Day 4: Toldot/Genesis 26:34-27:29
The common teaching about Yacov is that he was a supplanter, who had self-serving motives for personal gain. The proof texts are easy to find to support this ideology. After all, Yacov was born second, birthed grasping the heel of his big brother. His birth order placed him at a disadvantage in life since he would have to assume the subordinate role in the family and in legal matters. He convinced his brother to sell his own birthright. After all, Esau was about to die of starvation. Then, Yacov uses deception to exploit his father in order to receive the firstborn blessing from Isaac. All of this seems to be pretty rock-solid evidence of Yacov’s character and role in life.
Or does it?
It would seem most apparent that Yacov flat out lies about his identity to Isaac when asked who he is. The response was “I am” when directly questioned when asked if he was Esau. Yet, there are two factors in play within that situation. First. Rebekah told Yacov to take this role of being the firstborn to Isaac, and bring along with him his father’s favorite, savory food. Yacov had to have been torn. To wit, he had purchased the birthright from Esau; and, he needed to honor his mother in obedience, all the while not dishonoring his father with deception. This was an awkward place to be sure. The fact that he did purchase the birthright is important to remember. With that little fact, he could legally represent Esau, speaking for him and representing his interests. The reality was, Yacov, by merit of Esau selling his birthright, conveyed his identity without lying about who he was. This is not to say he did not deceive Isaac; rather, he played the role of the purchased identity of Esau.
This purchased birthright, which Esau despised (B’reisheet 25:34), was the power of attorney of the day. Whoever retained the birthright retained the right to represent the family and speak for any of the family members in matters of legality, inheritance, oaths, and so forth. Once Isaac would have passed away, become incapacitated, or gave his consent, the son with the birthright would be in charge of Isaac’s estate.
Yacov was not a deceiver; he was a man trying to gain back what was stolen in the womb by way of his struggle with Esau. He had protected his own head from being crushed by grasping Esau’s heel. Esau was a hunter and could have eaten any of the wild game he had hunted. Esau was not about to die of starvation by any stretch of the imagination. He was just lazy and did not see the relevance for his birthright like Yacov did, in whom the seed of promised resided.
The modern believer is under assault of his birthright, as well. HaSatan tries to deceive man into thinking the adversary is the firstborn and first loved of YHVH. He echoes Yeshua, using smoke and mirrors, in order to gain our acceptance as the firstborn, while robbing us of power, life, and blessings. Yet, he is just like Esau who despised his place and order before the throne. Once haSatan realized its value, it was too late. Now, he longs to usurp the believer’s place and inheritance. The adversary continues to go before the Father as the accuser of those who stands righteously in Yeshua, hoping to gain back credibility while maligning the character of the elect.
Messiah is the firstborn of all living as He was resurrected from the dead and He did not sin. He represents us before the Father. As earthbound men, we must choose to give up our carnal birthrights so that Yeshua can be our advocate and our voice so that we can receive the blessings that we inherit through Him. If we do not surrender our fleshly rights, we are not seen by the Father since He does not recognize us in our sinful nature, but only through Yeshua. Each of us now has the firstborn portions and inheritance that we would not normally receive. This makes us one in Messiah as fellow beneficiaries to the promise of life and the hope of salvation.
HaSatan supplanted Adam and Chavah’s inheritance of life in the garden. Physically, we resemble them inheriting sin nature and its consequences. Yeshua redeems us with His purchase price for total birthrights and birth order since He is the first fruits and always was, is, and forever shall be. Messiah cannot be supplanted or deceived; therefore, living in Him, neither can we. The adversary may roar like a lion making accusations or sounding like Messiah, Who is the Lion of Judah; but we can stand firm in our identity. We are not our own, but we are seen as perfect in Messiah’s perfection, even as we are clothed in His garments and His Life, now representing Him on earth.
Dwell upon Galatians 3:27-29, “For all of you who were baptized into Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”