It’s The Little Things (Genesis 36)


Falling in love, with Jeeeeeesus…falling in love, with Jeeesuuuus.. That’s one of the most beautiful songs I know. The saxophone, the soft crooning…it’s really a romantic song. When I listen to the song I imagine myself with Jesus, staring into His eyes and falling deeper and deeper. But since Jesus won’t physically appear to us until He comes back, we can’t actually do this. Instead, we fall in love with Jesus through other ways, like learning about Him in church, talking to Him through prayer and by seeing more of Him through His words in the Bible.

These words include Genesis 36, a chapter of the Bible all about the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s impulsive twin brother. There are lots of sons and wives listed. The Bible explains the lineage of the chiefs and rulers who preside over Edom, the kingdom that Esau’s descendants became. We also hear a tidbit about the vast wealth of both Jacob and Esau – they’re so rich that the land can’t handle the both of them being close together, so they live far apart.  This information, although somewhat dry, historical, and repetitive, tells us plenty about Esau while also managing to give us glimpses of our Father at the same time.

The Treasures Within:

Details, Details

We say the devil is in the details, but more often than not it’s God who we find when we look closer at something. Looking back over the genealogy of Esau reveals the God who guided his life in more ways than one. When verse 7 mentions that the possessions of Esau and Jacob were just “too great” for them to live together, I think of the promises God made to Abraham in chapters past – God promised to make him and his descendants great. He promised to prosper them and give them land and wealth. He is truly working exactly as He said He would. There are no words too lofty for God to fulfill – when He promises something, He means it.

Not only does God care enough about Esau & co. to keep His promises, He cares enough to know their names. Each name, each story is etched on His heart. The words on these pages are easy to quickly skim over and even more quickly forget, but God has each and every name memorized even to this day. No one’s story is forgettable to Him because He treasures each and every one of them. Even Esau, the impetuous, irritating, tantrum-throwing twin, was deeply loved, intimately known, and preciously cared for by our God.

When I Look Back

A genealogy is simply condensed history. No matter how short and compressed, there’s something that can be learned from it. The same is true about our own histories. Our lives, however short or long, bear the fingerprints of a loving God. We can look back to tests in school that we shouldn’t have passed, but did anyway. We can look back to the times we faced some of our deepest fears and came out of the other side not only alive, but better for it. We can look back to the darkest times in our lives, the most hopeless, the most painful; the times that should have destroyed us, ruined us, or killed us, but somehow didn’t. No matter where our mind’s eye falls, no matter what we see in our pasts, the truth is that every hour, every second, God was there, knowing us, guiding us, blessing us, and loving us.

God’s Message To Us:

“Spend some time getting to know My love.” It’s no surprise that there are so many songs written about looking back at all God has done for us. Looking back reminds us of how powerful God is. Looking back reminds us of how comforting God’s presence has been. Looking back reveals to us just how deeply God loves us, that He would be so intimate with us, that He would play such a role in the lives of these lame lumps of clay. Those glances and glimpses of His presence and His goodness are like gazing into His eyes, falling deeper and deeper in love with Jesus.

What do you think? What do you see when you look back at your own history? What else did God want you to learn from this chapter of the Bible?

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