Jacob’s/ Israel’s eternal blessing

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In my previous post ” Jacob’s troubles , “all my days have been few and evil” I mentioned some of the great afflictions and troubles that Jacob lived through, HOWEVER – that wasn’t the end. You see, God had eternity planned for Jacob- and He has eternity planned for you. This life isn’t the end.  We are merely pilgrims passing through, this isn’t our home. Everything we see will one day disappear and all that is unseen will remain.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 8:11 that many will come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

What does this mean? It means Jacob, (also according to Matthew 22:32) – is living , for God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – He is God of the living, not the dead

These are great mysteries that we cannot see yet.

Consider the parable of Lazarus and the beggar, when they both died, Abraham was there and alive. He spoke and reasoned with Lazarus after they died. Also on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah both appeared to Jesus and the 3 disciples. Those who die on earth are not gone forever. They have completed this race, the walk we have on earth.

Many preachers will tell you that something is wrong with  you or your faith if you experience trials and troubles here and earth – and surely we reap what we sow, but if we study scriptures, we will discover that many great men and women suffered much for the kingdom of God. Remember , in all you are going through,  that we look up to God and keep our eyes and thoughts focused on our great hope that lies ahead. God has prepared a place for us, a place where there are no more tears, no more pain, not more death. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and His Son Jesus.

There is one more interesting thing I wanted to mention about Jacob’s life. I believe there are many mysteries wrapped up in the story of Jacob, renamed Israel. Could his story represent the people of Israel and the Son ?

Israel’s son (Joseph), the one who was to save him and the family, was gone from their sight. Israel didn’t believe. They couldn’t see him even though he was  there. When they finally found him in the end, their was joy, repentance (?),  and sorrow for what they had done. The son forgave them, restored them, embraced them and saved them.

This verse from Zechariah 12:10-13:1 comes into my mind as I think of Israel and his son: It is almost exactly the same:

 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;  all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness

This verse in Zechariah tells us that there was one. like a son, who was hurt, pierced, like an only son- firstborn (like Joseph)….. their will be mourning (just like Joseph and his brothers) then there will be a great act of forgiveness to cleanse them from their wrongs.

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus, the son, and the Jewish people? We are told that many can’t see or understand this, they have a veil over them- but in Zechariah and Revelation, we learn that this same act that Joseph did for his brothers, will again be done for Israel’s sons.

 

I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.Ps 22:16

 

 

  • Luke 13:28 Psalm 20:1 The Assurance of God’s Saving Work ] [ To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. ] May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
  • Psalm 22:23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
  • Psalm 24:6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah
  • Psalm 135:4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.
  • Psalm 146:5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
  • Psalm 147:19 He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel.

For more informationSalvation for the Jewish People, Valley of Dry Bones

Today’s lesson: 

1- Keep on keeping on looking ahead to the prize of eternal life that lies ahead, Praise God!  in Christ Jesus.

2-There is a great day ahead for Israel, in fact, it has already begun.

3- Jacob/Israel is the generation who seek Him. You are part of the family of Jacob- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Truly an amazing blessing. You have all Spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, Trust in Him. He is with you.

 

Jacob’s troubles “few and evil have been the years of my life”

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Poor, poor Jacob, he had a rough life.
When Pharaoh asked “How old are you?”,  Jacob replied;” “….. few and evil have been the days of the years of my life……..”. He was 130 years old at the time. Sure, he was wealthy, he was blessed in many ways, but he experienced a lot of pain and suffering in those 130 years. Despite his years of troubles,  God promised that He would always be with him.  It didn’t mean life would be perfect or without trouble, but in all he would go through, Jacob knew that the Lord was with him. There is much to learn as we study the life of Jacob. He suffered many hardships but God was always with Him. Life will not always be easy for us and some of us may feel like it’s been a never ending journey of sorrow.
 

Consider the first 130 years of Jacob’s life before he stands before Pharoah and says these words “few and evil have been the years of my life”

