Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Every 79 seconds, a case of identity theft is reported in America. This message encourages the believer to know who they are in Christ Jesus - and not allow the thief come to steal that identity.

I. Twins – But Not the Same

a. Text: Genesis 25:21-28 “[21] Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. [22] But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I this way?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord. [23] And the Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.’ [24] So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. [25] And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau (Hairy). [26] Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob (Supplanter; Successor). Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. [27] So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. [28] And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

b. So, let’s see what is happening here. Isaac pleads with God for his wife Rebekah, as she was barren and could not have children.

c. So, God honors Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah conceives and becomes pregnant with twins. But these children seemed to fight with one another even inside the womb.

d. So, concerned for the children and her health, she goes to the Lord in prayer in regard to the restlessness of the babies. God instructs her that she indeed is having two children. And that these two children represent two entirely different nations of people. And that these two people will struggle with one another always.

e. Notice also that God confirms with her that the older of the two will serve the younger. This was contrary to Jewish custom.

f. According to Hebrew custom, the first born son always receives the highest place in honor in the family and always receives much greater inheritance than any other children born thereafter. This applied to twins as well, since only one can be born at a time.

g. When the boys are born, the firstborn is named Esau because he comes out with red-like skin tone and a lot of hair for an infant.

h. The second son is named Jacob because he is hanging onto the heel of Esau as he is birthed.

i. It was almost as if Jacob was trying to hold Esau back from being the firstborn, and in that way claim the Abrahamic legacy for himself.

j. According to the text, Jacob was favored by his mother, while Esau was favored by his father. Jacob was known to be a ‘tent dweller’ – he was a homebody-some may say a ‘momma’s boy’. While Esau was a skillful hunter, a man’s man – so his father seemed to favor him more.

k. But, what we would eventually find out is that being a hunter also meant producing a generation of murderers. While being a ‘tent dweller’ meant producing a legacy of worshippers!

l. These two boys were born as twins –but they were not the same. They were clearly fraternal twins by physical traits, as well as by spiritual traits.

II. Chicken Soup for the Soul (Of Esau)

a. Genesis 25:29-34 “[29] Now Jacob cooked a stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. [30] And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.’ Therefore his name was called Edom (red). [31] But Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright as of this day.’ [32] And Esau said, ‘Look, I am about to die; so what profit shall this birthright be to me?’ [33] Then Jacob said, ‘Swear to me as of this day.’ So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. [34] And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

b. During their youth, the twins were raised in the same environment and exposed to the same teachings of their father Isaac and Grandfather Abraham. One day, Esau returned from the field faint from hunger. Seizing an opportunity, Jacob informed Esau that he would sell him some lentil soup which he had just cooked, in exchange for the birthright.

c. Esau agreed "I am going to die — what is this birthright to me?" The fact that Esau would sell his rights in exchange for soup indicates the disdain in which he held his fathers’ traditions.

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