Jacob is Israel – October 10, 2021

Scripture:Genesis 25: 19-33  So she went to ask the Lord. And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb;

        two different peoples will emerge from your body.

One people will be stronger than the other;

    the older will serve the younger.”  (25:23)

This part of Genesis begins with the birth of not one son but two: Isaac begets Esau and Jacob. From their birth, we are told that both of these sons are destined to be nations: Jacob’s descendants will become Israel and Esau’s will be Edom.read here. Running throughout Genesis and the entire Old Testament is the theme of God preferring the younger brother to the elder, allowing the younger to leapfrog over the older and receive his honor.

God’s approval despite all the shortcomings we discover about Jacob would be most reassuring. Jacob, like every one of his ancestors, is a flawed hero.Messing up is deep in Israel’s genes; God carrying them along regardless is deeper still.   The nation of Israel is born out of family dysfunction, including the family  he marries into,  which will be with them throughout their existence. The Israelites, from beginning to end, are not models of virtue or faithfulness to God. Yet how does God react to all this? God does not overlook these misdeeds, as a clueless parent might allow children to run amuck in a restaurant. Rather, God disciplines the people and then presses on with the plan anyway, even with a less-than-stellar cast of characters. God looks past the inadequacies of his people to execute his plan to bring order back into a chaotic world.