Summary: Using the story of Jacob and Esau, we show that the only way to have a better life (or in this case a better New Year) is by facing God to find out who you really are in Him! And then turning your trust over to Him.
Someone once describe insanity as doing something the exact same way over and over again, but each time expecting to get a totally different result.
Most people use that exact same method when it comes to wanting a better life; they continually live in the hope of things getting better, but never actually get around to making things better by doing anything different - even for a happier new year.
Speaking of Happy New Years, something very special is going to happen again this week. In that smallest sliver of time, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the year 2008 is going to quietly disappear and 2009 will magically appear to take its place.
And once again, we will use this division of years as a place to mark a new beginning. We will do what millions of people have always done; we will make all kinds of promises to ourselves that we will do whatever it takes to get a better life, or to have a happier New Year.
But we will also do what millions have already done before us; we will forget those promises, or new years resolutions, before the first month is out.
We forget things just as quickly as the elderly couple who met in a nursing home. They became friends and then it became even more. They starting spending a lot of their time around one another and pretty soon fell madly in love.
One night, he decided to pop the question and ask her to marry him. She smiled that wonderful smile and said, ‘Yes.’
The next morning, they both found themselves very upset. He was upset because he remembered proposing, but couldn’t remember if she accepted or not, and she was upset because she remembered accepting the proposal, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember who it was that proposed.
So, in hopes of helping us to remember how to get those better things in our lives that we want, I thought we would take a lesson out of the Bible that will show us what we have to do to actually get them!
And since we are going into the first of a new year, I thought it only appropriate that we find our lesson towards the first of the Bible. We are going to study a passage in GENESIS, but I want to set this up for you first.
There was Abraham, the father of the Jewish Nation. He walked with God and God said that he would bless all those who blessed Abraham and God would curse all those who cursed him.
If you remember Abraham’s story, he had two boys; the first being Ishmael and the second being Isaac. It was Isaac who was born naturally to Abraham and his wife Sara, and therefore, it was Isaac who God blessed by letting him inherit all of Israel.
Going down a step further into the gene pool, we find that Isaac had two sons. In fact, they were twins. The oldest boy was named Esau and his younger brother was named Jacob.
Now, Jacob was much like us in that he had a lot of problems in his life. And, like us, most of the problems he had was caused by his own decisions and actions. In GENESIS 32, we find the story of Jacob, and in that story, we find that;
1. JACOB WAS NOT A NICE PERSON
Let me describe these two twin brothers for you. Esau was the oldest, and he was a true outdoors man. He spent a lot of time in the desert hunting for food. Jacob, the youngest twin, was more of a farmer and he grew grains and tended to the livestock.
One day Esau had spent the day hard at work hunting for food in the desert and when he came home he was as hungry as a bear. That is when he saw Jacob cooking up a big pot of stew. As I said, Esau was very hungry and he demanded that Jacob give him some stew.
Now this is where we see Jacob’s conniving heart show through. Since Esau was the oldest boy, he got the first inheritance from his father’s estate. But Jacob wanted the inheritance instead, so he told Esau that he would give him some stew, but he first had to sign over his birthrights to Jacob. Do you see how Jacob manipulated others for what he wanted, even if he had to do it in a very shady way?
And then we also see how much Esau thought of his birthright, because he did it. He signed over his entire eldest birthrights for a single bowl of stew. And then, when he had finished eaten, he just got up and walked away without giving another thought to what he had done!