Awesome Hands – part 17: “The days of the wheat harvest”

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Awesome Hands – Part 17

“The days of wheat harvest”

In part 16 of this “awesome hands” series, we have seen how the Lord orchestrates all things, both physical and spiritual, to bring those whom He is working with to the “pillars of the temple of God.” This is so that these pillars can be used to introduce the “wife of the Lord’s house” to those whom are coming into the fold. As Jacob travels along the path the Lord has laid for him, he and we find the Lord along the way when we least expect it. Indeed, we are asleep when a “dream of Life” comes to us and we are shown that the “Lord is surely in this place.” In type and shadow, we initially choose to take of the works of our own hands, pour oil upon this work, and call it the place where the Lord will live.

Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

It is only through the work of the Lord, and Him working all things after the counsel of His own will, that we come to see that even in the physical, the Lord Himself has established the temple in which He will dwell. God will ONLY dwell in His people, and His people are called upon as He wills. In “Awesome Hands” part 17, we are going to continue to learn how the Lord is working in the “house of the Lord” with the foundation being created through the “seed of Jacob.” We are also going to approach the next mentioning of God’s hands working through His servant Jacob in Gen 30:35, but as usual there are some very significant events happening between each mentioning of hands.

Gen 29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father. Gen 29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

We are embraced by “our mother’s brother” Laban, but we will soon come to see that we indeed will be deceived by our flesh for even Laban tells us how he intends to deal with us.

Gen 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. Gen 29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? Gen 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Gen 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. Gen 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. Gen 29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.

The wages we receive are rewarded according to what we sow to. When we sow to “Laban’s house”, we find that we will have to work yet again to get what has been promised us. We abide “with our flesh” long enough to be shown by the Lord that the flesh profits nothing, but in this we are shown the process that we must go through to be welcomed into the true House of the Lord.

Seven years for Rachel

  Gen 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. Gen 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. Gen 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

In the study today, we are going to see many types and shadows and we are going to see witnesses to these types in various others stories. Recalling Jacob’s travels, we know that it was in fleeing from Esau, due to robbing Esau of his blessing, that we see that Jacob is the “bone and flesh” which has come to Laban’s house. Given that we know that God has worked out these details, we first come very eagerly to do what we believe is “work for the Lord”. In fact, it is in our zealousness and love for Rachel, the younger sister, that we are duped into actually “going into” Leah instead of Rachel. Remember, it was our robbing of Esau that we must reap. Leah, the firstborn should have been given to the firstborn Esau but Jacob’s very name tells us that he and we are supplanters.

Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

It is in our early walk with the Lord that we come to be a Christian who wants to serve the Lord. After all, the Lord “comes to us in a dream” and now we are zealous to do the work of the Lord.

Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Not only does the Lord cause us to reap what we sow before we are initially dragged to Him, but often times we can see that even while in babylon and living our babylon- ish walks with the Lord, the Lord causes us to continue reaping what we have done while not having the mind of Christ. We can see this play out in Jacobs “work” that He is willing to “count” as “but a few days”. It is in this “zealous” work for our wife, that we don’t even kow we are being deceived.

Gen 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. Gen 29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

It is through the hands of those the Lord puts in our lives that we are caused to “reap what we sow”. How often can we look back and see that the Lord worked out all the details to drag us to Him? It is no different with Jacob in this type and shadow. Of course, Jacob is not at all going to know what is happening to him and he is going to feel very betrayed, very beguiled. Gen 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

Gen 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Gen 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. Gen 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. Gen 29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. Gen 29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

Though we know that the Lord has worked this out in Jacob’s life, Lord willing, we are able to see that for some of us we are given such a love for “our preferred wife” that we are willing to “press towards the mark of the High calling”. If the first seven years were “like a few days” how much more so are those second set of seven years? We now have two witnesses of 7. We know that 2 is a witness and 7 is complete judgment on Jacob. Rightfully so, we as Jacob in type and shadow love our “second wife” more than our first though it was the second wife that we wanted in the first place. Of those called and chosen, we are chosen due to God’s complete sovereignty, but it is in God’s infinite mercies that He allows some “to come out of her” due to his dragging alone. Before we do though, there are children who are born to us.  For Jacob and these first 4 sons, we have a type and shadow which we can see in the naming of these sons. Since we covered these sons and their naming in previous studies in this series, I will not go into detail for those but I will list and read them here so that we can get a full context of the Lord’s hands working in Jacob’s life. It is of note that Leah is loved less, but it is through her that the tribe of Levi and the tribe of Judah are produced. In other words, it is despite our “own works”, that the Lord accomplishes His plan for all of mankind. The priesthood in the flesh comes through Levi, but the priesthood in the Spirit comes through Judah via Christ.

