"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Jacob and Esau live in each of us. When in Rebecca’s womb, before they had even done anything right or wrong, Hashem already knew the difference between the two brothers. Their nature was within them from conception, a pattern left for us today to serve as a moral map.
Esau, the wild man whose sword is against everyone especially his brother, is the resurrection of Cain. He lives and fights against all that is conformed to God. His very nature is to defy, reject, and challenge whatever is of God and to endorse the very antithesis of everything that is good, true, and pure. We call him the ‘old self’ (Ephesians 4:22), the ‘mind that is set on the flesh’ (Romans 8:7), a small representation of the anti-Messiah that is within each of us (1 John 4:3). Rebecca’s complaint “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?" (Genesis 25:22) expresses the cry of every man and woman who fervently desires to follow God’s ways of righteousness yet as the Master’s apostle says, through trouble and persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
Jacob on the contrary allowed Hashem to search his heart. He allowed the Spirit, the Flame of the Almighty God to search him through and through, to clean him from deceit, corruption, disobedience, rebellion, and all other forms of unrighteousness. He lived for twenty-one years in exile in the house of idolatrous Laban and returned home purer than before.
The narration tells us of a camp of angels welcoming him as he returned to the Land of Cana'an with his family, which he snatched from Babylon (Genesis 32:1). Though God had already accepted him (Genesis 27:26-29; 28:11-21), Jacob worked out his salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), and when ‘graduation’ time came, Jacob took hold of the kingdom's blessing with passionate love and violence (Genesis 32:24-32; Matthew 11:12).
None of us is a helpless victim of our generation and godless environment. Each one of us is given the choice to emulate 'Jacob' or 'Esau', to obey the 'Jacob' or the "Esau' within us, to yield to the ‘old self’ and the ‘flesh’ within us, or to combat our innate human nature in order to live in 'Jacob', the resurrected new man who holds on to the Angel until the blessing is bestowed, even at a price.
The choice is ours to make!