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Jacob and Esau

Jacob prepares his meal


Boys and girls who obey God's Word will receive God's promises and His richest blessings!


Genesis 25:19-33, 27:1-45.


The Twin Boys:

Many years ago there were twin boys, named Jacob and Esau, and they were the children of Isaac and Rebekah.  Like their father, Isaac, and their grandfather Abraham, these boys were very important to God, because He had promised wonderful things concerning Abraham's family.

The twin boys did not look alike and the first-born, Esau was covered with red hair.  He was totally different from Jacob, who didn't have any hair on his body.  As Esau grew up he spent a most of his time hunting, and his father, Isaac loved him more than Jacob.  This was not fair as parents need to love all their children in the same way.   Don't you think so?  (Let the children respond).

God's Promise to Jacob:

Jacob however, lived a quietly in tents.  He was probably a farmer and raised sheep and cattle, and you guessed it, Jacob's mother loved him more than Esau.  Although this was also not fair, God had revealed that Jacob was to be the one whom He would especially bless.

This was the wonderful promise that God had made to Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, and to his father, Isaac.  This was very dear to Jacob, and he wanted to do everything he could so that that promise would belong to him.  In the Bible this promise is called the "Birthright."

Do you think that God loved Esau?  (Let the children respond).  We learn later in the Bible that Esau had been rejected because he had turned his back on God.

Esau's Birthright:

However, Esau thought the birthright belonged to him because he was born first and therefore was the older of the two.  But God had explained to their mother that he wanted Jacob to be the real heir of the promise.  No doubt Rebekah had told Jacob all about this.

No doubt Jacob was watching for an opportunity to secure the birthright as God had promised.

Esau Rejects His Birthright:

One day when Esau had been hunting, he came home empty handed and very hungry.  Jacob had stayed at home and had cooked a delicious meal of stew.  When Esau came in from hunting, he asked Jacob for some of the tasty stew.  Jacob told Esau he could have it if he would give him the promised birthright.

To Esau this seemed a very good bargain as he was hungry and a good meal was much more important to him than any promises God had made.  So he agreed to sell the birthright to Jacob!  However, Esau made a great mistake and would later regret it.

Isaac's Blessing:

Years later when Isaac was very old, he wanted to give his blessing to the son to whom the birthright belonged.  It was then the custom when a father became very old, to call his family together and give them his blessing and remind them of the promises God had made to him and to his children.  When such a blessing was given to a child by his father it could not be changed.

Isaac didn't know that Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, so he asked Esau to go out into the fields to hunt and prepare a special meal for supper.  He also told Esau that he wished to bestow his blessing upon him before he died, and this would include the all important Birthright!

Rebekah's Plan:

In the meantime, Rebekah had overheard Isaac telling this to Esau, so she quickly called Jacob and told him to kill a young goat, which she would then prepare in the tasty way that his father loved.  Since Isaac was very old and blind, he wouldn't be able to see whether it was Esau or Jacob who brought him his supper!

To make doubly sure, she wanted Jacob to smell and feel like Esau, so she dressed him in Esau's best clothes and tied some hairy goatskins onto the back of his hands, and then Jacob carried the food to his father.  You remember that Jacob was hairless, while Esau was extremely hairy.

Isaac's Blessing:

When Isaac heard Jacob's voice he asked which son had come to him.   Jacob lied and said that he was Esau.  When Isaac felt Jacob's hairy hands, he was sure that it really was Esau, so he gave him the blessing.  In this way Jacob received the birthright from his father.

From that day on, all the promises that God had made to Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, and to his father, Isaac, belonged to him!  Now Jacob was to be the one whom God would use in His wonderful plan to make His promises come true!

Of course Esau was sorry for what he had done, but having sold his birthright for the meal of stew, it was now too late to do anything about it!  Now it belonged to Jacob, not only because God wanted him to have it, but also because he had bought it from Esau.  And unlike Esau, Jacob appreciated the birthright because he believed the promises of God.

God's Promises for Us:

Does God love every boy and girl?  (Let the children respond).  And has God promised anything to you?  (Let the children respond).  Yes, God has promised many things to us in the Bible.  One of them is in Ephesians 6:1-3, where God promises you a long life if you honour and obey your parents!

Boys and girls, whatever God has promised to us is much more important than getting something to eat when we are hungry, or satisfying any other craving that we may have.  Make sure you learn to obey God's Word, and seek to serve and please Him in all you do.

And then you can be sure that you will receive God's promises, and His richest blessing will rest on you and will follow you all the days of your life!

God bless.


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