Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 81

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Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 81 (Key verses: Gen 28:10-22)

Abraham is given to us in scripture as a type of how spiritual justification is obtained only by the faith of Jesus (Gal 2:16; Gal 3:22). Jesus is the true Father of all nations in the generation of the first Adam (Rom 4:16-17):

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.

Through the faith of Abraham, Isaac was given the election of true sonship by God, even as those in Christ are given spiritual sonship because of the inheritance the faith of Christ establishes (Rom 8:14-15; Gal 4:4-7; Eph 1:3-5):

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jesus is the true firstborn of the Father through whom His elect will be given the rulership over the nations of the earth and judging those who will come up in spiritual bodies in the lake of fire (Rev 20; 1Co 15:35-44):

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Our attention is now shifting from Isaac to Jacob as the life of Jacob introduces us to our own journey in finding out how to be God’s true servants through spiritual sanctification. But this theme of servanthood through sanctification, and the process involved in it, starts off with seeking vainglory through opportunism and manipulation, which is what the life of Jacob typifies. While we are getting to know our true status in Christ, the old man is still active in us with its natural mind-set which is focused on serving self-interests. As the natural man in us is always occupied to get his own way, this self-centered spirit of the natural mind is far removed from spiritual admonitions like the following:

1Co 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor’s good.

Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

This journey with our old man is the same journey which Jacob encountered – for our learning (Rom 15:4; 1Co 10:11). Jacob is a man in continuous conflict, and in the early part of his life we meet him in the scriptures as the one who is clearly not noble in his ways. He displays a very weak moral character as he uses deceptive schemes to cause Esau to sell him the birthright of the firstborn and also obtaining the blessing of the firstborn from Isaac, with the help of his mother Rebekah (Gen 25:29-34; Gen 27:6-29). The poet, Rudyard Kipling, wrote the following line in one of his poems:

“For the sin that ye do by two and two ye must pay for one by one!”

The scriptures are clear that everyone shall carry his or her own load, as now Jacob’s time of trouble typifies how God’s elect will go through judgment first (Eze 18:20; Gal 6:5; 1Pe 4:17). Jacob’s life is therefore written for our admonition to see that the elect of God have human flaws just like every other person in the first Adam (Psa 51:5; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20). God’s choice of His elect baffles the natural mind, and it always seems unfair. This ‘unfairness’ is even more confusing for some as God made these decisions long before birth:

Psa 139:16 (BBE) Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.

Jer 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me [Jeremiah], saying,
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

God’s choice of the deceiver Jacob further mystifies His election criteria:

Rom 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

But we will all learn through this life that this is God’s show, so to speak. He does what He wants and He does not need to answer to anyone why He works in this way:

Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

If we can submit to this God and if we can associate with these base people whom the world sees as unfit for any good use, then we are in the right place to be used as God’s special servants, His elect:

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The elect will be those who will come up in the first resurrection and rule on this earth in the symbolic thousand year reign over the kingdoms of the earth and be the judges in the lake of fire – to the surprise of the entire world. But to be the first, we need to be the least, in the sense that we need to go through a very humbling process which few will be successful in (Luk 14:8-11):

Mar 10:31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last [lowest] first.

Mar 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

Mar 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

To be a servant to all requires the wisdom that this world cannot have as they want to lord over others (Mat 20:25; 2Co 1:24). Jesus first and foremost wants His wisdom to be in His chosen elect, even as He always associated more with the base of the world while he was walking on the earth – He is indeed a friend of sinners:

Mat 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

This is also what all God’s elect will have to learn the hard way when we thought we ourselves can pick and choose when and how we are trialled and tested, and also think it depends on us to choose our place and function in His kingdom:

Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask [where to sit in His kingdom]. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They [His disciples] say unto him, We are able.
Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

There are many types of cups in scripture, and we all need to drink them in a specific order. To eventually become a true friend of sinners is to also drink the bitter cup of Jesus in being rejected, despised, falsely accused, betrayed, denied, crucified, etcetera. But this comes only after we first drink the cup of the Lord unworthily when we are on the side that is performing the lording over other, the rejection, the despising, the false accusations, the betraying, the denials, the crucifying. This is when we are deceived and also deceive others with lying false doctrines and want our way to be done. Here are a few cups (in short) which the scriptures mention and which we will take part in (Mat 4:4):

1Co 10:21 …the cup of devils…

Isa 51:17 …the cup of his fury…and the cup of trembling…

Eze 23:33 …the cup of astonishment and desolation…

Rev 14:10…the cup of God’s indignation…

Rev 16:19 …the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath…

Psa 116:13 …the cup of salvation…

Hab 2:16 …the cup of the LORD’S right hand…

Jer 16:7 …the cup of consolation

1Co 10:16 …The cup of blessing….

Mar 9:41 …a cup of water to drink in my name.

