To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the mountains of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.  

Joshua 24:4, New King James Version

  1. Sons or Lands? 

To Isaac, God gave the gift of sons.  To Esau, God gave a territory.  To Jacob, there was no apparent inheritance given.  He was sent off into exile.  What does that mean?  Which inheritance is nobler: sons or lands or ‘Nothing’?  To one, He gave men; to the other, He gave property; and to the last, nothing.  Which is a more attractive possession in the short term, and which in the long run: sons in whom to sacrificially invest for a lasting harvest, or a ready vast land to cultivate for a sooner harvest of perishable crops? 

  1. Gainful Loss 

Esau the food lover was the one who had sold his birthright and, to all appearance, should get no inheritance; yet it was to him that God gave an immediate possession: the vast regions of Mount Seir.  So that he would cultivate it for more of the ‘instant food’ he always loved? Jacob was the one who had acquired the birthright and by right of it should promptly have received possessions on the land, yet he was the one, with his descendants, being sent off on exile into Egypt, while Esau remained.  What ironies of God!  The wrong person stayed to “possess” the land; an equally wrong person got sent out of the land “into Egypt.”   Wasn’t something wrong with the Announcer?  Was that a fair and valid announcement?

Fast forward: centuries later, Jacob (who had become Israel) returns as a nation, to possess his place in that territory.  Today, that nation is on the land, but none can point to a ‘Kingdom of Esau’ there; no remembrance of the one who had been announced a possessor in that land while the other was being sent off.

  1. Interpreting God 

Not everything that God says is for today.  Some meanings are deeper than we hear.  Sometimes He speaks of tomorrow as if He were talking of today.  The rocky roads of today are not the definition of the covenant child’s destination.  It would appear that sometimes God goes in the ‘opposite direction’ to get us where we are headed in prophecy.  May we then trust Him with our mortal feet.  “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psalm 23:1).  Amen.

From The Preacher’s diary,
May 20, 2022. 

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