Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
As Jacob grew up, his life began to take a very different course from that of his brother, Esau. Not only did Jacob and Esau have different interests and personalities, but their parents’ favoritism likely fueled their sibling rivalry. And in the back of Jacob’s mind, there was probably often a reminder of God’s response to Rebekah—a prophecy saying that “the older [brother] will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23).
Have you ever been frustrated by the feeling that you were not getting what you deserved? Knowing that God intended to bless him, Jacob took steps to secure that blessing for himself. And Esau, whose hunger for soup overruled his common sense, cooperated by selling his birthright.
Perhaps like Jacob, we often see God’s blessing as something we should have—or maybe even deserve—and we think we need to seize it or secure it by making some kind of deal or bargain. But blessings from God are an undeserved gift. They cannot be purchased for any price other than the blood Christ gave for us on the cross. Yet as Jacob’s story will show us, it can take a lifetime to set aside our human tendency to struggle against the work of God and to receive his love as a gift.
Pray that God’s Spirit will begin to help you learn that lesson today.
Gracious God, we often try to seize for ourselves what you delight to offer as a gift. Help us to look today to Christ, who has already paid the price of your blessing for us. Amen.
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