W. Dowsett (Australia)
ISAAC - JACOB - JOSEPH
FAITH is not some static condition. It is a
GROWTH condition. Faith builds on Faith. On the other hand, doctrine is static. What must
at all times be remembered is that a constantly held belief in a doctrine is no guarantee
of a constantly growing faith. Whilst it is true that we grow in knowledge, as well as in
grace, all knowledge must, if it is to be of ultimate benefit, be based on pure doctrine.
By that I do not mean on denominational doctrine, but on the basic truths as set forth in
the Word of God. For instance, one basic doctrine is the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We may not fully understand it, and there may be varying degrees of explaining it, but the doctrine is static - unchangeable. But because faith is based on doctrine, or what we believe to be the truth, it is of the utmost importance that our doctrine be sound, because the extent, or sincerity of our faith is entirely proportional to the extent of truth in our doctrine. The formula is clearly stated in Romans 1:16-17;
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The only gospel preached by our Lord Jesus Christ was The Gospel of the Kingdom We read in Matthew 4:23, and Mark 1:14-15;
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel
This gospel has many aspects and facets, but on the human, or earthly level, its power can be traced right back to the Great Cloud of Witnesses recorded in Hebrews chapter 11.
We note the construction thus far.
1. w 4-7. The faith of the first three, that is, Abel, Enoch, and Noah, prepared the ground for the Kingdom to be established.
2. w 8-19. The second section dealt with the faith of Abraham - the greatest human being recorded in the Bible - through whose faith the Kingdom was actually established.
3. vv 20-22. The third section deals with the faith of the three initial Patriarchs who were descended from Abraham, through whom the continuance of the Kingdom was guaranteed.
So we commence with Abrahams son Isaac.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. Hebrews 11:20.
The blessings concerning Jacob are recorded in Genesis 27:28-29;
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenly of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mothers sons bow down to thee. cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
Much is made by many people about the deception by which Jacob received this blessing. But we should always keep in mind the fact that having previously sold his birthright to his brother Jacob, Esau now had no legal right to the blessing. The greater deception was on his part in expecting that to which he was no longer entitled. Rebekah didnt help too much either in trying to help God out, but the bare fact of the matter was that God intended that Jacob should inherit the birthright and the blessing right from the start.
We should all take a serious lesson from this incident. God doesnt need our help to do what He is quite capable of doing all by Himself. God will cause His pre-determined will and purposes to came to pass irrespective of our doubts, or our pathetic attempts to change what He does just to suit our own purposes.
One of Gods particular purposes was then, and has always been, one requiring separation. And this policy becomes self-evident when we study the conditions which He set down back in those Patriarchal days.
Firstly, He preferred Isaac over lshmael. Let us read Genesis 17:18-21;
And Abraham said unto God, 0 that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."
Then, when we come to the birth of Jacob and Esau we read in Romans 9:10-14;
"And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (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;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
We can then follow the outworking
of these promises as they were fulfilled through the descendants of Jacob, as recorded in
the following scriptures;
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. - (Ephesians 2:10-13).
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? - (Romans 8:28-31).
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fatherssakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. - (Romans 11:25-29).
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. - (Isaiah 54:17).
"And when Esau heard the
words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his
father, Bless me, even me also, 0 my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety,
and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath
supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken
away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, 0 my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. - (Genesis 27:34-41).
The record of history reveals very distinctly the fulfilment of Esaus anger, and his determination to completely destroy the descendants of his brother Jacob. The final two verses are most appropriate in regard to our present position, as Esaus descendants have now certainly obtained the dominion over us by their absolute control over world finance and politics. His threat to kill us has almost been achieved.
Thus, as with Jacob, we can then follow the outworking of these promises as they were fulfilled through the descendants of Esau, as recorded in the following Scriptures;
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for! will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. - (Exodus 17:14-16).
[As recorded in Genesis 36:12, Amalek was the grandson of Esau;]
"And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esaus son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esaus wife.
