True to the epilogue of a literary work, the Lord leads me to provide some hopefully clarifying and helpful additional information on some issues not more fully presented or addressed at all in the three-part post, Jacob, God Named Israel, under the category, The Cause, just concluded June 18, 2023. In doing so, I am being especially sensitive to help those who have only recently become Christians and aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ to develop a basic understanding of our God; His ‘“thoughts’” and ‘“ways’” which ‘“are not’” and infinitely ‘“higher’” than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV).1 He is after all, God Almighty who made us and not the other way around (Isaiah 40:12-26)!
First, God is sovereign. This means He is the highest authority in all of existence (Psalm 9:1-2; Isaiah 44:6). Whatever He chooses to do in Heaven and His creation is His business for which He has no obligation to give an account to anyone. In accord with the foregoing, God’s election of Jacob over his fraternal twin, Esau, to be the heir of the covenant of promises made to their forefather, Abraham, and father, Isaac, was His sovereign business He does not have to explain nor does anyone have the right to question (Romans 9:6-21)! That said, neither Ishmael nor Esau rejected as heirs of the covenant of promises went unblessed (Genesis 17:18-22, 27:38-40; Deuteronomy 2:1-5).
Also, concerning Esau, Jacob and their divergent interests and dispositions, I was led by the Lord to point out Esau’s wild outdoorsman persona passed off as prototype manhood by some in the Christian men’s movement is not biblical.2 Truly, no portrait of manhood coming from the will of sinful men (and there are many) finds favor as a preference with God our Creator. The portrait of manhood God designed and exalts begins and ends in His Son, Jesus Christ! For this cause, more important than any manhood persona devised by men or what we do as responsibilities in all other roles of biblical manhood is who we are as “sons of God” in Christ’s “image” (Romans 8:12-30, NKJV)!
Second, Jacob came by his use of deceit in his affairs honestly from both Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 12:10-20, 26:6-11).3 How could God be so favorable to such men? How can God be so gracious to all sinners including us saved through the blood of Christ, the promised Seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Besides being back to His sovereignty and the fact He can choose to work with any sinful man He wills, you have conveniently forgotten the patriarchs were saved by faith as we are (Romans 3:20-4:25; Galatians 3:15-18). So, if God had not interacted with sinful men, none of us would be here because as Scripture shows, He would have destroyed all by now (Genesis 6:5-8)!
Third, Jacob’s attitude toward Leah in what amounted to a forced marriage was not right, but understandable in the sinful flesh. He did not love Leah, but mechanically fulfilled his marital expectations including sleeping with her. God did not make Jacob love her as He does not force us to love Him! Instead, He intervened for and blessed Leah with fertility while making Rachel infertile during the first fourteen years of the polygamous marriage. Too, He worked in the mess Jacob had made from failing to seek Him to serve His purposes and grow him as He does with us. Meanwhile, the Lord also took Rachel from him without apology as she died giving birth to only their second child.
Fourth, incestuous polygamy was dealt with in this year’s Mother’s Day post.4 As noted then, marrying two sisters became sin and all of the sexual sins that come up during our examination of Jacob were later addressed with his descendants and the world through the one and only written Law God gave them. Marriage to sisters was forbidden in Leviticus 18:18. Raping an unmarried virgin and sex with the wife of one’s father both arise in the final Jacob, God Named Israel post (Genesis 34:1-2, 35:21-22a). God’s commands about these two issues are found written one after the other in Deuteronomy 22:28-30.5 His perpetual moral standards in these and all the commands of the written Law are integrated into the New Testament as well (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5, 6:9-20).
Finally, among the ways I was taught and built up by the Lord writing as a focus on Jacob of the three Jewish patriarchs, is having a greater appreciation for the end of the journey. Abraham, followed by Isaac and Jacob appeared on God’s generational stage performing their parts ultimately in the drama of His plan from eternity to redeem fallen mankind through their greatest Descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ, then died. How the sons and family of each patriarch gathered to and buried them touched me deeply. Giving me a right now, application, the Lord took pioneer Christian broadcaster, Pat Robertson, 93, home during these posts. He was clearly a patriarch to his family, those at CBN, other ministries he founded and many Christians during his time on God’s stage.6
1 While acknowledged, nowhere in the Bible will one find God being okay with weak and feeble devotion to Him! To the end of helping professed Christian men passionately
press to “be strong in the Lord” as He wills, I wrote the book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics (Ephesians 6:10, NKJV). Its Hard and Soft Cover or E-Book Edi-
tions as well as companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study are available in the Strong Man Store, among internet booksellers and brick and mortar bookstores.
