If you thought Abraham was too old to do anything more, think again. He marries Keturah and has six sons! The virtue of God’s promise still shines through these naturally impossible occurrences. Abraham, nearing his death, gets things in order. He buried his late wife, Sarah, in Genesis 24. Now, he makes sure to continue following God’s commands by giving all he has, including his land, to his promised son, Isaac. Isaac already had a gift from God as the heir of promise. So too our gifts and sentiments on this earth should be a part of God’s. Abraham gave gifts to his other sons and sent them eastward, so they would not attempt to divide Isaac’s inheritance of the promised land. As a father, Abraham provided for his children. As a righteous and faithful man, Abraham continued to make the path clear for the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Abraham lived 175 years and was buried by his wife, Sarah. According to the King James Version, he “gave up the ghost” (v.8). Abraham accepted death, ready to die at a “good old age, an old man, and full of years” (v.8). A good life is not one of old age, but one filled with fear of the Lord, satisfied with God’s blessings on Earth, and ready for what’s to come in Heaven.
Power of Prayer
We met Isaac’s wife in Genesis 24. Isaac prays for Rebekah, as she is barren. We must be patient and pray in waiting for God’s promises to us. God’s promises should encourage our prayers. We are promised eternal life and the forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, the Son of God. God hears our prayers, and often outdoes them with more than we ask for. He always has a better idea and knows what is best for us. We must faithfully listen. Clarity in hearing His full message is found by reading His Word.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – Luke 18:1
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” – 1 Peter 3:7
Twenty years after Rebekah and Isaac were married, she became pregnant with twins. Rebekah then prays to the Lord, worried about the twins fighting in her womb. The world is at constant battle with Satan, ever since Genesis 3. We should not be comfortable in a world full of sin. We must fight against it, and for relief, turn our eyes towards the Lord. Pray. Read the Bible. Seek His shelter.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” – Galatians 5:17
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” – Luke 12:51
“…till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” – Psalm 73:17
Jacob and Esau
Rebekah listened, and received an answer from the Lord: two nations were battling inside her, and the younger would be greater. She bore two sons, just as God told her, Jacob and Esau. There names are quite literal. Esau means hairy and Jacob means heel-catcher. (Just be glad you weren’t named crier or baldy). God’s choice of Jacob seems a bit more confusing, as he was the younger child and had not yet performed. But in Romans 9:10-13, Paul writes that God chose Jacob, the plain man, before both him and Esau, the cunning hunter, exited the womb. God tends to call on the weak, not the strong of the world. It doesn’t matter how much money we have, how high of a degree we have, or how famous we are. This is the divine sovereignty of God’s grace.
“I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” – Malachi 1:2-3
[Love and hate in this instance is often thought to parallel acceptance and rejection.]
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
It is hard for us to understand why God accepts some and rejects others, even before they are born. But that’s the mind-blowing part about it. We will never be able to fathom God’s reasoning, but we must recognize His power, divinity, purpose, and perfection.
Jacob saw the value in the birthright through his spiritual blessings (Deuteronomy 21:17; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2). Whoever received the birthright, received double the inheritance and became the head of the family and spiritual leader after the father’s passing. The inheritance included God’s covenant with Abraham, which is a pretty big deal. Jacob communicates his wishes to Esau, and foolishly Esau sells his birthright to his younger brother. Esau basically says, “Well, I’m going to die eventually, so sure! Thanks for the meal this is really good.” The cunning hunter is made foolish by the plain man…
“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