Toldot (Generations)

Torah: Genesis 25:19 – 28:9 Haftarah: Malachi 1:1-2:7 Brit Chadasha: Ephesians 6:1-9

We’ve spent the past few weeks focusing mostly on Abraham and now it’s time to move onto his offspring.  This week we will begin to look at Isaac’s two boys, Esau and Jacob.  A very good point was brought out in Torah study the other night about Rebecca being barren and Isaac prayed for her to conceive.

And Yitsḥaq prayed to יהוה for his wife, because she was barren. And יהוה answered his prayer, and Riḇqah his wife conceived. Genesis 25:21

The point was that the text seems to point to twenty years in order for that prayer that Isaac prayed to be fulfilled.  What do we think about that for a swift answer to intercession?  I know many times when we pray we want our prayers not only heard but answered like five minutes ago.  Sometimes this happens sometimes it doesn’t.  The issue that you and I have to deal with is waiting for an answer.  I have received prophetic words over my life and some have come to pass and others haven’t been fulfilled yet and those words were given to me over eight years ago.  I’m still waiting on some of them to come to pass but in the meantime I haven’t been focused on the reason why they aren’t manifesting or I haven’t even questioned the Father about them and their timing.  See that is the key and the text doesn’t really tell us it was an issue for Isaac either but just imagine having to wait twenty years for your wife to conceive.  I think it is safe to assume that probably sometime during that time period old Isaac was scratching his head wondering what in the world was going on.  I’ve said this before and will repeat it here; we have to be very careful as to what and where our focus is at.  It’s imperative that we focus on the things that Yah is doing and has done in our lives and not focus on what He hasn’t done.  It is very easy to get offended at Yah when we feel like He isn’t doing what He said He was going to do.  So as you read about Isaac’s life just remember that it took twenty years for a prayer to be answered.  I believe that many people give up on their prayer life or give up on receiving Yah’s answers to their prayers just right when the answer is around the corner so if there is something that you have been asking the Father for repeatedly don’t give up or give in.  Have faith that the Father is faithful to give His children exactly what you and I need.

I think before I get into Esau and Jacob it would be good to mention something the text says but expound on it a bit.

And the boys grew up. And Ěsaw became a man knowing how to hunt, a man of the field, while Yaʽaqoḇ was a complete man, dwelling in tents. Genesis 25:27

What I would like to point out from this verse is that we see Esau was a man of the field.  When Scripture points out that someone is a man of the field it trying to tell us that he was worldly because a field is associated with the world.  When Scripture tells us that Jacob dwelled in tents what it is telling us is that Jacob was a studious man or a man who studied the things of the Eternal because tents give us a picture of the House of Yah.  Also, we get a clue as well when it says that Jacob was a complete man or as the Hebrew paints the picture for us a man who was whole, upright and righteous.  Remember what the Scripture said about Noah?

This is the genealogy of Noaḥ. Noaḥ was a righteous man, perfect in his generations. Noaḥ walked with Elohim. Genesis 6:9

I believe we have some insight here into the word that Rebecca was given about the two nations that were going to come from her but be separate or divided, if you will.  In my opinion here we see that clearly the spiritual and natural aren’t in agreement and as I pointed out previously that Esau is a picture of the flesh or a natural man and Jacob is a picture of a spiritual or Godly man.  Clearly these two rub each other the wrong way and neither wants to be subject to the other.

And I say: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do. Galatians 5:16-17

Thus I believe we see the struggle between Esau and Jacob beginning in the womb and continuing on into their adult lives.  As I was thinking about this portion a thought that I had was there just might be a little Esau and a little Jacob in all of us.  What do I mean by that?  Well hopefully it’s more Jacob than Esau, but what I mean is that we all have moments where we flake out and the flesh takes over as well as other times when we are walking in the Ruach.  I see two different paradigms in Esau and Jacob and those two paradigms are at war in each of us as well and it is our choice in which one of these two we elect to walk in.  I think Paul sums it up in one of his letters.

For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good. For to wish is present with me, but to work the good I do not find. For the good that I wish to do, I do not do; but the evil I do not wish to do, this I practice. And if I do that which I do not wish, it is no longer I who work it, but the sin dwelling in me. Romans 7:18-20

The Test of Esau

Do we find ourselves being squeezed under the pressure of the economic crisis that has been in the making for several years now?  Have we been sitting around and thinking of ways that we can get out of this jam and stop being squeezed?  Well, it is my opinion that all of this is being allowed by the Eternal for a purpose.  The million dollar question is can we say when it comes down to it, not my will but Your will be done?  So with that said I want to touch on something in the text; the Esau test.  You might be thinking what in the world is the Esau test?  I am glad you asked.  In Genesis 25:31-33 is where we find Esau asking Jacob for a bowl of soup in exchange for the birthright.

