“So, the boys grew. And Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:27, 28).
Benjamin Lilly is known as one of the best hunters in America to ever live. As a kid he learned to track and hunt bears and cougars in the backwoods of Louisiana. When the U.S. government wanted to eradicate predators, Lilly signed up. In the early 1900s, he killed hundreds of grizzlies, cougars, and black bears in the West. People considered Ben as one of the toughest mountain men of that time.
Ol’ Lilly was described as an unfathomable and wild Southern character. He practiced simple living and outdoor freedom. From Louisiana to Arizona and from Idaho to Mexico, Ben roamed and hunted big game. He even guided President Theodore Roosevelt on hunting expeditions. He was known to say, “Anyone can kill a deer, but it takes a man to kill a varmint,” meaning bears, mountain lions, and wolves.” Folktales of his exploits have been exaggerated, but one thing was certainly true—Ben Lilly was an amazing character.
Esau liked tracking big game. He was the eldest son of Isaac and Rebekah and the twin brother of Jacob. Most stories in the Bible present a great contrast between Esau and his brother. He was an outdoorsman, a hunter, and a real man’s man. His father favoured this son who lived life in the present. But even though he could chase down and bring home game, Esau was impulsive.
Coming back from a long hunt, the elder brother was famished. When he asked his younger brother to cook him a meal, Jacob, who had longed for the family birthright, took advantage of his impetuous brother. For a bowl of soup, Esau gave away his rights as the eldest.
Fearless yet foolish. Daring but rash. Esau was a contradictory character—tough on the outside, but weak of character.
O Lord, may I be fearless, but only in Your strength. May I be daring, but only on Your missions.
For Further Study: Gen. 25:21–34; Joshua 1:9; 1 Corinthians 16:13, 14