Why Do You Persist On Holding On to That Grudge?









Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, and more specifically, is found in the thirty-fifth chapter of the book. Within this chapter we find the word of the Lord coming once more unto the prophet Ezekiel—a word that was directed toward and against mount Seir. If you study the Old Testament, you will quickly discover that mount Seir was the portion within and upon the earth that was given unto the descendants of Esau who was also known as Edom. In the Old Testament book of Genesis in particular, you will discover how “Edom” was another name for Esau, and how from Esau would come the entire race and nation that would be known as Edom. IN order to fully and properly understand this, it is necessary that we journey to the word which the Lord spoke unto Rebekah when she not only discovered that there were twins within her womb, but also what would come and become of those twins. In the twenty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we read these words concerning the conception and bringing forth of the twins who were conceived within the womb of Rebekah: “And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethel the Syrian of Padam-Adam, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hair garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunger, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esaua, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:19-29).

 Within this particular passage of Scripture we notice that when Rebekah conceived after Isaac intreated the Lord on her behalf, Rebekah not only conceived, but would also give birth to twins. When Rebekah asked concerning the struggle that was taking place within her, the Lord revealed unto her that there were two nations that were within her. In other words, from her one single womb, two nations would merge and come forth upon the earth. The first of the twin boys to be born was Esau, while the second was Jacob—Jacob who would be named and known as “supplanter,” and “Deceivere.” Before Jacob and Esau were even born, it was revealed unto Rebekah that each of these boys within her womb would become a nation within the earth, yet the Lord revealed something specific concerning the nations that would emerge within and upon the earth. When speaking of the two nations that were within the womb of Rebekah, the Lord declared that two manner of people would be separated from her, and that the one people would be stronger than the other people, and the elder would serve the younger. This passage is absolutely essential when seeking to understand the prophetic word that was released through and unto the prophet Ezekiel, for in order to understand where Edom was as a nation within and upon the earth, it’s necessary to understand where Esau came from. When the Lord spoke unto the prophet Ezekiel concerning mount Seir, that nation and that people whom He was actually speaking of and addressing were the physical descendants of the twin brother of Jacob who would bring forth the nation of Israel from the seed within him. It would be from the seed within Jacob that twelve sons would be born unto him—twelve sons that would eventually become twelve tribes that would eventually make up the inheritance of the people of God within the earth. Of the twelve sons that were born unto Jacob, two of those twelve sons would not have a place within the inheritance—Joseph and Levi, as the tribe of Levi was holy unto the Lord as His priests, and Joseph’s two sons would make up the final two tribes that would inherit the land of Canaan. When the children of Israel entered into the land of Canaan, they entered the land as twelve tribes—two of those tribes which would come from the loins and bowels of Joseph—sons which were born unto him in the land of Egypt. How absolutely incredible it is that two sons which would be born unto Joseph in the land of slavery, the land of his imprisonment, and eventually the land of his exaltation, would have an inheritance among the people of God within the earth. Two sons who were born unto Joseph in the land where he experienced being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, and even forgotten for two years while in prison, would eventually be given a place and inheritance among the people of God. Ephraim and Manasseh—the two sons who were born unto Joseph in the land of Egypt—would find themselves becoming two distinct tribes within the nation, kingdom and people of Israel.

 With this being said, we must direct and turn our attention to the thirty-sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis, for it is within this chapter that we discover the generations of Esau which would find their place within and upon the earth. “Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adam the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; and Basemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of NEbajoth. And Ada bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Regel; and Aholibamah bare JEush, and Jaalam, and KOrah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan. AND Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. For their riches were more than they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle. Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom” (Genesis 36:1-8). If you take the time to read and study the entire thirty-sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis, you will notice that it is an entire chapter that is devoted to revealing the generations of Esau which were brought upon the face of the earth. This entire chapter describes how the Lord fulfilled the word which he spoke unto Rebekah concerning the twins which struggled with each other within her womb, for the Lord revealed unto her that there were two nations within her womb. This particular chapter—only eleven chapters later—would describe how Esau would eventually give birth to sons and daughters, and how his descendants would eventually and ultimately become the nation, the kingdom and the people of Edom. In fact, when we come to the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, we discover even more how Esau had not only become a nation and people within the earth, but also how the Lord had given Esau and his descendants an inheritance and possession within the earth. “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days. And the Lord spake unto me, saying, Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore. Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink. For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Eziongaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab” (Deuteronomy 2:1-8).