But Yaʽaqoḇ said, “Sell me your birthright today.” And Ěsaw said, “Look, I am going to die, so why should I have birthright?” Then Yaʽaqoḇ said, “Swear to me today.” And he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Yaʽaqoḇ. Genesis 25:31-33

This is the whole key to the Esau test.  I would venture to say that honestly Esau wasn’t literally going to die if he didn’t get something to eat right then.  I think it would be safe to say that Esau was a man that was emotional and allowed his emotions to think for himself instead of common sense.  I mean how many of us would sell our birthright for a bowl of soup right?  Well we can’t be so quick to beat up on Esau yet because possibly the test is right around the corner for you and me.  See there wasn’t an economic crisis that caused Esau to do what he did.  Esau didn’t have a wife or children to support but yet he still sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.

Where am I going with this?  Well it is my opinion that the Father is allowing all of these current circumstances to prepare us for what is around the corner.  We are being squeezed each and every day.  Why?  I am of the opinion that it’s because we have entrusted ourselves in our own ability and our ‘stuff’.  The Father is working right now to bring separation between us and our ‘stuff’.  He knows that in many cases we have been abusing our ‘stuff’ and have placed our ‘stuff’ above Him so naturally like a good parent He is taking our ‘stuff’ away.  The issue is this.  Will we allow Him to remove everything He needs to remove and cut off everything He needs to cut off or will we sell out like Esau and sell our birthright for a bowl of soup?  Remember over the past few portions the theme of separation was woven in and out it seemed like every chapter.  Well this week is no different and we clearly see an example of someone who was willing to separate from what was rightfully his in order to appease his flesh.

I think this is a fair question that we should ask ourselves all the time.  What will happen if for some reason I am not able to put food on the table for my family and we begin to go hungry?  How will I react?  I know it will be hard.  I am sure that I would want to start to complain and blame Yah for not supplying.  I hope I would not do this but hey we are all human and don’t really know how we will react until we get in the situation.

If my family has to go hungry and there is a way to get them food BUT it means compromising what I believe or what the Scripture says will I do it?  That is what the Esau test is all about in my opinion.  It’s about us compromising the Word of YHVH in order to satisfy our natural fleshly desires.  May we be found faithful when we are presented with the Esau test!

I hope we all will stand firm and trust in YHVH and not compromise or sell our birthright for a bowl of soup thus failing the Esau test.  Remember in the Yahweh’s Kingdom its pass/fail.  We either pass and move on to the next test or fail and have to go through everything again in order to retake the test.  It’s not fun retaking a failed test from Yah. May we be faithful until the end because those who endure to the end will be saved!

Redigging the wells

And Aḇimeleḵ said to Yitsḥaq, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” So Yitsḥaq went from there and pitched his tent in the wadi Gerar, and dwelt there. And Yitsḥaq dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Aḇraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Aḇraham. And he called them by the names which his father had called them. Genesis 26:16-18

Here we see the representative of Yah representing the King in the way it is supposed to be.  We clearly see the ‘nations’ recognizing that YHVH had not only blessed his servants but had made them mighty and the ‘nations’ were fearful.  What an example of a true witness that isn’t just in words but is perceptible.  You better believe that the Philistines had seen what the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does for his children.  I remember something so vivid on our last trip a few months back to the orphanage that we work with.  Matter of fact I had my mother and grandmother with me on that trip and the administration told them that when my wife and I come to visit them we always bring blessings with us.  Even though they said that about us, they clearly know it isn’t us or the ministry that we are stewards over because in the very beginning of my first meeting with the administration at the orphanage which is a Catholic run/funded orphanage, I might add, I clearly explained to them that my wife and I represented the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that what may seem like to them that we might be doing there at the orphanage in our own strength, whether it be clothing, feeding, baby beds, car seats, or other projects; it was because of the Elohim that we served.  This part of the portion reminded me of that story and it is such a great honor when folks see the blessings that my Abba has blessed us with to share with others.  It truly is a witness and when you put actions to your words it not only solidifies your message that you bring but truly represents the One who you are sent forth by.  I know many folks here in Central America that have been preached at all their lives and I’m not knocking that but I tell you, you really get folks ears and hearts when you put action to your words.  So if you have been preaching at folks with not a lot of fruit why not take a step back for a moment and allow your walk and the way you live to shine forth and truly represent the Creator of the Universe?

Another thought that I had while reading the previous Scriptures was that I really believe that we see here Isaac stepping up to the plate and making a decision.  The decision that I see him making is not only to walk in the footsteps of his father and embrace the message that his father walked in which would be Torah but to step out into his own walk.  We see Isaac re-digging the wells of his father first.  Almost every time we see water or wells in the Scriptures it is a representation of Torah and life.  In my opinion what the Scriptures is telling us is that first he remembered the ancient path that he saw and heard his father speak of and live out and wanted to revisit that path, if you will but the most important thing is that we see Isaac actually digging his own well which gives me the picture that he made a decision to embrace what his father had taught him and lived in front of him his whole life and even took it a step further and started making his own trail, if you will.

So may it be with you and I today that we not only return to dig up those old ‘wells’, if you will or return to the ancient path of Torah but that we would go out and dig our own wells so that more life could come forth and those around us would know the God that we serve and see how much He blesses His children who obey.