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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter TWENTY FIVE



Contributing commentaries by Sonny Islas and James Fire


GENESIS 25 – by James Fire - to watch the Facebook video of this teaching as recorded at ETERNAL LIVING WORD Church, go here.

Introduction: We are here at Ch. 25, the middle point to the book of GENESIS which consists of 50 chapters. We’ve covered a lot of ground, and the view of Holy and Inspired Scripture has shown us the creation of GOD’s handiwork, with the climax being man himself – then his fall into sin – and GOD’s promise of redemption through “the seed of the woman”, one of the many titles of the Messiah. We’ve seen the iniquity of the human race climaxing in the days of Noah, resulting in the Flood Judgment and a new beginning when the ark landed and GOD’s promise with the rainbow that the Earth will never again be destroyed by water (next time it’s by fire). We’ve witnessed the rise of the Tower of Babel, crowned with the pride of man, as he was then humbled by GOD, scattered over the face of the Earth by means of a multitude of tongues. Then the focus becomes all the narrower as Scripture reveals this one man: Abraham.

The life of Abraham hits it’s highest heights when by faith he believed GOD, and this faith was demonstrated by his willing sacrifice of Isaac, his beloved son. Recently we’ve seen him bury his wife, and through his servant Eleazer he finds a wife for his son Isaac.
Which brings us to our present chapter:
GENESIS 25:1-4
1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah [based on qitor – perfumed]. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

These are all sons of Abraham, but they are not all blessed in the way that Isaac is blessed of GOD; these children of Keturah are essentially on the same level as the child of Hagar, Ishmael. These are children of Abraham, yes, and for his sake, GOD blessed them, but not children of promise. There is only one child of promise and that is Isaac, the one that GOD has called through Abraham and Sarah.

Many of the Muslim people are offspring of Abraham, as certainly as the nation of Israel is from Abraham – the difference between them is that the nation of Israel comes through Isaac and Jacob and then the twelve patriarchs that later become the twelve tribes of Israel – and these particular Muslim nations comes through Ishmael (though there are many other Muslims that come from other nations).

Yet just because they are of Abraham, they don’t have the blessed privilege that the promised seed has: to Isaac GOD transferred all of the promises that He made to Abraham. And as we continue on in our journey through Genesis, we later learn that the Messiah will come through a royal line, established in one particular tribe.
And even among the nation of Israel, though they are indeed children of Abraham (JOHN 8:37), they are not all true Israel:

ROMANS 9:5-7
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called
.
John the Baptist gave serious and sober warning to the people of Israel, particularly the religious leadership:
MATTHEW 3:6-10
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire
.
Paul the apostle stated in Romans:
ROMANS 2:28-29
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God
.
In JOHN 15:1-8 the LORD talks about we who are children of GOD abiding in Christ Jesus Who is the Vine. We cannot expect to do anything that amounts to any worth in the Kingdom of GOD unless we abide in Him. And every branch is to abide in the Vine. You don’t see any branch abiding in a branch that abides in the Vine: each branch individually abides in the Vine.

So, it doesn’t matter if your parents are Christian – you don’t abide in the Vine because your parents abide in the Vine; you’re not abiding in the Vine because your pastor abides in the Vine. You don’t abide in the Vine because the biblical, doctrinally sound, Spirit-filled church you attend is abiding in the Vine.

If you abide in the Vine at all, it’s because by your own faith in Christ, that you abide in the Vine. As 2 COR 13:5 states: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

GENESIS 25:5
And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac
.
Just as Abraham gave all to his son, Isaac, the Father has delivered all things to the Son (MATT 11:27) and exalted His name above all names, making Him both LORD and Christ (PHIL 2:9-10; ACTS 2:36). Just as Christ shall inherit all things, we are likewise joint-heirs with Christ, and we – just like Abraham and Isaac, receive these promises by faith (ROM 8:16-17)!

Isaac wouldn’t have inherited a thing from Abraham if he wasn’t his son; but he was a son according to the promise of GOD, and so likewise the LORD has promised that as many as receive Christ, they shall become the sons of GOD (JOHN 1:12-13). Those who are the children of GOD shall be blessed by an eternal inheritance!

