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Esau Despises the Birthright.

Esau Despises the Birthright.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,



Genesis xxv. 34.

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of
lentiles ; and he did eat and drink, and rose
upy and went his wag : thus Esau despised
his birthright.
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,



Genesis xxv. 34.

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of
lentiles ; and he did eat and drink, and rose
upy and went his wag : thus Esau despised
his birthright.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 11, 2013
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ESAU DESPISES THE BIRTHRIGHT.BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.,Genesis xxv. 34.Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles ; and he did eat and drink, and roseupy and went his wag : thus Esau despisedhis birthright.In the last Sennon we endeavoured to shewthe pious regard which Ahraham had to thepromises which God had given to him, and hisanxious solicitude that his family might re-main with fidl expectation of their fulfilmentin the country which had been so promised tohim and his seed ; and we saw the measureswhich he took, under these views and feelings,for the marriage of his son. We have nowan accouQt of the children of that marriage ;and while we shall see in them, as in thecase of Ishmael and Isaac, another instance354 KSAU DESPISEilSof God's own appointment of the line in whichthese promises should descend^ we may also,I hope, discover much that may be useful forour own private and individual instruction.I. Before I enter upon the particular inci-dent recorded in the text it will be necessary,in the first, place, to give some previousaccount of the birth of Esau and Jacob.Isaac and Rebekah had been married twentyyears before they had any child, so long atime were they required to wait for anyappearance of the fulfilment of the promisethat their posterity should be numerous as thestars of heaven. At length in answer to theprayer of Isaac Rebekah conceived, and thefuture condition of the children and their
 
descendants was made the subject of pro-phecy before they were bom. We read, ^'thechildren struggled within her ; and she said,if it be so, why am I thus ? And she wentto inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said,two nations are in thy womb, and two mannerof people shall be separated fi*om thy bowels;and the one people shall be stronger than theother people, and the elder shall serve theTHE BIRtHRIGHt. ^55younger." The progress of the Scripture his-tory shews us how accurately this prophecy wasaccomplished. The Israelites and Edomites,who were respectively the nations descendedfrom Jacob and Esau, were contmually strusr-gSng for «,periori^ oyer «u* .tier, taltlie Israelites at length prevailed, and theEdomites were brought into absolute subjec*tion to them ; and the history of every nationthat has been in any way the subject of prophetic notice, if that history were perfectlyknown, would be found to confirm the truthof divine revelation, even to the most minuteparticulars.But it has often been observed that thisdrcumstance forms a striking representationof the struggle which has always been in theworld between reKgion and irreUgion. Pietyand holiness have ever had to strive againstvice andiniqmty; and the apparent circnm-stances of the contest have often been suchas to fill the nunds of the pious with astonish-ment and doubting enquiry. They have beeni^dy to say, if reUgion be indeed true, andif God be the dig^oser of all things and266 ESAU DESPISES judge in the earth, " why is it ibxm ?" whydoes his cause make so little progress ? why
 
do idolatries, superstitions, and wickednessseem, like a flood, to carry all before them ?why are the righteous so oppressed, thewickqd so triumphant ? The answer is, thatit has pleased God to appoint such a state of things at present, apparently to exercise thefaith and trust of those who bejieve his word,and direct their views and hopes more simplyto a future world, wherein righteousness shallwholly prevail, and sin and evil be for everdestroyed.It has also been often observed that thiscircumstance forms a resemblance of theconflict in the christian's mind between theflesh and the spirit, which is spoken of somewhat at large by St. Paul in the seventhchapter of Romans, and more briefly, butvery emphatically in Galatians, v. 17. "Theflesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spiritagainst the flesh : and these are contrary theone to the other; so that ye cannot do thethings that ye would." How true is thattext, and how painful that struggle, everyTHE BIRTHRIGHT. 257beUever knows by his own experience; andit often makes him to stand in amazementand doubt of himself. " If it be so/' hesays, *^ why am I thus ?" ' If I be a child of God, why am I thus harassed, perplexed,and tempted ? Can I possibly partake of hisSpirit, and yet find so much of sin stilldweUing in me ? If I be restored to hisfayour, why this darkness, these doubts, dis-tresses, and fears ? Surely it could not bethus, if I were truly in a state of grace, andaccepted through Christ ?' The christianmust be informed that such is his presentwarfare ; and that so long as he continues amember of the church militant on earth, hewin have to maintain a conflict. Let himonly take care to war a good warfare, to fighta good fight, and in the present life he will

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