11 January: Genesis 25-26, John 6b, Psalm 11

 Look for the update here after the funeral and Sunday sermon.

Genesis 25-26

  • It's touching to read about Isaac AND Ishmael burying Abraham together. 
  • v. 18 It seems that the reading "And they lived to the east of all the tribes related to them" makes more sense, but I've not studied the variants.
  • Isaac's prayer on behalf of his wife Rebekah is likewise a touching detail in the narrative. Not so touching — the favoritism of Isaac for Esau and of Rebekah for Jacob. 
  • Esau "despised" his birthright for a mess of porridge. Baza, the word translated despised, has the sense of "undervaluing" his birthright. Immediate satisfaction vs. delayed satisfaction is the great indicator of maturity. Esau fails here, but so I do I whenever I let the urgency of the world sweep me away from the value of the kingdom.
  • The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as Isaac employs the "she's my sister" strategy with Rebekah and Abimelek. Fear again precipitates deceit. I want to be sobered by my deceit and the potential generational taint that it can produce. The entire narrative has an eerie similarity to Abraham's treaty at Beersheba in chapter 21.

John 6:25-70

  • "Do not work for bread that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." That great statement by Jesus sets up the rest of this discourse about the bread of life.
  • BTW- how do you "work" for this eternal food? By believing in Jesus v. 29. Do I work at my faith? Only by happy accident. 
  • No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them v. 44. How does God draw us to Jesus? Is it immediate or mediate? I make sense of this strong statement by mediate means, that is, by his word and by his servants and by his arrangement of life circumstances that promote faith in Jesus. See the next verse (by the word).
  • Can I accept the "hard teachings"? Hard teachings often don't make sense at face value. Can I allow my "reason" to be satisfied by Jesus' promises rather than by my ability to systemize his teaching into my taxonomy or process model? If I am humble, then the answer is a much easier Yes.

Psalm 11

  • What a conclusion: "For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face" !!! 
  • A pattern has begun to develop with respect to what or whom God hates. We often say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. That's not been the biblical data that we've encountered through the Psalms. 
    • 11:5 but the wicked, those who love I will, he hates with a passion.
    • 5:4-6 for you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all you do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest.