Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Genesis 27:29-41

There is so much in these next verses, that we are going to stay here for a while! I’m amazed at all that is in these few verses. Yesterday we read about the blessing that Jacob received. Did you all note the last verse in the blessing?

“May those who curse you be cursed 
   and those who bless you be blessed.” (Gen. 27:29b)

Don’t you wish our government leaders would get this verse? There is a blessing in blessing Israel and in being her friend. But turn away from Israel, ally yourself with her avowed enemies, and you will be cursed by God! There is no other political option than to be allied with Israel!

Okay, so we saw that Jacob made a hasty exit, just in time to miss the arrival of Esau, who was back from the hunt with his tasty game. Look carefully at both Isaac’s and Esau’s reactions:

After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”

His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”

“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”

Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”

When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”

But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”(vs. 30-35)

When Isaac realizes that he has been tricked, he shakes violently! Imagine his anger! He absolves himself of any blame, however, when he claims that Jacob “came deceitfully and took your blessing.” Certainly, Jacob hatched the plan with his mother and totally deceived his father, but, as we saw before, Isaac had plenty of signs that something was not right before he bestowed the blessing.

When it says that Esau “burst out with a loud and bitter cry,” we can imagine the wailing exploded from him. He finally realizes what he has lost because he “despised his birthright” (Gen 25:34). There is a the anger quickly descends into a bitterness that takes root here. When we look ahead to verse 41, we see the end result of this anger:

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

The anger and bitterness become a grudge, to the point that Esau plots murder! Now this is clearly not normal anger! Certainly people can become bitter and hold tightly to their grudges, but MOST people do not go to the point of plotting murder! Premeditated murder comes from the heart of a psychopath. Beth Moore writes the following about Esau’s behavior:

Normal people don’t murder. Normal people get hurt and angry. They may insult others and even act unkindly, but they don’t premeditate a murder. (The Partiarchs, P.124)

This desire to murder comes straight from the pit of Satan. John 8:44 tells us that Satan “was murderer from the beginning.” In particular, Satan’s number one desire has been to kill off the chosen people from whom the Messiah would come. This is why the Jews have been continuously persecuted throughout their history. As Beth Moore writes, “The holocaust of God’s people has been the enemy’s plan all along.” (P.125)

We saw this kind of anger in Cain. When we give into our hurt and anger, and let the root of bitterness grow, we are giving Satan a foothold in our lives. (Eph 4:27) He comes to steal, kill, and destroy! There is nothing good that comes from anger that we hold onto, only destruction! It is so easy to nurse our hurts, especially when we truly have been wronged. But holding onto them and feeding them will surely destroy our relationships. The book of Ephesians is full of warnings about guarding our emotions. If you are wallowing in hurt and anger today, read that book! Ask God to help you let it go and replace your hurt heart with a heart full of compassion, grace, and mercy!


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