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In Case You Missed It -- Genesis 25:19-26:35, Psalm 17

Today’s reading shows the sins of a father repeated by his child. Isaac pulls Abraham’s old trick by pretending Rebekah is his sister (Genesis 26:6-11). Like father, like son. Some of Abraham’s vices, especially deception, will be repeated often by his descendants, with serious consequences. These deceptive practices will catch up with Isaac, but first we should focus on Rebekah giving birth to two nations (Genesis 25:23). These twins, Esau and Jacob, will both become rulers of great peoples, but the younger one and his descendants will rule over the older. This is the reverse of the way ancient cultures operated; eldest sons always received the greater inheritance and power. The choice to bless Jacob over Esau shows that God is not obligated to respect privileges, status, or positions. Well over a thousand years later, the apostle Paul will compare this choice to God’s decision to give the blessings of Abraham’s descendants to non-Jewish people through faith in Jesus (Romans 9). God has the prerogative to bless and show mercy and accomplish His good purposes through and for whomever He pleases. Though God intends to bless Jacob over Esau, eventually God will show kindness to Esau, and Jacob will have troubles of his own. Moving forward, God’s choice of Jacob will drive the unfolding fulfillment of His promises to Abraham: land, kings, and descendants like the stars of the sky.

Jeremiah Vaught