wont to do, He did not bless them equally, or so it seemed.
The cattleman felt sorry for the "poor pastor" who was raising his family on a very meager salary. The cattleman quickly became wealthy. He acquired land, cattle, fortune, and family. In joking with the preacher, the cattleman said, "you know, I'm gonna end up taking care of you and your children. With my wealth, you will be cared for."
Nevertheless, the preacher stayed the course, doing what he believed God wanted him to do. After the preacher married, the doctor gave him bad news, "I don't believe you'll ever be able to have children." However, as God is wont to do, God doesn't have to listen to doctors. So, it wasn't very long afterwards, they had their first child. And then another. And another... It was tough, living on a pastor's salary with so many children. There were times that they couldn't afford coats for these children to wear in the harsh winters of that region. Yet, God did bless. Miracles occurred in the pastor's family as they learned to rely upon God. The pastor's family learned that God does, indeed, take care of His children.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the cattleman lived well. However, there were a few noticeable, glaring aspects to the cattleman's character. The wealthier he became, the less he needed God. He could easily provide for his family.
Also, the cattleman lived a life of sensuality. Much like Esau, he became a rather coarse fellow, using brash language, not delaying his gratification. He gave himself whatever his heart desired. This lifestyle led to tension within his own family. His children saw that even though the cattleman was a Christian man, what he said often did not match up with what he did. His children strayed from God's best for their lives. However, they did not stray too far. They frequently went to church, they proclaimed Jesus as their Savior but they always had Esau's seed in them. They, too, could be brash, insensitive, living in their own sensuality. Like their father, they were not bad people. Just edgy. Slightly missing the mark for what God desired for them.
When these two families got together on special occasions, the cattleman's sons challenged the pastor's son to games of strength and daring, often berating their manhood. "Come on, be brave! Don't be such a wimp!" were words the pastor's children often heard when challenged to do things that were marginally safe, sensual, just a bit edgy.
The pastor's sons noticed, also, that the cattleman's sons would grab the biggest or choicest pieces of food from the table, when offered one piece of bread, they would take two, drink the most iced tea, all without giving thought to others. The cattleman's sons weren't bad men, they just lived more sensually than the pastor' sons. However, they were missing the mark of God's standards for holiness.
(Tomorrow, we will discuss part two of this story)
BE A MAN.