Dr. Allen and Dr. Karen Ranney
November 10, 2018 (2 Kislev 5779) -- Toldot "generations"
November 10, 2018 (2 Kislev 5779) -- Toldot "generations"
1 Samuel 20:18-42
This Torah study titled “Toldot” in Hebrew means “generations, order of birth or lineage.” This study deals with a touchy subject for most churches today, which is blessings for obedience. While this is something the religious delight in hearing about, the study also includes consequences for disobedience, which most don’t want to talk about. Throughout the generations we see examples of obedient lives bearing good fruit and disobedient lives bearing bad fruit. What kind of fruit do you produce?
Matthew 3:10; 28:19 Romans 10:8-13
Psalm 146:10 Isaiah 40:3-5
This Torah portion “Toldot #8425” means “generations” in Hebrew and is found in Genesis 25:19-28:6
Genesis 25:19 records the genealogy of Isaac.
Genesis 25:29 records Esau selling his birthright.
Genesis 26:1 records the story of Isaac and Abimelech.
Genesis 27:1 records Isaac blessing Jacob.
Genesis 27:30 records Esau’s lost hope.
Genesis 27:41 records Jacob’s escape from Esau.
Genesis 28:6 records Esau marrying Canaanite women.
The Haftarah or Prophets portion is in 1 Samuel 20:18-42
1 Samuel 20:18-42 records Saul’s anger against David.
The Gospel portion is in Luke 3:1-18
Luke 3:1 records the ministry of John the Baptist.
Genesis 25:19 (Interlinear Bible) reads, “and these are the generations “Toldot #8425” of Isaac, the son of Abraham: Abraham fathered Isaac.”
Knowing where we come from is essential to our identity, for we then know some or most of our history, like who our forefathers were, what they did, what our inheritance is, what our culture is, and what it can demand of us by way of traditions and belief systems that are important to that culture. It can also give us clues as to what we can expect in our future, if we honor our father’s traditions and expectations for us.
We read in Genesis 25:34 that Esau already had a disrespectful attitude toward his heritage when Jacob, his younger brother, asks him to sell his birthright for a bowl of lentils “adashah #5742.” Esau agrees, saying, “what is this birthright to me?” Then he ate and drank before going on his way, thus despising his birthright. He didn’t care about his future, he just wanted to satisfy himself right then. Reminds me of our culture: now, now, now.
In ancient Hebraic culture the birthright “bekorah #1062,” the right of the firstborn, usually the firstborn son, was to receive a double portion of the inheritance after the father’s death. That meant he would get “the best of the best,” but it seems Esau was already out there, basically living the way he wanted to, in the ways of the world. In Genesis 26:34-35 it says, “when Esau was 40 years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of the mind to Isaac and Rebekah.” The Hittites, also known as the children of Heth, occupied the region extending from northern Israel to the Euphrates in the land of Canaan and spoke the language of Canaan.
We learned last week that Abraham, Esau`s grandfather bought the cave of Machpelah from the sons of Heth, the Hittites. Genesis 26:35 records, “and they (the wives of Esau) were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah, Esau’s mother and father.” Why? Well a clue can be found in the word Hittite #2850, which translates as “terror.” So the Hittites, plural, would be “people of terror or terrorists!” The descendants of the Hittites are still a grief of mind to Israel today.
Another reason Esau grieved his parents is the Hittites worshiped many idols, one of them being so perverse they would sacrifice their children to it. Other idol worship required practicing immoral fertility rites and so on. By adopting these practices, Esau lived a worldly life of flesh and drink that did not line up with the worship of his forefathers.
This of course displeased God. The Bible does not come right out and say it, but Esau turned his back on YHVH, and Genesis 27 records that Isaac blesses Jacob instead, so through the course of those events Esau’s birthright was transferred, given, to his younger brother Jacob by mistake (deception). Because of Jacob’s deception, Isaac blessed Jacob instead and cursed Esau. Unwittingly, Isaac blessed Jacob with the words originally spoken by the Lord to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, making Jacob the heir to that everlasting covenant between Abraham’s descendants and the Lord Himself.