Leah was hated

Gen 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. Gen 29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. Gen 29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. Gen 29:34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. Gen 29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.

Just like Esau, Leah is hated as well. It is none of either of their doing but “God loves Jacob” and loves Esau less.  Jacob, the foundation for the tribes of Israel, loves the second sister more than the first. The Lord has a very striking way of pointing these details out. One of these important details to note is that just as Esau and Jacob struggle in the womb of their mother Rebekah [ all caused of the Lord], the Lord will now set into motion a very similar struggle between the very wombs and minds of Leah and Rachel.

Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Now with Jacob, Leah and Rachel we are going to see an outward struggle to give their husband seed. Does this sound familiar to anyone’s walk with the Lord currently? The Lord has us continually wanting to “bear fruit” for our husband and all the while we have a spiritual war waging on in our heavens between our carnal mind and our spiritual new man.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Isn’t it interesting that truly, if we are given the eyes to see and the ears to hear it, we can see that even for Jacob and Esau… their ELECTION was already decided, even though, one was stronger than the other but would also serve the weaker? It is only through the “power of the might of the Lord” that this can be truth.

Exo 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exo 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Isa 42:12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. Isa 42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

Rachel envied her sister

Gen 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. Gen 30:2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

In Rachel’s envying, she goes to Jacob and demands children. Of course, Jacob gives us a very revealing answer to how God’s sovereignty works. God molds all of our external influences so that He can cause us to call out to Him. Like usual however, we do not hearken initially to our husbands words [ Jacob telling Rachel the error of her complaint] but rather we try to “get the show on the road” and take care of things ourselves.

Gen 30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. Gen 30:4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.

Now things are really escalating. Up until this point, we had two sisters who are at odds with one another due to the envy and anguish of Rachel, and Leah knowing full well that she is NOT LOVED like Rachel. We now are going to have the concubines come into play to start to “even things out” but even that doesn’t go like Rachel thinks it will.

Gen 30:5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. Gen 30:6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan. Gen 30:7 And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. Gen 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.

Wow, can you imagine this happening with you? Think of Jacob in this situation. He must feel like a “hog in heaven” with all these women throwing themselves at him. Rachel literally admits that she is “wrestling a great wrestle” against her sister and she names her second child to Jacob in this manner and this really has to be eating away at Leah. Not only that, but this is the third woman which Jacob has “been given” in order to produce seed, “but wait there’s more.”

Gen 30:9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. Gen 30:10 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a son. Gen 30:11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad. Gen 30:12 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son. Gen 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

Leah sees that she is not receiving attention from her husband and “has left bearing”, so she springs into action. Leah feels so threatened by Rachel, even though this is Rachel’s handmaid bearing children to Jacob, that she names Gad “a troop comes.” Keep in mind, these children are being born, time lapses and another child is born. So, there is time for these women to have these emotions build up in their mindsets. After Zilpah bears Asher, Leah becomes “happy”. Then we see a significant event happen which is noted in scripture but is one of those “notes” which can easily be glossed over.

Days of wheat harvest

Gen 30:14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes. Gen 30:15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.

At first glance, this seems “plain” enough to read and understand, but there are some points I want to focus on that are really revealing for the elect of God and how we are used and worked with as the elect of God. Up until this point, we have had two sisters who are contending for their husband’s attention. Leah had her womb opened up but Rachel was barren.

Gen 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

Now, we have had a total of 8 children born to Jacob. The first four came directly through Leah, two then come from Bilhah [ Rachel’s handmaid], and the next two come from Zilpah [ Leah’s handmaid]. The first thing that jumps out at me is that we know there is spiritual significance to the wheat harvest and the second thing that jumps out right behind that point is that the firstborn son finds mandrakes. Why is the wheat harvest significant?

Exo 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. Exo 23:14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Exo 23:15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) Exo 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. Exo 23:17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

And just to bring the point home of the significance of the wheat harvest, we see this type and shadow in 1 Corinthians.

