The Four Faces of Soil

“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.  And Esau said, Behold, I [am] at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.” –Genesis 25:30-33.

Seeds Grow in Good Soil

In this narrative in the book of Genesis, we can read the account about the sons of Isaac, Jacob and Esau.

Isaac’s wife Rebecca was barren so Isaac prayed to God in behalf of his wife and the Lord answered his prayer so Rebecca conceived a twin. However, she observed that the twin was wrestling each other inside her womb. She went to the Lord for enlightenment.

In verse 23, the Lord said to Rebecca that in her womb would come out two nations. One would be stronger and the elder will serve the younger.

Right from birth the younger Jacob wanted to go out first as he held on the heel of his brother Esau and that is how he got his name, Jacob meaning “he deceives”. Esau grew up a skillful hunter and earned the affection of his father while Jacob was a quiet man and lived in tents but his mother loved him.

Then one time Esau arrived home from hunting very tired and wanted to eat. Jacob was cooking red stew so Esau asked for a serving but scheming Jacob asked for a terrible condition. He asked his elder brother to sell his birthright to him. Esau readily agreed. Birthright did not matter much to him.

In this event between the twin brothers, the prophecy was fulfilled. The elder Esau lost his birthright in favor of his younger twin brother Jacob. How do we see it? Jacob deceived him by taking advantage of his vulnerability at that precise moment when he so tired and hungry. Yet at the same time, we saw Esau not giving any value to his birthright and even despised it just for a bowl of red stew.

The right of the first born is more than just inheritance. It transfers the big responsibility of taking care of the entire family in all aspects of life soon as the father dies. This is what Jacob has wanted but Esau has despised. How can you entrust such a responsibility to Esau anyway?


  • Christians should never despise service to God. They should never stop giving value to serving God because they might lose its blessing. God can always give it to another who desires it with passion. You do not want to get involved because you think that it is just a waste of your precious time. Do not lose your blessing; instead desire it that God may grant it to you.
  • The word of God will be fulfilled. Rebecca has received a prophecy from God and it has been fulfilled in Jacob. The purpose of God will always be fulfilled. The question is how we receive the word of God. We are all like soil receiving seed. In Matthew 13, we can see the four faces of soil in the Parable of the Sower: Wayside Soil- the word of God does not penetrate, Rocky Soil- the word of God does not mature, Thorny Soil- the word of God has no space, Good Soil- the word of God grows and bears fruit.

What kind of soil are we? Let us allow the word of God to transform us inside and out.

Digested from:

Choir Bible Study: led by Rev. Orlino Veron July 9, 2011

Sermon by: Rev. Rolando Abesamis, Associate Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, July 10, 2011, Vesper Service, based on Genesis 25:19-24; Matthew 13: 1-23

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