Why Did God Favor Jacob and Hate Esau? —–Ai Xin 1091510114 In the Genesis, I was always doubted that why God chose to bless the deceiving Jacob while hated the seemingly innocent Esau. So, here I tried to make a shallow exploration about it. Clearly, Jacob did not act in a kind and loving way towards his brother Esau. In fact, Jacob took full advantage of the fact that Esau was tired and very hungry. Moreover, there later came a time when Jacob did something that was even worse than what he did to Esau. Namely, Jacob actually deceived Isaac, his own father.
The record of Jacob’s great deception is in Genesis chapter 27 after Isaac, the father of Jacob and Esau, had become so old that he was weak, and nearly blind. Isaac asked Esau to bring him some special delicious food. Esau departed to fulfill his father’s request. While Esau was away, Jacob brought food to his father, and tricked him into thinking that it was Esau who brought it. Because of this, Isaac blessed Jacob, in the false belief that he was blessing Esau. Jacob was deceitful. Then, how can God honor this blessing?
There is a fact that Esau was the elder brother and, based on customs in Old Testament times, he was entitled to a double portion of the inheritance from his father. This double portion was often referred to as the ‘birthright’ of the firstborn. So, there is a instinctive fierce struggle between the brother even before the birth. Rebekah, their mother, had ever asked God why this struggle was going on. And God informed Rebekah that the older child Esau was destined to ‘serve’ the younger child Jacob. “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? ” the LORD says. Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. ” Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins. ” But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD -even beyond the borders of Israel! ’” Now all this took place BEFORE the birth of either of these two boys.
God had already chosen Jacob (the younger) to be over Esau (the older). I think this might be called “election. ” Election is based on the love and grace of God in fulfilling His purposes. So, Jacob deceives Esau, but whether by deception or not, Jacob was going to be the one who got blessed anyway. Because he is the person chose by God in spite of his crime. That was God’s plan, and His plans are never thwarted. On the other hand, Esau was careless and naive for letting himself be deceived by Jacob. It was Esau who said, “Behold, I am about to die; so what use is my birthright to me? This can be referred to as living for the here and now, with no eternal perspective in mind. Also, when Jacob told Esau, “Sell me your birthright” Esau COULD have answered “No! ” But he didn’t. Accordingly, God’s Word rightly asserts that Esau DESPISED his birthright. Jacob valued the birthright. Esau despised it. So even though Jacob was far from being perfect, Yet God blessed him. If we read the account we will find it God favor in Jacob was also because Jacob was respectful enough of God’s arrangements and Esau wasn’t (he sold his firstborn rites/blessings for food, to Jacob).
While God doesn’t hate individuals (only if people can be repentant of their sins), he does hate actions that are contrary to his standards. If Esau was a more spiritual or moral man, he would have been “loved” as much as Jacob was. And it is not important that Isaac couldn’t bless Esau. Esau’s reaction is what matters. “I will kill my brother Jacob. ” God did not hate Esau himself. God never hates anyone. But what He might hate were the web of sin and self-destruction that we weave around ourselves. What Jacob did in a type was seek the kingdom of God in that he tricked Esau who would rather eat his enchilada sauce.
What God hated was not the person of Esau, but rather the things Esau chose to frame his interest and character with, and it is very possible to become one with anything that we give our attentions delight to. As a summary, Esau looked down upon what was rightfully his as firstborn in his family. And Jacob seized the chance to grab the blessing. But God does not give into rage or anything like that. His hatred for Esau’s decision is even conquered by His mercy, because we can see that Esau lives a blessed life on earth, too. Conclusion “Righteousness comes from faith. Faith is usually better translated as trust. If the prodigal had trusted his Father, if Esau had trusted God when Isaac stole the blessing. The justice Father in the parable would never hate the prodigal son. He indeed hated the vice and narcissism that had devoured the people. It was Esau himself that chose a curse by leaving his merciful Father. But this is not BAD news. On the contrary, it is good news. If God will save a deceiver like Jacob, then there’s hope for any and all sinners to be saved. As the Bible says, “Those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer”