Wednesday, September 20, 2017

eschatology: Covenant Given to Jacob (Gen.27-35)

Jacob manages to take advantage of Esau and steals his birthright from him.  Then he and his mom hatches a plan to get the father's blessing meant for Esau (as the eldest son).  Isaac is not impressed, but - what is done is done.  And right before Jacob leaves (since he really angered his older brother and Mom wants to spare his life), Isaac gives Jacob one more blessing, which is more of a "I HOPE God gives the covenant blessing to you"...

(Genesis 28:1-4)  So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”

There's nothing like putting the fear of God into someone!!!  God appears to Jacob and confirms the covenant...

(Genesis 28:10-17)  Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lordthe God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Many years later, after Jacob decides to go back home and face his brother, Jacob meets up with God again, who renames him Israel...

(Genesis 32:24-30)  Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed. 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

(Genesis 35:9-12)  Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him,
“Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”
Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall come forth from you.
12 The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
Today's takeaway:  God accepts us where we are at.  He knows we are not perfect, and that is why we need Him.  But then, let's not forget the "fear of the Lord"!  God is faithful and keeps His promises.  Meanwhile, God still chooses to work with His people, despite all our shortcomings.  It's like LIFE is this giant 4 dimensional chess game, and as God's children we are on His side, but even though we make moves that are pretty stupid and often make moves "for the other side" - God is still going to have the victory!!!  And already has the victory!!!

(John 16:33)  These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

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