Isaac and Jacob part 1; Gen25 – 28

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A. THE BIRTH OF JACOB AND ESAU (Please read Gen 25:19-28).

From honeymoon to dark moon.

The romantic honeymoon days of the marriage between Isaac and Rebecca, a fairy-tale of a beautiful bride from a distant country travelling with a caravan of camels to meet her very wealthy, longing bridegroom, awaiting her at sunset along the way, had long since passed. The excited couple had now been married for almost twenty years (25:2, 26) and a dark cloud had drifted in and was obscuring their sunshine, because no child was yet born from this marriage.  What a disappointment; what a trial.

The trauma which Abraham and Sarah had to endure for 25 years while waiting, praying, and believing for their first child, was now repeated in the lives of their heir and his wife.  Again, it was a drawn-out battle of faith that had to be fought to continue God’s lineage of believers.  The son to be born could not just be the result of a man and woman coming together and conceiving a child in the natural way; no, the child was to be conceived from the couple’s faith in God.

This is a very important principle because it also applies to the second birth of a person when he trusts God to touch his barren “dead” spirit and generate a child for God by the Holy Spirit. “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Joh 1:12,13, WEB).

(Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, all went through this trauma, not only for themselves, but also for us who are, by faith, born again as spiritual babies).

Isaac and Rebekah’s was, of course, also a battle against the devil who, at all costs, tried to prevent God from raising up a nation for Him from the mass of unbelievers and, from that lineage, birthing the Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind.

Their faith of course also penetrated every facet of their lives, just as man’s second birth is only the point of departure of a long journey of trusting God.  Does not Scripture say, “But the righteous will live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”  (Heb 10:38, WEB).

Facing the challenge hand in hand.

Isaac did not leave Rebecca to fight this battle on her own.  He stood by her.  God created the woman as a help-meet for man, but there are times when she too, desperately needs the assistance of her marriage partner and then he must not blame her for being unable to bring her side, but rather follow Isaac’s example by praying for her.  Isaac also did not choose the easy way out by sleeping with a concubine, but pleaded with the Lord to provide a way out. His was an intense struggle and God heard his prayer.

Double for your trouble; but the double leads to more trouble

Rebekah, after the long wait, expected nothing less than twins, more than what she had hoped for.  Did she realize this? As it often is, with such pregnancies, she experienced much discomfort.  For some time, she went around, complaining about her lot, in the end concluding that it would be better for her to die (as some translations have it), than to continue suffering like that.  A couple of months before, she had stressed because she could not conceive a child, now she was complaining because of the price she had to pay for the privilege of holding a baby in her arms.

Even for a believer, life will always have its challenges; the one has not quite passed, when the next is upon us, like the waves of the sea that tirelessly keep on rolling in and breaking over you. What are your options? Running away to go and bask in the sun on the beach is not an option; spiritually speaking, that means quitting altogether. A better option is to learn how to dive underneath the wave where the water is quieter, then pop up on the other side with the wave breaking behind your back. Even better is to learn how to use a surfboard, then use the very waves to bring you hours of joy as you speed effortlessly on their crests. The accomplished surfer is continually on the lookout for great waves (Please read and meditate on James 1:1-4 to understand more about this uncomfortable truth).

Rebekah apparently was more of a manipulator than a surfer (27:5-17); investing her efforts in changing the waves of life rather than using the adversities of life to change her inner self. According to some translation she sometimes thought of rather dying than improving her life skills. Even in her middle age or later, she was still stuck in the same place and could not cope with her daughters-in-law (27:46).

We must do ourselves a favour and learn some spiritual surfing skills, then life will be so much more fun and as other Christians see you riding the waves, they will ask you to teach them too. How about it?

Rebekah came to the end of herself.

But flesh and blood can only endure that much and no more. Eventually, when she could stand it no longer and went to inquire from the Lord regarding her problem.

We should pray more and complain less; choose the shortcut of prayer above the roundabout route of complaining to everyone around you. In a small group meeting of believers, when opportunity is given for prayer requests, believers would each explain their need in detail, but when opportunity is then given to pray for these needs, the room falls quiet, which seems to indicate that believers are more comfortable in complaining to one another about their needs than praying to God about them?

Where did she go to consult the Lord?  Could it be that she had traveled to Salem to discuss her problem with Melchizedek (14:18), the King of Peace/ king of peace, the Priest of God/ priest of God?

The Lord answered her right away.  It almost is, as if He had been waiting for her to come to Him, because the two boys to which she would give birth, would play significant roles in the history of mankind, and He wanted to disclose this to the couple, so that they would know that He was in charge and was ordering their lives.  He answered Rebekah, saying that she was expecting twins and that the elder would serve the younger.  He also prophesied that they would grow into two nations.

Let us note that nothing is being said about God lessening her discomfort, but He gave her insight into the role she was playing in fulfilling His plan. He also told her that both boys would live, grow up and in turn father children of their own.  This gave her the courage to bear her ordeal to the last. (Before hearing from God, she must have been very tense for it was her first child, her long awaited child, and the symptoms she experienced, could be interpreted as that all was not well with the development of the infant. Uncertainty that leads to fear is an enemy of health and joy.)

Esau, the baby in red.

At last the sons were born.  The first born, Esau, was covered by a mantle of red hair.  Right from birth he portrayed a “macho” (hyper manly) image.  As could be expected, he developed into an exceptional hunter.  To him hunting was not just a way of putting food on the table, but rather a sport, a thrill to quench his desire for adventure.  He makes one think of the wild Nimrod who was a mighty hunter but also a very violent man (Gen 10:8 & 9).

(Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, (the word means red) in due course settled to the south and east of the Dead Sea. When the Lord, hundreds of years after this, gave the land of Canaan to the posterity of Jacob, He did not allow them to attack the Edomites, although they had refused to let them trek through their land.  Later on they became bitter enemies to king David.  In view of this enmity that developed between these two nations, one wonders if it would be stretching Scripture revelation too far by saying that, that struggle between the two patriots had already started within the womb, causing so much distress to Rebekah? (Some Bibles translate 25:22 as that, in the womb, the two sons, “struggled against each other” or were “fighting together”.) The ongoing battle between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness knows no boundaries.

Jacob, the baby with a bad name.

The second born was called Jacob (Deceiver) because he had at the time of birth, laid hold of his brother Esau’s heel.  Was he called so because God had said that the deceiving snake, the devil, would bite man in the heel?  Or could it have been a prophetic word spoken by Isaac?  Whatever the case might have been, Jacob had later in his life, stood up to this name by defrauding both his brother and his father.  What was pleasing in his life, on the other hand, was that he was a peace-loving man who fixed his attention to the daily tasks of supplying in the needs of the family; a man on whom you could depend.

Favouritism, a small fox that destroys the family vineyard.

Both Isaac and Rebecca were guilty of giving preference to one son above the other.  Isaac’s favourite was Esau, because he brought home such nice tasting game, while Rebekah’s blue-eyed-boy was Jacob.  They would, after some years, pay dearly for this favouring of one child above the other.

It is of course possible that parents, because of the different personalities of their children, feel more drawn to the one than to the other, but they should keep that to themselves, not allowing it to become apparent.  As image bearers of God, the perfect Father, all their children should be equally precious, receive an equal amount of attention, love, gifts and opportunities.  A child that feels rejected, might not reach his full potential in life, because he sees himself as inferior.  But how then should we do when one child lives an exemplary life while the other ever so often embarrasses his family?  Even in this case, the parents should make it quite clear that while they appreciate the one’s pure walk and denounce the other one’s wayward way of life, as persons, they are being loved equality.

B. ESAU SELLS HIS BIRTH RIGHT TO JACOB (Please read Gen 25:29-34).

A golden opportunity.

This incident was, as far as can be deducted from the context, not planned beforehand; it just happened unexpectedly, as when Eve was spoken to by the snake in Paradise.  Jacob had just cooked a flavoury pot of lintels, when Esau returned from the veld (a hunt?) tired and hungry.  Esau asked Jacob for some of his food.

Jacob had probably, for many years, been vexing himself and contemplating what he could do regarding the problem that his elder brother, Esau, and not he, could rightfully lay claim to the right of the first born.  That usually entailed that the firstborn son would inherit at least a double portion of his father’s estate, and, on top of that, after his father’s death, would take up his position as head of the family.  Jacob could not accept this.  He was jealous of Esau.  The fact that his brother had day by day, from dawn to dusk, been chasing after game while he, Jacob, had to take care of all of his father’s farming activities, only aggravated the matter.  Then again, there was also the prophetic words spoken by God, to his mother, that he would rule over his brother.  So he must have often reflected on how he could get the better of his brother.

