BSF Genesis: Week 21, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
Obeyed his father and mother

b.
swore oath to God, Built altar to become God’s house, tithed

c.
served 7 years for Rachel but seemed like only a few days because of his love for her

d.
God was with him, blessed him, protected him, took from those who cheated

e.
Prayed, trusted in God for protection and salvation

12.
a.
Faith – God rewards those who earnestly seek him

b.
Patriarch – the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.  Inheritence not only of father, but of God, chosen to be his own, a trasured possession

13.
What good is it to me, married pagan wives (to the grief of his parents) Polygamist, married a granddaughter of Ishmael because she wasn’t Canaanite.

My Daily Journal:

First, to clear something up (or not).  My view on Esau’s marriage to the grand daughter of Ishmael is evidently different than many of the others in my discussion group based on answers.  I saw it as just another knee-jerk response rather than a slap in the face to his parents.  He learned they didn’t like Canaanite wives, so he was bent on marrying the first available non-Canaanite woman he could find.  Who else was around but the descendents of Ishmael?

Second, and this is a special prayer request, this whole thing about spiritual inheritance is a very important message particularly for the kids in my group.  I’m blessed to work with middle-school kids this year.  The idea that their actions speak for more than just themselves is a very, very important concept and one, frankly, they don’t get.  When God says, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this tells me that Jacob’s behavior, the way he is viewed by others, is not simply a reflection on him, but it is a reflection on his father, his grandfather and his God.

Is any less true for us?  When we mis-behave or act inappropriately, what message does that send about my father, grandfather and God?  When I look at my actions and decisions and behavior in that light, does it change the way I act.

In preparing for my lecture I made the statement “the choices we make reveal the person that we are.  If we wish to be someone else, the path is simple… make different choices.”  This isn’t meant to say that we need to rely on our own strength and judgment, but sometimes we make things out to be far bigger than they are.  God has the strength to support us on any right path… but the choice is ours.

Am I looking at my immediate wants and desires, or am I looking at how my decisions reflect the character of my father, grandfather and God?  I might have made a few better decisions in my life had I kept this in mind earlier!

Again, if you are reading this, I would ask your prayers for the delivery of this message to the middle school children, particularly the young men.  I ask that their hearts be open to feeling the burden of this, not in a negative way, but in an empowering way.  They have been gifted with a family name and a God who deserves their best behavior and their best decisions!

BSF Genesis: Week 21, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

8.
a.
Jacob was around the other people of the household, saw the benefits of being in charge (not off alone hunting)

b.
He was not so impulsive and looked at longer term impacts.  This showed in many choices (including wife and children)

c.
He would have known from his mother that “the older will serve the younger”  but rather than wait and let God bring this to pass he took it upon himself to buy the birthright from his brother

9.
a.
When we don’t treat it with the respect, value and reverence it deserves, we show that we do not value it, just as Esau.  To not give it its full is the same as despising it.

b.
I need to do better at placing my faith first.  I pray and read/listen to scriptures but I don’t always do it as the first part of my day.

10.
the adoption to sonship; the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs,  from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised

My Daily Journal

The verse and discussion about despising the birthright brought to mind the words to the church in Rev 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”  It reminds me in manners of faith I am either all in or not in at all.  It is not possible to be partially pregnant, partially dead or partially devoted to God.  

Esau did not value his birthright so the bible says he “despised it.”  I’m not sure he knew he was despising it, but to have something of extreme value and not treat it with the respect and reverence it deserves is to despise the object.

What does this say about my walk of faith.  I know God doesn’t expect perfection, just improvement, but am I treating my walk with God with the care I would take for a great possession.  Do I protect it or put it at risk by yielding to temptation?  Do I cherish and show it to others as a prized possession, or do I put it out back to deal with later?  If I think of my adoption into God’s family as a highly valued faberge egg, or rookie card, or, (choose your collectible)…. am I treating it with the same care and honor and value that I would place on these collections of atoms?

