Jealousy is not the result of what we see wrong in someone else. Jealousy the result of what we see wrong ourselves. However, instead of facing up to our own deficiency, we cover the deficiency by belittling the one whom we actually perceive as having more on the ball than do we. Of course, we would never admit it! Is there a cure? Yes!
Poverty for first century believers was more the rule than the exception. Consequently, one might think that James would offer some stinging statements condemning poverty – he did not. One might think James would have ragged on the wealthy about giving to the poor – he did not. One might think that James would have set forth a plan for upward movement from one socio-economic class to another as the solution to the fiery trial of poverty – he did not. Then, what did he do?
Genesis 36 deals entirely with Jacob’s brother, Esau also known as Edom. Yet, who cares about Esau? Why this great emphasis upon Edom? We have Abraham, the father of Israel as a nation. Jesus is traced back to Abraham and Jacob, not Esau. So, spending time in Genesis 36 has got to a waste of that time, right? To the contrary, Genesis 36 not only impacted the ancient world but the world in which we live today, even our own lives.
Esau might be referred to as a wild child of ancient Israel. Yet, God blessed him beyond measure. Think about this. If God blesses so abundantly those who are not believers, what is the magnitude of His blessing for those who are? If non-spiritual people experience such outpourings of God’s gifts, how great must the gifts be for believers! Get ready to be blessed.
Does God really expect us to be joyful in the hardships of life? It’s difficult enough to force a faint smile when we face minor irritations, but to use the word joy when enduring the desert-like experiences is beyond reason. Surely, this can’t be right, can it? Is there method in seeming madness of God? You just might be surprised.