And now, all of a sudden, here was the opportunity of a life time.  In a flash, he recognized it and laid hold of it.  Did he not know his brother, knowing how impulsively he could act?  “First sell your birth-right to me,” He replied craftily.  Here was no hint of brotherly love; it was blatant exploiting of his brother’s need – “business is business” – “I don’t mix my religion and my business!”.

“Oh well, I’m going to die and what will the right of birth avail me then?”  Esau retorted in a devil-may-care way without contemplating for a single moment on the mountainous implications of his words.  He lived only for the here and now.  He wanted his needs to be gratified immediately and justified his action by making his problem to be greater than it was. He was certainly not facing death because of his hunger.

The costliest soup ever sold.

Jacob was now halfway through the gap, but wanted to clinch their transaction irrevocably. “Declare that under oath,” he insisted craftily (while perhaps sipping some lintel soup and smacking his lips).  And  … Esau took an oath!  Within a few seconds, he had squandered his precious birth right for a bowl of soup.  He ate, drank, got up and left.  For a few minutes of pleasure he had lost the privileges of a lifetime.  On top of it all, the Lord God was a witness to this transaction and His comment was that Esau was an unholy man who despised his right of birth (Heb 12:16).

Be prepared for the Esau choice comes unexpectedly.

This fragment of Scripture is so applicable to the life of every young person.  Should a matric class, three or four years later, have a re-union and each one would relate what had happened to him or her during that period, they would be divided into two groups; the Jacob’s and the Esau’s would be clear to distinguish.  There will be those who had gained a degree or were established in an occupation, looking forward to a bright future over against those that would be embarrassed, ashamed, sitting with a dirty empty plate in front of them; lost opportunities which they would never be able to retrieve.  It is ironic that a person has to take his most important decisions, not at the age of 45 or older when he had already acquired some knowledge of life, but between the ages of 15 and 25 when he is so much driven by emotion and desire.  It is at that age that he lays the foundation for the next 40 to 60 years of his life.

If you make too light of life, living irresponsibly or even recklessly, life itself will mock you.   It is so wonderful that God gives each one of us absolute freedom of choice, but …. what a tremendous responsibility that is.  It is as if you sit down in the cockpit of an aeroplane and without training and all on your own, have to take off on a flight that will last for many years and traverse many storms before reaching your destination.  Therefore, be sensible and wise, even when you are still at school, and ask the Master Pilot of souls, the Lord Jesus to come and live inside of you and take control of your life.

(On the matter of God’s predestination of Jacob and Esau, we will comment in a later study guide.)

C. ISAAC IN GERAR AND BEERSHEBA. HIS COVENANT WITH ABIMELECH (Please read Gen 26:1-35).

Isaac plans but God directs his footsteps.

Famine came to the land because of the drought and Isaac had to make a plan to keep his family and his multitudes of livestock alive, so he moved to the area of Abimelech, king of the Philistines, wondering whether he should not trek right down to Egypt, where the Nile river ensured good crops every year.  Then, the Lord appeared to him and said that he was not to go there, but to settle in the land He would show him. He then pitched his tents near the Philistine city of Gerar.

The Lord also spoke to him regarding his future, encouraging him and confirming to him the promises He had made to Abraham.

Isaac bumps his toe against the very same stone his father had bumped his twice.

Just when it seemed that all was running peacefully and normally, a problem of a different kind surfaced.  Isn’t it so that the devil never allows a moment to pass if he has the opportunity of afflicting us?  This time Rebekah, and that even at her advanced time of life of approximately 60 years was, without having any guilt in it, the cause of the problem.  She still was a remarkably beautiful woman and Isaac got scared that the men of this foreign land in which they found themselves, would kill him for his wife.  Therefore, when they inquired regarding her, he did as his father Abraham had done, answering that Rebekah was his sister.  He was driven by fear and not lead by God.

However, what Isaac had feared, did not come to pass; yet something almost just as traumatic happened.  One day, as the King was looking through the window of his palace, he saw how Isaac was caressing (fondling) Rebecca.  Well, a brother will never do that to his sister!  Without further ado, the heathen Abimelech confronted the believing Isaac.  He was not only caught red-handed for being dishonest, but also for assuming, without good cause, that this King had no moral principles.  What was more: his sinful conduct could have resulted in the King and his people falling into sin, bringing God’s judgement down upon them.  What an embarrassment to Isaac!

