THE CHILDREN STRUGGLED
Genesis 25:4 …All these were the children of Keturah. 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 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.
Genesis 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
Genesis 25:19 ¶ 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. 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.
That which the Lord God had purposed in Abraham has begun to come to pass. He was to have a sand seed and a star seed. The sand is of the earth and should represent, not only in its mass, but also in its earthliness the population from Ishmael and Keturah. And the star seed in its heavenly glory should represent the line of the Lord Jesus Christ and his spiritual seed through Sarah. Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
But here we are introduced to the struggle regarding these children at the outset of this process. For you can read of the six sons of Keturah, and then of their sons, which require four verses on this page of our bibles. And when we come to Ishmael and his generations there is required even more verses than that!
Then we come to verse nineteen to read of the generations of Isaac, and as far as that ‘inventory’ goes, we just have that one little verse. It simply states that he was Abraham’s son.
And for the line of Isaac to fulfill itself, we first find the trial of barrenness, as listed in verse twenty one. And with all the names of offspring listed for those of the sand seed, the awareness of barrenness within the line of Messiah must have been an almost unbearable trial! We can see the heavy trial of this in the next generation, as we read of Rachel pleading with her husband Jacob, and the stress it puts on him. Genesis 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. 2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
But as we read on farther, we find that there was also the trial of fruitfulness! For God and prayer are not said to be included in the large numbers of children had by the sand seed! The Psalmist states that they are full of children. (Psalm 17:14). For not only did Isaac petition the Lord during twenty years of marriage (compare verses 20 & 26), but Rebekah also, after she conceived, went to inquire of the LORD. Both parents had to come before the Lord God concerning that which the sand seed of Abraham just took for granted!
Dear Reader, the Lord will require you to acknowledge him in ALL your ways! Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. For the opposition of love is not hate. Hate is itself a fiery affection. The opposite of love is indifference! And the Lord God, who is love (1 John 4:8), will not be ignored! Therefore, that for which others may come to expect, with no awareness of God, you can only have by petition to him, possibly in grief, but surely in patient trust!
So we see that there were trials of children, both of hers and Isaac’s within Rebekah’s body, and in the dealings with all those of Abraham’s other offspring without in the world, as she and Isaac had, for a time, to live barren among those large families. And is that not still so with every believer? There are trials both without and within! 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
For within every believer, whether male or female there are constant inward struggles. Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. And we have struggles in the world! John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
These children’s struggles are seen to be within the souls of all believers. For they have two births as well. They first had their natural birth, which rendered them earthy. Afterward, they were born of the Holy Spirit. John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
These following verses regard the two Adams and their effect upon all believers. 1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
And it is these two births which cause that which is birthed to have lifelong struggles. Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. For if the believer tries to act in the flesh, the Holy Spirit will resist. And when they attempt to be led of the Spirit, the flesh will resist. So that at any time there is always a struggle when one attempts to do the things that ye would.
And we also see the phrase in verse twenty three, two manner of people that were within her. There was Jacob, the “supplanter.” His name was later changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28), to fit his new nature as he became, by grace, “a prince of God.” And his trait of grasping hold of his brother’s heel as he was birthed, was sanctified as he later grasped the angel of God and would not let him go until he blessed him! (Genesis 32:26).
And the one whom Isaac loved, (Esau), would be much written about in the Holy Scriptures. He is spoken of in the books of Malachi, Romans and Hebrews.
In Malachi we see him used to prove the love of God for Jacob. For God states that even though Esau was his brother, whom he hated, he still loved Jacob. Malachi 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
And in the Book of Romans these twins are used, while still within the womb, to be a lesson in the purpose of God according to election! Romans 9:10 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;) 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
There are births only according to the will of the flesh, and the will of man. But the elect of God, chosen from the foundation of the world, are born again into the spiritual life of redemption by the Holy Spirit. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Then in the Book of Hebrews we find Esau in a state of reprobation, having failed of the grace of God. Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
For as there was a birth of Jacob from his mother Rebekah, so was his twin Esau also born then. And it would seem that these natural births of both boys points to both having later experienced spiritual births. Jacob pictures those born from above by the Holy Spirit, and Esau pictures those born from beneath by the unholy spirit!
For there is a time when, if the unbeliever continued to do despite unto the Spirit of grace, he shall pass over into the realm of reprobation! Habakkuk 1:11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god. This certainly happened to Judas! John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Then we can more clearly see that some are the children of God, and some are the children of the devil! Consider the following verses: 1John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
There was one womb, but two boys, who became two nations, who had two different destinies. There was Esau, his daddy’s pride and joy, the out doors type, looking good in the flesh and given to fornication (see Hebrews 12:16, listed above). Then there was the mama’s boy, Jacob, a conniver and a cheat. My! How could the line of Messiah possibly come through either one of these? For as someone once remarked to the statement of not being able to understand how God could hate Esau, “I don’t see how God could have loved Jacob!”
But, in order for all the glory to go to the Lord, he always chooses such to redeem! 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
This redemption is only possible due to the birth of one, born of a woman, but without indwelling sin! For he was born of the Holy Spirit! Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Therefore he alone was qualified to make the perfect sacrifice. Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Therefore the solution for the struggle of the sinner concerning his wretched flesh can be found in him alone! Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pastor Gene Breed
February 28, 2016