The Story of a Hunter

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Most hunters today hunt for wild animals with a gun, but this is a story of people long ago who had never heard of guns. But most everyone knows about bow-and-arrow hunting, and this is what the hunter in this Bible story used.
Esau was a clever hunter. Sometimes he brought home a deer for his family, and his mother knew how to cook it just right. The good smell of roasting venison made everybody’s mouth water. Esau’s father, Isaac, especially liked it. Esau was his favorite son, and even the thought of such a venison dinner made him feel good.
Isaac was the father of Esau and his twin brother Jacob, and Isaac was a very special son of Abraham. He knew God in a way that most people did not know Him. He knew that the line of God’s blessing to every nation was to be passed down through himself, since he was the only son of Abraham and Sarah.
That blessing was a very special promise from God, and no one could break it. Now that he was old, Isaac wanted to pass the blessing down to his favorite son, and he wanted to get ready for this special occasion by eating something that made him feel good. Esau was the hunter, and Isaac asked him to bring home a deer so he could have a venison dinner. So Esau got his bow and arrows ready and went hunting.
But Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, had a favorite son too. She wanted the best blessing for Jacob. Now Jacob was not a hunter, so Rebekah said to him, Go bring me a young goat and I will make a roast that smells delicious, and your father will like it.
They were all busy, trying to make God’s promise of blessing come true by their own efforts. God let them try to work things out to suit themselves, but nobody can break God’s promise.
Your whole life may be spent trying to earn God’s favor, but your efforts will never win. God had His own wonderful plan — Christ died for our sins and rose again. The work is finished, and nothing can change His love for sinners. God’s blessing for you comes through His Son. Come to Him now and accept His loving blessing, and don’t try to win it by your own efforts. “The Son of God  ...  loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jacob went out to the pasture, and a young goat was not hard to catch. Rebekah’s roasting meat soon smelled so good. Then Jacob dressed up in Esau’s clothes, and his mother covered his hands and neck with furry animal skin, because Esau was a hairy man. They did this so his father Isaac, who was blind, would think he was Esau rather than Jacob.
And so Jacob went in first to his father, and the old man was puzzled at the sound of Jacob’s voice. He said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. His clothes had the hunter smell too, and the roast was delicious. Isaac was fooled, and he gave the blessing of God to Jacob, the younger twin.
In spite of all their cheating and lying, Isaac’s giving the blessing to Jacob could not be changed. Jacob got what he wanted, but he did not have a happy life.
Then Esau, Isaac’s favorite son, came home with the deer he had killed. This might have been a joyful feast, but it wasn’t. Isaac cried out with frustration and pain, and Esau cried out with anger and disappointment when he heard that Jacob had already received the blessing.
The blessing that Esau had been so sure of was lost forever. It was a sad, sad cry: Bless me also, O my father! Yes, there was a blessing for him too, but it was temporary, and there was anger and fighting in its future.
You can’t make God’s promises come true by your good works or break them by your sins. The blessing God offers you was completed when Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Look up to Jesus and believe, and then thank Him, and let me tell you one thing — it will change your life! God will show you how blessed you are, until He takes you to His home in heaven forever.
“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7).
Think About God’s Word!
1. What did Jacob do to get the blessing from Isaac?
2. How do we know that Jacob didn’t get the blessing because of his cheating and lying?
Project: Find the story that shows that Jacob had learned about lying from his father. Tell how we know that Jacob’s sons continued the bad family tradition.