Posts Tagged ‘Genesis 25’

Genesis 25:27-34 – WHEN TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH

Goanna

Goanna’s are common in Australia, especially up in the Northern regions. A GOANNA is a monitor lizard that can grow to a couple of metres in length, with sharp teeth and claws. And I am going to goanna, crocodile, kangaroo and red desert country, to Darwin, a city in the North of Australia, to see a friend I have known for around 20 years.

As inexperienced and totally unskilled as I was, Ian would take me on overnight camping trips with him, hunting feral goats or exploring mountain ranges, trekking through the bush, sweating in the heat and humidity until exhaustion. On one trip, having almost reached my limit, totally fatigued, out in the middle of the bush, we came to a Henry-Moore-like rockpool, a beautiful clearwater natural spring. We swam with the leaches, until the cool water rejuvenated aching muscles and we caught crayfish in the nearby stream.

Sleeping in the tent on that hot afternoon I woke up to see a large goanna beside me. Fortunately, it was as startled as I was. Later, a goat skin, which Ian had hung on the branch of a tree was taken by another huge goanna. Incredible!

If Ian had been around in the time of Genesis 25, he would be out hunting with ESAU. I read one commentary however that says that Esau was a self-centered, irresponsible man, caring far more for sports and recreation than for the responsibilities of the family business and livestock. I also read some commentaries that castigate Jacob, his twin brother, for being lazy because he stays at home, looking after the domestic livestock and cooking. I think this is both unfair and unfounded.

The Bible certainly doesn’t say that Esau is irresponsible because he is a hunter or that Jacob is lazy because he stays at home. Neither of them is necessarily sinful simply because they use their skills in different arenas of life. SKILLS in themselves are spiritually neutral.

Nothing wrong with Esau being a skilled hunter. He provides extra food for the family but also has the ability to protect the family. That is his skill and his father approves. Hunter, Protector, Defender of territory, Warrior. Perhaps Esau was being trained to be a general of the small army that his father, Isaac, inherited from Abraham (Genesis 14:14).

Years later, another hunter became an expert with a sling, killing predators that came after his sheep and a Philistine predator called Goliath who came after Israel. King David would say God “trains my hands for battle; He strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.” (2 Samuel 22:35 NLT).

Nothing wrong with having a GIFT OR TALENT, but what gives it SUBSTANCE is when I allow it to come under God’s authority? When David tackles Goliath with his ability with a sling he rightly recognises that “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam 17:47). This doesn’t seem true of Esau. He seems to DESPISE God’s purposes for his life as a firstborn son, and is all too willing to sell his birthright for immediate gratification (Genesis 25:27-34).

John Maxwell, in his book called “TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH” says “practice sharpens your talent”, but he stresses that BELIEF is important if talent is to make a difference in my life. He speaks about BELIEF IN YOURSELF but I think that if I am to live out the purpose for which I am created then it is BELIEF AND TRUST IN CHRIST that will give me a passion to energize my talent, focus to direct my talent, perseverance to sustain my talent, responsibility to strengthen my talent and character to protect my talent. Esau lacked a BELIEF IN GOD that would sustain the destiny of a firstborn son with a God-given BIRTHRIGHT. John Maxwell is right – TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH.

The invitation I have today is to see that God wants to use not only my spiritual gifts but all my gifts and abilities, my motivations, my personality and my life experiences to serve Him and achieve the purpose for which I have been created. Someone said “Your talent is GOD’S GIFT TO YOU. What you do with it is YOUR GIFT BACK TO GOD.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT) says “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then EVERYTHING YOU DO will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to Him forever and ever! Amen.”

Pastor Ross

Genesis 25:21-23 – CAN OF WORMS!

Can of Worms

Some of the questions addressed in the TV show called “CAN OF WORMS” are “Is porn a normal, healthy part of adult life?” 52% of Austalians said “No!” “Is marriage necessary anymore?” 78% of Australians said “Yes!” and 68% said that gay people also have a right to marry.

Three guests, a studio audience and people from all over the world find out what Australia really thinks, especially controversial subjects such as political correctness and personal values. “Do Australians swear too much? Is the burqa out of place in Australia? Is it OK to spy on your kids online?” Each question is designed to open up a CAN OF WORMS. No absolute values. No right or wrong answers.

To open a can of worms means “to inadvertently create a host of new problems while trying to solve one.” The idea is that once you open a can of worms it is impossible to stop them from trying to escape.

Way back in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve sinned they OPENED A CAN OF WORMS. Their actions released a host of IRREVERSIBLE PROBLEMS and COMPLICATIONS into the world that only God could resolve. As long as the “can” remained sealed through obedience to God, there was no harm, but once it was opened it set off a chain reaction of events with totally unexpected and complex consequences that irrevocably changed our world. It’s called SIN.

For 20 years Isaac and Rebekah have prayed for children and the Lord answers their prayers (Genesis 25:21). But in a sinful world, it seems that prayer always stirs things up spiritually.

Rebekah has an abnormally tough pregnancy. She prays “Why is this happening to me?” The Lord answers Rebekah directly somehow. Does she get a prophetic word from an angel? Does her answer come through a dream or a sign? Does God show up personally like He did with Abraham? Here is where I would like to know the details, but somehow God is more interested in telling me WHAT He said rather than HOW He said it. Is it just me that gets so interested in the MIRACULOUS that I miss the MESSAGE? Lord, help me focus on what is RELEVANT, not just on what is REMARKABLE.

The Lord tells her she is having twins, but reveals to her some rather unexpected twists that will take place in their lives. Something spiritually will be stirred up by the birth of these sons. The trouble Rebekah is experiencing is used as a picture of things to come.

“They will be RIVALS! One will be STRONGER! The older will SERVE THE YOUNGER!” (Genesis 25:23). This is all upside down and inside out and it only COMPLICATES things! It’s not POLITICALLY CORRECT! It messes with the CULTURE of the time. For this to happen the inheritance and blessing from Isaac will have to come to the youngest son and not the oldest. This is NOT DONE! When God answers prayer in a sinful world it can stir up a CAN OF WORMS.

Does Rebekah mention this Word from the Lord to Isaac? Is she going to try to manipulate things to help God along with this promise?

Will I try to adjust the plans of God in my life? Prayer releases the promises of God, but am I really willing for God to answer the deepest prayers of my life when I don’t know WHERE IT WILL LEAD? Who knows what could happen? UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES that only He can foresee, IRREVOCABLE PROBLEMS and COMPLICATIONS that only He can resolve? A MINE FIELD to navigate where only He can lead?

Just because God answers my prayers doesn’t mean I won’t experience difficulties or that I won’t feel out of my depth. Everytime I pray, something in the spiritual atmosphere of this world is STIRRED UP as God intervenes to deal with the CAN OF WORMS created by our sin.

The believing line of descendents from Abraham carry the promises of the Covenant. The Messiah Jesus will come from this line, and in fulfilling this promise the world will be IRREVOCABLY CHANGED. A battle begins, and is waged in the hearts of men and women to this very day.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) assures me “that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” When prayer stirs up a can of worms, I am unable to deal with it, BUT GOD CAN. He can sort out the mess.

Somehow only the Lord Jesus Christ can deal with the consequences of my sin, no matter how complicated, twisted and out of control things have become. It may mean He does things a little differently to our expectations and it may cut across our cultural norms and look totally upside down to us, but He knows what He is doing. He is the only WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE (John 14:6). The invitation is always to TRUST in Him.

Pastor Ross