Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday, January 8th: Genesis 25-26 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 25-26

While Rebekah is experiencing a tough pregnancy, she prays to God and asks Him why this was happening?  This is God's response:

"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.”  Genesis 25:23

The passage doesn't include Rebekah's response to this answer, but I wonder what it would have been like knowing that it will only get worse as the kids grow older?

We are able to see a little bit of what's to come when Jacob persuades Esau to trade his birth right for food.  Esau felt it was no big deal because if he didn't eat something he would die anyway.  In one sense, Jacob would appear to be in power already as Esau returns to their place famished and Jacob has the food.  No big deal in Esau's mind, a huge deal to Jacob.

This made me question whether or not I am taking the care, and am I grateful for which God has blessed me with?

Of course it was God's will for this to happen, but Esau was careless with his birthright which included the inheritance rights as the first born.  Jacob being the schemer, looked to take advantage of his older brother, but it was God's plan and care, not Jacob's wits, that allowed him to come into the blessing.

All of us left to ourselves, are slaves to sin, even when we don't admit it or won't recognize it.  God comes into the human predicament with His gift of grace.  Grace means we receive good things from God not because of any human merit, but only by His favour to underserving people.  God called Abraham to be the father of God's chosen people by God's grace, not because Abraham deserved such an honour.  That same grace energized the infertile wombs of Sarah and Rebekah.  In the society of that day, the rights of inheritance always went to the older, but by His grace, God often worked out his purposes through the younger.  God does not treat us as we deserve, but He forgives us by His grace, compassion and love; He will work out His will through us, in spite of our shortcomings.  

In chapter 26, we see that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Just like his father Abraham, Isaac tells the people that Rebekah is his sister.  It was a half truth in Abraham's situation, but this is an outright lie for Isaac regarding Rebekah.

This action shows a lack of faith in God and Isaac wanting to take matters into his own hands.

We need to be obedient to God, and most of all trust in Him.  After all, it is His plan.  Easy to say, not so easy to do…..

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 27-29


Nathan Reimer said...

Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”

I too, noted this decision by Esau. It seemed so short sighted and careless, and seemed to be made without much thought. It was a big deal to be the oldest son and gain this large inheritance.

What should we I do, when faced with big decisions in life? Obviously the answer most Christians would give would be to pray, but sometimes we need to make quick decisions and don't have time to pray and think over the options. In this case Esau didn't have much leverage or time, and in his mind it was either starving to death or giving up his inheritance and then living. The wrong decision here changed everything for both brothers.

A good practise for us would be to take time daily to pray for wisdom, and continue to study God's Word, in order to get in tune with what God wants from us. This will help with dealing with the fast paced world we live in, in which we don't always have time to stop and get on our knees. The small decisions we make can make a big difference later, seeking wisdom from God ahead of time is the wise thing to do.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Esau's poor decision was made in the heat of the moment, when he allowed his intense hunger to completely lose his perspective on what was really important in the long run. Waiting a bit longer to eat, vs a birthright and all the money, possessions, leadership, and respect that came with it? Should have been a no-brainer. But Esau allowed the pressure of the moment to prevail over common sense.

A warning for us! When we face intense temptation, we too tend to lose perspective and may think that the moral choice is unimportant because of how intense the pressure is. We cannot allow our emotions to rule our decisions this way. When making an important decision, we need to use our head to make the right choice - especially when it is clear what the right choice is, and our feelings are telling us the opposite.

Excellent point about God's grace. It is clear right from the beginning that God's choice of who to elect is not based on anything we have done to earn it, but rather rooted in His grace. And He owes us no explanation for His choice.

Pamela said...

It's true that Esau's shortsighted desires led to long term consequences. I wonder how God would have placed Jacob ahead of Esau if Esau hadn't been so eager to give away his birthright...or did God know that's exactly what he would do?

PS I couldn't help but notice that Abraham exceeded the 120 years that God mentioned in Genesis 6:3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[m] humans forever, for they are mortal[n]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

I tried to find out more about this but a quick internet search showed up nothing. It did, however, mention that Sarah is the only female who has their age mentioned in the Bible and that Abraham was likely alive to see his grandsons Jacob and Esau.