Feb 19, 2017 “Jacob Is Called and Conformed” (Heb. 12: 1-17)

Heb 12: 1

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Heb. 12: 7- 11

7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Heb. 12: 12- 17

12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

God shaped Jacob’s character through 4 major experiences over a 20 year period:

  • The lying experience – Gen 27: 1 – 29
  • The ladder experience – Gen 28:10-15 Where He Gets the  Promise
  • The laban experience – Gen 29 – 31
  • The wrestling (laming) experience – Gen 32; 22 – 32

Jacob means supplanter – one that takes hold of or trips up his brother’s heel.

  • God had promised the inheritance to Jacob. Gen 25: 21- 27 Older shall serve the younger.
  • Jacob had received the birthright from Esau in exchange for a pot of stew in Gen 25: 29-34
  • Esau had despised (was careless about, showed contempt or disdain toward) his birthright or inheritance.
  • Gen 27: 1 – 29 Jacob and Rachael sow deceit and connive to get Isaac’s blessing.

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows that will he also reap.

Gen 27: 41 Esau plots to kill Jacob, after Isaac dies at some point in the future.

Gen 27: 42 – 46 and Gen 28: 1-5 Jacob flees his brother, Esau, as Rachael makes a pretense that Jacob should not marry a local girl in the land where they are sojourning and has Isaac send him away to get a wife.

The ladder experience – Gen 28:10-15  – occurs when Jacob is fleeing to Laban’s. The Angels ascending and descending upon it symbolizes a line of communication between heaven and earth. Christ is on top of the ladder as God’s provision.

Gen 28:13-14 The Lord extends to Jacob the promise previously given to Abraham and Isaac. God pledges His commitment to be faithful to Jacob, before Jacob’s character merits a blessing.

Jacob, who has sown receipt, reaps his Uncle Laban, a specially conniving swindler!

  • Jacob fled into a hard service under a bigger conniver, his Uncle Laban.
  • A wife is forced on him by deceit. Thus the deceiver gets deceived.
  • Polygamy is not God/s design, and this family suffers turmoil as a result. Gen 29-30 His wives engage in a bitter rivalry even forcing maidservants upon Jacob in a competition for children.
  • This mixed family is highly contentious as a son sleeps with his dad’s concubine, and the brothers plot to kill Joseph.
  • Gen 31:7 Laban cheated and changed Jacob’s wages 10 times.

Jacob’s wrestling experience involved …

  1. Jacob being alone, as he separated himself from his family, perhaps thinking that his brother Esau would kill just him and let his family be.
  2. God was not wrestling with Jacob to destroy him, but to exhaust him and bring him to the end of himself.
  3. Jacob wins grace by wrestling with and clinging to God, during which his name was changed from Jacob to Israel. (vs 28)
  4. Vss 25 & 31 God puts Jacob’s hip out of joint, and he leaves limping, signifying the blessed get broken of as God changes their walk.

Bible patriarchs are everyman / every-woman. If we do what they did we will get what they got – both positive and negative.

God calls sinners and then shapes them into the kind of people He can use.

Heb 11:12 – 12Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. (Gen 15:5 & Gen 22:17)

God always gives two analogies because sand is a metaphor for our adamic, carnal nature and stars are a metaphor for our Born Again, christlike nature. (1 Cor 15:  45-49 & Dan. 12:3)

With each decision we make we are manifesting either the a) spirit or the flesh, b) stars or sand, c) Isaacs or Ishmaelites, d) Esaus or Jacobs

Through submission to God’s discipline we obtain God’s blessings to fully partake of our birthright & inheritance in Christ.

To view the recorded message, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfOkZCdR4Aw