  • spends months fighting with twin brother before he’s born
  • grew up as 2nd best compared to Esau, Esau was Isaac’s favorite son
  • Hated- Brother wants to kill him – Jacob runs away from family in fear of his life
  • Deceived – Tricked by uncle Laban – Works 7 years for Rachel, the one he loves, only to be tricked by uncle Laban and wakes up with her sister, Leah, instead
  • Deceived – Forced to work another 7 years for uncle Laban for Rachel
  • Deceived- Uncle Laban changes his wages 10x
  • Not treated fairly -works 6 more years (20 in total) for uncle Laban for livestock
  • Affliction: Jacobs reply: There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes.  Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.  Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
  • Fighting -married to 2 sisters who are in constant competition, so much he gets angry with Rachel
  • Hated- by Laban’s sons and Laban seems extremely jealous and angry with him when Jacob leaves
  • Sorrow-Accidently curses his wife Rachel, the one he loves, to die
  • Pain- Gets in an all night wrestling match with the Lord/Angel of the Lord
  • Pain- Lord throws his hip out of joint, he walks the rest of his days with a limp
  • Fear- confronts his brother Esau in great fear, but his life is spared
  • Sorrow- Wife Rachel soon dies after the words spoken over her to die, as she gives birth to Benjamin
  • Sorrow- His father , Isaac, dies soon after Rachel
  • Disgrace/Humiliation-His first-born son, Reuben sleeps with his wife, who was Rachel’s servant. This was the ultimate disgrace to Rachel’s grave, an act by Leah’s family
  • Disgrace – His 2nd and 3rd sons Levi and Simeon deceive a city and ruthlessly murder all the males which greatly upsets and disturbs Jacob
  • Aggravation- His older sons bully his young son Joseph, by Rachel. You can imagine the constant fighting and upset between the 10 brothers against Joseph and the discord that Jacob had to endure.
  • Deep Sorrow- Jacob’s beloved son, Joseph, is killed by a wild animal – or so he thinks..His very own sons wanted to kill Joseph but decide to sell him as a slave
  • Jacob has lost the love of his life, his father and his beloved son-
  • Famine- at age 128-130 a great famine comes upon the land and he and all his family are about to die.
  • Deceived -at age 130 finds out that his sons lied to him and actually sold Joseph as a slave 23 years earlier
  • Death at age 147

Let’s be clear – Jacob’s life and some of his decisions weren’t so great. ( he stole, lied, deceived, his wife Leah was unloved so…., he also fought with God and man) However,  he was a man fully blessed by God even though, from our worldly view, he didn’t seem to be. God always protected him and was there along his walk of life.

 
Despite all these troubles in his life, he was blessed 2x by his father Isaac, his mother was given a prophecy over him before he was born, he received the birthright and the Lord visited him many times to tell him that He would always be with him. You would think that with all the worldly troubles and sorrow that Jacob faced, that his life was not blessed, but not so.
Words spoken as prophecy over him to his mother:

“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”

His blessing from Isaac (stolen from Essau)

Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!”

After he’s been blessed by his father, he blesses him again before he leaves to see uncle Laban:
 “May God Almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
And give you the blessing of Abraham,
To you and your descendants with you,
That you may inherit the land
In which you are a stranger,
Which God gave to Abraham.
Blessed by God on the way to uncle Labans house:

“I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth;
you shall spread abroad to the west and the east,
to the north and the south;
and in you and in your seed
all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
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 spoken to you.”

God helps Jacob again:

Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’  And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.

and again before he meets Essau,
So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.  When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim
 then again when he was alone before he met Esau:
   He wrested with God, demanded a blessing, was given a new name “Israel” for he struggled with God and men and prevailed. and the Lord Blessed him  there, in Peniel, for Jacob “saw God face to face, and my live is preserved”

God speaks to Jacob again:
Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.

  Life won’t always be perfect, but we have a future hope that is perfect. Don’t let life’s problems bring you down or make you fee like God isn’t with you. Consider the life of Jacob, Joseph, Job, the prophets, Jesus, the disciples and many more- God was with them even in their troubles, sorrow, pain and affliction. God see’s- that’s what he told Jacob. Whatever you are going through, trust in the Lord. He is with you, let this hope give you peace and rest.
     Despite his tragedies, Jacob is reunited again with Joseph at age 130 and lives the next 17 years with his family to see Joseph’s sons. He learns the truth of what Leah’s sons did to Joseph but interestingly enough, during the final blessings/curses over the 12 sons, this sin isn’t mentioned by Jacobs as others are – like Rubens betrayal and the murderous acts of Levi and Simeon
 
Isaiah 40:27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.

(Jacob – had Joseph when he was 88-91 years old. Joseph was 17 when his brothers sold him. Jacob saw Joseph again at age 130 and died at age 147. He was about 66-76 when he ran away from his brother Esau to go to Laban’s house.)

We, just as Jacob was blessed, have been blessed by the Lord in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.Eph 1:3

Isaiah 53

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   Certain verses in Isaiah 53 seemed to pop out at me this week. Even though I was reading another chapter in Isaiah, somehow, out of the corner of my eye, these verses pointed to new directions showing more layers. Right? Wrong? Just observations on new discoveries:

Isaiah 53
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; (the earth in Genesis when the Spirit hovered over it – “and the earth was without form, and void)

and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.(Leah, Jacob’s first wife)

He is despised and rejected of men (Joseph, Jacob’s son)

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: (Job- a man of sorrows and acquainted with deep grief; he was despised and they esteemed Him not)

and we hid as it were our faces from him; (Moses, when he came down from the mountain)

he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (the prophets)

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

When you hear the Lord call you, get up and answer His call.  Consider your heart in all things; keep your heart close to Him.  Don’t just honor Him with your lips for show, but truly Honor Him with all you have. Honor Him with all your heart, mind and your soul with all your might, strength and your life.

Day by day I will give praise honor and thanks to the Lord, I will not worry about  tomorrow or fear the evil that stalks about for the Lord is my king and He is mighty above all.

Blessed are  those who keep justice and he who does righteousness at all times! Ps 106:3
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men