February 11, 2019
DAY 44: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Focus Verses For Today: Genesis 25:34 and Genesis 26:34-35
Take a few moments to pray for God to give you understanding of today’s journey, the journey though Genesis 24-27. Now read chapters 24-27 of Genesis listening for God to speak to you through these verses.
Chapter 24 of Genesis finds Abraham a very old man and wanting a wife for his son Issac. It was very important for Issac to marry a woman born a Jew and untouched by another man. Abraham sends his senior servant to find such a woman: her name is Rebekah. She was the daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban: relatives of Abraham.
Chapter 25 shares the death of Abraham. The chapter tells that Ishmael and Issac came together to bury their father. It tells of the birth of Esau and Jacob. It tells of Esau selling his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a bowl of red lentil stew. Please tuck this transaction in your memory for further consideration shortly.
Chapter 26 tells of Issac establishing himself in the eyes of those around him. King Abimelek knew Issac’s God was special. Abimelek hated Issac’s God. Abimelek sought a treaty with Issac to protect his country from Issac’s God. Abimelek knew that Issac’s God was powerful and he also knew Issac had a special relationship with his God. You can have one too!
Chapter 27 tells of Jacob, at his mother Rebekah’s insistence, deceiving a blind Issac into giving him, Jacob, his twin brother’s, Esau, blessing. Issac wasn’t happy. Esau wasn’t happy. Esau threatened to kill Jacob after his father’s death. So what is going on here?
Our focus verses for today are Genesis 25:34 and Genesis 26:34-35
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. (Genesis 25:34, NIV)
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 26:34-35, NIV)
In chapter 25 at verse 23, the Lord tells Rebekah that the older would serve the younger. Esau would serve Jacob. The problem with understanding God’s absolute authority is that most people don’t know how to stand back and let God show the way. The question which must be considered is a simple one: Was Esau qualified to be the covenant bearer for God through Abraham’s lineage.
When we consider the focus verses for today it is obvious that there is a problem with Esau being the protector of the covenant. In the first focus verse he sells his birthright to his brother for a bowl of red lentil stew. He gave up the position of leader of Abrahamic line when he sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. That is right, his birthright, for a bowl of lentil stew; a bowl of red lentil stew! He was about to die, or so he claimed.
In the second focus verse, consider the fact that he had married two Hittite women. This man, Esau, did not understand that he was to be father of a great nation, a great Jewish nation.
Obviously, it is impossible to know what God’s plan was for Esau and Jacob other than what is revealed in the Bible. It is clear that God intended for Jacob to lead Issac’s family after his death. God tells Rebekah this before the two are born. Jacob deceived and lied to Issac to claim Esau’s blessing. Esau did not appreciate the importance, the true value, of his birthright selling it for a bowl of lentil, red lentil soup. By marrying Hittite women, he showed that he did not respect God’s direction to all Jews to marry only Jewish women. This shows, either obstinance to God’s commands, or genuine disinterest. Neither qualities satisfied the requirements for the future leader of the house of Abraham (Issac).
Take out your journals if you are journaling. Get yourself into to contemplation mode if you are a contemplator. After God spoke to Rebekah in Genesis 25:23, she knew what God had in store for her sons. There was nothing she could do to change the outcome God had promised. God’s way undoubtedly would have been better. Why do you think she had a Sarah moment (Hagar and Ishmael)? Why didn’t she wait on the Lord? Why did she encourage Jacob to deceive and lie to his father, Issac? Beneath all this mystery most likely is Esau’s relationship with the Lord. From what is revealed about Esau, his lack of respect for Jewish tradition which is based on the teaching of God, it would be safe to assume that it leaned toward indifference. Jacob seemed to understand the importance of these same Jewish traditions, even if his actions express them in a way hard for us to understand. What do you think? Time to journal. Time to contemplate. Godspeace!
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