Sin is sin and the Lord does not pardon it, least of all in the lives of his chosen ones.  But He is also merciful:  After having used this heathen man to properly chastise his son Isaac, he allowed him to leave in peace of mind that he would have no further reason to fear for his life.  God had delivered him from the dilemma.

God’s hundred-fold blessing of a stumbling servant.

God had also forgiven his sin and forgotten it, and continued blessing him to overflowing so that even during a year of drought, he harvested a hundred-fold.  The Lord did not end the drought, but overruled it.  He acted as if it not even existed.  He does not allow Him to be limited by any circumstances. We may however, by our lack of faith, set boundaries to His blessings by giving more attention to the droughts surrounding us, than to his  greatness  covering us.

When God’s people get blessed, the devil get’s mad.

God’s blessing did not end with one good harvest; He went on and on blessing him abundantly, so that his herds of small stock and cattle and his other possessions increased incredibly.  This abundant blessing that was on Isaac, did not sit well with his Philistine neighbours; it stirred up their jealousy which turned into hatred, so they filled up with soil, two of the wells which Abraham had dug, which Isaac could lay claim to. Abimelech was possibly hoping that such a show of hostility, would cause Isaac to pack up and leave his domain. In a country where water is so scarce, such acts could have lead to warfare but Isaac endured it patiently. He, “turned the other cheek.”  Then Abimelech confronted him outright, requesting him to move away.

Let go and let God.

To fight for your rights, throwing stones and burning tyres, or by just using your tongue as a weapon, is the way of sinful man but to let go that which other people unfairly demand of you, requires faith. Such faith pleases the Lord and the reward which He gives, is much greater than what man can take away from you. (Gen 26:22; Matt 5:5).

Isaac then relocated to Beersheba.   At last he had found peace.  Here, at Beersheba God appeared to him for the second time, encouraged him not to fear and confirmed to him His promises made to Abraham.  What a relief!  The Lord will  not allow that we be tried or afflicted more than what we can endure.  At the right time He will provide a way of escape and create space for us.

When God uplifts you, no one can step on you (Prov 17:7).

Now it was Abimelech’s turn to be in a corner and to live in fear, because Isaac and his people became so powerful that he saw them as a real threat to their own safety.  Wringing his hands together, he had to go to Isaac, pleading for a covenant of peace.  Just listen to his hypocritical words: “ … let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.” (26:29, WEB)

Isaac thought it better not to mention the wells they had plugged and their fighting with his shepherds, but rather prepared a meal for his enemies and conceded to their request not to harm them in any way.

Is it not wonderful that his enemies, at last, had to openly acknowledge: “We saw plainly that Yahweh was with you … You are now the blessed of Yahweh.” (26:28,29).

When we walk  with God, other people will become aware that we are favoured by Him..

At the end of this chapter, Esau is mentioned and again and an unfavourable report is given of him.  He made another bad mistake, this time by marrying two heathen women.  They caused their father and mother-in-law much sorrow.  His foolish conduct touched the people surrounding him.  He had not benefited at all by growing up in a house of believers. His heart was wrong, so their good teaching was wasted on him.

D. JACOB IS BLESSED INSTEAD OF ESAU (Please Gen 27:1-46).

Isaac was getting on in years.  He had already lost the use of his eyes and did not know how much time he had left on earth, so he made arrangements to pronounce God’s blessing over his heir before it would be too late.

The right of the firstborn.

The right of the firstborn was two-fold.  Firstly there were the material benefits coming from his father’s estate. He would inherit at least twice as much livestock, slaves, etc. as the other children as well as authority over the family (clan).  Then there was the heavenly privileges that came from God in the form of a blessed life. This, the beneficiary would inherit by his father’s laying on of his hands on him and speaking of prophetical words inspired by God (hopefully).  The transfer of the material inheritance would normally accompany the pronouncing of the blessing, but would only take effect at the father’s death.

Who’s who?

As first born, Esau was in this privileged position.  But had he not sold his right of the first born to Jacob?  It however seems as if he was of the opinion that he had only lost his material inheritance and not his patriarchal blessing too, because he later on called out: “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing.” (27:36, WEB)

A further question that arises, is whether Isaac was at all aware of the transaction that had taken place between his two sons.  Possibly he was, because when pronouncing the blessing over Jacob, (which he thought to be Esau) he makes no mention of the transfer of his estate to him.

