Weakness – for the context of this article “weakness” means any limitation I cannot change (whether inherited or acquired), that is not sinful.
Examples: physical handicap, physical limitations, emotional limitations (predisposition to depression or anxiety), talent limitations. Does NOT include knuckle-headed things like anxiety because you robbed a bank last week and are worried you will be caught.
SO…in Genesis 25 you find the birth of Jacob and Esau. Two brothers as different as night and day. Esau is superior to Jacob in almost every way.
Jacob: quiet man, dwelling “among the tents”. Doing what? Not manly things I’m guessing (this is pure speculation on my part – he could have been pumping iron, honing his nun chuck skills…who knows?).
Esau: OK – this is gonna be longer so let’s do the “a, b, c” thing.
Point a:Esau was superior in birth order. First born. So what? It’s just by seconds! They’re twins!! No big deal!
Wrong. First born meant power over all of your siblings. You’re the patriarch. With power comes privilege. Command and control! And possessions. You get the majority inheritance…over everyone else.
Point b: Esau was superior in hunting. The Scripture says he was a “skillful hunter”. That talent alone puts Esau head and shoulders above most men. No shrinking violet to the adventure of killing a meal, Esau could go out and provide for his family in a violent yet expert manner.
Point c: Esau was superior in machismo. This point is admittedly a combo with deux and possibly a little bit speculative. Don’t want to overreach with what God says. But here’s what I see: Esau is a hunter. That makes him tough. Genesis says his whole body was like a “hairy garment”.
Stifle the gag reflex and listen up.
Esau was a hairy man. No metrosexual was he. No manscaping, no waxing, no razor was coming near Esau. Back in the day (even back in the late 70’s), a hairy man was a man’s man. Combine that with his hunting and killing prowess, Esau is the guy that’s gonna slay the barbarians at the gate.
|High School Yearbook Pic of Esau.|
Fact: If you were a woman, you would’ve wanted to marry Esau. He’s rough and tumble and when marauders come, he’s gonna take them down.
Fact: If you’re a man – you would’ve wanted to be Esau. You’d be rough and tumble and when marauders come, you’d take them down.
So to summarize…Esau strong/superior, Jacob weak/inferior.
Simple choice – Esau is the man God will choose, right?
God chooses Jacob, not based on his birth order, outdoor aptitude or physical strength. God chooses the weaker to carry on His Great Grand Promise to Abraham.
Why does God do that? Doesn’t He understand that weakness is to be hated, covered up, excused or disguised? Does He not get that?
God gets it. But He also gets this – when we can rely on our own power, or attribute good fortune to ourselves and our power, we will. But when we come to the end of ourselves…we find God.
He chooses the weak things of this world, to show where real power is…and where it is not. That’s what He did with Paul.
Paul had what he euphemistically called a “thorn in the flesh”. Three times he asks God to remove it. Three times God says “No”.
He says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9.
When I come to the end of myself that’s where I am often more aware of God. God uses my weakness to demonstrate His all surpassing grace and power in my life.
God chose Moses over Pharaoh. God chose a shepherd boy over the giant barbarian Goliath. Even His choice of how to enter the world – not as a mighty king, but as a Jew – a captive people under the thumb of Rome.
And God chose Jacob the second born, the weaker of the two…to the be the child who would carry on the covenant. In the same way, in your weakness, God will prove Himself strong.
Your weakness is the place of God’s power. Your weakness is where you are totally dependent on God, or you will fail. God is not a crutch, He’s a life.
What is that weakness that is hurting you right now?
God says to you right now…“the weakness is alright.”
He says “My grace is sufficient for you (My grace will make it all, whatever it is, alright), for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Feeling weak? Hear the voice of God saying, through Christ, “it will be alright.”
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9