1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. [the wave offering of barley] 1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. [ the feast of harvest of wheat] 1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end [ the feast of ingathering each in their own order, All in all], when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Why is Reuben mentioned, that which is “first?” In type and shadow, we see that we now have eight sons. Eight is the number of the new man. It is after this eighth son is born that our old man, typified by Reuben, is brought to the wheat harvest. It is our mother Leah, typified in this type and shadow as the harlot church, who wants to do the work of the Lord. She wants to bear fruit to her husband herself, so she is on the hunt for mandrake. Why is mandrake mentioned? The Hebrew word used here is important to touch upon because it is used very few times in scripture. H1736 du day doo- dah’- ee From H1731; a boiler or basket; also the mandrake (as aphrodisiac): – basket, mandrake. H1736 du day Total KJV Occurrences:7 mandrakes, 6 Gen_30:14-16(5), Son_7:13 baskets, 1 Jer_24:1   H1736 du day BDB Definition: 1) mandrake, love- apple 1a) as exciting sexual desire, and favouring procreation Part of Speech: noun masculine A Related Word by BDB/ Strong’s Number: from H1731 Same Word by TWOT Number:410d Mandrake or the “love- apple” is believed to be a plant that can be used to make a woman fruitful, in other words, not barren. Among the Jewish traditions, this was “an old wives’ tale” and home remedy for fixing barrenness. It is also used in witchcraft and occultism for the same purposes. We see it mentioned here in Genesis, but it is also mentioned in Song of Solomon and Jeremiah.

Son 7:11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Son 7:12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. Son 7:13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. Jer 24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. Jer 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Jer 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Figs are also believed to be an aphrodisiac due to how the look when they are opened up and the seeds they can produce. Connecting these scriptures as the Holy Spirit has, we should see a pattern which the Lord has given us to what happens when we try to create fruit for the Lord, when we try to “do many wonderful and good works in His name.”

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Did you notice that in Jeremiah there are baskets of very good figs and baskets of very bad figs and that they are “set before the temple of the Lord?” This is all happening to God’s elect in our heavens and as God calls us out of Babylon into His kingdom. With Leah, she is quite offended when Rachel wants to “take away her chance” to conceive again. Remember, there is a timelapse since Leah herself has born any children to Jacob. Equally, Rachel has not yet born any children to Jacob of her own womb and this is significant to this type and shadow.

Gen 30:14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother, Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes. Gen 30:15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.

It is at this point that Leah and Rachel make a trade for the bed of their husband. It is Leah who has wanted to “get the show on the road” and pursued mandrakes, but it is the Lord who has stepped in and is going to change the course of the “will of Leah”. This is doubly true for Rachel. Rachel is completely barren and wants to give children to Jacob so she willing to let Leah have Jacob. The kicker is, mandrakes are completely poisonous, and that tells us something spiritually. Even though Rachel makes this deal, “the works of her hands” will not produce fruit for the Lord. Equally, Leah thought she needed to do something and loses the “fruits of her hands” because they Lord gives her fruit anyways. Remember, there is a type and shadow of what the Lord does in our walks with Him and as He drags us to Him and just WHEN does the Lord start this process?

Gen 30:16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. Gen 30:17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. Gen 30:18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar. Gen 30:19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. Gen 30:20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. Gen 30:21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

It is when we are called out of darkness, called out of the field [ the world], that we are presented with the idea that we are being manipulated by our wife, the “babylonish church,” the first mother of our children. With the work of Leah’s hands, a “workwoman worth her hire”, she has gotten Jacob to lay with her at night. Not only that, but this deal works out so well for Leah that she is blessed with one more son and a daughter. Leah names her last son Zebulun because she ultimately thinks this sixth son will cause Jacob to dwell with her. What does happen is quite different. There is a great and mysterious process working here which is all caused of the Lord. When Leah had her first three sons for Jacob, she named the third son Levi because she believed this would “attach or join” Jacob to her. That process did not pan out for her because Jacob loved Rachel more. Now, she has another set of three sons directly born of her womb, in which she names the sixth son, “dwelling” because she thought this would surely cause Jacob to dwell with her. This is exactly the number of man and exactly the number of what we do with the “works of our own hands” and called it the work of the Lord. It is NOW at this point, that the Lord will “remember us,” and we see this in the type and shadow of Rachel. It is NOW, that as we “come out of the field of darkness” so that we are able to bare TRUE fruit that will be used of the Lord MIGHTILY. It is now that a savior to the people of God will be born.

Gen 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. Gen 30:23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: Gen 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. Gen 30:25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.

We are increased by the Lord in the true work that only the Lord can work. The Lord takes away our reproach and increases the “fruit of our womb”, “the fruit of our hands” which is blessed of the Lord. Jacob and his true beloved wife are now ready to “leave their father’s house” when the “old man dies” and go to their “own place” their “own country” to pursue the “house of the Lord”.

Heb 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Heb 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. Heb 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

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