Another question is whether Isaac knew that the Lord had said to Rebecca that Jacob and his descendants would rule over Esau and his?  If he knew this, he simply ignored it, because in his blessing, he appoints Jacob (thought to be Esau) over Esau (thought to be Jacob): “Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you.” (27:29, WEB). He was convinced that Esau was the rightful son to receive this blessing.

A marriage gone sour?

In their old age, Isaac and Rebekah were no longer having such strong bonds of appreciation and love as when they were young. What Isaac’s attitude was towards Rebekah, is not clear, but from her side the line of communication was broken.  She was convinced that she was right and did not respect her husband as the head and priest of the home any longer. She undermined his authority, instead of supporting him. The partners had become opponents; the love nest a boxing ring.

Corruption in the home of the father and mother of many nations.

When Rebekah saw that Isaac had firmly decided to bless Esau and not Jacob, she devised a crafty plan to achieve her goal.  She decided to deceive the blind Isaac so that he would bless Jacob instead of Esau.  It must have been a painful disappointment to him in his old age when he afterwards came to know about it.

What is more, she did not trust God to keep His word that the younger son would rule over the older one, but conceived her own plan in the flesh to achieve this.

Her son, very nearly paid with his life because of this deception.

Rebekah had to involve Jacob in her plan. He had his reservations, not on moral grounds but only because of fear for what would happen to him, should the plan miscarry. In this conspiracy with his mother, his name, “Deceiver” came true.

His interview with Isaac was a nail-biting experience.  In the process he had to tell two lies, even calling on the Name of the Lord to confirm his identity so as to deceive his blind father.  Isaac then blessed him instead of Esau.  Jacob had received the blessing of the first born but would forever be burdened by the sense of guilt.

A core of goodness in the rotten apple.

What is to be admired in Jacob’s conduct, is that he was absolutely convinced that God’s blessing that would come to him by his father’s priestly blessing, would, without any doubt, make him to be a blessed, prosperous man and he was so certain of this, that he was willing to steal it at great risk to himself. This was true faith which God did not overlook. As time went by, the Lord built up this precious kernel of faith, while at the same time, cleansing him from the rotten treachery entrenched in his heart.

Respect the good which God puts in your lap or loose it forever.

Now compare Jacob’s attitude with that of Esau who had traded his crucial privileges for a plate of lintels.  It is like a woman trading her R 1 million wedding ring for a hamburger (or a bowl of porridge). It was such a disgusting lack of appreciation of the value of the item. Esau missed both his right of the first born and his blessing.  For him it was too late for remorse and for tears!

That which we do impulsively and without thinking, often betrays the real attitude of our hearts.  Maybe he had hoped that his foolish act would be forgotten, but in the end his sin caught up with him.

Millions of people will, on the day of judgement, have bitter remorse because of squandered time and opportunities, but the time of grace will then have passed forever. Tears wept after death, count for nothing.

The Lord is giving you the right to inherit eternal life (John 1:12). What a waste it will be if you do not appreciate the value of this legacy for which Jesus had to pay an unthinkable price on the cross. You need not even steal it like Jacob did, just claim it by faith while surrendering your life to Him.

Another Cain and Abel tragedy?

Suddenly, murder was threatening this family of chosen believers.  Esau went around like an enraged bull, threatening to murder Jacob instead of acknowledging his own fault and blaming himself for it.  The most difficult words to speak out are: “I am sorry,” and yet these words set us free.

Again, it was the crafty Rebekah who came up with a plan of saving Jacob’s life.  He was to be sent away to their relatives under the pretense of finding a believing wife for himself, so that he would not marry a Canaanite heathen woman like Esau did.  It was of course easy to get her husband to buy into this solution, because it made sense and he had, in the meantime, made piece with his blunder of almost appointing the wrong son as his spiritual successor.

Was all the deception worth the while and who was the winner?

When buying a used item at an auction, you might, on getting home, discover that it is broken and that you could have bought a brand new one for half of the price. Then you would want to kick yourself for having been so dumb.

In retrospect, what had Rebecca really achieved by deceiving her husband and what had Jacob achieved by wangling the issue of his brother Esau’s birth right and by cheating his father?  Had God not, even before the birth of the two sons, told Rebecca that Jacob would rule over Esau?

