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Jacob's Vision at Bethel

(Genesis 27:41; 28:10-22)

Lesson 9 -- third quarter 1999
August 1, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications

"Then will I...." Esau's sense of betrayal, anger and hatred hatched a simple yet direct plan for bringing his conniving brother to account. "Dad's death will begin the countdown to Jacob's death." Esau had no intention of letting Jacob get by with this one. Jacob got the blessing, but as far as Esau was concerned, he also got the sentence of death. I don't doubt Esau relished his vengeful thoughts.

And then I will... Surely every human has, at one time or another, finished that statement in a vindictive manner. I know I have. We just seem to have such an affinity for seeing justice wrought. We want to see the books balanced. We want people to endure the consequences of treating us wrongfully.

This lesson gives us a good opportunity to review precisely how we ought to finish that statement. So let's make this real enough to be practical...and liveable.

The Committee refuses to give you the assignment, despite your unquestioned experience and expertise. They may find themselves in a frightful bind, but they certainly won't turn to you. Instead they sign up an inexperienced person. "Humph. So that's how they want to play the game, eh? Just you watch. Before too long, they will be seeking out my advice and my ideas. And then I will make myself scarce. Better yet, I just might tell them they already had (and blew) the opportunity to benefit from me. I can hardly wait to tell them, 'You decided I'm not so bad after all!'"

No, my friend, better scratch that response. We will call that the Esau Response. It is totally unacceptable. Try another one, perhaps like the following one.

"OK, I won't deny it stings to be passed over like this, especially when I suspect the reasons and don't know the real motives. But I don't want to see anyone fail here. So I will use my experience to anticipate some scenarios that might plague them and I will apply my expertise to outline some solutions. Before long they will face something that stumps them, I am certain. And then I will suggest some solutions, maybe anonymously so they don't think I'm trying to rub it in."

Oh, but such an approach spells absolute misery for the flesh! That is just fine, because "if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13). I consider that to be pretty powerful incentive to reject the Esau Response. Besides, "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).

Do you have any other verses the apply? I ran out of room, but here is one more: "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).

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