Day 6: Vayishlach/Genesis 36:20-43
The enemies of YHVH abound. They surround His people like swarms of locusts. Often, these adversaries are used by YHVH to punish previously convicted Covenant keepers when they rebel from the Creator’s authority and Words. Other times, the unrighteous nations are used as honing tools and purification methods so that Israel will mature to the stature of what YHVH desires and expects of His children. Those same nations that surround Israel, either as geographical land or those surrounding His people still diaspora, can be thorns in the sides of believers.
When compromise, co-mingling, and/or unsanctioned unions are made, the unrighteous of the earth is used to remind Israel to Whom they belong. When that goes unheeded, those thorns can be used to inflict flesh wounds announcing that mixture and sin have been committed as Covenant keepers become seduced to evil inclinations. This is a way in which YHVH disciplines His nation and children—warnings and punishment.
From Edom/Esau, many nations were derived that would plague Israel in future centuries. Those peoples who knew of YHVH would be seduced by other nations to follow after false elohim. Eventually, many of those nations would rise as one religion, with many factions within themselves, while desiring the total annihilation of Israel. Whether it be jealousy or just haSatan’s influence of hatred for YHVH and His elect, those from Edom joined with the remnants of Ishmael and others to form a ring of Muslim hatred around the Promised Land. That hatred did and does not stop with the rise of Islam. Many other nations of the earth have persecuted and killed Israel over the differences in belief, who had the blessing of the Father, and all kinds of jealousy and hatred.
The inclusion of Esau’s lineage in Torah has portent. YHVH desires all men, all nations, and all tribes to come to Him in Truth and repentance through Messiah. It is not His desire that men perish, but His sovereignty allows man to freely choose Him and His Way, denying sin and fleshly corruption or to walk in rebellion. The list defining Edom was a beginning of persecution that would continue through the coming of Messiah and His established Kingdom on earth. Even then, there will be those nations who rebel, inciting the war of wars before the final judgment.
Part of Israel’s adversary’s ultimate demise will not be that they were against YHVH’s elect, although that rationale will not bode well for them; rather, it will be concluded that they continually rejected YHVH as their Elohim. Israel is a testament to all the nations of the earth. If they do not see YHVH as the Creator and only Elohim, if they do not comply with the Covenant of the Creator, they will be judged as those under the law. What law? Since they were not walking in the Covenant of Torah and Messiah, they will remain under the law of sin and death.
Surrounding us is a great cloud of witnesses. While we cannot see or hear them, it is comforting to know that a host of Heaven look upon us, rejoice with us, pray for us, and, do what we can’t even imagine from an eternity viewpoint.
Alas, there is a large dust storm of witnesses that surround us in the physical that can be easily seen and heard. Some persecute, others jeer. Many remain quiet, still judging what they think of us as we keep Covenant and not march to the tune of mainstream Christianity, Catholicism, or other false religions. A day may come when these witnesses, along with those who make up the nations of the earth, will rise against us, YHVH’s elect and chosen people. Our mode of behavior and lifestyle, though, should not be compromised or altered to rebel against YHVH’s authority or faith in Yeshua as Messiah. Not only will we be delivered out of all afflictions (Psalm 34:17), but those who look upon us or attack us will see a testament of Truth being lived out in front of them. Perhaps, YHVH will use our lives to effectually change theirs and bring them to repentance. Possibly, the witnessing of our set-apart lives will cause members of Edom and other nations to search for Messiah for salvation and eternal life.
Dwell upon Psalm 125:1-2, “Those who trust in YHVH are as Mount Tzion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so YHVH surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”