Dwelling in tents is a lifestyle God wanted for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in their time of sojourning in the land of Canaan (Heb 11:9). But the tent is also seen as a protection in the life of Jacob as he was not as yet exposed to the trials of the outside world:

Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

The taking possession of the spiritual inheritance in Christ comes through much tribulations and trials…outside the tent. “Without the camp” is the place to bear Christ’s reproach (Act 14:22; 1Pe 4:12):

Heb 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Jacob had to leave his comfort zone. After leaving his tent in Canaan, the time of “Jacob’s trouble” is introduced to us as he, and everyone in the first Adam at their appointed time, will have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of all our deception and conniving we did while in our tent of flesh (2Co 5:1-10; Gal 6:7-8). The day of the Lord is indeed a great day, not for the flesh, but for the new spirit man in us (Mat 24:21):

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Jacob, like the elect of God, will be saved “out of” this day of judgment by going through it. Jacob could not avoid it, but he had to face his “trouble” and through that he was “saved out of it”. The rapture doctrine is a false doctrine if we can see that the process of judgment is the process of sanctification. This judgment all begins at God’s elect, even His spiritual house, as we can only learn the righteous ways of God when our sins will find us out – that is when we can face up to it and be reproved and corrected (Isa 26:9; 1Pe 4:17):

Num 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

But before Jacob got to Haran, God had an appointment with him through a dream in the night. God is the One who prepares our path and also makes proper provisions to see to it that His servants will complete the time of judgment at hand:

Gen 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

Dreams are also sent by God as all things are from Him, and it is also through His Word alone that we will be able to understand how to interpret dreams to bring the glory to God:

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The ladder Jacob saw in the dream was set up on earth, but it reached the heaven. We know that all scripture is about Jesus Christ, whether it concerns His earthy flesh or His spiritual glory in heaven with the Father (Gen 1:1; Mat 4:4; Luk 24:27; Col 1:15-17:

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Rev 1:17 And when I [John] saw him [the exalted Jesus in spirit], I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Jesus is the first and the last and in that He connects the earth and the heaven as He also works all things in the earthy realm from His heavenly position (Joh 1:1-3; Eph 1:11):

Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

It is therefore clear that Jesus is this spiritual ladder upon whom all His angels, who are His messengers and servants that will descend and ascend to bring forth His purposes on the earth (having rulership in the symbolic 1000 year period) and in heaven (being judges in the spiritual eon in the lake of fire), even as Jesus “stood above it” all:

Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Through Jacob’s dream God confirmed and transferred this promise to him personally – this is the same promise God made with Abraham and with Isaac also. Every servant of God needs personal affirmation that they are the elect whom God has chosen for His purposes in earth and in heaven. This is the exclusive work of the spirit of God and no one else can give the faith to believe this witness of the spirit. This is the “testimony of Jesus Christ” as it comes through an intimate connection to His word, which is His spirit (Rev 1:1-3; Rom 10:17; Gal 2:16; Joh 6:63):

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

All of God’s true servants initially will not recognize this inner witness of the spirit and even doubt their own calling as they are still filled with pride to think that they are not the right person for the job as there are so many seemingly better equipped people. That is just pride in camouflage. Moses was confused and used all kinds of excuses to ‘inform’ God of what he thought God was not aware of about him:

Exo 3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Exo 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Gideon used his insignificant family background in a very poor attempt to try to change God’s mind as he also wanted to see many signs before he could accept that God wants to use him:

Jdg 6:15 And he [Gideon] said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

Jeremiah saw himself as hopelessly immature (what we came to know as “a babe in Christ”), but God called even him before he was born, just like Jacob (Jer 1:5):

Jer 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

The fear of God is instilled in us when we realise it not our choice to be God’s elect and that He will indeed empower us to do all things He wants to achieve in and through us (2Co 3:5-6; Gal 4:7; Eph 2:6-10; Php 4:13). This was also Jacob’s reaction to this revelation in this dream:

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.

The fear of the Lord is a very important aspect of our service to God and to others (1Co 2:3; Eph 5:21; Heb 12:28; 1Pe 2:17; 1Pe 3:15). The servants of God always move in the fear of the Lord to do His will and not according to their own personal agendas:

Gen 28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
Gen 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel [a “beth” or “bayith” for “el” (God)]: but the name of that city was called Luz [“almond tree” – Jer 1:11-12] at the first.

God will perform His word first in the life of the elect, who are the anointed living stones which comprise God’s spiritual house:

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

But even after this revelation of God, it is clear that Jacob still needed to go a very long road to be released of his opportunistic and manipulative nature. At this point in time, Jacob is still concerned as to what he can gain out of this. Note the many “me’s”, “my’s” and “I’s” in these verses – it is a dead giveaway which spirit is at work. Jacob actually openly says that he will pay God a tenth if God keeps His word to give him what God has promised!

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.

This sounds very familiar as Jacob in time will also find out that God actually owns everything. When we know this, we present everything to Him and His work, even our bodies and time, in service to God and others:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same function:
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Detailed studies and emails relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the website, including these topics and links:

Is God Fair?
Just How Christ-Centric is Scripture?
What and Where Is Heaven?
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble
The Spiritual Significance of Tithing

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