 Within the twenty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we discover how there were two nations which would be born from the single womb of Rebekah, wife of Isaac. When we come to the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Genesis we discover how the Lord fulfilled and kept His word concerning Esau, and how Esau not only became a great people within the earth, but also how Esau had become a nation and kingdom with kings who ruled over them. What’s more, is that when we come to the second chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, we actually find the Lord instructing the children of Israel not to meddle not with the Edomites, which were the descendants of Esau. Furthermore, the Lord declared through His servant Moses that He would not give them a single piece or portion of their land, for He had given mount Seir unto Esau as a possession. It’s actually quite interesting how in the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Genesis we read on two occasions how Esau was Edom, and also how in the second chapter of Deuteronomy we read the Lord referring to and speaking of Esau and his descendants as the brethren of Israel. When speaking unto His servant Moses concerning mount Seir and the nation and people of Edom, the Lord referred to Edom as not only being a nation within the earth, but also as having a possession within the earth. Just as Israel was given an inheritance and possession within the earth, so also was Esau given an inheritance and possession within the earth. When Esau departed from Jacob his brother in the book of Genesis with his household and all his possessions, we read how he dwelt in mount Seir—mourn Seir which would become the inheritance and possession of the descendants of Esau. Despite the fact that Esau was the older and would indeed serve the younger, the Lord still gave him an inheritance and possession within the earth. Unto Esau and his descendants mount Seir would be given as an inheritance and possession, for Esau did in fact come from the same seed of Abraham that brought forth and was passed through Isaac. In all reality, Edom was a direct descendant of Abraham the friend of God, for Esau was born of Rebekah who was the wife of Abraham’s son Isaac. It is important that we understand this familiar and person connection between Israel and Edom, for when reading the words spoken unto and revealed through the prophet Ezekiel, we must understand that these words were spoken concerning the brethren of Israel, and direct descendants of Abraham.

 When we read and study the history and lineage of Edom as a nation and people within the earth, we must recognize and understand that while they were conceived from the same seed that came forth from Abraham, that seed was mixed and mingled with the land of Canaan. Scripture records how Esau took for himself wives from the daughters of Canaan, and it was a result of that unholy mixture of the seed of Abraham with the daughters of Canaan that we uncover that which would bring forth the nation and people of Edom. In fact, when you come to the end of the twenty-seventh chapter of the book of Genesis you will find how Esau’s love for the women of the land would eventually become disconcerting for his mother Rebekah. IN the final verse of this chapter we find Rebekah speaking these words unto her husband Isaac concerning Esau—“And Rebekah said unto Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me” (Genesis 27:46). IN the very next chapter we read how Esau’s hatred of his brother would eventually result in his deliberate and willful act to displease his father Isaac—Isaac whom Scripture records loved Esau because he ate of his venison. Consider if you will the text that is found in the twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Genesis beginning with the sixth verse—“When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; and Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of JEbajoth, to be his wife. And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran” (Genesis 28:6-10). This particular passage is actually quite interesting, for not only do we find Esau taking unto himself wives from the daughters of Canaan, but he also went unto Ishmael who was technically his uncle, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son. Not only had Esau mixed the holy and sacred seed that was present within him with the daughters of Canaan, but he also mixed that seed with Ishmael who we read in the New Testament is a picture of that which is flesh. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU MIX THE HOLY SEED OF GOD WITHIN YOU WITH! Esau was a direct descendant of Abraham and Isaac, and yet he took that seed and chose to plant it within the daughters of Canaan, as well as within the daughter of Ishmael who was born unto Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden.

 One of the things that adds even more weight and significance to the words we read in the thirty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel is that these aren’t the only words that were spoken against and directed toward Edom and mount Seir. In fact, there is an Old Testament prophetic book that is completely dedicated to Edom and the descendants of Esau. “The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence wil I bring thee down, saith the Lord. If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? If the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes? How are the things of Esau searched out! How are his hidden things sought up! All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee; there is none understanding in him. Shall I not in that day, Saith the Lord, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by the slaughter. For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. IN the day that thou stood east on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress. For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions” (Obadiah 1-17).

