Monday, July 14, 2008

Genesis 36 - important

My wife can't stand when I chew gum near her. Apparently, I am a very loud gum chewer. I am enthusiastic with my big league chew and hubba bubba. So if we are ever teasing each other, I know a great way to frustrate her is to chew some gum. Loudly.

We know each other well like that and so did Esau and his father Isaac. That is why the very second verse in chapter 36 is such a big deal. It's not complicated, the big things are often simple, but here is what it says:

"Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: …"

The reason that is a big deal is that Isaac specifically and repeatedly warned about intermarrying. In fact, the very first thing he says to Jacob when he blesses him in chapter 28 is, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman."

And yet, that is the very first thing we learn about Esau in chapter 36. It's like he went out of his way to hurt his father. It's like he went out of his way to pick the sharpest knife to stab him with. The scary thing is, I'm not that different sometimes.

The reason why is that sin aims for the most important issues. It cuts deepest in the places God has gifted us deepest. It seeks out our most critical relationships like father and son, husband and wife, brother and brother, and tries to sever them.

Satan is not all knowing or all powerful or able to be everywhere at the same time. But he is very efficient out of necessity. He knows that he can do the greatest damage with the least possible effort if he strikes at something important. He won't try to spoil your talent for singing if you only do it in the shower. The minute you think about joining a praise team though, prepare for the arrival of doubt. He won't waste his limited energy on your broken relationship with your dad until you try to repair it.

What does that mean for you and me? It means that we have to protect the things that matter in this life. We have to guard our hearts and our relationships. We have to prayerfully deal with them and lean on God. Because ultimately, it's very easy for us all to become Isaac and Esau.

8 comments:

J.Knight! said...

Amen. Well said.

sara said...

Hey Jon...I just wanted to encourage you...I know you don't get as many comments on this site or on prodigaljon.com as you get on SCL, but I wanted to let you know that as much as I eagerly anticipate SCL every day, I think this devotional site is my favorite. Prodigaljon.com comes in a close second. Your little nuggets of wisdom and insight stay with me all day and beyond. Keep doing what you're doing, God is using the gifts He's given you. Thanks for sharing parts of yourself with us.

ashley said...

Wow, I really needed that. I mean, I needed all of it, but especially towards the end - believe it or not, I just joined a praise team again after 4 or 5 years of not trying to sing seriously, and "doubts" does not begin to describe some of the stuff thrown at me this weekend. Thanks, Brother.

haemin said...

"He won't try to spoil your talent for singing if you only do it in the shower. The minute you think about joining a praise team though, prepare for the arrival of doubt. He won't waste his limited energy on your broken relationship with your dad until you try to repair it."

Both of those things are going on in my life right now. That is just weird and crazy and divine. Thanks for this post.

Ditto to what Sara said - I have feeds to both this site and SCL, but this might be my favorite.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"And yet, that is the very first thing we learn about Esau in chapter 36. It's like he went out of his way to hurt his father. It's like he went out of his way to pick the sharpest knife to stab him with. The scary thing is, I'm not that different sometimes."

You know, sometimes we don't intentionally hurt our Father and thus ourselves. We're just so focused on pleasing ourselves that we don't even think about our Father or anyone else for that matter. This is why we have to let our flesh die all day, every day.

jenn3 said...

Great post! (And see, I'm not the only one crazy enough to call this my favorite blog.)

*jenni said...

This is a point that is being driven into me in a very real way in my life lately.
Thank you... for your daily dedication, your insight, and your honesty.

Campman62 said...

WHAMMM!
You-R-dah "Velvet Sledge Hammer"...

~On the wife bugging/gum chewing issue...(Altoids, Jon, Altoids)

*Then you can bugg everyone within earshot with that big "CRUNCH" at the end.

[ Enjoy His blessings today ]

inthelight-campman62.blogspot.com