Family Traditions are Hard to Break :: By Mark Susswein

We all know the story of Jacob and Esau, especially the part where Esau agreed to a trade with his brother. In his hunger Esau foolishly accepted a bowl of stew in exchange for his birthright. That disobedient act shows us just how little Esau valued it. It also shows a total lack of respect for the ways of God. It was God who chose Jacob (Israel) to lead His chosen people as written in Romans 9:11-13.

“Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she [Rebekah] was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (ESV).

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” has nothing to do with love or emotions. It has everything to do with God’s sovereign will.

Esau eventually went on to the land of Seir (Edom) which was promised to him according to Deuteronomy 2:2-5.

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. Turn northward and command the people, ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful. Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.’”

The Edomites and Israelites went on to continue that wonderful ‘family tradition’ of not getting along. God knew the beginning and end of that relationship. He knew how Edom would treat Israel.

Here is a quick description of what Edom did to Israel as noted in Psalm 137:7.

“Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, ‘Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!’”

This is all about the nation of Edom standing idly by, watching and enjoying what the Babylonians were doing to their brother, Israel. God’s judgment fell on Israel for their sins against Him, and God was using the Babylonians to carry it out.

Not only did Edom rejoice at Israel’s fall, but they went a little bit too far; they were participants. There is no doubt whatsoever of just how ugly Edom was towards Israel according to Obadiah 10-15.

“Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. Do not enter the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; do not gloat over his disaster in the day of his calamity; do not loot his wealth in the day of his calamity.  Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off his fugitives; do not hand over his survivors in the day of distress.’ For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.”

There were a few prophecies made against Edom through God’s Hebrew Prophets including Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Edom rejoiced at Israel’s defeat by the Babylonians as we said earlier. That was a sin in itself, and what God did about that situation was amazing. And no, His ways haven’t changed. God often turns the sin against the sinner. “As you have done, it shall be done to you.”

And guess what? It was a mere five years later when the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar swept through Israel and several other nations and emptied their lands, Edom included.

Ezekiel 35:6-9 details what God promised Edom by way of judgment for what she did to Israel. That prophecy was fulfilled to the letter.

Many nations have controlled this area once known as Edom, but not the Edomites. Edom as a nation disappeared. However, Israel and a few other nations were able to rebuild, unlike Edom.

There was something about Esau and the land of Edom that made me a little curious. First of all, how did Esau get that land? And, who was in that land before Esau got there?

Those questions were easy to answer because Deuteronomy 2:12 lays it out quite clearly.

“The Horites also lived in Seir formerly, but the people of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the Lord gave to them.”

This verse shows the standard operating procedure of Esau and the Edomites. Esau destroyed the Horites and dispossessed them of that land which was, as we’ve just read, rightfully theirs just as promised by God. And yes, the Israelites did the very same thing to their enemies to possess the Land of Israel by way of God’s promise. However, as we move in this study, we’ll see just how crafty and cunning Esau was in taking that land. By the way, that same cunning and craftiness continues through his descendants today.

First, let’s back up to take note that Esau had many wives, but there is one in particular we need to pay attention to.

“These are the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth” (Gen. 36:1-3).

Ishmael, as we know, is the father of the Arab nations.

Esau really kept the family tradition of conflict going by marrying Ishmael’s daughter in spite of his father Isaac’s objection. Basemath was a Gentile who worshipped other gods except the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

“So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth” (Gen 28:8-9).

In due time Esau decided to split from Jacob and go to a land far away. Something like, ‘this town just ain’t big enough for the both of us,’ or as Genesis 36:7-8 puts it:

“For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together. The land of their sojournings could not support them because of their livestock. So Esau settled in the hill country of Seir. (Esau is Edom.)”

All of a sudden Seir became Edom. This is what can be referred to as the ‘Esau effect.’

If you take the time to read Genesis 36, you will see how Esau and his clan from Canaan moved into the hill country of Seir, the land of the Horites. It was Mt. Seir that was given by God to Esau, but not the entire land of Seir. Look at the end of verse 5 in Deuteronomy 2. “Because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.”

