The contrast between Esau and Jacob is illustrated in this section of the Bible. Both are 77 years old. Esau took wives from the Canaanites. Jacob remained unmarried. Isaac instructed Jacob to flee to Haran until his brother’s anger subsided. Also, Jacob was instructed not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan but instead go to the homeland and take a wife from there. Jacob complied with his parents’ wishes. Esau took another wife, this time from the line of Ishmael, to further irritate his parents. This helps explain why we read, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Romans 9:13b).
In this section of the Bible, the Lord began to lay down revelation of His plan of redemption. In what we will call the pre-historic period, we see God moving to limit the manifestation of evil through (a) the flood, (b) the shortening of lifespan and (c) the confusion of languages at Babel. With these things accomplished, God initiated a plan that would require millennia to complete. God’s next intervention into the human community would be to establish a king. It began with the call of Abram. Abram was on the leading edge of this revelation and, today, we find ourselves on the trailing edge. We believe that the completion of the redemption process is near. [Read more…]
In a recent Torah section, Moses exhorts Israel to go in and take possession of the Land, their inheritance (Deuteronomy 1:8). Hundreds of years before this exhortation, God had promised the Land to Abraham and to his descendants. Now, Israel stood on the east bank of the Jordan River, prepared to enter the Land. God had given the Land of Israel to the People of Israel, but as we see in the Biblical account, they would have to “take” it by force. When we first consider the promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it seems like the Land would be presented to their descendants on a silver platter. The actual experience was different. Israel would need to struggle to receive their inheritance and, once they possessed it, they would have to continue to struggle to keep it. [Read more…]
On Friday, July 14, Moslem terrorists struck on the Temple Mount, killing two Israeli policemen and injuring another before being killed themselves. This incident serves to focus our attention on the real spiritual-based conflict centered around Israel. While Israelis grieve for those who lost their lives, Moslems are celebrating their martyrs. These terrorists will be celebrated as most honored defenders of Islam because they perished in the effort to drive out what they see as Israel’s occupation of their “holy”site. [Read more…]