Tuesday, July 20


Genesis 25:19-34

19These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22The children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is to be this way, why do I live?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23And the LORD said to her,
 "Two nations are in your womb,
 and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
 the one shall be stronger than the other,
 the elder shall serve the younger."
24When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!" (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." 32Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?" 33Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.



If you are the parent of more than one child, or if you grew up in a family with siblings, you know that sibling rivalry is a very real thing. Parents may often wonder where such intense competition comes from, especially if parents are not trying deliberately to foster it. After reading today’s passage, we see that sibling rivalry is a phenomenon that goes all the way back to the Old Testament. 
Jacob and Esau are twins who have an intense case of sibling rivalry even before they are born! Although they are twins, they look very different from each other and have different interests and abilities. They are individuals, just the way God made them. God tells their mother Rebekah that the boys will each form a nation and one will be stronger than the other. God knows that such intense sibling rivalry will happen, and God allows it anyway, because it will become an important part of the story of God’s people.
In the same way that God created Jacob and Esau with their own unique personalities, God does the same for each of us. God knows the competitions and jealousies we will face in our lives, and God gives us our individual characteristics so that we might use them to further God’s work in the world. Even when times get hard, and it seems like our rivals are getting the best of us, God is right there with us, loving and supporting us, just as God loved both Jacob and Esau.



Dear God, you have created each of us as unique individuals, and yet we are also all made in your image. Please use us and our individuality to demonstrate your love and forgiveness to others. Remind us to cling tightly to you in situations of stress and competition. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Written by Melissa Roselle
Preschool Director of Education
Copyright © 2021 St. John's Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.

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