And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. Genesis 25:27.
Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac, present a striking contrast, both in character and in life…. Esau grew up loving self-gratification and centering all his interest in the present. Impatient of restraint, he delighted in the wild freedom of the chase, and early chose the life of a hunter. Yet he was the father’s favorite. The quiet, peace-loving shepherd was attracted by the daring and vigor of this elder son, who fearlessly ranged over mountain and desert, returning home with game for his father and with exciting accounts of his adventurous life.
Jacob, thoughtful, diligent, and care-taking, ever thinking more of the future than the present, was content to dwell at home, occupied in the care of the flocks and the tillage of the soil. His patient perseverance, thrift, and foresight were valued by the mother. His affections were deep and strong, and his gentle, unremitting attentions added far more to her happiness than did the boisterous and occasional kindnesses of Esau….
Jacob had learned from his mother of the divine intimation that the birthright should fall to him, and he was filled with an unspeakable desire for the privileges which it would confer. It was not the possession of his father’s wealth that he craved; the spiritual birthright was the object of his longing. To commune with God as did righteous Abraham, to offer the sacrifice of atonement for his family, to be the progenitor of the chosen people and of the promised Messiah, and to inherit the immortal possessions embraced in the blessings of the covenant—here were the privileges and honors that kindled his most ardent desires….
But while he thus esteemed eternal above temporal blessings, Jacob had not an experimental knowledge of the God whom he revered. His heart had not been renewed by divine grace. He believed that the promise concerning himself could not be fulfilled so long as Esau retained the rights of the first-born, and he constantly studied to devise some way whereby he might secure the blessing which his brother held so lightly, but which was so precious to himself.
Conflict and Courage p. 60
—–Please pray for Brian this evening as he travels down to join Esther and the children for family camp. Rose
Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to the phone conversation between Emma and her daddy. She was telling him all about the fun she was having on the playground equipment which is built somewhat like Noah’s ark there at family camp. She talked and talked about it sharing her delight with her father, who was smiling at her joy.
How our Heavenly Father longs to hear of our joys as well as our sorrows. How He desires that we come to Him with as much enthusiasm as did Emma when she was talking to Brian. He, in turn, speaks to us, if we will listen.
God speaks to us in several ways, and we have the privilege of listening to Him in all these
areas. First of all our Great Redeemer speaks to us through His Holy Word. The Apostle
Paul tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished
unto all good works.” 2 Tim 3:16, 17 David shares his experience in
listening to God’s voice. “Thy word have I hid in
mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD:
teach me thy statutes….Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto
my path.” Ps 119:11, 12, 105. Jeremiah declares, “Thy words were found,
and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine
heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jer 15:16
As we open God’s Word, we must ask for the guidance of the very same Holy
Spirit who moved upon the prophets of old to write it in the first place.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21 As we read
God’s Word, our faith increases, our love for Him deepens, our life changes
for the better. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is
truth.” John 17:17 Paul reminds us, “But we all, with open face beholding
as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from
glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18
Secondly, God speaks to us through His creation. David tells us, “The
heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.” Ps
19:1,2 Paul adds, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of
the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead.” Rom 1:20 As we see the beautiful
mountains, the rivers and streams flowing crystal clear, the forests in
their foliage of living green, the intricacies of His creatures, we think of
the One Who made them all. As we study the habits of animal and insect
alike, we learn lessons of His care over His creation. Paul says that He
upholds “all things by the word of his power.” Heb 1:3 “The earth is the
LORD’S, and the fulness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”
Ps 24:1 “He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied
with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the
earth, And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face
to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. The trees of the LORD
are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted, Where the
birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The
high hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou
makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do
creep forth.” 104:13-20 As we see His care for His creation, we have the
assurance of His tender care for us.
Finally, He speaks to us through a still, small voice as He spoke to Elijah
when he ran from Jezebel. (1 Kings 19) Our Loving Saviour promises, “I
will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will
guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8 “And thine ears shall hear a word
behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the
right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isa 30:21 With the tenderest
care, He leads us. Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He says, “I am
the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John
Like David, may we say with assurance, “thou hast holden me by my
right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me
to glory.” May we “serve the LORD with gladness: come
before his presence with singing.” Ps 100:2 May we love the
Lord “with all [our] heart, and with all [our] soul, and with all [our]
mind” because of His loving care is my prayer.