Genesis 36 gives us the genealogy of Esau's descendants.
Then in chapter 37 we begin the story of Joseph. Joseph is initially hated by his older brothers because he is favored by his father, but makes matters worse by sharing his dreams. In fact, sharing one particular dream also draws criticism from his father.
In any case, Jacob sends Joseph to check up on his brothers. Although Jacob must know how his elder children feel about Joseph, he clearly doesn't think that they will engage in treachery to get rid of him. Yet, one questions this assessment considering what happened at Shechem before at the hands of Simeon and Levi...
A bright spot here is Reuben, who was prepared to rescue his brother.
In any case, the story unfolds as Joseph is sold into slavery and his death is reported to Jacob. The stage is set for the drama that is to come.
This song of praise declares that the earth belongs to God, and so do we who dwell upon it. The imagery of gates and doors opening before our Lord to let him in reminds me of how we receive Him in communion...hearkening back to the phrase from Matthew "I am not worthy to receive you under my roof" One gets under the roof by going through the door. Each of us must be ready to lift our gates and open our doors to receive him, be they the gates to our minds or the doors to our hearts.
Surely, the Lord could break through these gates and doors, for He is mighty and strong. But is it not better for us to let Him in?
"Such is the generation of those who seek him,"
Jesus continues with a series of parables about the kingdom of heaven. The first two suggest that it needs to be our first priority...that we be willing to trade all we have in order to gain it. The last warns that not all who are caught in the net will gain salvation, much like the parable of the weeds sown among the good seed.
Are we willing to put God's kingdom before our own little kingdoms? Are we prepared to sell all we have to gain that pearl of great price? Some days more than others, perhaps.
We finish this passage with Jesus heading home and declaring that "a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." Often it is hardest to witness to those who know us best.
God's name: "I AM WHO AM" God is, in essence, being. Existence isn't something He does, like we do, but something He is. Living isn't something He does, like we do, but something He is. Our existence is a mere reflection of His. Our capabilities for thought and action are a mere reflection of His.
Basically, the reality of God is mind blowing. We can't hope to fully understand it, yet we are able to embrace that which we can know about him through creation and revelation. What a beautiful mystery!