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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 1: Jacob – His Birth & Birthright


Genesis 25:19-35.

Sort out your priorities

Jacob entered this world not gasping for air but grasping his brother’s heel! He had arrived, and he was determined to make the best of it and grab it with all his might, regardless of who was standing in his way. Ironically, it was Esau who was favoured by his father, Isaac. Rebekah, however, loved Jacob.

Maybe because he knew his father loved him more, Esau grew up to love what his father loved – the outdoor lifestyle. Maybe he felt he didn’t need to earn his father’s approval and so he became complacent. He enjoyed each day and it was all he was interested in. The future and his destiny were not worth fighting for. They would come to him as of right and he would happily drift into his future without thought or design.

In contrast, Jacob realised that the most important thing in life was denied him – the privilege and blessing of the first-born son. Now that was worth fighting for! He therefore purposed in his mind that nothing was going to stand in the way of his acquiring it and Esau unwittingly and nonchalantly walked into his trap.

The sad testimony is that Esau gave up the divine privileges and promises for nothing more than a bowl of stew. He relegated the sacred to nothing more than common. Just as we often do today – he sought instant gratification rather than waiting for the greatest privilege he could have had.

People do that with sex today. However, God has written a warning for us all - Don’t let the immediate rob you of your future rewards! It’s a lesson we must ALL learn – sooner or later.

Jacob would say to us today...

You must learn to put God first. The things of this earth are only temporary. Go for what is eternal!


Father, thank You so much for every blessing You continually shower upon me! Please help me to get my priorities lined up with Yours so that my will is subjected to Your will for my life. I really do want Your will for my life. Amen.

Additional readings

Matthew 6:19-34; 1 Kings 3:3-15; John 11:17-44.


Why did God allow Jacob to gain the first-born’s (Esau’s) birthright?

Why must we ensure we put the things of this world into the correct perspective?

What are your priorities? (They are the things you DO!!)

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