John Parish - Tanama - 2014

Every message of God is personal. Do not lose it, thinking it is for someone else. There is power, life, blessing, and fruit in a seed, but only if it is planted.

Malachi 1:2-3, "'I have loved you,' saith the Lord, 'And ye say, "Wherein hast Thou loved us?" Was not Esau Jacob's brother?' saith the Lord. 'And I loved Jacob and I hated Esau, and (made) his mountains a desolation and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.'" It was not unfair, or that God had favorites, but because of the qualities in their lives. God looks for certain qualities in our lives, and an attitude that allows God to work, and Esau was not willing for God to guide him, and didn’t care about pleasing God.

Genesis 25: 21-23, "And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her and said, 'If so, why am I?' And she went to inquire of the Lord and the LORD said unto her, 'Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; And the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger. "

Now this was written before their births (not as Malachi, hundreds of years after their lives). This is God's plan for each of us:  that the older (human nature) will serve the younger, a new life that God gives us as we believe and obey the gospel. What comes from God cannot be produced by our nature. But we still have the old life and thoughts that are contrary to the new life. It is worth the struggle to follow the Spirit, because then we have peace, which we lose if human nature gets control.

Genesis 25:27, "And the boys grew and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents." Marks of the two natures. Esau liked his freedom, always going out even though there was enough in the home. Jacob was content. He was also quiet, which enables communion with God.

Genesis 25:29-34, "And Jacob made pottage and Esau came from the field, tired. Esau said, 'Please let me have some of that red stew, for I am very tired.' Therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, 'Sell me this day thy birthright.' And Esau said, 'Behold, I am going to die. Why, then, is the birthright to me?' And Jacob said, 'Swear to me this day.' And he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils and he ate and drank, and rose and went. So Esau despised his birthright. "

Jacob understood the value of the birthright. Esau, like the flesh, chose for the present. The flesh would be willing to sell what God has given us to get what we want. Jacob gave perhaps his own lunch - willing to sacrifice the present for a future blessing.

Genesis 26:34-35, "And Esau was forty years old, took to wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemat, daughter of Elon the Hittite; and were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah." Genesis 27:46, "And Rebekah said to Isaac, 'I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life?'"

Look for someone who can help you serve God, not be a snare. The unity of the home is so important. Genesis 28:1-2, "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother's father, and take a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother.'" Isaac knew that in that home they feared God, and Jacob obeyed.

Amos 1:11, "Thus saith the Lord, 'For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; Because he pursued his brother with the sword, and violated all pity; and in his anger he has always stolen, and perpetually has kept the grudge." 1,000 years later, the descendants of Esau still resented it. How would it be for us if God held a grudge? So we need to forgive.

Genesis 32-33. Jacob feared and prayed. There was a struggle, and Jacob met Esau a changed man, willing to lose to have peace. God loves that attitude.