Esau is described as the father of the Edomites. Some history first. The Edomites were neighbours to Israel at the time of the Exodus, refusing them passage through their land at that time. Edom became subject to Israel in the time of Kings David and Solomon before becoming a vassal state of Assyria after c736BC. Ultimately it ceased to exist as a ‘state’ in line with the prophetic expectation of prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel and especially Obadiah. As a point of interest Herod the Great, the Herod who tried to kill the young Jesus, was an Edomite.
Now a question followed by a story. Question; who are you a father or mother to? Spiritually speaking, I mean. Story: I have just finished listening to Rob Parsons speaking about Care for the Family’s move of offices from one building to another. He tells the story of how he came to faith. He was aged 15, bottom of the class, about to drop out, with an interest only in becoming the next rock and roll superstar.
Then he met a couple called Arthur and Margaret Tovey. They weren’t well off, could not have children of their own but invested their lives in young people. They met Rob and invited him in to a Bible study on Wednesday evenings. For some reason that he couldn’t entirely understand, Rob accepted the offer. When Rob was about 17 Arthur felt the Lord saying to him that Rob would be particularly blessed with the ability for public speaking. So, he prayed for Rob. More than that, Arthur trained Rob in the art of public speaking.
In due course Rob became a lawyer. He was a very good lawyer and lectured around the country to other lawyers. One day, when he was 39, the Law Society asked him to be the keynote speaker in Vienna at a conference attended by 1,000 lawyers. On that day, Rob phoned Arthur to tell him that what he taught Rob when he was 17 was helping him now to teach others. Rob went on to found Care for the Family which provides training and resources to equip parents to raise the next generation. A radio station interviewed Arthur and asked him the question: what do you think of the boy who came to your Bible class? I’m proud of him, was the reply. At the end of Arthur’s life Rob was present and whispered in his ear as he was dying a simple word: Thank you!
Genealogies remind us that each one of us is a link in the chain. We may never know the impact we have on other’s lives. But let us live for a legacy. A legacy of a life changed because we lived.
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Whose life are you called to invest in today?