 FOR THY VIOLENCE AGAINST THY BROTHER JACOB! IN THE DAY THAT THOU STOO ON THE OTHER SIDE! IN THE DAY THAT THE STRANGERS CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE HIS FORCES, AND FOREIGNERS ENTERED INTO HIS GATES, AND CAST LOTS UPON JERUSALEM, EVEN THOU WAST AS ONE OF THEM! SHOULD NOT HAVE LOOKED ON THE DAY OF THY BROTHER IN THE DAY THAT HE BECAME A STRANGER! SHOULD NOT HAVE REJOICED OVER THE CHILDREN OF JUDAH IN THE DAY OF THEIR DESTRUCTION! SHOULD NOT HAVE SPOKEN PROUDLY IN THE DAY OF THEIR DISTRESS! SHOULD NOT HAVE ENTERED INTO THE GATE OF MY PEOPLE IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY! SHOULD NOT HAVE LOOKED ON THEIR AFFLICTION IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY! SHOULD NOT HAVE LAID HANDS ON THEIR SUBSTANCE IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY! SHOULD NOT HAVE STOOD IN THE CROSS WAY, TO CUT OFF THOSE OF HIS THAT DID ESCAPE! SHOULD NOT HAVE DELIVERED UP THOSE OF HIS THAT DID REMAIN IN THE DAY OF DISTRESS! Please pay close attention to the words we read in this Old Testament prophetic book, for the Lord had a very serious and severe controversy with Esau—with Edom and mount Seir. The controversy the Lord had with and concerning mount Seir and the descendants of Edom was their treatment of Israel in the day of his calamity and distress. The Lord through the prophet Obadiah condemned Edom’s actions toward and against his brother during the day he became a stranger and foreigner in a land that was not his. The Lord condemned Esau because in the day of Israel’s calamity, distress and disaster, Esau even joined in bringing about their destruction and calamity. WHEN BRETHREN ADD TO THE CALAMITY OF THEIR BROTHERS! WHEN BROTHERS JOIN IN THE CALAMITY AND DISTRESS OF BROTHERS! WHEN SISTERS JOIN IN THE DISTRESS OF SISTERS! I can’t help but find within the prophetic book of Obadiah a powerful prophetic word and warning concerning those who would seek to rejoice over the calamity and distress of their brother(s) and/or their sister. The Lord has a serious controversy and quarrel with those who seemingly rejoice over—and even boast over the calamity and distress of those around them. The Lord has a tremendous controversy with those who witness their brethren being carried away captive by the enemy and adversary, and add insult to injury and join in the process of devastation. The Lord has a serious controversy with those among us who speak proudly over and in the midst of the distress men and women face within their lives—perhaps as they themselves remain perched atop their own mountain.

 One of the realities I found to be so incredibly intriguing about the descendants of Edom is that when speaking of the inheritance and possession given unto Esau within the earth, we read of it as “mount Seir.” There is tremendous significance and importance in the fact that Esau dwelt upon a mountain in the earth, for in the day of Jacob’s calamity and distress—when Esau’s descendants proudly and arrogantly boasted over Jacob’s calamity—they undoubtedly did so from and atop the mountain they dwelt upon. Have you ever noticed that those who would be bold and daring enough to rejoice over your calamity and distress more often than not have this pride and arrogance about them? Have you ever noticed that those who rejoice over your calamity and destruction seem to do so from an elevated place within their lives—perhaps a place they have elevated themselves to? I find it to be incredibly interesting that Edom rejoiced and gloated over Jacob’s calamity and distress, for they viewed themselves as being secure within and secure upon their mountain and within their own possession. REJOICING OVER ANOTHER’S CALAMITY AND DISTRESS FROM YOUR OWN POSSESSION! I am convinced this reality is proven and revealed in the words which the Lord speaks in the third and fourth verse of the prophetic book of Obadiah—“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though tho exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord” (Obadiah 3-4). Notice if you will the language the Lord uses when speaking of Esau, for the Lord not only speaks of the pride of Esau’s heart, but also how Esau dwelt in the clefts of the rock, and Esau whose habitation was high. The Lord even went on to speak to and reveal how Esau had allowed himself to become so puffed up with pride that he actually dared make the declaration, saying, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Not only did Esau view himself as being absolutely untouchable and invincible, but it was also from that place of pride and arrogance that he actually dared boast and rejoice over the calamity and distress of his brother. BEWARE WHEN YOU EXALT YOURSELF TO A PLACE OF STATUS, POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE, FOR IT IS IN THAT PLACE WHERE YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE UNTOUCHABLE! The Lord spoke unto the descendants of Esau concerning how they exalted themselves as the eagle, and set their nest among the stars. The Lord had somewhat to say about this, for the Lord would bring them down. Have you ever noticed how the Lord specializes in bringing down and bringing low the arrogant boasting and pride of men? Have you ever noticed that the Lord has absolutely no quarrel or qualm with humbling those who in their own pride and arrogance exalt themselves to a place where they believe themselves to be untouchable? I am convinced that one of the greatest prophetic words we discover in this passage of Scripture is the Lord’s controversy—not so much with a people, although it is certainly connected to a people—but with the pride and arrogance of man’s heart.

