Thursday, July 08, 2010

Esau and Jacob Separate Again - Genesis 36:6-8


Then Esau 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. For their property had become too great for them to live together, and the land where they sojourned could not sustain them because of their livestock. So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.

Here again we are reminded that not only Jacob, but Esau as well, had done well. Esau takes his three wives, his five sons, and his daughters – again we are not told at this juncture how many there were – and all his servants, livestock, cattle, earthly goods, and moves away from his brother Esau. He moves the scripture say to “another land”.

After Esau had sold his birthright blessing to Jacob for the potage he so badly craved, he cried out to his father Isaac for a second blessing. It appears that because he was Isaac’s son, God did bless Esau in the only way that really mattered to him – materially.

The scene is reminiscent of Abraham and Lot parting ways when their wealth was expanded and the land could not sustain both effectively, strictly from an agricultural perspective because of their livestock and cattle. However, it is interesting to note that wealth does often create separation. I have seen this over and over again, especially between brothers. They are left a vibrant business by their father and they grow it together. Yet at some point as so often happens, they turn it into two businesses, or one leaves to head up a new offshoot or a totally different organization. For some reason, they cannot co-exist. They cannot co-manage the blessing that God has given them. But does it need to be that way? One would think that if no egos were involved, they could work together.

There is a need for us to examine our egos when it comes to both business and ministries. In Africa recently, I observed so many national pastors working under very poor circumstances trying to establish their own local churches – often within literally yards from each other, and both evangelical protestant in nature. I am working to try and bring unity in both purpose and efforts in this regard. A while back I attended a missionary conference in Toronto and to my disappointment I noticed close to a dozen different missions trying to reach the Jewish people in Israel for Christ. Can you imagine how much more effective and efficient they would be if they joined forces? We need to check our egos at the door of ministry.

As I write this account, the Lord has given me a desire to help Christians in developing countries “learn how to fish” in order to make themselves, their families, and their ministries self-sufficient. My first preference for this ministry is to seek the cooperation of my current mission to expand our mandate to do so. My second is to work with another existing charity to do so. My last resort is to start another mission – yet I realize that sometimes, that is what needs to be done. I just think His preference is that we work together as one.

The land of Seir was first mentioned in Genesis 14:6 with reference to the Horites, one of the groups that waged war against other groups in the area. In Genesis 32:3 we note that Esau was already living in the land of “Seir, the country of Edom (Esau)”. And in our current verses he “dwells” here after he apparently moved away from Esau who had returned to Canaan. It is possible that either the timing of the account is not provided chronologically or that Seir is a much larger portion of land and that the place Edom is only part of it, implying that Esau moved within Seir. In fact, the latter is more likely as Seir is a mountain range extending from one part of the dead Dead Sea all the way to its eastern gulf.

In the end, God’s plan remains in tact. Esau may have wanted, and indeed struggled during his life for, Canaan, yet now finds himself settling in Seir.

The lessons for us are twofold. First, we must realize that God does bless others, even those that may not appear to us to have walked closely with Him. He is God and has the right to do whatever He wants. Secondly, while He may bless, He never does so in a way that detracts from His original and main plan for mankind and us.

Join others following Ken on Twitter
Check-out AccordConsulting, SCA International, and Human Resources for the Church.

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

No comments:

Post a Comment