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He had slighted them, and did not think how great a sin this was. Now when he had lost his blessing also, he repented: he repented now when it was too late. The blessing was lost now, and Esau could not get it back.
Esau had sold his birthright, and therefore he had no right to the blessing: Jacob had bought the birthright, and now he had received also the blessing of the eldest son.
Thus Jacob became the heir of all the promises God made to Abraham, and to Isaac after him, that in their seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was to be born among Jacob's seed.
To supplant, means to take the place that belongs to another.
When Isaac had told Esau that he had given the blessing to Jacob, Esau said unto his father,
"Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.".
Then Isaac gave Esau a blessing, but not the blessing of the eldest son, the heir; this blessing had been given to Jacob, and Isaac could not take it back.
Thus Esau lost his birthright for ever, because he had despised it, and for a morsel of food had sold it.
Christians sin like Esau, when they despise the promises which God has given them, or think lightly of them. Christians are heirs of the promised blessings of God, as Esau was; but their blessings are much greater. When they were baptized and made Christians, they were made, through Jesus Christ, children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. The hope of heaven is their Christian birthright.
But the sinful and disobedient cannot dwell with God. Christians cannot have the pleasures of sin, and the hope of heaven too. If they will sin, they must lose heaven. So when they are tempted by
the pleasures of sin, and disobey or forget God, they lose their hope of heaven. It is as if they sold their hope of heaven for that little pleasure, as Esau, when hungry, sold his hopes for the mess of pottage.
Very many Christian men and women, and Christian children too, sell their birthright, as Esau did, without thinking at the time what they are doing. They do not think how great a blessing they are losing for a very little pleasure. Afterwards, like Esau, they will be very sorry. They will cry with a great and exceeding bitter cry, when they find that they have really lost God's blessing, and have no hope of heaven.
When we read of Esau's tears, and exceeding bitter cry, let us think of this. Let us think much of God's promised blessings, the blessings God promises to all Christians. Let us fear lest we lose them.
When the devil tempts us to sin, let us remember Esau's bitter cry, and turn away at once, lest we sell for a little pleasure our hope of heaven.
THE GOING FORTH OF JACOB FROM HIS FATHER'S HOME.
ESAU hated his brother Jacob, because he had taken away from him his father's blessing; and he said, that as soon as his father should die, he would slay his brother.
When Rebekah heard that Esau had said this, she told Jacob that he should flee away to Laban her brother, until Esau's anger should pass away. And she asked Isaac his father to let him go. She said to Isaac, that it would grieve her, if Jacob should do as Esau his brother had done, and take a wife from among the people who lived round about them, who were wicked. Then Isaac said that Jacob should take a wife from among his own kindred, the daughters of Laban.
So Isaac called Jacob his son, and sent him away to Laban's country. And Isaac blessed him, and said, "God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and give thee the bless.
ing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed after thee." So Jacob went forth on his journey to Padan-aram, where Laban lived.
Thus Jacob was obliged to flee away from his home, for fear of Esau's wrath, to leave his father and his mother, and go into a strange land. He did not go forth, as Abraham had done, with his wife, and with servants and much cattle, but alone. Jacob went forth from his father's house alone, with his staff in his hand, without companion, or servant, or cattle, or goods.
This was a hard trial for Jacob. But Jacob deserved this punishment, because he had deceived his aged father, which was a sin against God. Jacob had a right to the blessing of the elder son, because Esau, the first born son of Isaac, had sold his birthright to him. But Jacob should not have listened to his mother, when she told him to deceive his father Isaac, to make his father bless him. The blessing belonged to Jacob; and God intended it for him, and would have given it to him in His own good time. Jacob need not have done wrong to get the blessing.