Jacob and Esau
19-20 This is the family tree of Isaac son of Abraham: Abraham had Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan Aram. She was the sister of Laban the Aramean.
21-23 Isaac prayed hard to God for his wife because she was barren. God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant. But the children tumbled and kicked inside her so much that she said, “If this is the way it’s going to be, why go on living?” She went to God to find out what was going on. God told her,
Two nations are in your womb, two peoples butting heads while still in your body. One people will overpower the other, and the older will serve the younger.
24-26 When her time to give birth came, sure enough, there were twins in her womb. The first came out reddish, as if snugly wrapped in a hairy blanket; they named him Esau (Hairy). His brother followed, his fist clutched tight to Esau’s heel; they named him Jacob (Heel). Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
27-28 The boys grew up. Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a quiet man preferring life indoors among the tents. Isaac loved Esau because he loved his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
The counter narrative is just as important as the string of God's chosen people. The people who are named outside of the covenant (Ham and Esau) help live into the important part of God's promise: ALL nations will be blessed by you (Abraham). ALL nations. God's chosen people are called to be a blessing to the nations....that is part of being blessed.
However, reading the story of God and hearing brothers fighting among themselves, nation warring against nation, families dysfunction and all the other things that seem what God had in mind, reminds us that God promised not to hit the reset button again and that this is how the world operates.
Years ago the rapper KRS-ONE in a rap had the lyrics that push this story in the direction it is headed:
"Abraham was the father of Issac, Issac was the father of Jacob, Jacob had 12 sons for real and these are the children of Israel."
And that is the other part of this story that we will hear: there is nothing speacial about the people God chooses but there is something special about the God that chooses them. God makes these ordinary people extra ordinary. Jacob will be one of those that makes you wonder about God's choice. Threw him and his descendants God will establish a nation to bless the world.
Lord thank you for blessing ordinary people to do extra ordinary