Wrestling the Word
Hi Bob and dux,
Tyndale's New Testament has a useful turn of phrase in Romans 8:to be carnally minded is death. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because that the fleshly mind is enmity against God: for it is not obedient to the law of God, neither can be. So then, they that are given to the flesh, cannot please God.
Esau is the carnal/natural man, more concerned with filling his belly than anything. Jacob is seeking God but still is looking at things from a mental level. Israel is a further awakening.
But ye are not given to the flesh but [ye are given (added by me)] to the spirit: if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you.
I have added the italics for emphasis.
Esau was carnally-minded and gave himself whole-heartedly to being carnally-minded, but Jacob, although 'in the flesh' - bearing in mind the New Covenant was to be a long way after his time - was spiritually-minded. He wanted that birthright; he wanted that blessing; and God recognised and fulfilled the desires of his heart because they were going in the 'right' direction - toward God.
Once Jacob had been corrected many times and many ways, and had become obedient to God's direction in his life (in this case, to go home despite Esau's previous threats), he could receive the new name,(Israel), because God had prevailed in his life.
Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, [leaning] upon the top of his staff.
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.