Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 25

I apologize for the late posting on yesterdays--and that you have two in your emails today. 

This chapter opens with a glimpse at the breadth of the descendants of Abraham.  The name that jumped out at me was 'Midian' - soon we will follow Moses who will marry one of this line.  For the most part, though, the rest of scripture will keep narrowing our focus to Jesus Christ: the same narrowed focus we all need every day!

Rebekah, like her mother-in-law she never met, struggled to conceive.  Isaac knew God's promises and persevered in prayer for her; that's the key to victorious prayer:  knowing God's plan in the first place!  I loved the extra reminder of Rebekah's walk with the Lord.  Once she conceived and recognized something odd was happening in her womb, she sought the Lord...and He answered.  Like us, Rebekah didn't (couldn't) fully understand the extent of what God was saying but His purposes always prevail.  With hindsight we can see that the struggle between the twins is the struggle of our daily lives:  the natural vs. the spiritual. 

We are reminded, too, that appearances are deceiving.  Jacob does not start out appearing to be a very godly man.  Perhaps he is the originator of the bible mis-quote "The Lord helps those who help themselves."  He was a conniving man--but God was willing to work with him (and with us!).   Buried deep in Jacob's heart--but not out of sight of the Lord--was a capacity for God.  Praise God He does love us too much to leave us as we are...He superintends our life to create the lessons we need just like he did for Jacob. 

Esau's choice in this chapter is sad.  The flesh and the natural world called more clearly to Esau--and to my surprise his father, Isaac--than the spiritual dimensions.  The flesh controls a lot of the folks in our world today.  The birthright he traded for a bowl of soup included being a part of the lineage of Christ:  one meal in exchange for the Bread of Life.  I hope we'll see a redemptive light for Esau in coming chapters but nevertheless, God didn't exclude Esau any more than he left out Ishmael.  God's purposes are unfolding perfectly; He created the twins and knew the heart design of each.  Each of those designs sharpened and defined the other; it is the same in our families today.  For God's redemptive purposes, Jacob was the one who would submit to the creative work of the Lord despite his do-it-yourself character.  Verse 23 is a tremendous praise in reality:  GOD told her, Two nations are in your womb, two peoples butting heads while still in your body. One people will overpower the other, and the older will serve the younger. The Spiritual man was victorious then and our spiritual man can be victorious now!

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