Angelic Conflict part 121: Human history – Gen 28:10-22; 32:1-32; Joh 3:30; 2Ti 2:12; 4:5; Heb 11:24-27; Rom 5:3-5.
length: 61:59 - taught on Jul, 17 2013
Abrahamic Covenant reaffirmed to Jacob, GEN 28:10-22.
GEN 28:10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran.
GEN 28:11 And he came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head [at his head; not a pillow but protection], and lay down in that place.
This is Jacob’s first divine appearance.
GEN 28:12 And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
“ladder” - stairway on earth and reaching to heaven. God uses trillions of angels to protect His own, which angels are constantly moving from heaven to earth and back to heaven.
Jacob sees these angels as he leaves the Promised Land and he will see them again when he returns to the Promised Land, yet, he will still fear from lack of faith.
Next we have a manifestation of the Shekinah Glory.
GEN 28:13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham [father can mean ancestor as well as paternal father] and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.
GEN 28:14 Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
1.I will give you and your descendants the land.
2. I will make your seed innumerable and spread out.
3. I will bless all the nations through you.
4. Personal promises of vs. 15 (4).
GEN 28:15 And 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 promised you."
Personal promises to Jacob:
1.I am with you.
2. I will protect you wherever you go.
3. I will bring you back to the Land.
4. I will not leave you until the promise is complete.
What do you think, CA believer? Do you think that God has the same promises for you and even more? We do not have to move far into the NT to answer that question in the affirmative.
Dwelling in NJ
I am with you
I am in you
Bring you back
Citizen of heaven
Will not leave
Seated with Christ
Jacob recognizes the importance of the dream (first patriarchal one).
GEN 28:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
Abraham built and altar in this place in GEN 12:8 which began public worship here, but that may have died down by this time.
GEN 28:17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
Nimrod and his followers attempted to build a gate of heaven (Babel) and God confused them. Jacob stumbles into this place and the gate of heaven is clearly marked by a staircase (Bethel).
God calls us by means of grace. No one can make a way to God. God has called the human race through the person of Christ and all who believe in Him are elected to privilege, the greatest of which is sight of the gate of heaven.
GEN 28:18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on its top.
GEN 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.
Bethel would later become a center of idol worship in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
GEN 28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If [Since - this is gratitude and not testing] God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,
GEN 28:21 and I return to my father's house in safety, then the Lord will be my God.
It seems like he is testing God but this is Jacob’s first interaction with God and the context implies that Jacob acknowledges God’s Covenant and states that when he returns that he will worship God and will know God fully. But in all honesty, he has no idea just how long that is going to take.
This is why I always say, take your time, God alone knows when you will come to fully know Him, as much as each of us can in time, and there is no way we can rush that. If you don’t quit, this understanding is promised to come.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. [experiential maturity requires your free will choice not to quit.]
And then Jacob promises his tithe, which is completely legitimate at this time.
GEN 28:22 And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house; and of all that Thou dost give me I will surely give a tenth to Thee."
So we have seen satanic conflict with the individual - Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah, and Abraham. We have seen conflict with Sarah and her servant Hagar, half brothers, and twins. Next in the progression is the conflict within the family, made up of all believers, which is the occasion of Joseph, but before that there is mentioned the conflict between the positive believer and the Lord.
We often study the conflict between the believer and his three enemies; OSN, world system, and satan/KOD. There also exists the believer’s individual struggle with the Lord.
Background: Jacob spent 20 years with Laban and left there with all of his sons but one, the youngest Benjamin, and extremely wealthy. The idol worship of his uncle Laban had infected his own people and he commanded that the idols be put away. And on his return to the Promised Land he once more witnessed the angels of God.
GEN 32:1 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him.
GEN 32:2 And Jacob said when he saw them, "This is God's camp." So he named that place Mahanaim.
Mahanaim = two camps. Jacob’s camp and God’s camp.
However, soon after the report of the approaching of Esau, now 20 years later and approaching with 400 men, has Jacob quickly forgetting about the army of God that has always been with him as per the promise back in chapter 28, and now only fearing the retribution of his brother.
