Follow The Liar
I am going to be up front with you at the start of this devotional: I am going to promote a new young adult ministry at IChurch toward the end. I got the inspiration for this blog from the inaugural meeting of Nomad (more on that later). Though the messages will share some resemblance, I am putting my twist on it. Today we are going to talk about duality and whether who we should be trying to emulate.
My focus for some time now has been on the perfection of self through emulating Jesus. At Nomad we talked about the story of Jacob and Esau. We talked about how we often see ourselves as one of the two brothers. There is a problem with this. When you look at the actions both Jacob and Esau took, they both are not really people we should strive to be, at least in the context of just this story. Let us dive in and learn a little about these fellows.
Jacob and Esau were both born of Rebekah. Jacob came out grabbing Esau’s heel. Esau was a hunter and Jacob was more of a farmer and shepherd. It would be interesting to compare and contrast Jacob and Esau with Cain and Abel, but that is for another day. Now that we know the basics, why are Jacob and Esau men we should not look up to? Let us find out.
Esau shirks responsibility. In Genesis 25:29-34 Esau sells his birthright to Jacob, “Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!’ (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ ‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said. ‘What good is the birthright to me?’ But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.”
Esau’s birthright placed all the responsibility of Isaac’s property and possessions on him. Isaac was close to croaking at this point and Esau knew he would have to deal with all his father’s baubles and trinkets when he died. He did not want that responsibility so he sold it for a bowl of soup. With that responsibility, however, comes so much wealth and opportunities to grow and invest. How many times in our lives do we forsake the promises God has given us for some fleeting pleasure? Maybe you want the quick gratification from getting angry, or drinking, or watching porn. You get short-term gain for long-term loss. Investing takes time and we abandon what is promised for something now.
Esau continues to lose when Jacob steals his blessing. In Genesis 27, Isaac is knocking on Death’s door and calls Esau in to see him. He tells him to go out and kill something and make him an awesome death dinner. Esau heads out and Rebekah goes and tells Jacob to make some rockin’ food and put a pelt over his arms to emulate Esau’s hair. Jacob does this and he steals Esau’s blessing. Esau has nothing now. Because he decided to shirk his initial responsibility, he now is left with nothing. To rub salt in the wound, the only blessing Esau receives is when Isaac tells him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck” (Genesis 27:39-40). Esau gets to serve his brother as his reward.
How about Jacob? What did he do? Well, as you can see from Esau’s story, Jacob is a liar and a thief. One of the meanings of the name Jacob means trickster. Jacob is a deceiver. He takes what is not his. Why do we so often look up to Jacob as a role model? Perhaps we are unconsciously labeling ourselves as the villain.
When we take an honest looks at ourselves, how often is it our fault when we destroy what is promised for what we think is best for us? How often, instead of trusting God and letting Him do what we need do we supplant His plans and do what we want? I have a feeling, if you are anything like me, that you have this happen more often than you would like. We need to continually analyze ourselves. Are we the ones keeping ourselves from achieving greatness?
Did you like this lesson? Want to hear more dives into the Bible? Well you are in luck! Nomad is a new young adult ministry at IChurch headed by David Colbert and select disciples where our goal is to go out and bring in those from college-age to college-stage and show that wherever we gather, He is present. We want to see young adults of all backgrounds carve out sacred space, reclaim holy ground, and come in mass for corporate worship. We are followers, we are leaders, we affirm, and we are priestly.
If you are interested, we meet in a different location weekly on Saturday at 6:00. Toward the end of the month, we all gather at the church and worship together. If you want to learn where we are meeting, more about the group, sign up, or are just curious, you can find more information at nomadnextgen.wordpress.com.
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