Increase Through Absoprtion

, ,

God provides for all people.

Genesis(102) (Part of the Origins(100) series)
by Stuart Johns(233) on February 19, 2023 (Sunday Morning(345))

Promises(14), Protection(10), Provides(12)


Increase Through Absorption

(Genesis 36:20-30)



[Have a table set up in the front with a jug of water and a clear container with some of the Orbeez seeds in it. ​​ Have a second clear container with the completed Orbeez balls in them, but keep this container hidden until the conclusion of the message.]


I am going to need some help this morning with the introduction. [Choose one of the children or youth from the congregation to come up front to help]


I have some Orbeez seeds in this clear container. ​​ When you add water to the seeds, they absorb the water and grow into little water balls. [Have the child or youth pour the water into the clear container with the Orbeez seeds]


We will let the seeds absorb the water while we talk about the passage in Genesis 36:20-30.



  • ME

    • Increasing through absorption

        • Gaining weight

          • I am a very sympathetic and compassionate person, especially when it comes to Judy

          • When Judy was expecting our first child, I made sure to eat like I was eating for two

          • I did the same thing with the other two pregnancies

          • I tell everyone that I gained ten pounds with each pregnancy and I’m still waiting to have my baby

          • My waistline has increased through absorption of food

        • Gaining family

          • When our two oldest sons got married, Judy and I gained two daughters

          • We have now gained two granddaughters and one grandson

          • So, our family is increasing through marriage


  • WE

    • Increasing through absorption

        • How many of us can relate to increasing our waistline through the absorption of food?

        • How many of us have experienced the increasing of our family through marriage and grandchildren?


Over the past couple of weeks, we have been focusing on the genealogy of Esau. ​​ In the middle of his genealogy, the narrator talks about the genealogy of Seir (say-eer’) the Horite (kho-ree’/hore-ree’). ​​ We will see some familiar names in this genealogy that were part of Esau’s genealogy in verse 2. ​​ Esau married one of the Horite women and what we know from the rest of history is that the Horite people were probably absorbed into the Edomite people. ​​ We will learn from this passage of Scripture that . . .


BIG IDEA – God provides for all people.


Let’s pray


  • GOD (Genesis 36:20-30)

    • Seir’s sons (vv. 20-21)

        • We learn from this verse that Seir’s family was living in the region that Esau is now inhabiting (Genesis 36:8)

        • His sons are then listed

          • Lotan (lo-tawn’) – means “covering”

          • Shobal (sho-bawl’/show-val’) – means “flowing”

          • Zibeon (tsib-one’/sieve-own’) – means “colored”

          • Anah (an-aw’) – means “answer”

          • Dishon (dee-shone’/dee-shown’) – means “thresher”

          • Ezer (ay’-tser/eight’-sare) – means “treasure”

          • Dishan (dee-shawn’) – means “thresher”

        • Notice that even though Esau settled in the hill country of Seir and that Seir and his family were already living there, that at the end of verse 21 it says that these sons of Seir in Edom were Horite chiefs

          • The region has changed from being the hill country of Seir to Edom

          • Edom was the name of Esau’s clan (it was another name for Esau)

          • Esau absorbed the Horite people

        • What we see next is Seir’s grandchildren

    • Seir’s grandchildren (vv. 22-28)

        • The sons of Lotan (lo-tawn’)

          • Hori (kho-ree’/hore-ree’) – means “cave dweller”

          • Homan (hay-mawm’/hay-mom’) – means “exterminating”

          • Timna (tim-naw’) was Lotan’s sister

            • Esau’s son Eliphaz (el-ee-faz’) had a concubine named Timna

            • This was probably the same woman

            • We are already seeing the increase of Esau’s clan through marriage

        • The sons of Shobal (sho-bawl’/show-val’)

          • Alvan (al-vawn’) – means “tall”

          • Manahath (maw-nakh’-ath/mine-ak’-hath) – means “rest”

          • Ebal (ay-bawl’/a-vawl’) – means “stone” or “bare mountain”

          • Shepho (shef-o’) – means “bold”

          • Onam (o-nawm’) – means “vigorous”

        • The sons of Zibeon (tsib-one’/sieve-own’)

          • Aiah (ah-yaw’/a-yah’) – means “falcon”

          • Anah (an-aw’) – means “answer”

            • This Anah was the one who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was caring for his father Zibeon’s donkeys

            • He was probably named after his uncle Anah

            • “This little story distinguishes this Anah from his uncle, a pattern we have also seen regarding the two Lamechs (Gen. 4:17-24) and the two Enochs (Gen. 5:21-24).” ​​ [Gangel & Bramer, Holman Old Testament Commentary, Genesis, 297]

        • The children of Anah (an-aw’)

          • Perhaps Seir did the same thing that Jacob did in taking some of his son’s, boys as his own sons

