Devotionals from Obadiah
JACOB AND ESAU
What’s the Difference?
By Henry Jaegers
I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein, hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Malachi 1: 2,3)
When I think of the parents of Jacob and Esau, I see a very loving couple who waited a long time to have their first child. I am sure that it was a great blessing to them when these two children were born. But who would ever have thought that such rivalry and anger would occur? Although they were twins, they were far different from each other. Even before they were born, Rebekah remarked about the conflict that was going on within her. All she knew at that time was that which God had revealed to her: That two nations were being formed within her.
Although they were different at the outset, they both were blessed with equal opportunity and respect from their parents. But as they grew older, their differences were more apparent. As we read the narrative, we see that Isaac showed favoritism toward Esau because he was truly a "man's-man". What father wouldn't like that?
Jacob, on the other hand, was more favorable to his mother. He seemed to have developed some culinary talents and probably recede much help from his mother in this area.
I imagine (note that I put it that way) that personality-wise, Esau was the most likable because he was less outgoing than Jacob. He seems to have been the victim of Jacob's unscrupulous behaviors. Jacob on the other hand whose name means (heel-catcher) meaning that it is to his manner of living to take advantage of others whenever he could. There is no doubt that God loved both Jacob and Esau and that never stopped. As we look at the lives of both of these young men, one would wonder how anyone could ever love Jacob (humanly speaking).
But a little phrase spoken by God causes us to see that God loved Jacob in spite of his actions. The words "yet have I loved Jacob" seems to indicate "in spite of" Jacob’s character. (Proof that God loves Israel which love they seemed to call into question.)
But we must never forget these words spoken by the apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:9)
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.".