‘Jacob and Esau!’
Passage: Genesis 25:19-34
Visual Aids (powerpoint)
Imagine you are stranded on a desert island. All your food is gone and you haven’t eaten for over a week. You are starving! Then I come along carrying a can of soup and say that I will give you this soup, but you’ve got to give me something in return.
What would you be prepared to give me? Remember you are starving and if you don’t eat soon, you will die. [£10? iPod? Playstation 3? Car? House?]
In the next part of the Bible story we see someone who gave away the most valuable thing he had for a bowl of soup (or rather bread and stew).
Isaac and Rebekah are now married, and Rebekah finally is pregnant (which is essential if God is going to keep His promise to Abraham). While Rebekah was pregnant, God told her that she was going to give birth to twins and that the younger son would be the head of the family, not the older son.
The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23)
How was that going to happen, because usually it would be the oldest son who would be head of the family, once the father died?
Isaac and Rebekah’s sons were Esau (the oldest) and Jacob (the youngest). Esau was a hairy man, he loved the outdoors and going hunting and he was his dad’s favourite. Jacob wasn’t hairy, he was a home boy and his mum’s favourite.
Now one day Esau came home from a day’s hunting and was starving. He asked Jacob for some of his stew. But Jacob said that he would want something in return. His birthright. The birthright was very valuable. It meant that when his father died, Esau would become the head of the family and receive most of the inheritance.
Esau said “It’s a deal!” He gave up his birthright (which is the most valuable thing he had) for some stew. But God used this to begin to keep the promise he made to Rebekah that the older son will serve the younger.