HEBREWS 9:15
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance
.
GENESIS 25:6-8
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people
.

Even though this man of faith gave all things to his son Isaac, he nevertheless blessed the sons of his concubines with gifts before sending them on their way; parted from his one and only true son, Isaac. Isaac was sanctified in this sense, set apart as the only begotten of his father Abraham.
Likewise the LORD Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father:

HEBREWS 11:17-18
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called
:
JOHN 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
.
JOHN 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God
.
In Chapter 23 we read of the death of Sarah, and now we read about the death of Abraham, who lived for 175 years; so, both parents of Isaac have departed the world, leaving their son behind.

PSALM 27:10 states:
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up
.

The LORD is mindful of those of us who’ve lost a parent, and if they left this world, knowing the LORD – we know they are in glory with the LORD – still, there is grief and heartache because of this separation.
What gives us comfort is knowing that we also one day will be with the LORD, whether by our own death, or at the rapture of the church, and on that day, we will never, ever know separation from our beloved family in Christ!

GENESIS 25:9-10
And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife
.

Remember that Abraham purchased this cave in Machpelah, and Ephron was so generous, that he threw in the field that the cave was located in for good measure! Abraham made sure that there would be a place for his beloved to be buried in, and for himself as well.
We as saints have reservations prepared for us by our heavenly Father, but it’s no cave or graveyard! It’s an eternal kingdom which cannot be moved (HEB 12:28). Glorious mansions in our Father’s House that our LORD Jesus is preparing for us!

JOHN 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also
.
GENESIS 25:11
11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi

The Hebrew beerlachayroi means, "well of the Living One seeing me". This is the place that Isaac dwelled, and it was here in this place that he found the blessing of GOD through Abraham his father, as well as a beloved wife from the LORD.

It’s interesting that it was Eleazer who led Rebekah to Isaac; the name Eleazer means “one who comforts” and what is the Holy Spirit referred to as in JOHN 15:26? The Comforter, right? So, we see here that Abraham sent Eleazer to find a wife for his son; just as the Father sends forth the Spirit to draw people to the LORD Jesus, and transform them from sinners to saints, a beautiful bride for Christ!

Again, for those of us who are born of GOD, like Isaac who was blessed of GOD so richly, we also dwell by Lahairoi spiritually speaking, the river of living waters that we receive from Christ:

JOHN 7:37-39
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

JOHN 20:21-22
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost
:

This is the blessing of the church – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, permanently sealed, so that we become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 COR 3:16), from which flows the living waters that cause spiritual life in and through us to flourish.

So, if we have the Holy Spirit, where is this flourishing spiritual life in some Christians? Why don’t they experience the abundance of life as the LORD promised in JOHN 10:10?
We can take our lesson from the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee – the one is dead and lifeless, the other is teeming with an abundance of life, and what’s the difference? They both have an inlet of water, and that’s important to us spiritually: we must intake the WORD of GOD, we must intake fellowship with the LORD in worship and prayer, this is vital and 
necessary to experience abundant life. But the Dead Sea has an inlet, why is it still dead?

Because unlike the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea has no outlet – the Sea of Galilee does! And because of that, Galilee’s water supply is ever moving through this channel, allowing life to flourish there.
We also, spiritually speaking must have an outlet: we must give what we have been given: the Word of GOD to encourage the saints and to bring the Gospel to the lost, to show the same love that we receive from Christ to all others – to bring the same comfort and strength we receive from Christ to those in need!

Too often the Christian’s spiritual plumbing is clogged up with self, with sin, with laziness and apathy, with carelessness over our own spiritual condition and the condition of lost sinners so that the Holy Spirit, Who dwells IN us, cannot flow THROUGH us and minister to those around us!

May we examine our hearts in the light of Scripture (2 COR 13:5) and see where we may need the LORD to do some plumbing work and perform the roto-rootering of righteousness in our hearts!

GENESIS 25:12-18
12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren
.