For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom, And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction. - (Isaiah 34:5. NASB).
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be afire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. - (Obadiah 5:17-18).
"And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. - (Malachi 1:3-4).
By faith Isaac understood the different destinies of his two sons Jacob and Esau, because he listened to - and believed - the Voice of God.
TURN TO ISAAC'S SON JACOB
By faith Jacob, when he
was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his
staff - (Hebrews
His faith is not recorded to have been based solely upon the Covenants as such, which had been made to him, but upon his conviction of their continuity in an unexpected, even unconventional, manner. We read in Genesis 48:1-5 and 12-20;
"And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and
blessed me, And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before! came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
"And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israels left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israels right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraims head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manassehs head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his fathers hand, to remove it from Ephraims head unto Manassehs head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
There are at least two major factors regarding this incident. Firstly, Jacob officially adopted Josephs two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own sons and placed them on the same level as his other sons. By doing this, Jacob created a thirteenth tribe, the tribe of Joseph being now split into two tribes with equal rights of inheritance.
The second factor was that Jacob very deliberately, and very carefully, appointed the younger son Ephraim, to have precedence over the elder son Manasseh. We have here a similar situation as that between Jacob and Esau, in that God reversed the normal order of priority which was that the elder son had precedence.
And once again, the elder son, envious of his brothers position, attempted to reverse Gods calling. He refused to remain with Ephraim under the covering of the Throne of David, thereby opening the way for the entry of Esau/Edom into the Israel nations. This is not to say that every, or even most, descendants of David who have occupied this throne ever since have been perfect. Far from it. But the continued existence of this throne, and the continued protection of the Lord God of Israel which came with it, did not depend on the morality or otherwise of its earthly occupant. It was based on the unequivocal promise that God had made with King David.
Separation from this throne entailed separation from its covering. And such separation has always been very high on the agenda of the Esau element in our midst ever since. This is the prime reason as to why, in all Israel countries, there has been, and is still continuing, such a paranoid push to turn them all into republics by separating themselves from this throne.
Its continued presence is a real threat to the plans of the Edom enemy of anti-Christ in our midst, as it provides a power and authority which transcends political parties and their politics.
We always create trouble for ourselves, whether it be on an individual or national scale, when we try to circumvent the concisely stated plans and purposes of Almighty God! It has never worked in the past, and it will never work now or in the future.
We must never allow anything to change the purpose for which God has called us. To do so will not change Gods mind in the slightest. It will only result in the loss to ourselves of Gods blessings.
By faith, Jacob understood this principle, and despite the pleas of his son Joseph to change what he had done, adamantly and steadfastly refused to change in the slightest degree what he knew God had lead him to do. In his heart he was quite aware of the principle which the writer to the Hebrews expressed so many centuries later in Hebrews 11:1-2;
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
So we come to the final person in this trio of patriarchs,
By faith Joseph,
when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave
commandment concerning his bones. - (Hebrews 11:22).
We read of this incident in Genesis 50:22-26;
"And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his fathers house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraims children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Josephs knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Im sure that there would be many who would have difficulty in understanding the importance of Josephs faith. But a careful study of the facts soon makes this plain. Joseph had a total conviction of the fact that God would bring about deliverance of His Israel people from Egypt and its bondage. And although he could not be expected to know the details of their future history this
deliverance was to apply to the then far distant future, of which his faith signified. His faith spoke of that which was later recorded in Jeremiah 23:7-8;
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Thus his faith spoke of two things;
1. The restoration of Israel to their inheritance, and
2. The absolute necessity of his people to come out of Egypt.
He didnt want even his dead body to remain there. Hence he was embalmed in order that his body would not became a part of the dust of Egypt.
By faith, Joseph certainly knew the importance of SEPARATION.
The lesson for us today is that we continue at all times to follow the Faith of these Fathers of Israel; The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints.
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