2 Read the June 4, 2023 part one post, Jacob, God Named Israel, under the category, The Cause.
3 Despite all of the good God did through the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they left a legacy of using deceit in situations especially of fear with their descendants
(technically, Abraham did not tell the whole truth which is still deceit--see Genesis 20). Beyond what was noted in the June 18, 2023 post about the use of deceit by the
“sons of Jacob” after the rape of their sister and making him with all the rest of the family believe Joseph had been killed and eaten by an animal (Genesis 34:13-29, 37:
23-35, NKJV), it has played a role in their biblical history and attempted even to the face of God in Christ (Exodus 2:23-25; John 8:31-33).
4 See footnote 5 in the May 14, 2023 post, Motherhood: A Female’s Greatest Gift, under the category, Biblical Worldview.
5 No one guilty of sin before the written Law got away with anything! Reuben, Simeon and Levi are examples of those who received enduring divine judgment from the lips
of their father, Jacob, for their sins (Genesis 49:3-7). And note the fear of retribution in all of his guilty sons concerning their brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:18-24, 50:15-21).
6 CBN stands for Christian Broadcasting Network.
To all of the fathers reading this post, Happy Father’s Day! As I remember with appreciation my own departed father and the Lord leads, what an appropriate occasion to conclude looking at the Jewish patriarch, Jacob, God named Israel for what He would have aspiring strong men in His image learn from him. So far, we have seen that he like us as sinners without personal knowledge of God and new believers had to come into it through the crucible of painful life experiences; he learning as we do for example, to pray about everything. Once he got rolling, Jacob became a devoted man of prayer God visited, taught and guided to maturity as the patriarch of a family and future nation.
After his high moment of worship at Shechem that ended Genesis 33 and last week’s part two post,10 Jacob was blindsided with the rape of his daughter, Dinah, by a prince of that region (Genesis 34:1-5). Although there was not yet any written Law from God in the world, men in conscience considered certain things wrong beyond what He had declared to Noah and his sons about murder after the flood (Genesis 9:1-7); raping a man’s daughter was clearly one of them as the grief and rage of Jacob’s sons reveals he too shared, but held in (Genesis 34:6-7). Against Jacob’s better judgment his sons led by Simeon and Levi “deceitfully” exacted vengeance (Genesis 34:8-31, NKJV).
The Lord did not condone Simeon and Levi’s actions He later foretold through their father He would severely punish and later still through Levi’s descendant, Moses, declared why (Genesis 49:5-7; Deuteronomy 32:34-35)! Moving from the treachery of his sons, God called Jacob ‘“up to Bethel’” where He had at first met with him to do so again.11 Asserting the headship of “his household,” Jacob gave direction to ‘“Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments’” as preparation for all to go with him to meet with God at Bethel (Genesis 35:1-4, NKJV). This was certainly when Jacob also discovered Rachel’s theft of her father’s lifeless idols.
As they traveled, God also once more intervened to allay a fear Jacob had this time about the people of Canaan assembling to destroy him and his family because of his son’s vengeance for their sister. God put the “terror” of Him on them (Genesis 35:5, NKJV). When Jacob and his household arrived at Bethel, the place he first encountered God, “he built an altar there” and renamed it, “El Bethel” widely translated God of the house of God.12 Then God came down to Jacob and spoke with him. He reviewed his name change and commanded him to ‘“Be fruitful and multiply;’” foretelling ‘“a nation and company of nations…and kings shall come from your body,’” (Genesis 35:6-11, NKJV).