The descendants of Ishmael are commonly understood to be the Arabs, but Arabs comprise only a fraction of those who are descendants of these twelve sons of Ishmael:
In an article from CBN.com we have the following quote:

“…the term ‘Arab’ designates peoples of diverse ethnic origins who are united only by the Arabic language and culture. The seed of Ishmael represents only a very small component of the genetic pool of the Arabic people. Let me explain.
In Arabic and Hebrew the term ‘Arab’ means ‘nomad’ (synonymous with bedouin), and originally referred only to the nomadic people who roamed the Arabian Peninsula. Later, it was used to designate all the inhabitants of the peninsula--both nomads and town-dwellers. According to the Old Testament, the earliest inhabitants of the peninsula descended from Joktan (Gen. 10:26-29), a descendent of Shem (whence the term Semite). Later, the area was also settled by Abraham's sons through Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4), the 12 sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13-16), and finally the sons of Esau (Gen. 36:1-19), all descendants of Abraham (also Semitic). Clearly, Ishmael's offspring represent just a small fraction of the Arab peoples.
But there is another reason it is incorrect to say that the Arab nation descended from Ishmael. Following the Arab conquest of the Middle East and North Africa (7th C.), many of the conquered countries eventually adopted Arabic as their mother tongue, as well as Islam. There was also a certain amount of intermarriage between conquerors and conquered. So that today, the term ‘Arab’ has a strictly cultural and linguistic connotation. To conclude, while some Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula may be descendants of Ishmael, most Arabs of the rest of the ‘Arab World’ have no blood relationship to Ishmael at all.”
For more on this see the following articles:
BIBLE TOPICS: The Ishmaelites 
Khouse.org: Who Are The Edomites 

GENESIS 25:19-21
19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. 21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived
.

We are familiar with this situation, aren’t we? I’m confident that as Isaac was a boy he was often told by his father Abraham of the burdensome trial of his mother’s barrenness and how he was an absolute miracle of GOD: Isaac was a living, breathing example of the power of GOD and a testament to the truth, that while Sarah’s ability to have a child was impossible with man, but not with GOD, for with GOD ALL THINGS are possible (MATT 19:26)!

Isaac was benefited by the example of his godly parents who prayed and sought GOD (though they blundered a bit at first) and he followed their example.
As Christian parents, our actions speak louder than words for our children who are keenly observant of what we do, more than what we say. This is why we must be sure that our actions line up with our words, so our children don’t become disillusioned by any trace of hypocrisy in us.

And the LORD, not being a respecter of persons (ACTS 10:34), hears the cry of Isaac and Rebekah just as He heard the prayer of Abraham and Sarah. This likewise shows the miraculous hand of GOD in the lives of Isaac and Rebekah and ratifies that the plan He started with Abraham continues with Isaac!

GENESIS 25:22-23
22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger
.

Observe the godliness of this couple: Isaac prayed for his wife, and now that his wife is with child, actually with children! – she feels that they are struggling between themselves and what does she do? She inquires of the LORD! Note: a praying family is a strong family and a strong family in the LORD will not be destroyed by the enemy!

ROMANS 9:6-11
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Again, this likewise shows the miraculous hand of GOD in the lives of Isaac and Rebekah and ratifies that the plan He started with Abraham continues with Isaac! 

On a side note:
You will notice that thirteen chapters are devoted to telling the account of Abraham, and for Jacob there is twenty-five chapters; how many are there for Isaac? Fourteen chapters.
Some have more chapters in life than others; yet whether we are given of the LORD many chapters of days and years or few, we each fit into the overall story that the LORD is revealing, and like musicians in an orchestra we all have our own instruments to play, and we look to our conductor, the LORD Jesus Who will que us when it comes our time to shine for Him!

GENESIS 25:24-26
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

We have the account of these two babies: Esau the first born and then Jacob, who came second. Here we have the two types of humanity: those who are born of the flesh and those who are also born firstly of the flesh, but then secondly of the Spirit.
We are all of us born into this world, but how many are born of the Spirit? And of those who are born of the Spirit, we know the struggle between our flesh and the Spirit, just as these two babes wrestled in the womb.

