The Two Brothers
Genesis 25:29-34
And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:…

1. They differed in appearance.

2. They differed in pursuits.

3. They differed most in character.


1. Not worldly prosperity.

2. Not immunity from sorrow.

3. The birthright was a spiritual heritage.It gave the right — which ever belonged to its possessor — of being the priest of the family or clan. It carried the privilege of being the depositary and communicator of the Divine secrets. It constituted a link m the line of descent by which the Messiah was to be born into the world. The right of wielding power with God and men; the right of catching up and handing on — as in the old Greek race — the torch of Messianic hope; the right of heirship to the promises of the covenant made to Abraham; the right of standing among the spiritual aristocracy of mankind; the right of being a pilgrim of eternity, owning no foot of earth, because all heaven was held in fee — this, and more than this, was summed up in the possession of the birthright.

II. THE BARTER. We cannot exonerate either of these men from blame. Jacob was not only a traitor to his brother, but he was faithless towards his God. Had it not been distinctly whispered in his mother's ear that the elder of the brothers should serve the younger? Had not the realization of his loftiest ambition been pledged by One whose faithfulness had been the theme of repeated talks with Abraham, who had survived during the first eighteen years of his young life? He might have been well assured that what the God of Abraham had promised He was able also to perform; and would perform, without the aid of his own miserable schemes. But how hard is it for us to quietly wait for God! We are too apt to outrun Him; to forestall the quiet unfolding of His purposes; and to snatch at promised blessings before they are ripe. And as for Esau, we can never forget the beacon words of Scripture, "Look diligently, lest there be any profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright" (Hebrews 12:15). Yet let us, in condemning him across the ages, look close at home. How many are there amongst ourselves, born into the world with splendid talents; dowried with unusual powers; inheritors of noble names; heirs to vast estates; gifted with keys to unlock any of the many doors to name, and fame, and usefulness — who yet fling away all these possibilities of blessing and blessedness, for one brief plunge into the Stygian pool of sensual indulgence! And the appeals to sense come oftenest when we are least expecting them. These appeals, moreover, come in the most trivial things. One mess of pottage; one glass of drink; one moment's unbridled passion; one afternoons's saunter; a question and an answer; a movement or a look. It is in such small things — small as the angle at which railway lines diverge from each other to east and west — that great alternatives are offered and great decisions made.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:

WEB: Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished.

The Story of the Birthright
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