As Esau’s sons married into the Horite people, who ruled Seir, the Edomites slowly grew and grew, and not only in numbers, but in power. It was Esau’s sons who slowly took over as chiefs and judges of Seir. Once that happened, Esau was able to overthrow the Horites from the inside.

The point is, Esau did not assimilate into the culture or traditions of the Horites. They simply infiltrated the land in great numbers as Esau’s family grew. Once they had a sizeable population in the land, they gained power by taking the highest positions of power and authority. Before the Horites knew what happened, the Land of Seir became the Land of Edom or Esau. That is the Esau effect.

As we look around the world today, especially the European countries of France, Germany, and England, mass migration from the Arab-Muslim world, the Esau effect is in play. Eventually their ways are in and the old ways are out. There is nothing new under the sun as the Esau effect continues to spread worldwide.

In an op-ed piece published not that long ago in Arizona’s Sonoran News submitted by Frosty Wooldridge, he wrote the following:

“Already in the United Kingdom after 30 years of intense Muslim immigration, Islam features 3,000 mosques, 130 Sharia courts, 50 Muslim Sharia Councils and dozens of ‘no go zones’ where Muslim ‘Sharia’ patrols ensure no one disobeys Sharia Law. Main rules of Sharia Law: Islamic law opposes free speech, women’s rights and religious choice. It advocates honor killings, female genital mutilation, four wives per husband, women as property of men, arranged marriages, wife beating, decapitation, and Islam supreme over all other religions. Unfortunately, Islamic law diametrically contradicts constitutional-democratic-republican law in every way. Today in Canada, America and Europe—Muslims dictate the rules with millions of followers creating parallel societies inside of Western countries. Once they arrive, no one understands why they fail to leave their barbaric rituals and become modernized.” (End of quote)

Whether the true followers of the Koran adhere to barbaric rituals to rule over the infidel or if the stealth of the Esau effect, either way the job gets done.

It was just a few days ago when Minneapolis began broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer five times a day over outdoor loudspeakers which will last throughout the month of Ramadan. Coincidentally, this is Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district. She was elected by the people; let’s not forget that.

You can read all about this from the Daily Wire. In it, an article was published just a few days ago under the headline: “Muslim Call to Prayer to Be Blasted over Major U.S. City Five Times a Day.”

This, of course, is not the only example of how the cult of Islam is and has been active applying the Esau effect. Yes, my fellow believers in Jesus, Islam is infiltrating and gaining power and authority as we just sit back as the Horites did until they weren’t.

Let me be clear. There are those men and women who claim to be Muslims, but it is in name only. There are Christians in name only. There are Jews in name only, of which I was one before being born-again and coming to know Yeshua Messiah. My concern is not for those ‘in name only’ folks. My deep concern is for the Muslim who dutifully adheres to the ways of Islam and follows the teachings of the Koran religiously. Their actions speak volumes.

So, what’s the point in all of this?

The point is this: Muslims need salvation through Jesus Christ. They are lost exactly like any other non-believer. No more, and no less. Furthermore, Muslims do come to faith in Jesus Christ. It usually takes time; and by being exposed to the Word of God and with believers being the light to guide them out of the darkness, praise the Lord, multitudes of Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus more than at any other time in history.

So, for those of you who live near or in an area where there is a Muslim presence, we believers are commanded to give them the Good News. That is what the Great Commission is all about. It doesn’t say to exclude anyone or any other nation or people. It does say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). That, brothers and sisters, is what I call a wonderful family tradition.

We can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, overcome the Esau effect. It will be the ‘Jesus effect’ which will transform the lives of those who are commanded through the tenets of Islam to go out and kill the infidel. Instead, let’s make them disciples of Jesus who will go on to be fishers of men and not killers of men.

Jesus did quite the opposite of what Allah, Mohammed and the Koran teach. He didn’t take life; instead He sacrificed His own life. He died on a brutal cross in order to save each and every person out of their sins which only leads to an eternal Hell. Jesus teaches us to love our enemies, not to hate them or kill them.

John 3:16-18 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Now that, brothers and sisters, is the formula to keep our family tradition alive and well.

Bless you and stay safe.

Mark Susswein: