“22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ So she went to enquire of the Lord.23 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 elder will serve the younger.’24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!’ (That is why he was also called Edom. 31 Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’32 ‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said. ‘What good is the birthright to me?’33 But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.34 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.” NIV
The jostling babies (22a)
Whenever I read this, it causes me to think about that inner tussle between the sinful nature and the Holy Spirit which is the experience of every Christian (Galatians 5:17). It is an unpleasant and uncomfortable reality, and we will face it until we leave this world. It doesn’t get any easier just because we become older, but it may manifest itself in different ways – although not necessarily. Thankfully, although the battle is real, the ‘flesh’ can ‘’serve’’(23) the Spirit. The Spirit can have the upper-hand (Gal.5:24,25), but not a day will pass when we can relax our guard. We must stay alert and be vigilant.
The seeking mum (22b)
Prayer is not just asking for things. One aspect entails asking about things. It is confessing ignorance and requesting information. It is reaching out to God for insight, revelation, understanding. It is going ‘’to enquire of the LORD’’. It’s intentional. There is something I don’t know that I need to know, but this I do know – God can help me with it if He so chooses. If He has a reason for not telling me (at least in the short term) that is His business. He knows best. I can have no argument with Him over it. But from where I sit, I do know that the Lord encourages me to come to Him in all humility and faith and ask for the much-needed wisdom (James 1:5-8). God does speak.
The fleshly man (24-34)
It is always a cause for wonder how two children born to the same parents, and part of the same family, can be so different. Jacob and Esau were (and each one was favoured by a different parent v.28 – never a good idea. It tends to lead to unwanted consequences). Here we see Esau as a fleshly man, dominated by his appetite. He can’t delay gratification, and throws away something precious for a bowl of stew. It still happens of course, over and over again. But the contents of the bowl may differ. Like Esau, we may find that an appetite is temporarily satisfied, but the inner longing isn’t. We have exchanged something that really matters for…NOTHING!