The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” – Gen. 25:23 NIV.
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Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, had a delay in conceiving and Isaac had to pray specially to the Lord for his favour, so that his wife can conceive. The prayer was answered by the Lord after a waiting period of twenty years, with his wife becoming pregnant and the Lord making her know that she was carrying twins. The peculiar thing here was that both of them had similar destinies as they were both going to be the foundation of two nations but the older was going to serve the younger – Gen. 25:19-26.
The choice of different paths in life made Esau a skilled hunter while Jacob decided to be homely. Isaac had a preference for Esau as he was enjoying the product of his hunting expeditions whilst Rebecca loved Jacob since he kept her company for most times on the home front – Gen. 25:27-28. Beyond being the first son, the constant supply of products of hunting expeditions by Esau was to further influence the decision of Isaac when he was about leaving this realm, as he called on Esau to get him a game and prepare it for him in the usual manner, so he could eat and bless him. This conversation got to the hearing of Rebecca who promptly arranged with Jacob, to prepare a meal that will meet the requirements of Isaac, and present same to Isaac like it is Esau doing his bidding. They both were able to get away with their deception, despite the initial suspicion of Isaac, to the displeasure of Esau. His anger was enough to scare Rebecca and Jacob and they both agreed that Jacob should escape with his life– Gen. 27:1-46.
However, in the midst of all these was the occurrence of a destiny shaping event where Esau returned from one of his hunting expeditions hungry. He met with Jacob to ask for food to take care of his hunger and he granted his request, but at a price. He was to concede his seniority in exchange for the meal and Esau accepted the offer – Gen. 25:29-34.
The event within the Isaac family provides a good example of the interplay between destiny, activities in the spiritual realm and their earthly manifestations. Obviously, God had taken a decision to make Jacob the senior over Esau. Nothing was going to change that. That Esau came out first and there is the rule of the first born which automatically put all things in his favour, was not enough to deprive Jacob of that promise. That their father loved Esau more than him was not going to make any difference. That he was not as active or industrious as Esau was not going to change anything. People will be quick to blame Esau for being so careless with his inheritance but a higher force was probably at play in that moment. It was not going to be about earthly occurrences but about destiny and spiritual dynamics.
Jacob may be called all kinds of names with people even attempting to link the meaning of his name with these activities, but that will be the thinking of the spiritually naïve as the closest that could have happened will be that the prophet who announced his name was really spiritual to be able to provide a name that signified the direction his life will take. That is more likely than the conclusion that the name determined his destiny. If anything, his destiny path was what determined the name. All attempts by Esau to take a pound of flesh in revenge proved abortive as the Almighty God was always one step ahead of him. Life only became peaceful for him when he accepted and gave in to destiny – Gen. 32 – 33; Gen. 35:27-29.
Christians today have one or two lessons to learn from these events.
1. If it is destined to be yours, nothing will change it, if you remain in the Will of God. Whatever he has destined will come to pass and it is not about your effort but His actions.
2. There is no need to force any issue as human efforts may not always succeed and where it does succeed, the applied force will definitely create a dent in the state of perfection of the destined event.
3. No matter how powerful or how well positioned human beings may be, they are never able to change divinely designed destiny. So there is really nothing to be afraid about, in the ability of anyone whatsoever to re-design your destiny once you remain with the Lord.
4. Divinely designed destiny is never delayed as time of occurrence is part of the design. It only seems delayed to man because man sees the time of the commencement of the events leading to the manifestation of destiny as its manifestation time. In most cases it is not. The process leading to destiny commences even before the conception of the person and only a small part of the process gets revealed but it is not always the end but a stage just before the end – Jer. 1:5.
5. For the Christian who feels short changed like Esau, the earlier he/she gives in to destiny, the better the chances of enjoying a peaceful life. Just as the Bible says, the race is not for the swift but it is all about times and seasons, there is no need to force or have a sense of entitlement to anything – Eccl. 9:11. Things do not always happen because of the belief of human entitlement but because the sovereign ruler of this world who is the Almighty God decides the what, where and how of all events in this world and also, who is involved.
Whatever part of the event in the family of Isaac applies to you today or to your situation, learn to give in to Destiny as that remains a major key to peace in life. You came to the world with nothing and you will leave with nothing. May God grant us all the grace to live and give in to Destiny in Jesus name. Amen.