BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 25:27-34 with Hebrews 12:11-17

Summary of passage:  Genesis 25:27-34:  Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.  Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

Hebrews 12:11-17:  Discipline is never pleasant but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  Strengthen yourself.  Make every effort to live in peace with others and be holy so those others will see the Lord in you.  Make sure trouble is not sown and bitterness nor sexual immorality or godlessness like Esau because you weren’t holy.  Because Esau could not inherit his blessing after he had rejected it.

Questions:

5a)  Because Esau would bring Isaac wild game.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s hard to say since this is all that is recorded of Isaac’s love.  Based off of what we know, superficially.  If that is the only real reason Isaac played favorites, then it would have saddened God (as it does us).  He probably didn’t approve of the rationale but we are human.  We all play favorites whether we admit it or not.  It’s what we do when we know we have a favorite that matters.

c)  Not shown such outward actions.  Shown more love towards the non-favored.  Made their best effort NOT to play favorites and treat each equally.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Same as in c.  It’s hard not to play favorites with your kids.  Shower the others with just as much as you would the favorite.  If the kids recognize the favorite, make extra effort to prove to them as least otherwise.

6)  In this case, you received the promise of Abraham which is having nations bow down to you, be lord over your brothers and all your relatives and others, and may those who despise you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  Deuteronomy says the firstborn should receive a double share and is the sign of his father’s strength.  God’s mercy and grace to bless those whom He chooses.

[NOTE:  I think this is a typo in the passages.  It should probably be Romans 9:14-15 but I would read all of Romans 9 for Esau and Jacob are mentioned specifically from 8-18.]

7a)  No

b)  Highly unlikely.  Abraham is rich and had many servants.  I’m sure one of them was cooking something at that exact time as well.  Snacks?  I’m sure there were some snacks lying around.  Or I’m sure Esau could have made his own food or ate some leftovers or something.  This is why he despised his birthright.  He took the easy way out.

c)  He despised it.  He didn’t care enough.  He let his immediate needs of hunger supercede his birthright.  Seriously?  If that’s not disdain, I’m not sure what is.

d)  God knew all along the choice Esau would made and that’s why He chose Jacob as the worthy one to carry on the Promise.  Esau is called “godless” in Hebrews 12:16.  God Himself even says He hated Esau and He turned Esau’s mountains into wasteland and left Esau’s inheritance to the jackals (Malachi 1:3).  This passage is repeated in Romans 9:13 by Paul.

Lessons learned:  God knows our heart and He will give us what we deserve.  As Romans says, all things are through God’s mercy and compassion, not our effort (Romans 9:15-16).  Esau was not worthy of the birthright even though it was his right by birth so God took it from him.  We must be worthy in God’s eyes to receive His blessing.  We must have a heart for God and not for ourselves.  We must make choices in line with God’s Will and Word.  We must seek Him and not our fickle needs.  God’s needs.  Not ours.

Conclusions:  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be “hated” by God like Esau was.  Can you imagine?  We’re told as little kids not to hate anyone.  But God hated.  So are we allowed to as well?

Well “hate” in this context is really “reject”.  God “loved” or “chose” Jacob.  He rejected Esau.  Our human emotions are not the same for God.

I think hate though doesn’t correlate with forgiveness and compassion.  We can hate someone but still forgive their wrongs towards us and show them compassion when the occasion arises.  But we don’t have to like them or approve of them.  For God still blessed Esau who became the father of the Edomites (Genesis 33:9, 36) despite his hard heart.  As we must do as well.  Feelings are different than knowledge of God’s will.  Great lesson for me!

Great explanation of God’s love and hate HERE

I also like the favoritism lesson for, admittedly, I favor my son over my girls.  Because he’s the youngest.  I did this with all my babies before the other one came along.  But I am conscious of it and I try with all my might to hide that from my kids and shower my girls with extra attention.  For I love all of them more than myself.  And I bet over time as my son becomes less needy this will change.

END NOTE:  Please read Romans 9.  I think this lesson will have greater value for you and you’ll see more of what BSF is trying to teach you if you do.

FINAL END NOTE:  See?  I did get something out of this lesson, didn’t I (referring to my doubts from YESTERDAY)? So just keep plugging away.  God will show you what you need.

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