Day 12, January 12, 2021
Scriptures: Genesis 25, Matthew 6 and Psalm 127
Our story progresses along in Genesis, the line of Abraham expands exponentially. And much can be said about the aftermath of the difficulty presented in Ishmael and Isaac. In the end though, I believe God is looking to reconcile all of them, every last one of them, into the family of God and life in His Kingdom. The Gospel of Jesus is for ALL People.
Thematically, I see an important connection between Esau and Matthew 6. It comes at the end of Genesis 25 with Esau who is famished. He is so hungry that he feels like he is about to die.
I have always been pretty unsympathetic to Esau in this regard. I lack the empathy required to fully understand what it was that he was experiencing. I don’t know of a hunger where I felt like dying. I imagine very few of us ever have, or ever will. And praise God for it!
But Esau, most certainly did feel like he was going to die, and Jacob, the shrewd brother that he was, took advantage. That’s going to be a theme, the shrewd nature of Jacob to take advantage of situations to get ahead.
When we contrast the desperation of Esau, with the reality that Jesus is presenting in Matthew 6, we get an entirely different worldview. Esau believes in scarcity, whereas Jesus believes in the abundance of blessings in the Kingdom of God.
This stands as a great reminder that we can seek first the kingdom of God. It is really easy to get wrapped up into the struggles of the world. We’ve been reminded of this, over and over again it seems, the shortage of life, the insufficiency of what is good, the scarcity of sustenance. We live in a land of fear. Fear of sin, viruses, death, separation and so much more.
But Jesus points us forward, to seek first the Kingdom of God. To look at the trees and the fields and the flowers and the birds. He gets us to look away from our present desires and needs, and simply see how God meets the needs and desires of the flowers, birds and fields.
As he teaches us to look at the care of God over His creation, he also commissions us to seek first the Kingdom. To seek His righteousness. To seek what is good in the world. Teaching us to trust that as he cares for His creation, he is going to certainly care for the crowning achievement of His creation, those who were created in His image!
We don’t have anything to worry about. We have all we need in Him. We don’t need to sell our birthright to get what we need. We get to, celebrate our new birth, into a right relationship with God, and know that we have all we need in Jesus, and more.
I’ve just reread what I wrote, and I have another thought. It might sound a little contradictory.
I do know the feelings Esau experienced of being famished to the point of death. I can be sympathetic with Esau. I do know what it means to be so famished that I might die, spiritually. While I’ve never felt a hunger so deeply that I might die, I do know what it is like to be so empty of life, that I might die. The despair of death, the loneliness of sin, the tragedy of sorrow and grief.
I have been spiritually famished. I know what it is like to be so empty that you know you are lost and broken and have nothing. You can have all the material things in the world, all of the comforts and be filled with pain.
There is a hard reality out there, when left on our own, we cannot do enough to save our own skin.
When we realize our brokenness, when we realize just how famished we actually are, we might come to the One who can give us what we truly need. The soup of God’s abundant love, mercy and grace. In our famine, we are given Jesus.
We give up our birthrights of this world, filled with famine, despair and darkness, and have a new birthright, in the family of God.
Seek first the Kingdom of God today!