            • Jacob did that with Joseph’s two sons

            • Manasseh and Ephraim were counted as two of the twelve sons/tribes of Israel

            • Scripture does not directly tell us that, though

          • Dishon (dee-shone’/dee-shown’) – means “thresher”

            • He was obviously named after his uncle Dishon

            • There seemed to be a lot of names reused in this clan

          • Oholibamah (o”-hol-ee-baw-maw’/ah-holy-vaw-maw’) – means “tent of the high place”

            • We met her as one of Esau’s wives in verse 2

            • She was Anah’s daughter and Zibeon’s granddaughter

            • This is another reason why it is probable that Seir took Anah as one of his sons, even though he was actually Zibeon’s son

        • The sons of Dishon (dee-shone’/dee-shown’)

          • Hemdan (khem-dawn’) – means “desire”

          • Eshban (esh-bawn’) – means “fire of discernment”

          • Ithran (yith-rawn’) – means “advantage”

          • Keran (ker-awn’/kay-rawn’) – means “lyre” (like the instrument)

        • The sons of Ezer (ay’-tser/eight’-sare)

          • Bilhan (bil-hawn’) – means “their decrepitude”

          • Zaavan (zah-av-awn’) – means “troubled”

          • Akan (aw-kawn’/ah-kawn’) – means “sharp-sighted”

        • The sons of Dishan (dee-shawn’)

          • Uz (oots) – means “wooded”

          • Aran (ar-awn’/ah-rawn’) – means “joyous”

    • Horite chiefs (v. 29-30)

        • Seir’s sons are listed again as the Horite chiefs

        • They were divided by these seven clans in the land of Seir

    • Application

        • We have to turn to Deuteronomy 2:1-6 to help us with applying this section of genealogy to our lives

          • The Israelites were wandering in the desert

          • Then we turned back and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. ​​ For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. ​​ Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. ​​ Give the people these orders: ​​ ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. ​​ They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. ​​ Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. ​​ I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. ​​ You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’” (Deuteronomy 2:1-6)

          • God had given the hill country of Seir to Esau as his own

            • As far as we know, God did not require Esau to completely destroy the inhabitants of Seir as He commanded the Israelites to do with the inhabitants of Canaan

            • Through marriage and perhaps the sheer size of the Edomite clan, Esau and his descendants absorbed the Horite clans

        • Principles

          • PRINCIPLE #1 – God is our provider

            • God had provided a permanent place for Esau and his descendants to thrive

              • As we know, he could not remain in Canaan with Jacob, because their flocks and herds were too much for the land

              • God did not just kick Esau out of Canaan without providing a place for him to live

            • God is our provider too

              • How many of us have experienced being displaced?

              • Judy and I left California without having another job lined up or a place to stay

              • We visited family for a couple of months, before God provided the pastoral position here at Idaville UB Church that also provided housing

              • God is our provider

              • He will provide for us and not leave us alone and displaced

            • #1 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Trust God to provide for me.

          • PRINCIPLE #2 – God is our protector

            • God could have required Esau to completely destroy the Horites, but He didn’t

            • God protected them from being completely destroyed by allowing the Edomites to absorb the Horites

            • God is also our protector

              • How have you experienced His protection?

              • Has He protected you from physical harm, sickness, financial failure, relational heartache, and much more?

              • Take a moment to recall how the Lord has protected you

            • #2 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Thank the Lord for protecting me.

          • PRINCIPLE #3 – God keeps His promises

            • God’s blessing of Abraham was amazing!

            • The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. ​​ “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. ​​ I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

            • We see through this genealogy that the Horites and the Edomites were blessed through Abraham

            • “If the inclusion in Genesis of the lines of Ishmael and Esau implies that in their way they are part of the outworking of Yahweh’s promise to Abraham, then the inclusion of the Horites’ clans implies a reaffirmation of a point implicit in Gen. 10-11, that people who are quite outside the Abrahamic line are not outside the story of God’s work in the world.” ​​ [Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, 565]

            • God keeps His promises to us also

              • Every promise God has made in His Word, He has kept

              • Because He has kept every promise in His Word, we can trust that He will keep the promises that He has made about the future

              • We can rejoice in a God who keeps His promises

            • #3 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Rejoice in the fact that God keeps His promises.


  • YOU

    • Do you need to trust God to provide for you?

    • Have you thanked the Lord for protecting you?

    • Are you ready to rejoice, because God has kept His promises to you?


  • WE

    • We can trust God to provide for Idaville UB Church

    • We can thank God for protecting us as a body of believers

    • We can rejoice in a God who keeps His promises



Let’s check in on our Orbeez seeds.


Have they increased yet?


Let me show you what they look like after absorbing water for 24 hours [show the other clear container with the Orbeez that have already increased]


God provided protection for the Horites by allowing the Edomites to absorb them.