Dreams and Schemes #1. “Esau—Outplayed!”

Dreams and Schemes #1. “Esau—Outplayed!”

Esau would have been wise to remember why his brother was named Jacob. You can imagine Esau’s dismissive snare when being reminded that his brother came into the world with a firm grasp on his ankle. If he had said at the time, “Supplanter, my foot!” it would have indeed been the most ironic of sayings he could have come out with. But supplanted he was. Jacob was a schemer by name and by nature.

Esau did not know how dangerous Jacob was to his future prospects. As firstborn he naively believed that he was guaranteed the best of his father’s legacy. It was a huge mistake to sell his birthright for that bread and stew; his opportunistic brother saw him coming. Then, with an oath before God, he relegated himself from first place into second (Genesis 25:33-34).

The twin’s mother, Rebekah, had chosen a side and Esau was not on it. On the day that Isaac was to bless his firstborn, Rebekah conspired to steal that blessing for her favourite son. While Esau was hunting, Jacob was tricking his father into thinking that he was Esau. By the time Esau had returned, Jacob had been promised everything worth having (Genesis 27:27-29), and Esau was about to be promised a life of want and danger (Genesis 27:39-40).

Esau was the brother that was said to be hated by God, and his brother loved. The writer of the Book of Hebrews leaves us in no doubt as to why God set His face against Esau:

“That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears” (Hebrews 12:16-17).

Ultimately, Esau outplayed himself!

John Staiger


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