The Blessed Burden {gn36}

Photo © Unsplash/Jenn Evelyn-Ann

Photo © Unsplash/Jenn Evelyn-Ann

Esau is known as the one
who sold his birthright
and forfeited his blessing—
not the one "favored" by God,
not the one destined to be in that family tree,
not one of the "children of promise."

As between him and his brother Jacob,
Esau was not the "blessed" one,
but have you ever read a more blessed genealogy
in the entire Bible?

No barren women,
no tragedies,
no hardships,
no scandals,
no poverty—in fact, the opposite—
so much wealth the family had to move to a larger land.

By contrast, those "blessed" of God
met frequent hardship and troubles—
their genealogies littered with innumerable obstacles:
barrenness, injustice, illness, death.

It was after, after!  Jacob decided to
fulfill his vow to God
commit his life to the Lord and
return to the sacred place of his Creator
that his family was besieged by
sickness and unexpected death—
burying, in rapid succession,
first Deborah, then Rachel, then Isaac.

Is burden a blessing?
Is blessing a burden?

How is it they stroll together so comfortably
hand in hand
like lovers on a Sunday afternoon
in the park?

Change of Heart {gn33:4}

Photo © Robert T. Garrett

Photo © Robert T. Garrett

Esau, Esau,
what happened to you?
The last time we heard from you,
you were muttering under your breath
about killing your brother,
having been "cheated"
(so you claimed)
out of your "blessing."

How is it, then,
that you garnered
the very best blessing of all?

When did you surrender to the
Transformer of Hearts?

Esau, Esau,
you may not have received the birthright,
but you did not escape the blessing
of a contented heart
at peace with What Is in the world.


The Fed-Up Consumer {gn27:36}


Esau walked into
Jacob's restaurant
and ordered the special—
rustic lentil stew and bread.

The bill came before the meal:
Esau's birthright
guaranteed with an oath.

Esau was pleased, or so it seemed.
He slurped up every morsel without complaint—
no fly in the stew,
no hair on the plate,
no "this is too cold"
or "that needs more salt."

Some time later,
the hunger pangs he foolishly assuaged
became pangs of remorse he couldn't stomach.

He regretted the cost
of that hasty meal
and published a nasty (and untrue) review:
"The chef in that joint stole my dough with his bread!"


God fulfills promises creatively.

God fulfills promises creatively.


The land of Canaan had been promised to Jacob and the future Israelites. It was the Promised Land, the land that God planned to give to the descendants of Abraham. However, the rivalry between Jacob and Esau could have put a wrench in things. Instead of trusting God to fulfill His promises in His own time, Jacob devised a way to get what he thought was rightfully his (the birthright and his father’s blessing). Esau was initially jealous and angry and even sought to kill his brother.

God knows.

God knows.


Stories like this one fascinate me. In Genesis 25:23, the Lord informs Rebekah that the older of her two sons would "serve the younger." Of course, this wasn’t the normal course of events in Rebekah’s culture. The firstborn son was the heir to everything, the one responsible to carry on the family. Thus, it was customary for all the younger children to "serve" the oldest.