Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toledoth

TOLEDOTH
Genesis 25:19 - 28:9

“And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son....” begins this parashah, which continues the blessings upon Abraham from HaShem. However, as the story continues, we will see the unseemly side of the blessing in several instances, until Jacob departs in fear of his life.
There are some families whose existence becomes composed of nothing but malicious intrigue and plotting, spiteful triumphs over some member of the family of whom more than just an advantage has been won. In the case of Isaac’s family it is not pleasant to have this reality exposed and to see where love and self-sacrifice might be expected, but  is seen only as an eager assertion of rights.
In this story, told so personally and succinctly, we see a family whom God has blessed sinking to a rather low level, betrayal and jealousy being birthed on hallowed ground. Each member of the family plans a scheme of “getting what he wants.” However, we see the hand of God thwart one person’s evil with the evil of another. HIS purpose is to continue to bless the Hebrew race according to HIS will and designs, rather than have it be cast away into dust and ashes. The announcement of His purpose, instead of enabling them to quietly wait for the blessing promised , became an impatient and unrighteous display of hearts that would rather trust in their own falsehoods than in the assurances pronounced by God through Abraham.
Whilst each member had a share in this playing the part of Providence, the most notorious was Esau, who showed the reader how selfish and untruthful a sensual man really is, how worthless is a generosity which is based upon impulse instead of principle. Many who care very little for God’s love will seek His favors and every wicked person who has his prosperity brought to little or nothing will turn to God with a cry, not from a repentant heart but for His gifts to be restored.
By yielding to appetite and a passing thought, Esau entangled himself irrecoverably during the remainder of his life, possible even crippling him or weakening him in the World to Come. His spiritual hopes were crushed when he made way for the free enjoyment of sensual pleasure; he deliberately chose the good things of life over the love of God; he weighed the spiritual blessings against the obvious worldly and was found wanting in the former.
While each member had his own plan and strove to fulfill his private intentions, the end result was always the same: God’s purpose would be fulfilled. Were matters left in our hands, as their’s also, we should make a wreck of our lives, perhaps even of the redemption with which we have been provided. We sometimes carry into our relationships the same selfishness, inconstancy and worldliness which made our redemption necessary. If God did not have patience to bear with us,  mercy to invite us, and wisdom to govern us through His grace, we all should perish with the living water near our lips.

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