Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category

Matthew 10:34-39, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Christian commitment may separate friends and loved ones. In saying this, Jesus was not encouraging disobedience to parents or conflict at home. Rather, he was showing that his presence demands a decision. Because some will follow Christ and some won’t, conflict will inevitably arise. As we take our cross and follow him, our different values, morals, goals, and purposes will set us apart from others. Christ calls us to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life. Love of family is a law of God, but even this love can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve God or do his work. Don’t neglect your family, but remember that your commitment to God is even more important. God should be your first priority.

Under Gods Command
Esau and Jacob
Spiritual Training 10 June 2013
(Genesis 25:21-34 21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. 27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. )
A birthright was a special honor given to the firstborn son. It included a double portion of the family inheritance along with the honor of one day becoming the family’s leader. The oldest son could sell his birthright or give it away if he chose, but in so doing, he would both material goods and his leadership position. By trading his birthright, Esau showed complete disregard for the spiritual blessing that would have come his way if he had kept it. In effect, Esau “despised” his birthright (25:34).
Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of food. He acted on impulse, satisfying his immediate desires without pausing to consider the long-range consequences of what he was about to do. We can fall into the same trap. When we see something we want our first impulse is to get it. At first we feel intensely satisfied and sometimes even powerful because we have obtained what we set out to get. But immediate pleasure often loses sight of the future. We can avoid making Esau’s mistake by comparing the short-term satisfaction with its long-range consequences before we act.
Esau exaggerated his hunger. “I am about to die,” he said. This thought made his choice much easier because it he was starving, what good was an inheritance anyway? The pressure of the moment distorted his perspective and made his decision seem urgent. We often experience similar pressures. For example, when we feel sexual pressure, a marriage vow may seem unimportant. We might feel such great pressure in one area that nothing else seems to matter and we lose our perspective. Getting through that short, pressure –filled moment is often the most difficult part of overcoming a temptation.

(Malachi: 1:1-3 “I have loved you” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the Lord says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals).”

God’s first message through Malachi was “I have loved you.” Although this message applied specifically to Israel, it is a message of hope for all people in all times. Unfortunately, many people are cynical about God’s love, using political and economic progress as a measure of success. Because the government was corrupt and the economy poor, the Israelites assumed that God didn’t love them. They were wrong. God loves all people because he made them; however, his eternal rewards go only to those who are faithful to him.
The phrase “Esau I have hated” does not refer to Esau’s eternal destiny. It simply means that God chose Jacob, not his brother Esau, to be the one through whom the nation of Israel and the Messiah would come (see Romans 9:10-13). God allowed Esau to father a nation, but this nation, Edom, later became one of Israel’s chief enemies.

(Romans 09:10-14 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls-she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated).” 

The Jews were proud of the fact that their linage came from Isaac, whose mother was Sarah (Abraham’s legitimate wife), rather than Ishmael, whose mother was Hagar (Sarah’s maidservant). Paul asserts that no one can claim to be chosen by God because of his or her heritage or good deeds. God freely chooses to save whomever he wills. The doctrine of election teaches that it is God’s sovereign choice to save us by his goodness and mercy, and not by our own merit.

Was it right for God to choose Jacob, the younger, to be over Esau? In Malachi 1:2,3, the statement “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” refers to the nations of Israel and Edom rather than to the individual brothers. God chose Jacob to continue the family line of the faithful because he knew his heart was for God. But he did not exclude Esau from knowing and loving him. Keep in mind the kind of God we worship: he is sovereign; he is not arbitrary; in all things he works for our good; he is trustworthy; he will save all who believe in him. When we understand these qualities of God, we know that his choices are good even if we don’t understand all his reasons.

(Hebrews 13:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. After ward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit the blessings, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears). 

Bottom line up front: Esau’s story shows us the mistakes and sins sometimes have lasting consequences. Even repentance and forgiveness do not always eliminate sins consequences.

Lets Bring it Home: How often do you make decisions based on what you want now, rather than on what you need in the long run? Evaluate the long-range effects of your decisions and actions.