The longer I walk with God the more I understand this. It’s not that we get less spiritual; it’s that we get more honest with ourselves and lie to ourselves less about our lack of faith at times. We find that we love more, not so much because of what we have increased in doing, but in not doing. For instance, a greater understanding of himself in light of Christ will lead a believer to increase humility which decreases judging, maligning, slandering, and arrogance, and increases understanding, forgiveness, and love.
John the Baptist put it very well:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
And this is what eliminates the conflict with Christ. If I’m still increased then there will be conflict. You can’t have two masters. Christ is Lord. Kurios means Master. He’s not giving up that status, ever, so the only way there will be peace between you is if you give up yours.
All of us need “assistance” in giving up our increase, and creative divine discipline or divine correction is that assistance.
Though Jacob saw the army of God twice, was promised superiority over Esau at birth and another two times afterwards, he still fears him, and God has to correct that.
GEN 32:3 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
GEN 32:4 He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: 'Thus says your servant Jacob," I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now;
By calling Esau “lord” and himself “servant” he has reversed the patriarchal blessing to himself.
GEN 32:5 and I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight. "'"
GEN 32:6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him."
GEN 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies;
GEN 32:8 for he said, "If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape."
Esau was likely taking precautions incase Jacob attacked him, hence the four hundred men.
Jacob responds by making provisions, splitting up his company, hoping that if one was destroyed the other would survive.
And then he prays.
GEN 32:9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who didst say to me, 'Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,'
GEN 32:10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to Thy servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan [with nothing], and now [20 years later] I have become two companies.
GEN 32:11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children.
GEN 32:12 For Thou didst say, 'I will surely prosper you, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'"
Jacob prays based on God’s covenant promises. Though he lacks faith, he reassures himself in prayer, asking God’s deliverance, and there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s easy to judge him and imagine that any of us would have just marched right up to Esau with all the confidence in the world, but look to yourself and in humility realize that you have asked God for deliverance after He has promised you many times that He would. There is nothing wrong with this prayer. His lack of faith is wrong, but prayer is never off the table whether the believer is wrong or right.
Jacob is open and honest with God that he fears despite fully remembering the promises. God isn’t looking for ability, but availability.
Jacob will send Esau a bribe and again submit to him as lord and servant.
GEN 32:13 So he spent the night there. Then he selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau:
GEN 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,
GEN 32:15 thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
GEN 32:16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass on before me, and put a space between droves."
GEN 32:17 And he commanded the one in front, saying, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?'
GEN 32:18 then you shall say,' These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.'"
GEN 32:19 Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, "After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him;
GEN 32:20 and you shall say,' Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.' "For he said," I will appease him with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me."
GEN 32:21 So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.
One full day has passed in making the divisions and preparations since his prayer. And now we are ready for him to resolve his conflict with God. This doesn’t mean that he arrives spiritually, but it will mark the beginning of his ascent to intimate peace with God.
Not seen in the English, but in the Hebrew, is that vs. 3-22, in preparing for Esau, the Hebrew word for face [paniym] is used 7 times, but not for God’s face.
Then Jacob sent messengers before him [paniym] to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass on before me [paniym], and put a space between droves."
And he commanded the one in front, saying, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you [paniym] belong?'
and you shall say,' Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.' "For he said," I will appease him [paniym] with the present that goes before me [paniym]. Then afterward I will see his face [paniym]; perhaps he will accept me [paniym]."
GEN 32:21 So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.
This sets the stage for the meeting with God’s face in order to remove fear of men and conflict with Christ, GEN 32:23-33.
When you’ve exhausted your concern for the face of man, including your own, God presses His face into yours so that you may become occupied with Him.
GEN 32:22 Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
GEN 32:23 And he took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.
What Jacob did after transferring family and possession over to the south side of the Jabbok River was that he crossed back over to the north side of the Jabbok.
The river separated him from everything and everyone else. Jacob does a very wimpy thing by sending the women and children up ahead of him while he stays at the farthest back from danger. He likely goes back across the river to be alone in self-pity. The point is that God used the opportunity for isolation anyway.
Jacob’s isolation sets the circumstance for God’s third appearance to him. The conflict between believer and Christ is worked out in private.
God’s not only working in the believer’s life when he is doing well but also in his weakness, despair, self-pity, etc. That is not to condone those things. I didn’t say God blessing, but God working. Jacob is going to be a better man after this, but he’s also going to have a limp for the rest of his life.
GEN 32:24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.