Broken-down Poetry: Jacob and Esau


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Friday, August 8, 2008

Jacob and Esau

Once upon a time there was a woman named Rebekah. God told her that she was pregnant with two nations, one that would rule over the other. So she gave birth to two boys: Esau first (who's name means HAIRY) and Jacob who latched onto Esau's heel (who's name means DECEIVER).

One day after a hunt, Esau came back famished--I mean, STARVING--while his brother Jacob was making some soup.

"Dude, I'm hungry. Can I have some of your soup?" Esau asked Jacob.

"If you sell me your birthright," replied Jacob.

"Well, I am going to die anyway if I don't get some soup.... what the hay!"

"Swear it?"

"I swear it."


A little while later, Daddy Isaac was dying and Esau was about to get his blessing (another right of the firstborn), so he went to hunt for some food for Pops.

Well, Rebekah must have liked Jacob better or something because she told her younger son to disguise himself in some goat hair to convince blind Isaac that he was Esau to get his blessing.

And Jacob was blessed.

Esau came home mad (and a little whiny). "Bless me too!"

"Welp," replied old Isaac, "your brother stole it. Sorry."

Esau mumbled, "He gets whatever he wants! It's not FAIR!"

"Welp, what can I do?" Isaac said.

"Don't you have another blessing? Like, a spare for a rainy day?"

"Uhm, how's this: 'You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.'"

"Sucky." So Esau held a grudge against Jacob because he got whatever he wanted and no one seemed to care.

Years later, after Jacob had acquired two wives, his own flock of animals, a name change, and a blessing from God himself... he prepares to meet Esau.

Now, expecting to get killed by his grudging brother, he plans on giving him a pretty generous gift, to "pacify him."

Well, when Esau meets him in the road, he runs up and embraces Jacob. All is forgiven.

And everyone lived happily ever after? Right?


You know why? Because somewhere along the way--between Jacob's unfair blessings and Esau's unfair losses--God decides that he hates ole Hairy.
"I have loved you," says the LORD.
"But you ask, 'How have you loved us?'
"Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals." Malachi 1:1-3

This passage was then quoted in Romans. In the Septuagint (pastor Paul would be proud) a portion of the passage reads, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." Romans 9:13

And again in Hebrews: "See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son." Hebrews 12:16

I mean, it is pretty bad to sell your birthright (possessions, probably flocks of animals, etc.) for a bowl of soup. That is kind of dumb on ole Esau's behalf.

But GODLESS? Can you really say that? And what real reason did God have to HATE him?

It seems like there were some pretty awful people in the Bible that God could have easily said He hated, but Esau? Is this all about soup?

This kind of brings me back to the question of predestination vs. free will. God can choose who He wants to call and who He doesn't. He can choose who He wants to have mercy on and who He doesn't. (This is taken from Romans 9.)

I feel like this is why certain people go through harder trials than others. God puts us in a certain place for a reason (and I mean this in a fairly broad term: who are family is, our hometown--things we cannot choose). Why should I live in Autumn Ridge while a brother or sister in the faith live in the Chicago ghetto? Why are my friends' parents married while mine divorced?

God has given us the blessing of a good life (a nice home, food to eat, loving parents) so we can use them for His glory... the same way he would expect those without the such things to live for his glory as well.

We should be thankful for our "birthright"--our political freedom and suburban lifestyle--instead of selling it off. We should not forget that God is the one who put us in this setting. I feel like Esau's mistake was mishandling a gift rather than using it for its true purpose. It's so easy to do that.

How often to we spend our paychecks on crap--literally, like video games, DVDs we'll only watch once, midnight cravings for BWW (guilty!)--instead of tithing or doing something genuinely godly with it? Maybe Esau just wasn't a good steward.

So be thankful for what you've been blessed with.

And don't sell it off for a good bowl of soup.



Unlike Esau, Thrice would not sell their souls for a bowl of soup. In fact, they are excellent stewards of their money. A portion of each CD they sell is given to an organization. The Alchemy Indexes sent money to Blood:Water Mission, Vheissu sent money to 826 Valencia (a nonproft educational organization), The Artist in the Ambulance sent money to the Syrenthia J. Savio Endowment (which provides chemotherapy to those who can't afford it), and I'm sure their other CDs sent money as well... but I don't own them to know.

They are sick, They are poor
and they die by the thousands and we look away
They are wolves at the door
they are not going to move us or get in our way

Cause we don't have the time
Here at the top of the world
Yeah we're doin just fine
Here at the top of the world

We hold our own by keeping our hearts cold

Different god, darker skin
They are just not a burden that we like to bear
They are living in sin
Just throw out any reason for us not to care

Cause we're feeling alright

Here at the top of the world
Yeah we're doin just fine
Here at the top of the world

We've learned that money matters most
So we keep our cards held close
Here at the top of the world

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