Esau’s Family – Genesis 36

Genesis 36 is the family tree coming out of Esau. Remember Jacob’s blessing of Esau? Jacob had been given the blessing of the bloodline of God’s nation, but Esau had been given a blessing also. God never forgot Esau.

Esau took “his wives from the daughters of Canaan” and these wives caused much grief to his parents. But since Jacob was gone for so long, Esau’s family was all his parents had in their lives. They were the ones around them when Rachel died.

And Esau made some good decisions. When Jacob left, Esau hated him and wanted to kill him, but seventeen years later, Esau forgave Jacob when Jacob came back, even embraced him and offered to escort him back to the family. Talk about life change!

And Esau went with Jacob to bury their father. He may have even been the one to bear the bad news.

And after the burial and return of Jacob to the homeland, Esau gave up his home and “took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. Esau held up to his end of father’s blessing even after his father had died, and left the land so Jacob could inherit it.

Esau’s descendants became Edomites and are listed by their “chiefs” and “kings” which rings true with Issac’s blessing of Esau: “By your sword you shall live.” These nations have been in conflict with Israel even to this day.

God did not forget Esau, even though he was not the chosen one. Just read through all the names of his sons, their sons and their accomplishments. He has a special place in scripture without negative commentary. 

Esau made some good decisions, for which God gives him a special place in scripture. These boys were not “good” or “bad,” as we tend to polarize people and nations.

Each had their own choices to make…

Sacrifice – Genesis 22

If Abraham thought giving sheep and oxen to Abimelech was a sacrifice, God had news for him! Just like money out of abundance is easy to give, time and affection are much harder.

God asked Abraham to sacrifice what was most dear to him, to demonstrate he believed God would be faithful to his promise “no matter what.”

Despite numerous visons and visits from God, Abraham had wandered in his faith so often, giving Sarah to rulers as a wife, taking a servant to bed with him, and so on. Now he had his son.

Was his faith in his son, or the God who gave him a son?

God wanted to know, although I’m sure he knew what the outcome would be. More importantly, he wanted Abraham to know where his faith lay. In order to do it, he asked for the ultimate sacrifice.

Most of us know the story, how Abraham took Isaac to the mountain, laid him on the altar, raised his hand to kill him when God provided an ox. Abraham proved to himself where his faith lay.

And Isaac also proved where his faith lay. He was the one on the altar, starring wide-eyed at his father as the knife was raised. I’m sure he never forgot that moment, his father was ready to kill him to demonstrate his faith.

Have you ever wondered about the conversation as they came down the mountain? Or do you think they walked in silence, each deep in their own soul, finding meaning in what just happened.

We know God was pleased. He reinforced his promise to Abraham through an angel. Abraham had been faithful.

“By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord,
because you have done this
and have not withheld your son, your only son,
I will surely bless you,
and I will surely multiply your offspring 
as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.
And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,
because you have obeyed my voice.”      

We are blessed because Abraham was faithful.

And God was and will be faithful in his promises.