Getting God’s Story Straight

Genesis 36

Genealogies are often hard to read because their relevance is not usually inherently obvious. However God has chosen to include several of them in the bible. Let us consider a few functions that this one may perform:

  • Esau’s prosperity was a fulfilment of God’s promise to be faithful to all His people, despite Esau’s folly of giving up his birthright.
  • To protect Esau’s descendents, the Edomites, from being annihilated by the Israelites when they entered the land of Canaan. The family tree provided surety of protected lineage (Deut 1:8; 2:2-5; 20:16-18).
  • To provide information that could be used to establish the lineage of the Messiah, by ruling in or ruling out certain descendents from the line of David that led to Jesus.

For detail on these points and an interesting discussion of all the lessons that we can learn from Esau’s family life see “A Hairy Tale” (Genesis 36:1-37:1) available at bible.org

Luke 9:51-62

How easy it is to miss the point of this Christian life! The Samaritans were having a bitter feud with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so much so that they rejected anyone travelling toward Jerusalem because of it. They allowed their petty opinions to cloud their judgment so much that they refused to let the Lord find lodging among them when He arrived with his entourage. What a pity. What a terrible shame. The Samaritans in missing the point provide a vivid contrast to Jesus’ own behaviour. When he turned toward his crucifixion he “set his face” toward Jerusalem (v51). How easy it is to turn aside from God’s calling, to get distracted by dramas on the side of the road or to meander around the garden path. Jesus could have travelled by a less direct route which would have avoided the Samaritan villages, but Jesus’ face was set straight toward the mission. Once the timing was right he did not waiver from God’s will. He was resolute, determined and committed despite all the inconvenience and suffering that would come with it. May we be equally obedient to God’s calling on us.

Matthew

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One thought on “Getting God’s Story Straight

  1. Thank you Matthew. In the Luke reading I was reminded once again of the cost of following Jesus, the cost of becoming a Christian and the urgency of following Christ. This is something that I need to remind myself of over and over again. There is no such a thing as being a bit of a Christian. Sitting on the fence is a,”NO’, when it comes to following Christ. Its no good looking longingly at the life that was led before coming to faith. If I miss those things that once were attractive to me, what ever they may be, then something is wrong with my walk. This is where discipline is helpful and to catch those destructive thoughts or to stop that second glance before they cause damage.

    Also the great patience that Jesus shows to the,”sons of thunder”, James and John wanting in all sincerity, to call down destructive elements upon the Samaritans. I can be thankful that He is also so patient with me (us).

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