Well one can argue that, since God was building a people for Himself, it was of the utmost importance for the next person in this lineage to be publicly announced by Isaac who would be speaking as a mouthpiece of God, otherwise, there would forever be uncertainty as to whose descendants were God’s covenant people.

The Lord had spoken to Abraham and Sara beforehand, giving them Isaac’s name and the approximate time of his birth, so why did He not do the same with Isaac and Rebekah? Or did He speak to Isaac who then turned a deaf ear? The Lord did not consider it necessary for us to know that bit of the story.

What, however, is important to note, is that the Lord got his will done by allowing Esau to sell his first-born right and by allowing Rebekah and Jacob’s scheming to run its course. So, He brought forth good from evil. He got his way by allowing the follies of man to work together for good. You can never win against God. In the end, He got the credit and the three of them the blame and shame. The devil will have all eternity to reflect on how he had repeatedly been outwitted by God!

A family trait.

There was an inherent element of dishonesty in this family, as well as in their relatives of Paddan-Aram which would further become obvious in the lives of Jacob, Laban and Rachel.  Once the devil has a foothold in a family, he uses his grip with all his might to achieve their downfall.

E. JACOB’S DREAM AND VISION AT BETHEL (Please read Gen 28:1-22).

Isaac took responsibility for what he had done.

Isaac kept to his blessing of Jacob and also to his appointment of him as the son onto whom the calling of Abraham would pass.  Why?  Firstly, of course of his honouring of God in Who’s name he had acted.  Secondly, he and Rebekah might have discussed this matter when he then realized that Jacob was the one chosen by God and not Esau.  This would have greatly comforted him and put him at ease that the will of God had in the end prevailed.

The fruit of sin.

The family was now divided because of their lack of internal love and trust.  Many years later, Jacob again saw his father before he died (35:27-29) but Scripture gives no indication that Rebekah ever had another opportunity of seeing and embracing her darling son – the bitter fruit of sin.

 A troubled chosen man of God fleeing for dear life.

Jacob got underway, fleeing to his uncle Laban in Haran.

(If a person must flee, it is better for him to seek refuge with other children of God than with people of the world.)

He was now away from his parent’s home and a long way from the protection of his mother.  All  on his own, he lay down one night in the veld with his head on a stone, tired of the day’s long journey.  Way above him, twinkled the stars that had been witnesses when the Lord had promised to Abram that his descendants would be as numerous as the the stars. That promise, his father Isaac  had assured him, was now his.

But could he be sure about that; he who had defrauded both his brother and his father?  Would the judgement of a righteous God not catch up with him somewhere along the way?  Would a wild animal not tear him apart or robbers murder him?  At last, overcome by weariness, he drifted away into slumber.

Connecting with heaven.

Then a miracle happened.  All of a sudden, he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending while God Himself was right at the top.  Then the Lord spoke to him.  But His words were not those of judgement and punishment as he expected they would be, no, they were kind and comforting and encouraging.

The Lord knew the doubt in his heart and wanted to replace it with faith and hope, therefore He confirmed to him, this small, sinful little human being, that He would protect him and that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth on which he was lying – not a single word of reproach came from God!  This He did because of his boundless grace and to carry out his plans of raising up a nation for Himself and not because Jacob was such a fine man.

Fueled by God.

Early the next morning, Jacob was up and about.  Still dumbfounded and overwhelmed by his experience of the night before, he raised up the stone on which his head had rested as a memorial tablet and anointed it with oil.  Then he lifted up his heart to the God Who he had met personally during that night and he promised to serve Him.

God has many ways to get our loyalty; sometimes by chastising us, often by bestowing undeserved goodness and blessings upon us.  No chastisement would have had the effect on Jacob’s heart to bring about such a complete sacrificing of his life to the Lord, as did these precious loving words.  From that day onward, Jacob’s life would be sold out to the Lord.

Oh, the greatness and glory of God;  How it can overwhelm a person!  Are we not created by Him and for Him?  In Him we live, move and find our being.  Now the “Deceiver” could tackle the road to Haran with expectance and joy.

Tithing to his Blessor,

It is also interesting to note that he promised to give to the Lord, tithes of everything with which He would bless Him.  We give tithes to our congregations or to some or other institution engaged in building up God’s Kingdom, but to whom would he have given his; Melchizedech the king of Salem?

 

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