Move On

Genesis 36:1-8

1This is the account of the family line of Esau (that is, Edom).

2Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite— 3also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. 4Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, 5and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan.

6Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. 7Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. 8So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.

Discover by Accident

Do you find it easy to decide when it’s about time to move on to the next episode of your life or career? What are some major factors you may consider when it’s time for you to move on from your present circumstances?

A rising star in the photography industry discovered by accident his career in photography. While he was still in the U.S. Navy, photography was one of his hobbies that he “never took seriously.” Then one day upon leaving the military, a friend who wanted to be a model, paid a photographer for a photo shoot to get started in the modeling industry. Unfortunately, none of the pictures from the shoot came out to what he wanted. “He didn’t have much money, and I felt bad so I told him I can try to take some photos of him at the beach and hopefully we can get something that could get him started,” the ex-Navy recalls.

His friend uploaded those pics on his social media account, and an agency discovered him. “That got me a lot of attention as well since most of his photos in his social media were shot by me. Pretty soon, popular models started getting a hold of me for shoots,” the photographer said. His clients include actors, models, Hollywood celebrities, and TV personalities. He has shot over 200 magazine covers, mostly on fitness, published in the U.S. and internationally.

Most often, we do not pay much attention to things we love to do because we assume that it won’t give us generous income. Not contentment but financial return is a major factor for career decisions made. If only there’s contentment in workplaces, less protest against employers or less demand for salary increase.

Are you hoping to “discover their career by accident?” Believers should be intentional in seeking the Lord’s will, and not rely on accident to discover careers. The Lord would gladly lead us to a career He wanted us to have. How?

Romans 12:1-2, 1Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

This path to know God’s will is often ignored. Why? It’s godly command. We can only obey and please God, when Christ performs His lordship in us.

As proof of His lordship, mindset is renewed not to follow worldly lifestyle.

We don’t conform to worldly lifestyle when pleasing God is intentional. The result, we can identify the good, pleasing and perfect will of God for us.

Previously, Jacob returned to Hebron, and his father Isaac died. After that, the Lord’s favor Jacob over Esau has become more apparent. How? They didn’t argue of who should move away. Esau chose to move farther away from his brother Jacob. He did not ask for Jacob’s opinion. It was his choice to move on.

1. Choice.

.
1This is the account of the family line of Esau (that is, Edom). 2Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite—3also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. 4Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, 5and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan.

When Esau got married, he did not ask for consent from his parents. Well, he was already 40 years old when he chose his Canaanite wives. He had an independent mindset. But since he was still living with his parents, he should have asked his parents’ consent or opinion about his marriage. Do you agree?

It says in Genesis 26:34-35, 34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Why did his parents grieve when Esau married Canaanite women? Esau was matured enough to choose what he wanted to marry, right? He did not mind if his wives would influence the practice of his faith in God. When he didn’t seek parental advice for his decision to marry, does it prove disrespect to his parents?

Solomon the wisest king of Israel teaches in Proverbs 10:1, 1A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

He also says in Proverbs 17:21, 21To have a fool for a child brings grief; there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

And still he added in Proverbs 17:25, 25A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

Bringing grief and bitterness to parents is attached to foolishness. Bringing joy to parents is attached to wise. We can evaluate ourselves if we are wise or foolish. Did I bring grief to my parents? Did I bring them joy? Ask your parents.

My Foolishness

As young adult, I lived under the roof of my parents. I had my share of foolishness. I had countless escapades that every wild youth would venture into. My father told me, “You are destroying my name.” He certainly felt dismayed that I failed his expectations. I was embarrassed. I left home and lived on my own.

Ten years later, I returned home and shared the gospel to my parents. I saw my father cried before me, not because of grief but joy that he found Christ in a very new way. My father used to be a cook and assistant to a Roman Catholic priest but I had the privilege to help him be assured of his eternal life. Despite of his ailment, I saw that my father had enjoyed the last days of his life.

Isaac must be joyful in his last days when Jacob and Esau were reunited.

Together, they buried his remains when he died. Perhaps, before Esau decided to move farther away from his brother, Rebekah died and they buried her beside Isaac. It wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the Bible when Rebekah died. Why? So it won’t be interpreted as reason why Esau moved away. Maybe!

Probably, the land may have become insufficient for pasture when Esau moved his family away from Jacob. It seems like cordial consideration to Jacob.

2. Consideration

6Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob.

When it was mentioned that Esau moved his family and livestock to a land some distance from his brother, it implies that he was considerate of his brother. Perhaps, the pasture land has become scarce and he did not want to struggle for space. Being a hunter, Esau wanted to explore other probable opportunities.

Was it enough reason for him to consider and moved farther away from Jacob? Did Esau assume that moving away was favorable for them? He’s older. Why did he not demand Jacob to move away instead so that he can stay?

Remember that Jacob bought the right of the first born from Esau.

When Esau did not insist on staying but chose to move away, he honored Jacob as the right owner of the right of the first born. Do you agree that God may have also influenced Esau’s mind for him to decide in such a gentleman manner?

With such turn of events, does it illustrate what Paul said in Romans 8:28? 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

If we say ‘yes,’ a question can be asked. Did God approve or design when Jacob deceived his brother to sell his birth right with a soup of lintel?

Jacob obeyed whenever God gave him instruction. His love for the Lord was practically exhibited in his obedience to all instructions God gave him.

Christ teaches us in John 14:23-24, 23Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

It’s true, that Jesus was born thousand years after Jacob and Esau died. By faith, we believe that the Lord who spoke to people in the Old Testament is the same Lord in the New Testament. In the same way, the Lord in the New Testament is the same Lord in the Old Testament. Therefore, His teachings that Jesus pertains to was not relegated or consigned to the New Testament only.