From vs. 22-23 notice what is said, not that there are two different types of individuals are in Rebekah’s womb, but two manner of people – that the nation that will come through Jacob and the nation that will come through Esau, and we see this today: The nation of Israel vs. the people of Jordan specifically, and generally speaking the various Muslim nations.
The LORD speaks plainly concerning the relationship between these two babes; that the elder will serve the younger, that is to say, the right of the first born will go to the younger, rather than to the actual first born. This is the declaration of the sovereign GOD, and yet later we will see Jacob (and his Mom, Rebekah) wheeling, dealing and scheming on how to acquire the birth right of the first born.

How very much like Abraham and Sarah, who were plainly told by the LORD that they would have a child, and yet they tried to ‘help GOD out’ by resorting to their own efforts. Jacob and Rebekah will be seen trying to ‘help GOD out’ in chapter 27.

GENESIS 25:27-28
27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob
.

“Plain” is from the Hebrew word, tam (“tawm”) which means “complete, pious, gentle, dear, perfect, undefiled, upright”. He wasn’t a wild man like Ishmael, and he wasn’t a man of the field like Esau. He never strayed too far from home, and we might even call him a “Mama’s boy” – because his mother favored him, while Esau was favored by his father – what Dad wouldn’t love his boy that brings him steak every night??

GENESIS 25:29-33
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob
.

Jacob in this chapter steals from Esau the blessing that would go to the elder, who would also receive the birthright.
GOTQUESTIONS has an answer to what the difference isbetween a birthright and a blessing 

When twins Jacob and Esau were born, Esau came first, technically making him the firstborn. As the firstborn son, Esau automatically held the “birthright.” A birthright was an honor given to the firstborn, bestowing “head of household” status and the right to inherit his father’s estate. The son with the birthright would receive a double portion of whatever was passed down (see Deuteronomy 21:17). Yet, even before the twins were born, the Lord predicted that Esau would serve Jacob (Genesis 25:23).

Later in 
Genesis 25, Esau sold his birthright, giving it up for a meal because he was hungry. “Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:29-35). When the time came for Isaac to bless his sons, Jacob deceived his father into giving him Esau’s blessing instead (Genesis 27).

A blessing could be given regardless of birthright. However, a greater blessing was given to the one who held the birthright. After Jacob’s deception, Esau complained that “he took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” (
Genesis 27:36). Esau begged his father for some type of blessing to be given to him, and he did receive a secondary, inferior blessing (verses 38-40).

An interesting parallel took place later in the life of Jacob. Jacob’s son Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Manasseh was the elder son and should have had the birthright. But when Jacob bestowed his blessing upon his grandsons, he crossed his hands, much to Joseph’s surprise, placing his right hand on the younger son. In this way, Ephraim, the younger son, received the greater blessing (
Genesis 48).

In 
Genesis 49, Jacob gave blessings to each of his 12 sons. Reuben, the firstborn, had forfeited his birthright due to an egregious sin (verse 4). The birthright was instead given to Joseph’s sons (1 Chronicles 5:1). All of Jacob’s sons received some sort of blessing.

While a birthright belonged to the firstborn son, anyone could receive a blessing. In the time of the patriarchs, such blessings acted as a “last will and testament” and were highly prized as a means of revealing God’s will.
GENESIS 25:34
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright
.

GOD ordained that the first born male in any family would have the right to a double-portion of their father's inheritance, and become the leader of the family after his passing. This was something that would have gone to Esau as a matter of right that GOD Himself ordained.
But instead, he despised his birth right and gave it up for a bowl full of lentils.
As followers of Christ we have an inheritance from our Abba Father, which is because of our 'born again' birth right; however, how many Christians are forsaking this blessedness for a bowl full of the world instead? The things of this world being esteemed more highly than those things that GOD has ordained for all who are members of the kingdom of GOD?

May we never make such a tragic exchange, bringing dishonor to the LORD, and shaming ourselves by such foolishness, but say along with Paul the apostle:

GALATIANS 6:1414 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

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