The parsha always comes right on time. I am merely 2 years into following this (Judaic) "Bible-in-a-year" layout, and I mean I can say it is inspired. How is it that so many believers can agree that the same few chapters in the same week, with differing circumstances each person finds themselves in, speaks precise direction, edification, and comfort they seek?
This week is entitled after family history and generations. It starts with the generations of Abraham through Yitshaq/Isaac. As you know, the generation he contributed was Ya'akob/Jacob and Esaw -- 2 totally different types of people. I have been reflecting on this truth with my own family history. There are so many dimensions to this: So many of us find 2 totally different types of people in our family; so many of us find 2 totally different types of people within just one person in our family; and our family history versus what we make of ourselves, plus the soul/spirit battle, has me saying that all of us can almost always find 2 totally different types of people within our own selves.
Before I get into family history from the Torah, let's touch a bit on the Lord's family history as told by Him in the Malachi readings for this week. I've scarcely met anybody who wouldn't want to be in His family -- the issue these days is so many that want to be in His family do not understand what kind of family He calls for. Some of these below are an example of the mass that He is offered:
"A son esteems his father, and a servant his master. And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear?" said YHWH of hosts to you priests who despise My Name. -- Malachi 1:6a
I don't know a single parent who doesn't demand esteem from their children, obedience and service from their servant, yet how many who actually call Him "Father" give Him the same they demand? Is it as if we have elevated ourselves above the Almighty to ensure we are treated better than what we are willing to treat Him?
"But you asked, 'In what way have we despised your Name?' You are presenting defiled food on My altar. But you asked, 'In what way have we defiled You?' Because you say, 'The table of YHWH is despicable.' -- Malachi 1:6b-7
First of all, we must understand Hebrew idioms. In Romans 11:9, there is a quote from David (he spoke in Psalm 69:22) that says, "Let their table become for a snare, and for a trap, and for a stumbling-block..." The meaning of the idiom is exposed in the context of the Romans and Psalm passages -- the "table" is traditions. The heritage (Torah) of the Lord, His ways (which are His traditions, again Torah) have been despised in His own "family's" eyes. This wasn't just an issue with Israel, who He's saying here did not follow His Torah for their own "table"/traditions, but too many New Testament believers have likewise forsaken His Torah for their own traditions, claiming the forefathers sanctified them. Take heed lest you worship the forefathers instead.
"And when you present the blind as a slaughtering, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Bring it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favourably?" said YWHW of hosts. -- Malachi 1:8
From what we read in the Torah, you had to first take care of your stuff before you came to God's house. You had to set your sin in order and cleanse yourself. It is embarrassing in this New Age that so many people come to God in all their sin, their club-wear, their fornicating partner strapped to their arm, etc. God says, "Bring that to your governor!" I didn't meet Rick Scott when I lived in Florida, but I did write him a few letters. I will tell you then when I went my governor (in letter), I gave him my best grammar and research. I had prepared myself, as any one person would. You see celebrities at these premieres, and people outside of the rope probably looking their best because they don't want to be passed by, and don't have that same mentality towards Holy God. I mean, we prepare ourselves to meet the football team and can't do the same for the Creator! Get out of here with that!
"And you said, 'Oh, what weariness!' and you sneered at it," said YHWH of hosts. -- Malachi 1:13a
This is talking about His table and His food, the portion (inheritance, Torah) for His family. It is so dead on it's scary. Try telling the "family" that is looking at Jesus like He is a Greek god that you have sat at the Lord's table (Torah) and eaten of its food, and see if "Oh, what weariness!" won't be the reaction you hear. The rebukes here are not of God's own festivals and holy days, ways of worship (sacrifice) that He Himself set, but the violation of the standard of them. It is people trying to do church their way, instead of His. The rebuke is not in the offering, but in the offering of the blind instead of the spotless. The rebuke isn't in festivals, it is in changing them in layout and nowadays changing them also in day.
So how the rebuke applies to the reader of today is quite the same, actually. There are those who want a Savior but no Lord, and those that want a Lord to conform to their Greek minds rather than conforming theirs to His Hebraic one. To these, (lawlessness, Torah-lessness), the Bible does not tell us He knew, but in fact says that He tells these to depart from Him for He never knew them. Family? More like strangers.
This parsha came in the right time because these past few days I have been reflecting on my own family history, and the strangers within. Within me lies my biological family history and then my spiritual family history. These two come together and it's Ya'aqob and Esaw in one womb.
The Lord said 2 different people would be born of Ribqah/Rebekah. Of course this immediate interpretation is that two separate human beings were within her, but these are also 2 totally different types of people. Certainly, within her womb she held the carnal man and the spiritual man at the same time.
Esaw (meaning hairy) was named so because he was born hairy. He was later called Edom (meaning red), which we first hear in this portion (Genesis 25:30) when he sells his birthright for some red stew. It rightly fit though since he was also born "red." Studying this word, you see that it is the same root as Adam, who was named after the clay of the earth, which was red. This is Adam, the carnal man.
Ya'qob simply means heel grabber, because he grabbed his brother's heel upon exiting the womb. It immediately makes me think of the prophecy of the Messiah crushing the serpent's head while the serpent bruises His heel. Here's a man in his infancy holding onto the heel. Symbolically, I think there's a connection and it may be a stretch to say he represents those who hold onto not just the power of Messiah, but the pain of the brotherhood with Him. He is a man who dwelt in tents (Genesis 25:27) -- which is a phrase, when connected in all its uses, means the same in each. It is a phrase given to the spiritual man.
We all have a family history. For many of us, there is the life of the world in our family's past that got implanted in us and it daily meets our call in the Spirit to be transformed and live otherwise. Even if raised by God-fearing parents, we still are the generations of Adam, which means we have a not-so impressive family history. By God's wisdom, the redeemed can say it happened for our good that we have our past. Some things that are going on right now had me play a deep revisit into my family history. I am seeing what has passed down to me in traits and ways, and I am also seeing the pain, dysfunction, and mistakes. I have accepted it, and even embrace it. Without it, I would not have known a Savior, a Comforter, Healer, Physician, Father, Bridegroom, and I wouldn't have so badly knew that I need Him as Lord. I have a choice of seeing a priceless relationship with the Lord being built when I revisit my family history, and how I have been called to be in the family whose builder and maker is the Lord. Within my family is certainly my family, but that also includes the Lord. Within me there is a war -- like the twins that warred within Ribqah. I am still carnal man, which will not cease until this body is put away; but within me is also the spiritual man, renewed and risen above the carnal by the power of the Spirit within.
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