So, the Lord’s commands that are not written in the New Testament are in the Old Testament. Furthermore, when Jesus was teaching His disciples, the New Testament was not written yet. So, what Scripture did He use? He and the His Apostles used the Old Testament Scriptures for teaching disciples.

Therefore, the whole Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament deserve to be treated with equality. And, we can only understand much deeper the message of the Lord in the New Testament when we have better and deeper understanding of His message in the Old Testament.

Scared to turn left?

Many preachers suggest that the Bible is our road map for Christian living. A driver has to turn to the right at one time and to the left at some other times. It depends on what the road map leads to until he reaches his destination. Of course, we live by God’s grace and the Lord uses His words as our road map.

There was a driver who had been traumatized after a near fatal accident.  When she was turning her vehicle to the left, a reckless driver beat the red light and hit her car. From that time on whenever she drives somewhere, she would plan her trip so as not to turn to the left, even it means longer trips.

Such is not very great example about ignoring the Old Testament but it sure illustrates that there are necessary factors or direction in the Old Testament for us to move on to the next level of spirituality. The Old Testament is not pleasant to many believers if they don’t like to obey some commands.

To be Christ’s disciples is challenging. He did not promise convenience while on earth. Actually, Christ warned in John 15:20, 20Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

Is it possible to be convenient and face great challenges? Convenient life has very little space for spiritual growth. No challenge, no trouble. No trouble, no inconvenience. No inconvenience, no spiritual growth. Difficulty is inconvenience. Inconvenience challenges us to move on to the next level of spirituality.

3. Convenience

7Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. 8So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.

Esau wanted convenience. No space? No progress for both of them to stay together. Esau did not want another conflict with Jacob. Moving away can prevent conflict. They were reunited and Esau may have loved that. He did not want them to clash again. Probably, he did not want to compete with his brother. Esau has learned that Jacob was a deceiver and the Lord favored Jacob, too.

Esau desired convenience for both of them but he missed the possibility of growing together in their relationship. Do you agree that God let Esau moved away so that Jacob would have all the rights to stay in Canaan? Indirectly!

By faith, we can interpret that the Lord has designed it as favor to Jacob.

After Jacob returned to Canaan from Paddan Aram, the Lord promised him in Genesis 53:9-12, 11I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.

The Lord made it sure that the descendants of Esau won’t stay in Canaan. The Lord had certainly influenced Esau to decide on moving farther away from Canaan so that His promise to Jacob will come true. Apostle Paul quoted what the prophet Malachi (1:2) wrote that God loved Jacob and He hated Esau.

Paul says in Romans 9:13-16, 13Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

The original Hebrew word which was translated “hate” in English can also be interpreted as ‘lesser love.’ God’s love for Esau was lesser than His love for Jacob. God has shown more mercy to Jacob than Esau. The same Hebrew word translated ‘hate’ is used to describe the ‘lesser love’ of Jacob for Leah in contrast to his greater love for Rachel.

It says in Genesis 29:30-31, 30Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. 31When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.

The idea of hate that comes to mind is that no love at all. But, we need to take note that God did not destroy Esau. He just favored Jacob more than Esau.

Why did God love Jacob more than Esau? Was it because Esau brought grief to his parents and disrespected them when he married Canaanite women?

Did not the Lord command in Luke 14:26, 26If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

The Greek word translated ‘hate’ in Luke is the same Greek word translate ‘hate’ that Apostle Paul used when he quoted the prophet Malachi about God’s hate for Esau in contrast with God’s love for Jacob. The Lord did not command us to bring grief to our parents. He just wants us to love Him more than others. That’s all! All efforts to love others should not surpass our love for Christ.

So, Christ did not command us, “Don’t love your parents totally if you want to be my disciple.” Instead, He wants us to have more love for Him than our love for parents, spouse, children or siblings. And that’s hard to do, right? Yes!

It is the Lord’s command to love Him more than others, friends, relatives, or love ones. And, we can only obey the Lord, love Him more than others, and become His disciples when His Spirit reigns in our life, heart, mind and strength.

Such is the application of the greatest command of God. When Christ was asked about the greatest command, He said in Mark 12:30-31, 30‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

The basis of love for others is love for self. Love for self is not the basis of love for God. God expects us to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. Such kind of love that God requires is impossible with human effort because most of the time, we care more of our self.

Yet, the Lord gave use impossible commands for us not to rely upon our human efforts to obey Him but to seek His help. Why? If we rely upon ourselves to obey the Lord, praise and glory belongs to us. And that would make us proud.

It says in Genesis 6:5, 5The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.The inclination of human heart is evil and sinfulness. So, if we rely on our human effort to love God, we rely upon evil sinfulness, Right?

That is why we have to rely upon Christ. Ad, if rely upon the Lord to obey Him, glory and praise belongs to Lord alone. And that would make us humble.

Canada Goose Parka

Do you love God more than yourself? How do you measure your love for yourself? Do you care enough to buy yourself $1,000 Canada Goose Parka?

An article made me aware that Canada Goose Parkas are really expensive. It said that to wear those expensive parkas in downtown Toronto or Vancouver is not proper. “There’s a time and place for these, but it isn’t downtown Toronto or Vancouver when it’s plus five degrees. Sorry, but if you’re wearing $1,000 worth of parka to shield you against a crisp breeze, the rest of Canada is embarrassed for you,” the author of the article suggested.

So, why would people be embarrassed when someone wants to use expensive items? If they can afford it, why not use it? It’s their choice!

Would you buy $1,000 worth parka to give to the Lord if He were here?

Such idea won’t happen anytime. Christ doesn’t need parkas anymore.

But when Christ prevails in us, we can love Him more than we care for ourselves.

><((‘> .. ><(((‘> tmec\2019 <‘)))>< .. <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.