God Keeps His Promise (Gen 36)
Speaker: Pr Joshua Yong
Date: 26 Jul 2020

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Sermon notes taken by:

Mrs Audrey Tam

Genesis 36 lists the generations of Esau. From Genesis 37 onwards, the focus is on Jacob and the events leading to the book of Exodus. Genesis 36 focuses not so much on the individuals but on them as a group as descendants of Esau.

1.   God’s promise recounted

This chapter shows the fulfilment of God's promise to Esau in Genesis 27:39: “And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above.” In the book of Obadiah, the prophet described how rich Edom had become. God showed His common grace to all men both believers and unbelievers alike. Esau was not a believer, but God prospered him and his descendants. The lesson for us is not to be envious of the riches and wealth of others, even that of the unbelievers. Even though Esau was rich materially, he did not have the spiritual blessings Jacob enjoyed.

2.   God’s promise reminded

When the children of God made their way from Egypt to the promised land, they had to pass through Edom; and God reminded them that Edom was given to Esau and they were not to touch them or their land (Num 20:14-24, Deut 2:2-6). Similarly, with Moab. God reminded them also not to touch Moab because the land was given to the Moabites. The children of God must make sure that they obey God. In the example of David, he obeyed God and did not touch the Lord’s anointed. We must submit to how God deals with the wicked. We must not overstep our boundaries even for God’s truth and justice. We must fulfil our responsibilities the right way, lest we fall into disobedience. Trust in God; and in His time and will, He will deal accordingly with the wicked.

3.   God’s promise contrasted

There is a contrast here between God's promise to Esau and that to Jacob. If God would keep His promise to an unbelieving people (like Esau and his descendants), how much more He will keep His promises to His people? Unlike the nation of Israel, the blessings we Gentile believers receive today are not material but spiritual; we have the grace, mercy, comfort and presence of God with us. When we see God's providence upon Joseph (how God protected him, led and guide him through his tribulations so as to provide a land for the children of Israel to grow into a great people), the material wealth of Esau pales in comparison.

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