Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-One

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Twenty-One – “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?...Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” – Esau (Gen. 27: 36)
The scene is pitiful, really.  And weird.  Isaac had barely finished blessing Jacob, who exited stage right, and then Esau came in from hunting. He prepared some of the game he had killed, and brought it to his father.  “My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” (Gen. 27: 31) And Isaac, confused, asks, “Who are you?” 
Let’s pause here and consider…who is Esau?  He is the one who sold his birthright for a bowl of Brunswick stew. (I added the Brunswick, but you get the point.) He is the one who had so little regard for the inheritance that would have his by virtue of being the firstborn, that he sold it to Jacob…then burped…then went on about his business.  Now, it is time for Isaac to give the final blessing before he dies.  Esau thinks that somehow, even though he has sold his birthright, he can still get the blessing of the firstborn.  He wants to separate the birthright (Hebrew word, “bekorah”) and the blessing (Hebrew word, “barakah”). This is a little Hebrew wordplay that the author of Genesis employs that we don’t usually catch.
The thing is, the “birthright” and the “blessing” are both tied to the inheritance of the firstborn.  When Esau sold his “birthright,” he was also selling his “blessing.” In Hebrews 12: 16-17, we see a warning being given to not be “like godless Esau,[“godless” here means “profane”…literally that nothing was sacred to him] who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.  Afterward, as you know, when he. Wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessings with tears.”
With tears… Remember I said the scene was pitiful? Esau, “burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me – me too, my father!’” (Gen. 27: 34). Then Esau tries to put all the blame on Jacob. “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?” (the heel grabber…the deceiver) Yes, Jacob is a deceiver (it will come back and bite him), but no…he didn’t “steal” Esau’s birthright and blessing. Nobody forced Esau to sell it.
“Haven’t you reserved a blessing for me?” The answer is, “Yes.” Isaac does give Esau the blessing that fits the choice he has made. You can read the blessing in Gen. 27: 39-40. Things will work out. God moves in mysterious ways!
Reflection: Think about the “mysterious ways” in which God has worked in your life.
Action:  Read the stories of how God choosing “younger” over “older” (Isaac over Ishmael; Jacob over Esau; Judah over his older brothers; David over his older brothers, etc…)

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