In ancient Hebrew culture (and most ancient cultures), words could not be as easily withdrawn as they are today. Isaac’s words of blessing had power, indeed, they were backed up by the power of God Himself and could not be withdrawn. Isaiah 55:11 reads, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Do you understand that the power of God’s spoken word created all of heaven and earth?
In chapter 28 of Genesis, Esau is still unrepentant as he takes another wife of the daughters of Canaan. “Because he saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac” (Genesis 28:8). He married Canaanite women just to spite his parents. Jacob then is an example of obedience while Esau is an example of disobedience and unrepentance, and God won’t, God can’t bless disobedience. Amen.
1 Samuel 20:18-42
1st Samuel 20: 18 reads, “then Jonathan said to David, ‘tomorrow is the new moon (chodesh #2320); and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty.’”
This story takes place towards the end of King Saul’s sinful and sad life when his jealousy of David causes him to persecute and try to kill David.
“And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “why has the son of Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?” So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. And he said, “please let me go for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.” Therefore, he has not come to the King’s table.” Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, “you son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” And Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “why should he be killed? What has he done? Then Saul cast a spear at him to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father kill David.” (1 Samuel 20:27-42)
The book of 1 Samuel recounts King Saul’s extraordinary rise to the throne as Israel’s first king and then his tragic fall from grace. Saul’s prowess in war and his stature is recorded in 1 Samuel 9:2b, “from his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.” This made him the obvious choice to be the first king of Israel. But Saul assumed a priestly office when he ordered sacrifices before a battle rather than wait for Samuel (1 Samuel 13:5-23) and made a foolish oath (1 Samuel 14). He was all too human as he blatantly disobeyed God’s commands to utterly annihilate the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:1-9). He tried to kill David time and again, and when God ceased to speak to him, Saul sought the services of a witch (1 Samuel 28:7-25).
The last act of his life was to commit suicide (1 Samuel 31:4). It’s simple with God, you have this choice: to obey or disobey. So throughout the generations “Toldot,” we are given many examples. David is an example of obedience, and Saul an example of disobedience. Through the lives of both men, we see the consequences, either good or bad.
But, we can take comfort in this; Psalm 146:10 reads, “The Lord shall reign forever – Your God, O Zion, to all generations.” Praise the Lord!
Luke 3:2-6 reads, “while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
First, do you know what John the Baptist was preaching? What was his message? Yes, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Throughout all the “Toldot” generations we see God’s judgment on the unrepentant disobedient life and God’s blessing on the obedient repentant life.
Luke 3:8 says, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from the stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees, therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
People, we see this happening time and again in the genealogy or family tree of Yeshua Messiah; the unfruitful, disobedient, unrepentant branches being cut out and cast into the fire and replaced with promising branches that were grafted in to take their place for example: Esau was replaced by Jacob, and Saul was replaced by David. When we look back from Jesus through the generations “Toldot” of his forefathers we don’t find just shining examples of Saints, we also find liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers and some had to be moved out and replaced so God’s great plan of redemption and salvation for mankind could come to fruition through His Son, Yeshua Ha Masheach.
God commands all mankind to respond to the message of salvation in Christ by repenting and turning away from our God defying disobedient ways and entrust our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, the forgiver of sin. There are no exceptions, because God will not overlook anyone’s sin. All must repent, turn from their own way and follow Christ, or they will be condemned. In simple words, repentance is necessary for salvation. So if there is anyone out there that this passage has touched, I want to go over the A. B. C`s of repentance with you.
A. Admit, admit you have sinned and ask for forgiveness.
B. Believe, believe Jesus died for that sin and rose from the grave on the third day.
C. Confess, confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and make Him King in your life.
Read Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:16 then pray, “Father fill me with your spirit that I too could be counted into the “Toldot” generations of the faithful and obedient with an inheritance in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
About baptism, it is public profession of a personal conviction. Matthew 28:19 reads, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Bibliography for Toldot “generations”
Interlinear Bible, the, Hendrickson publishing, 2006
New King James Version of the Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2007
Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson publishing, 1996