This week, I’m starting character studies and Jacob is a fascinating one. The Bible has a wonderful way of presenting all the heroes of the faith—flaws and all. Jacob is, in many ways, the father of Israel (his sons are the heads of the 12 tribes).
The Scripture reading (Gen 25:19-34) highlights the beginning of Jacob’s relationship with his twin brother Esau—not one of his finer moments. Jacob and Esau were far from identical. Jacob means “cheater, heel grabber.” He is Mom’s favorite. He was gentle and stays at home to help. Esau is the red headed hunter, Isaac’s (Dad’s) favorite.
Jacob lived up to his name by maneuvering to get the birthright from Esau for a bowl of stew, and later, with the help of his mother—Rebekah, stole the family blessing. Now, if you look further in the story, Jacob paid for these actions. He fled for his life, and spent almost a lifetime estranged from his brother Esau. Following suit, Jacob’s own children mistreat his beloved youngest son, Joseph, and then lied to Jacob (Israel) about Joseph’s death when they sold him into slavery. It is a good read if you like mysteries, love stories, tragedy, adventure and is full of life lessons and God’s blessings
Seeing the sibling rivalry between these brothers makes me grateful for my close relationship with my two older brothers. We have always had a great relationship. They were groomsmen in my wedding. We have never had a serious fight or estrangement in our relationship. Take time to reflect on your relationship with your brothers or sisters. Be thankful for them. Talk about them with others. If you need to reconcile, please do so.