There is so much in this week's Torah parsha that gives insight into the "Palestinian" question that it is amazing! At this point we have a whole world rising up in that ancient anti-Semitic spirit, but it's most often being demonstrated by huge protests waving Palestinian flags and banners that cry, "Free Palestine!" Do you think these liberal, leftist college students have a clue who the Palestinians are? Do you think they know the first thing about the history of this region, and who the wicked people are who govern, suppress, and use them?
Well, in Genesis 25 we get a pretty good glimpse of where this all started and we also learn a lot about what God loves and what He hates. Let's read the story together:
Genesis 25:21-23: Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
I find it so fascinating that the two peoples who are in the midst of a great war this very day are representative of these two babies JOSTLING within Rebekah's womb. The Lord God Himself explained to Rebekah that her twin boys would become "two nations that will be separated." When it came time for these twin boys to be born, Esau came out first, followed by Jacob. According to the prophecy of the Lord, Esau will serve Jacob. So we understand that Jacob has always been representative of the Jewish people and Esau representative of the Arab people. Right here in Genesis 25 is where the terrible division begins. Two babies jostling in the womb become two peoples warring against each other throughout all the ages, clear up to the battle before us on our TV screens.
Not only does God make clear that in the end Esau will serve Jacob, but He makes another astonishing statement about these two grandsons of Abraham in Malachi 1:2-3:
“I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”
It's hard for us to comprehend why Almighty God says that He has hated a people. So we need to dig a little deeper and find out why. Notice that in the verse above, the Lord says he "left Esau's inheritance to the desert jackals." Why? Let's go back to Genesis 25:27-34 for the clear answer:
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
The Scripture tells us that Esau was a hunter, who wanted to be out in the fields doing his own thing, while Jacob desired to "stay at home among the tents." Hebraic understanding of this terminology is that Jacob was at home with his mother, who was teaching him Torah, or guiding him in the ways of God. His grandfather, Abraham, was still alive for the first fifteen years of his life, so I imagine he too was teaching and guiding Jacob "among the tents." But in Esau we see a completely different spirit. He is rebellious and cares NOTHING for his birthright (which in those days was of primary importance). Note that he SOLD his birthright to Jacob and made it clear that he "despised it."
This speaks volumes to me. Esau's birthright as the firstborn of Isaac would have been more of a treasure than I can even begin to imagine! It connected him intrinsically to Abraham and Sarah, his grandparents and father and mother of the Hebrew nation that God chose as His own beloved people. It connected him to Isaac, through whose genetic line the Messiah, the Deliverer, would come, But he valued it less than a bowl of beans! He cared NOTHING for his Creator and the amazing birthright that could have been his. And so, in kind, the Creator of the Universe says, "I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” In other words, "he despised his inheritance and so I have turned it into a wasteland forever."
My friends, the people in Gaza, who call themselves "Palestinians" NEVER, throughout all history had any "birthright" or claim to the Land of Israel. The Israelites were in the Land that is modern-day Israel 2,600 years before Islam ever became a religion! In A.D. 135 Hadrian dispersed the Jews from the Land, and renamed the Arab peoples there (who were mostly from western Syria), "Palestinians," which was a form of the word Philistines. He used that name to mock the Jews. And what I find so remarkable about this is that the word "Philistine" is actually translated in the Hebrew as "invader!"
This is who they really are - invaders of the Land of Israel. I was there in Israel in 2005 when Ariel Sharon disengaged all the Jewish people from the Gaza Strip. I saw them wandering the streets of Jerusalem with their clothes and bags on their backs, hoping to find a place to stay. That was supposed to have been a concession to Palestinians, to give them a piece of land where they could cultivate crops, build homes, and make a life for themselves. But this has never been their intention! Instead, they elected the Hamas terror organization to rule over them, built a gigantic network of tunnels, and set their eyes solely on the agenda of wiping Israel off the map "FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA."
Zechariah 2:8-9: "For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you (Israel) touches the apple of his eye-- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me."
From the womb of Rebekah to the battlegrounds today in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, the Lord Almighty makes it abundantly clear that Jacob/the Jewish people always have been and always will be "the apple of His eye" - and whoever touches (comes against) them, will face His fiery anger. His hand will be raised against THEM! They care nothing for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they care nothing about their inheritance, and they jostle against Jacob relentlessly.
God has written the story. We stand amazed to be living in these end times, watching so many prophecies of the Bible being fulfilled on a daily basis! If this Blog has given you a more clear understanding about what is going on in the Middle East, please pass it on to others who need it. And please keep PRAYING FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM - which really means, praying for the Return of Yeshua/Jesus, our Messiah and King! There will BE NO PEACE in Israel until He comes!
P.S. I am back on Hebrew Nation Radio (online) on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 pm MST. This coming Tuesday, November 14, I will be teaching more on this subject of Esau and Jacob, so tune in if you are able! Here is a link: http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Click on LISTEN LIVE
Kelly Ferrari Mills