Skip to main content

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 27

Moving through the whole Bible into Genesis 27 (link) gives us a peak into inheritance politics in the 20th Century BC. And that peak is not pretty, is it?

We have two sons, one loved more by mom than by dad and the other, well, the opposite. Neither son gets along, and the expectation is that dad's passing is near at hand. So, a little trickery, a little razzle-dazzle, and momma's boy gets the primary inheritance.

Then he has to hightail it out of town for fear that his brother will solve the divided inheritance problem once and for all. This would be bad.

Now, here are the things I think we can find here:

1. Don't cheat your brother out of his inheritance. That's a bad play. Seriously.

2. Don't show favoritism among your children. That's tough sometimes, but it's necessary. Your kids will most likely outlive you and need to live with each other.

3. Be equitable with your blessings. Really, there's no cause to bless one above the others.

4. Honesty is the best response to any situation.

5. Be careful you do not attempt to help God out. Genesis 25 contained the promise that Jacob would exceed Esau. I would expect that both Rebekah and Isaac remembered this, and that Esau and Jacob knew it too.

Esau likely wanted to overcome that problem. Jacob and Rebekah may have felt justified in their actions because of that promise. Yet was it necessary?

It really was not. Esau revealed by his character that he would not excel as the leader of the family: between despising his birthright and picking his wives to aggravate his mother and father, he shows the character of a junior high student (or an American politician). Jacob shows more intelligence, strategy, and cunning.

Of course, he uses the cunning in the wrong way, but that's part of the point. He did not need to put his effort into stealing the blessing or finding a way to survive: he could have put it into securing the family and growing in godliness.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to be a lot like this family. We know certain things to be true, but we can't stand them. We will:

#1. Know that God has specifically said certain things will not work. Take a look at Scripture about marriage, parenting, church work, evangelism, government operations, finances, even business…yet we try anyway. We try to overcome what God has said and make it work. We turn to Esau: despise our birthright as bearers of God's image and do our own thing.

Come back to the book and do what the Lord God has said will work. At the very least, quit trying to do what He has said won't work. That's a start.

#2. Means matter. Ends, really and truly, are in the hands of the Sovereign God of the universe. We cannot guarantee, with 100% certainty, what will happen with any effort. Therefore, our goal ought to be to make our means match what the character God has shown we ought to be.

Rebekah and Jacob show us twisted means, even though they head towards the right end. We have to be cautious not to attempt to accelerate or adjust God's plan. He's working in us to create a certain kind of character, one that will endure throughout eternity, not just a few short decades.

#3. Everyone matters. It is not for us to pick and choose who we think is worthy of love and compassion. Everyone should receive that respect.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…