This would have been a very boring chapter for me, but as God would have it, just a few weeks ago I read some incredible Christian fiction by Ted Dekker. His novel series A.D. 30 and A.D. 33 were fascinating and quite accurate historically and Biblically. The main character, Maviah is an Arabian desert princess who lives in the time of Jesus. It tells of her adventures in and around Petra and run-ins with Kings such as Herod. I know we are only in Genesis and Herod comes much later, but it was the desert cities that came to life for me in these books and as I read Genesis 36 this week the imagery from Dekker’s books filled my mind as I read about Esau’s family settling in Edom.
Dekker’s books include maps so you can appreciate the travel and journey of his characters. It intrigued me how closely he tied his fiction into historical data, maps, and Biblical scriptures. So, when I read in verse 9 about Edom and the hill country of Seir I wanted to explore more.
The brothers had too many possessions to live together in the same place; the land couldn’t support their combined herds of livestock. So Esau ended up settling in the hill country of Seir (Esau and Edom are the same). So this is the family tree of Esau, ancestor of the people of Edom, in the hill country of Seir. (v. 7-9).
Esau and his descendants filled the land of Edom. From him came thousands and thousands of descendants called the Edomites. Unfortunately, Esau didn’t just pass down his leadership that we see proven in his lineage as a line of tentmakers, dukes (v. 15) and kings (v. 31). Unfortunately, we also see his great pride and desire to live by his own power than seeking God’s passed down to as well. These words from Obadiah about Edom.
“Listen to this, Edom: I’m turning you to a no-account, the runt of the godless nations, despised. You thought you were so great, perched high among the rocks, king of the mountain, Thinking to yourself, ‘Nobody can get to me! Nobody can touch me!’ Think again. Even if, like an eagle, you hang out on a high cliff-face, Even if you build your nest in the stars, I’ll bring you down to earth.” God’s sure Word. Obadiah 1:3-4
It was a legacy of pride that no one recognized or sought to break for the sake of generations to come. But, God wouldn’t continue to bless a nation of selfish and prideful people. (If you are interested in the outcome, you can read more in Obadiah)
There were two main things that God showed me this week through Genesis 36. One, that reading some really good historical Christian fiction can actually help inspire you when reading/studying the Bible. Two, we all have legacies in our families. Some of those legacies are good and some bad. My prayer this week is that God would reveal to each of us what legacies we are holding on to that are unhealthy or negative influences on our lives, hearts, children, and families. I pray too that He will give us the courage, strength, and power to break the cycles of anger, resentment, pride, selfishness, violence, greed, or __________________________ (you fill in the blank) so that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have a chance to live without the shackles of past generations.