Updated: Nov 24
[12-18 Nov 2023]
Theme of the Book of Genesis:
Desire for life, to choose life and to create!
Meaning of "toldot" = "generations"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Gen 25:19-26:5
Monday: Gen 26:6-12
Tuesday: Gen 26:13-22
Wednesday: Gen 26:23-29
Thursday: Gen 26:30-27:27
Friday: Gen 27:28-28:4
Shabbat: Gen 28:5-28:9 & Mal 1:1-2:7
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
The previous portion ended with Isaac & Rebecca getting married. In this portion we read that they've been married for quite a while but didn't have kids yet.
When Rebecca does fall pregnant, we read that there was a struggle in her womb between the twins - Esau & Jacob. God showed her that she would give birth to two nations and that they would be in opposition with one another. God showed her that Jacob would rule over Esau.
Esau (the eldest) grew up hunting and spent most of his time being outside. Whereas Jacob didn't enjoy the same things Esau did. Jacob preferred to stay and cook and be around the tent. Isaac favoured Esau and Rebecca favoured Jacob.
In Scripture, we read that Esau returned home after a long day in the field. When he got home, he saw and smelled the delicious food which Jacob had made. Esau begged Jacob for some of the food and Jacob told him that he could get it if Esau gave Jacob his firstborn right. They made a deal and Esau gave away his birthright.
From the time of Abraham, the firstborn child would receive a spiritual right / blessing from their father. The firstborn right is a leadership position such as becoming a king (rule) or priest (serve), etc. in the household/congregation. It's a spiritual inheritance to rule in righteousness. There was also a financial blessing linked to this firstborn right. Jacob had his eyes set on these inheritances.
Interesting to take note, that Esau did not value this inheritance as much as Jacob did. Even to the point where he was willing to give it up for a plate of food.
The fulfillment of God’s prophecy to Rebecca went into effect. There was an exchange / transaction that took place between Jacob and Esau. Agreements back in the time of the Bible, did not work the way we are used to it in the Western society. “Contracts” was set in place based on based on verbal agreements. That’s why the entire Bible places high value on keeping our word.
From previous parashot (plural for parashat), we know that Abraham pretended that Sarah was his sister when they came to Egypt. He was scared that they would kill him to get Sarah.
Just like bloodline inheritance works, Isaac pretended that Rebecca was his sister, as he also feared that they would kill him to get her.
We also read that Isaac re-opened the wells which Abraham dug. The Philistines (descendants of Ishmael) did not like that he was doing.
At this stage Isaac was well advanced in years and he wanted to bless Esau. He wanted to pass the firstborn blessing (which Abraham gave to Isaac) onto Esau before Isaac died. Isaac instructed Esau to go and hunt and prepare Isaac’s favourite dish for him and the Isaac would have blessed Esau. Rebecca overheard Isaac’s conversation with Esau and recalled the promise which Abba gave to her when se was still pregnant with the twins.
Rebecca took matters into her own hands and told Jacob to dress up as Esau so that Isaac would bless him instead of blessing Esau. From Scripture we know that Isaac initially did doubt if it was Esau indeed. However, due to his age he couldn’t see properly anymore. Isaac ended up blessing Jacob with the spiritual blessing of becoming a priest and proclaimed that he would rule over his brother. Isaac at the moment was unaware of who he was blessing, but it was literal prophecy going into fulfillment - just like Abba told Rebecca it would happen.
After Jacob received the blessing form Isaac, Esau returned from the field and realised what happened. Esau begged Isaac to bless him too, but the firstborn blessing was already given to Jacob. It could not be recalled. Esau was mad to say the very least.
Isaac did bless Esau (not with the firstborn blessing) and said that Esau would live by the sword. Which is so clearly visible when we look at the descendants of Esau. It was only after the blessing was spoken that Esau realised what he was missing out on.
He was so mad that he told Jacob that he was going to kill him. Rebecca and Isaac told Jacob to fled to Laban so that Esau would not be able to kill him.
(Take a moment to realise who the descendants of Esau are and who the descentdants of Jacob are - and suddenly you will realise that the picture of current world events lines up perfectly with Bible prophecy.)
Jacob followed his parents’ instruction and went to Laban (Rebecca’s brother). From Scripture we know that Jacob married Leah and Rachel (Laban’s daughters). Jacob was renamed by God as Israel - and that’s where the Israelites came from.
Since Esau was mad and acted in a spiteful manner, he married two Hitite women. The Hitites were descendants of Ishmael (linking back to what we’ve shared in last week’s post).
This parashat is focused on fruitfulness and about the next generation / an offspring. It's a rhythm of being fruitful which was set in place - in other words it’s a rhythm of blessing. Which once again confirms Abba’s heart for us. He desires for us to live in His rhythm of blessing from generation to generation.
In order for us to live in this rhythm - we have to take up our inheritance as kings and priests to serve Him. Kings rule and priests serves and blesses. We are called to rule from a place of authority, blessing and servanthood.
If we have to give a theme to this week’s portion; it would be to be a generation that will serve the next generation to continue living in the rhythm of His blessing. It’s about living in such a way that the generation we are teaching would be so well equipped that they would be able to teach the generation after them as well.
By know we know that if we want to be the Bride of Yeshua, we have to die to ourselves. In the New Testament we read about the potter and the clay. The potter can form the clay any way he wants. This does not mean that our lives are pre-destined or that God makes all the decisions. It’s about the exact opposite. If there’s one thing that we have to realise, it’s that we do have a choice!
In the New Testament reading linked to this portion, Paul refers back to Jacob and Esau and confirmed that Jacob would rule over Esau like God showed Rebecca before they were born.
At first glance it may seem unfair that God choose Jacob and Esau did not have a choice. But that’s not the case! God knew that Esau didn’t value the importance of the firstborn blessing and that he wouldn’t think twice to transfer it to his brother for a plate of food. Esau had the choice and God knew in advance what choice Esau would make.
God doesn’t decide who gets saved and who doesn’t.
In Romans, we see how Paul continiously teaches that salvation is for anyone who has faith, not only a select few whom God has chosen. God wants the whole world to be save, but not the whole world will be saved. Because not everyone will make the choice to serve Him. If we argue that God chooses who get saved, then it would make Him an unfair God. And that He is not! He is a just and righteous God and He loves us so much that He leaves the choice up to us. And He honours that choice - even if it means that we don’t choose Him.
Through faith we have been saved! And through faith alone! Not through our glorious works or through abiding by the law. We become righteousness through faith and not through law.
We are all presented with a choice. Do you choose Yeshua (righteousness through faith)? Or do we disregard it (like Esaue who did not understand the value of the firstborn blessing)?
The choice belongs to each individual. God gives us a choice, and then He chooses those who have chosen Him! That’s the chosen ones which we read about in the Bible. God doesn’t pick who gets saved - we do! And when we choose Him, we become the chosen ones, the remnant, the elect.
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Portion 6: Toldot (This blog you are reading now)