Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: What a Hairy Mess!
By Pam Kumpe
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Soon, Rebekah was going to have a baby, not one baby, but two, twins. The kicking and fighting started prior to their birth and she asked God, “Why it was happening?”
He answered her saying, “The two children inside…one will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.” (Gen 25:19-31)
Esau was all red and covered with hair, his name means ‘hairy’. The second baby was born grabbing onto Esau’s heel, Rebekah and Isaac named him Jacob.
The firstborn,Esau became a great hunter and loved the outdoors, his father Isaac preferred Esau. Jacob was a quiet man, who liked to stay inside and Rebekah preferred Jacob.
When Isaac was so old he could no longer see, he called to Esau, his oldest son, and said, “My son..." "Here I am,” said Esau.
“My son, I am so old, I may die soon. Take your bow and arrows and go out hunting. And bring me something to eat. Then, I will bless you before I die.”
Rebekah heard everything that Isaac had said to Esau, she set into motion a series of events, deceiving her husband in order that her favorite son, Jacob would receive the blessing.
She told Jacob to get two goats, so she could prepare a meal. Then, she covered Jacob’s arms and back with the skins of the goats to make him feel hairy like Esau, this way Isaac would think Jacob was Esau.
Jacob went to his father and said, "Father." "Yes, replied Isaac. Which of my sons are you?" “I am Esau, your first born,” Jacob said.
Isaac touched his son, and felt the fur and believed it was Esau and he ate the meal and when he was finished he said, “Come here, my son, and kiss me, and then I will give you my blessing.”
So Jacob went to his father and kissed him and Isaac said, “Let nations and people serve you. May you rule over your brothers, and may they bow down to you. Let anyone who curses you be cursed, but blessed be anyone who blesses you!”
Right after Jacob left his father’s side, Esau came in from his hunting. He discovered Jacob had stolen his blessing and he begged his father, Isaac to take it back.
Isaac told him, “Your brother has tricked me and I have already blessed Jacob.”
Esau cried out a great and bitter cry, “Bless me also, Father!" Isaac said, “I can’t.”
“One day, my father will die,” he said, “and then I will kill Jacob!”
This dysfunctional family had pitted two brothers against each other. Isaac planned to bless his favorite son Esau, while Rebekah took steps to see that her favorite son, Jacob was blessed instead.
After it’s over, Esau is so mad he might just kill his brother, so Jacob must flee the scene!
In spite of everything the boys lives were woven together, they had struggled with each other, competing for attention and trying to gain favor with their parents.
Rebekah and Isaac were participants in this tangled web, forcing the twins into a wrestling match of sorts, where Jacob stole his brother’s birthright.
What a mess we make when we lie or cheat, or if we show favoritism. But God did not leave Jacob, He knows our weaknesses and he is forgiving. He accomplishes his good and wonderful plans through us even when we mess up!
The perils of favoritism produces division, but fortunately the Lord is in the business of fixing things, eventually the brothers were reunited and Jacob said to his brother Esau, “Your face is like seeing the face of God.” With tears in his eyes, Jacob asked him, “Can you forgive me?”
Esau throws his arms around his brother and cries out, “Yes, I forgive you. The Lord has been so good to me.”
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