of twin boys. Pregnancy was complicated, delivery was difficult. But they boys came. Esau and Jacob. And gradually, the family grew dysfunctional and both parents chose their favorite kid, and the scheming continued.
Long story short, the boys grew up – Esau a hunter, a man of the fields; and Jacob a shepherd, a man of the tents. Jacob tricked Esau into selling his birthrights, bartering it with a well prepared lentil meal… Then with his Mom’s help, he tricked their father Isaac and stole Esau’s blessings too. Esau, in a fit of rage, complicated issues by making wrong decisions to intentionally hurt their parents, and by planning to take revenge and kill his twin brother. Their mother had to make the difficult decision of sending her younger son, her favorite son – Jacob, away from the wrath of his brother Esau, but she manage to “package” the move as Jacob visiting his Uncle Laban in quest for a decent girl to marry. That would be her last time of seeing her favorite son.
Jacob later grew into the nation of Israel, and Esau into the nation of Edom, a hill country located on Mt. Seir – modern day southern Jordan.
Lineage of Grace vs Castaway
As I thought about the story of this family, I noticed that in hindsight, it was all about preserving that proverbial Scarlet Thread – the Bloodline of Jesus…
From Abraham to Judah, the firstborn didn’t qualify to receive the blessings of carrying the Bloodline of Jesus, not because God hated first children. In fact He later mentioned that all first children were His!
However, in the case of these families, the first children didn’t seem to be ready.
Abraham did have Ishmael 13 years before Isaac, but Isaac was the child of Promise.
Isaac in this STORY had two boys, but Jacob – the younger twin continued with the Bloodline of Jesus…
Jacob’s first son too did not qualify; in fact for Jacob, it was his 4th son who eventually qualified:
Reuben the first child disrespected his father by having sex with his father’s “mistress”
Simon and Levi who were the 2nd and 3rd children were disqualified because they put their father in trouble by their uncontrolled anger and unnecessary bloodshed.
Judah the 4th child was the “lucky kid”, the chosen one to keep the Bloodline of Jesus…
Judah’s family too was ridden with scandal and none of his first three kids qualified
First son Er died for his wickedness
2nd child Onan died for “spilling the semen”
Third son Shelah was hidden.
The Bloodline of Jesus continued through Perez who was the first of a set of twins who were products of Judah’s affair with his daughter in law Tamar 😲 😲 …
It did get messy at some point…
God meticulously preserved and protected the Bloodline of Jesus from Adam to Abraham (2,000 years); and from Abraham to Jesus (another 2,000 years).
The lineages that proved to be unintereted or unqualified were carefully cut off and cast away…
As Jesus died, prophet Isaiah asked the pertinent question:
“Who will declare His Generation?” (Isaiah 53:8)
Apostle Peter seemed to have an answer as he addressed the Believers:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (I Peter 2:9)
All scriptures are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version