 When you read the prophetic language and words of Ezekiel within the Old Testament, you will discover how the Lord expressed His controversy with Esau because he held on to a perpetual hatred, and from that place of hatred, shed the blood of the children of Israel. Do not be so quick to move past and move beyond that phrase “perpetual hatred,” for those words are incredibly powerful and carry with them a powerful prophetic warning and word to us in this generation. The very fact that the Lord spoke of Esau as holding on to a perpetual hatred suggests and implies that throughout the years—over the centuries, and even millennia—Esau chose to hold to an ancient grudge that dated as far back as the days of Jacob and Esau themselves. WHEN A GRUDGE SPANS GENERATIONS! I believe with everything in me that this particular passage reveals just how deadly and dangerous hatred toward one’s brother, or even towards one’s enemy truly is, for that hatred can eventually and ultimately lead to violence and the shedding of blood. The question I can’t help but ask when reading this passage of Scripture is what you are doing with the perpetual hatred you have carried within your heart. What are you doing with the bitterness you have chosen to hold on to—perhaps for years? What are you doing with the grudge you have been holding on to—perhaps for years? What are you doing with the offense you have been holding on to—perhaps for several months, if not years? This passage brings us face to face with the reality of how holding on to an ancient hatred and grudge, holding on to bitterness and offense, can ultimately and inevitably bring us to the place where we choose to act upon it, and last out against those whom it is held against. It’s interesting to note that while Esau did in fact hate his brother, and while it is true that he sought to kill him, they eventually reconciled, and all the tension, animosity, bitterness, offense and hatred between them seem to dissipate. With that being said, however, we must recognize that hatred may not always manifest itself at the initial outset and point of origin, for Esau’s hatred would not be carried out by him, but rather, by his descendants. Esau’s descendants would take up the grudge, the hatred, the bitterness, the offense he had toward his brother Jacob, and it would be manifested not between two single brothers, but between nations and peoples. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for it is absolutely imperative that we learn how to deal with offenses, grudges and offenses, for left unchecked and not dealt with, can ultimately lead to the manifestation of that reality in future generations. WHEN FUTURE GENERATIONS CARRIED OUT AN ANCIENT GRUDGE AND PERPETUAL HATRED.

 What’s more concerning the nation and people of Edom is that the Lord doesn’t merely speak of a perpetual hatred—a hatred which is ongoing and continual. When you come to the eleventh verse of this same chapter you will read of an anger and envy Edom had toward his brother Israel within the earth. If you want to understand why Edom would react the way he did in the day of Jacob’s calamity, struggle and distress, one must understand that it was a direct result of the hatred, the anger, and the envy that was found within his heart. It was because of the ancient hatred, the offense, the bitterness and the grudge Esau had with his brother that would eventually be manifested in future generations. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder whether or not Esau dealt with the possibility that his ancient hatred, his anger, his grudge, his offense would not be carried on and take up by his sons, or even his daughters. IN other words—while it is true that Esau might have dealt with the bitterness, the hatred, the anger, the rage within his heart, he did not address, deal with, or confront it within the hearts and lives of his sons and daughters. What an absolutely tremendous burden and responsibility we face to not only deal with the offense and bitterness we may hold within our hearts, but also to deal with that same reality within future generations. Perhaps no reality is more aptly described and expressed than in the Old Testament book of Esther, for Haman we will discover was an Agagite—Agag who was the king of the Amalekites whom Saul slaughtered according to the word of the Lord. I would dare say that Haman’s actions toward and against the Jewish people was a direct result of his direct knowledge of what had happened generations and centuries earlier against his ancestors. There is not a doubt in my mind that Haman’s actions were fueled by vengeance and revenge for an ancient grudge, but also because and as a direct result of his pride being wounded when Mordecai refused to bow down before him. I am convinced we need to read the prophetic words of Ezekiel and Obadiah concerning Edom, as well as the account of Haman and his actions toward and against the Jewish people, and must do so in order that we might examine our own hearts and see if there may possibly be any hatred, any malice, any offense, any bitterness, or any grudge we may be holding on to and harboring within our hearts.

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