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Word Count: 1,560
Jacob and Elijah Jacob was born to be a deceiver He came out of Rebekahs womb grasping the heel of his older brother Esau setting the pattern of deception his life would soon take But he was also born of Gods promise born to be the father of Nations and revered by his people How can a trickster inherit such a high place of esteem without earning Gods approval through pious prayer and obedience Elijah the prophet was also special to God but it was not his patronage that was highly valued it was his heart after God that won His favor God rewarded Elijahs obedience with the rare and holy gift of eternal life- but where was his covenant his descendants that would live eternally Jacob and Elijah are as different as night is to day one is a trickster the other a prophet One relies on his wits the other is totally dependant upon Gods guidance Yet they are both highly rewarded by God How can this apparent contradiction in the degree of reverence and obedience required in a sincere relationship with God be explained When Rebekah wife of Issac was pregnant with twins she asked the Lord why they jostled her so much The Lord answered by foretelling that both children would sire a nation and the elder child would serve the younger When Rebekah was in labor the second child came out grasping the heel of the first so they named him Jacob- which means he grasps the heel and figuratively means he deceives When we first come upon the grown figure of Jacob he hardly seems a pious or God-fearing man On the contrary he is a self-absorbed and self-reliant guy one who trusts mainly in his own cleverness True unlike Esau who treats it with contempt Jacob is keenly interested in the birthright the rights and privileges belonging to the first-born as future replacement for his father
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