Following that, the Lord confers the promise of the land as part of His covenant with Abraham and Isaac upon Jacob and his ‘“descendants.’” “Then God went up from him” and Jacob worshipped by setting up a “pillar of stone” to mark the place he met with God as he had done the first time (Genesis 35:12-15, NKJV). Apparently already pregnant, Rachel, the love of Jacob’s life died giving birth to their last child together he named Benjamin as they traveled from Bethel en route to Isaac in Hebron. He buried and erected a pillar as a memorial to her near Bethlehem. As they moved on, his firstborn with Leah, Reuben, betrayed him by sleeping with his wife, Bilhah (Genesis 35:16-22a).
Nevertheless, Jacob now, had twelve sons who would become the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel destined to be a nation as God had foretold and willed (Genesis 35:22b-29, 46:2-3)! Foremost among his sons were not the oldest, but the two youngest Rachel had borne to him. “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because,” he rationalized, “he was the son of his old age;” even making “him a tunic of many colors.”13 In his favoritism, Jacob committed the error of his parents with the same outcome of family division, sibling rivalry and hatred. On top of this, Joseph came across arrogant with his dreams. This all led to heartbreak for Jacob God did not deliver him from until twenty-two years later after he had turned 130 years old (Genesis 37, 44-47:10, NKJV).14
Reunited with Joseph in fulfillment of the prophetic dreams God had given him and for the good purposes He allowed his enslavement, Jacob lives another 17 years with all his family in Egypt (Genesis 45:7-8, 47:11-12, 27-28). As his death approached, Jacob made Joseph swear an oath to bury him with his fathers Abraham and Isaac at the designated ‘“burial place’” in the land of Canaan God had promised to their descendants; displaying his faith it would be so (Genesis 47:29-31, NKJV). Following this, Jacob blessed Joseph’s two sons and adopts them as his own then, blesses the twelve sons from his body (Genesis 48:1-49:28).15 Giving a final command about his burial as the patriarch of his family to his sons, Jacob died. His sons did as he willed (Genesis 49:29-50:14).16
10 See the end of the June 11, 2023 post, Jacob, God Named Israel, Pt. 2, under the category, The Cause.
11 Here is another place of reminder to all aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ and professed Christians when you need to reconnect to God and spiritually
recharge--go back in your mind if nothing else to the place you first met God as Andre Crouch & The Disciples sing so well in their song, Take Me Back. This is also
this Ministry’s intended help in our latest Strong Man Of God Online Rally you can view on YouTube, Return To The Lord.
12 Let every aspiring strong man of God take due note that Jacob is not sending his household, he is leading them to and in worship. This is a very important responsi-
bility of family leadership you have from God I write about in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and present in a Strong Man Of God Resources short YouTube
video, Men Leading Family Worship At Home, promoting the Strong Man Store free document download.
13 Beyond question Jacob’s love for Joseph, his firstborn with Rachel, was also a continuing expression of the deep love he retained in his heart for her.
14 Why God in his sovereignty chose to let Jacob grieve Joseph’s presumed death all those years is not declared in Scripture. However, a context clue suggests one
possible reason is rooted in Jacob’s great love for Rachel and Joseph. Loving anyone or thing more than God is a no-no stated later in His Law to Israel and by Christ
to any would be follower and certainly every aspiring strong man of God in His image (Deuteronomy 5:6-10, 6:4-5; Mark 12:28-30; Luke 14:25-26)! With Rachel and
Joseph gone, Jacob would learn to love God above all. Also, Jacob learned another painful lesson about favoritism and deceit which his sons had been acting out of
as he once did.
15 God has made a father’s blessing like none other not even a mother can reverse. His bestowal of good brings inspirational joy; his condemnation a lifetime of troubling!
16 The commanding authority of patriarch, Jacob, speaking to his surrounding sons he had fathered is movingly beautiful in its simplicity and pictures the respect God ex-
pects all fathers to receive taught throughout His Word. Indeed, for God the Father has modeled human patriarchy on His own standing as the Patriarch of His hea-
venly Family (John 3:31-35, 8:28-29, 48-49). Rebellion against God’s perfect order of mankind and patriarchy is in part causing our society to unravel. You, O aspiring
strong man of God in Christ’s image, by His will as a father are a patriarch and to stand for patriarchy to your last breath!
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