January 8

Genesis 25-28, Psalm 8

Though we like to consider ourselves objective, how we interpret things and see things are influenced by a wide range of items, often without realizing it. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, the Beatles were beyond popular. In the song, “Imagine” by John Lennon we hear, “Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today.” George Harrison, another Beatle, sang , “My Sweet Lord”, which I always enjoyed and didn’t even realize he was chanting to Hare Krishna in the last half of the song. In schools we were taught evolution with convincing arguments such as homologous structures showing the similarities between the flipper of a whale, the wing of a bat, the leg of a cat and the arm of a man. With modern genetics this argument is nonsense, but not to a young impressionable student. Nothing on television, the movies, etc supported a God centered view. This along with going to a dead church with no joy or true Bible study, is it hard to understand how difficult it is to be open to the things of God. Today, with social media and an even stronger atheistic stance on the part of the media and society, it is even more difficult. Unfortunately much of this material is unbalanced and biased against God, but cleverly concealed. So when we approach Scripture we must be careful not to allow these factors to cloud our ability to interpret Scripture.

In Genesis 27 we come to an interesting drama revolving around a very dysfunctional family. If we are not careful and read it through a worldly lens, we could end up being angry with everyone, except poor Esau who seems tricked out of his deserved blessing. But, we must remember this is God’s story. When Rebekah was pregnant and inquired of the Lord, He prophetically said to her in Genesis 25:23, “…Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” We see in Genesis 25:28 that Isaac favored Esau, the older twin, while Rebekah favored Jacob, the younger. We see Esau’s character in Genesis 25:29-34, where he sells his birthright for a bowl of stew. We read in 25:34, “And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.” The birthright of the firstborn would receive a double inheritance, and would assume both the spiritual and financial leadership of the family. Esau forfeits his rights to satisfy the appetite of his flesh. We assume Isaac knew Jacob was to receive the blessing, but perhaps blinded by favoritism or in a backslidden state we read in Genesis 27:4 that he instructs Esau to hunt and prepare a meal for him and he would then bless him. The next character in the story is Rebekah who overhearing the conversation between Isaac and Esau schemes and devises a plot to take the blessing from Isaac onto Jacob by deception. Though Rebekah knew Jacob was to receive the blessing we are not to twist God’s will, our way. The next character is Jacob whose only problem with deceiving his father, is the possibility of getting caught. We finally come back to Esau, after the deception worked, and we see his response to being “cheated” out of his blessing in Genesis 27:34, “When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me-me also, O my father.” One thing to realize when reading this story is Isaac is 137, and his boys Jacob and Esau are in their 70’s. Though no one in this story rises above the rest, we can’t forget that Jacob, though a deceiver, was sensitive to God, while Esau was a carnal man blind to the things of God. Through it all, it was God’s will that was prophesied that came true.

Being able to see things through God’s eyes is not always easy. Mostly all of us have had years of garbage placed into our heads between the media and what we are taught. This along with most being Biblically illiterate for most of their lives it is easy to see how difficult it can be to come to and interpret Scripture. If we are in a relationship with Jesus, we now have the Holy Spirit in us. He is our helper who replaces all the junk that we have allowed to fill us through the years. But the process is not overnight. Many read through the Bible last year going through the One Year Bible Challenge. So why is it so important to do it again this year, and for that matter every year. Because each year if we abide in Him, He opens our eyes more and more and we can read and understand and become more and more like our Savior, in the process of sanctification. Though the disciples on the road to Emmaus were followers of Jesus, we read in Luke 24:25,27, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!…And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato