HELLO MAHALATH

Last week I stressed the idea of being equally yoked by doing a study of Esau’s marriage choices. We learned that he was negligent in his search for a wife and married women outside of the blessing umbrella. I focused on romantic relationships but in conversation a friend pointed out that it’s also important to maintain a state of being equally yoked in our close friendships as well. Many times our friends can have more influence over us than we would like to believe. To read last week’s post click here.
But today… let’s talk about GRACE!
Today I want to continue looking at Esau’s relationships and choices. Let’s start in Genesis 27:46 where Rebekah in a heated discussion with her husband, Isaac, is being quite the drama queen. She exclaims in what I imagine a frustrated and whiny voice, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.” Talk about being exaggerated. If we were to study Rebekah’s life as a mother we would see how she favored Jacob. I understand her concern and desire for a daughter-in-law she could love. Her reproach, however, led Isaac to counsel his son in regards to the matter. Isaac commands Jacob not to marry a Hittite woman but to go back to Rebekah’s family and take a wife from among her brother’s daughters. As is to be expected Esau hears all about these conversations. I mean let’s be real… you know there are no superficial secrets in your family… once one aunt finds out all the others will be informed soon thereafter. In Genesis 28:8 we see Esau finally come to his senses and he understands the gravity of his choices. 8Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.”

I know the focus of this blog is all about the women in the bible, but sometimes we need to take a look at the men in order to understand why some of the women are mentioned. This is one of those instances. By now in Esau’s life he has lost just about everything that mattered as the firstborn son. Jacob cons him into selling his birthright in Genesis 25:29-34 and then he straight up steals the firstborn blessing in Genesis 27. I’m sure Esau always knew that he was his father’s favorite and Jacob his mother’s but I think that in marrying the Hittite women even his father lost a bit of respect for him.

I think maybe he was counting on Mahalath to help him gain back some of his parents’ good graces.

Has that ever been you? Have you ever done something, big or small to gain someone’s forgiveness? Maybe wrote them a letter? I remember doing that back in middle school. Notes were all the rage back then. I got into some type of disagreement with my “B.F.F.” and I wrote her a long letter trying to make amends. Or maybe you went out of your way to buy something for someone or do something you know makes them feel loved. It’s interesting how we’re wired to try to gain forgiveness. Let’s be real. If you know and admit that you did something wrong you aren’t going to expect the offended party to just forgive you and get over it oh so quickly. Many times the offended party requires some groveling on our part in order to GRACE us with their forgiveness.

What is GRACE exactly?

The google definition: “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”

Now that I think about it, that human nature piece must be why it’s so incomprehensible to us that God would give GRACE so extravagantly. He requires nothing but repentance in order to forgive. And what is repentance, simply the admittance of wrongdoing and the intentional choice of not committing the act again.

So, if you were completely honest with yourself right now what would you say is the Mahalath in your life? How have you tried to gain back our Heavenly Father’s good graces?

Did you think of it? Is it right there in the front of your mind?

Okay, good.

I pray this next statement may encourage and free you.

Nothing, NOTHING, N O T H I N G, you do can earn you God’s GRACE or forgiveness!

Isn’t that thought liberating?
I know it’s counter cultural but it is TRUTH!
Mahalath represents  our striving, our efforts to gain what no one can gain.
Remember there is NOTHING you can do to make God love you any more or any less than He already does!

My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, right now I ask you for every person who is striving to gain your forgiveness. I pray for every person who is running themselves into the ground trying to gain your approval or your love. Please press on their hearts the irrevocable truth that you are gracious like no other. Please remind them that you love them just as they are. Allow them to feel your love. Help us to not go out into the world seeking Mahalath. Help us seek you instead because you receive us in our sin. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your unconditional acceptance and love. Thank you for never letting go of us even when we try to pry your hands away. I ask that Romans 8:38-39 may be written on our hearts. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
2 Corinthians 12: 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

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