BSF Genesis: Week 21, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
a.
Isaac had a taste for wild game and Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the open country

b.
I don’t think God discourages a father’s love for a son.  He probably would have preferred he loved both sons and wished the same for Rebekah.

c.
Discuss, pray and change

d.
Discuss, pray and change

6.
To be in charge of the household and resulting nation, a double share of inheritance, ultimately, the human ancestry of the Messiah

7.
a.
No

b.
No

c.
To be in charge of the household and resulting nation, a double share of inheritance, ultimately, the human ancestry of the Messiah

d.
God upheld the choice he made and kept him from receiving the benefits of the birthright.  He did not look favorably on Esau or the sin that his descendents demonstrated.

My Daily Journal:

My wife pointed out how silly it was that Esau was fixated on Jacob’s soup in relationship to what other meals would have been available to him.  Think of it this way.  Assuming the brothers were at least 15 years old, their grandfather would have now died, leaving EVERYTHING, to their father.  We know Abraham had vast wealth and servants.  He had 318 fighting men in his household years earlier and had continued to prosper since.  Isaac had inherited all of his possessions (not withstanding some gifts to other children).  That would have put Isaac’s wealth on par with any king of the day, making Esau and Jacob the equivalent of Princes.  Esau, as the oldest and holder of the birthright would have received a 2/3rds share of everything belonging to his father.  That meant that any tent he approached and requested food would have recognized him and whose family he was, not to mention they would have had a 2/3rd probability of working for him in the future.  Do you think they might have given him something more than bean soup to eat???

Secondly, I was convicted by the fact that God uphead the boneheaded choice that Esau made, despite how insulting it was to the Lord.  This should make any of us think twice about any decisions and commitments we make to others.  One of the childrens’ leaders, a few weeks ago, discussed the idea of SHALT (as in SHALT Not).  It is unwise to make a decision when you are Sad, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  Anytime we are faced with making a decision or commitment it is wise for us to self-assess if we fall under any of the SHALT temptations and delay the decision.  Whatever you bind together will be bound and whatever you loose will be loosed.  These are very important words to remember with lasting consequences!

BSF Genesis: Week 21, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
20 years

b.
Yes

c.
Waiting on God’s timing for children.  May have been a test to see if they would take matters into their own hands (e.g., Hagar)

d.
Wait on the Lord, trust in Him, pray for each other.

4.
Two nations: Twins will both form their own nations (Israelites and Edomites); and two peoples  separated: they will form separate nationalities (Israel in promised land, Edomites at Mount Seir); one people stronger: strength of character and faith of one nation will be stronger than other (Obadiah 18 – House of Jacob=fire, Esau=Stubble; older serve ounger: The descendents of Esau serve  Jacob. 1 Kings 11:15-16 King David, Joab smitten every male in Edom.

My Daily Journal:

Was it a problem that Isaac and Rebekah didn’t have children for 20 years?  Many years ago I read an interesting article talking about our biases and thought processes in western culture.  In large part the article talked about our predilection in the west to label something as broken or a problem so we can then fix it.  This is evidently a very western attitude and in other cultures this doesn’t occur.  Other cultures simply look at something and incrementally improve it, but we label it as a problem as broken as something that “needs fixin’.”

I discuss this because that attitude influences our thoughts about Isaac and Rebekah waiting 20 years.  God was going to provide a child (ok, in this case, children) at exactly the moment that He knew to be right to provide them.  Was this a test for Isaac and Rebekah?  Was it difficult?  Was it concerning?  It may have been.  But it doesn’t have to be broken for us to pray for others.  It doesn’t have to be a problem for us to trust and rely on God.

I don’t have to put myself or my situation down or label it as a problem or broken to trust in God to improve it.  I’m not a “home makeover” project, I’m a child of God.  I’m being taught, fed and developed to be stronger and more saintly.  God doesn’t need to label me as broken to make me better.

This may seem like semantics to some, but I hope it is helpful.