Jacob and Esau were both sons of Isaac who became leaders of a large lineage. But as Genesis 36 informs us their approaches to civil rule were radically different. With Jacob, he sought to mirror the leadership model of his father (Isaac) and his father’s father (Abraham), which was a theocratic governance. In this system, the Lord communicated guidance to the living patriarch of the family. And while the family elder had say over critical decisions it was always framed within the structure of God’s decrees and wisdom.
Esau’s descendants, however, chose to go the way of a monarchy, allowing men to have overarching power and rule, independent of divine input. Sadly, this can lead to a system in which immoral, power-hungry people often gain control and inflict much harm. In a theocracy, the Lord’s commands are noble, pure, and beyond reproach. The same cannot always be said under a monarchy. The point being, no matter what setting believers find ourselves in, we have to prioritize making God the focal point of our direction and purpose. Whether it be in the home environment, the church environment, or our personal activities – the Lord should continually be our influential guide. So will we allow God to have the ultimate say, or will we succumb to the fleshly tendency to reject God’s authority and chart our own path?
Genesis 36:31 “These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned…”(NIV)
Kevin Orr (1/13/2019)