By | March 11, 2023
THEME: Some Characters WHO GROW in the LORD’S grace and KNOWLEDGE
January – June, 2023
Unit One: Spiritual Growth In The Patriarch’s Lives
March 12, 2023
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise (Hebrews 11:9).
God’s grace brings brings true fruitfulness and flourishing. Isaac and Jacob enjoyed these in their lifetime as they grew in God.
Mar 12: DIVISION II: JACOB GOD’S GRACE (25:22-34; chaps. 27-32; 35:1ff).
The covenant order of God with Abraham continued with Jacob, as he was divinely chosen over Esau, though he had fraudulently taken the right of firstborn from Esau, along with the blessings Thereof. The fact that he was chosen ahead of Esau before they were given birth to, lend credence to the workings of God’s grace in his life. His life was all about grace. Do you see the impact of God’s grace written all over your life?
A. RECEIVES BLESSINGS BY GRACE (25:22-34; chaps. 27-31)
May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you. That you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessings of Abraham (28:3,4a).
i. 25:22-28: Grace surpasses work (Rom. 11:6)! While the two sons ó Isaac were yet in the womb, God preferred Jacob to Esau and put His covenant blessings on him (cf. Rom. 9:9-13; Eph. 2:9).
ii. vv. 29-34; 27:1ff: That Jacob deceitfully received blessings meant for the first child and disrobed him of his birthrght were no part of the deal; he only tried getting ahead of God, and complicated matters for himself (27:27-29). Grace doesn’t mean God would condole man’s misdemeanour.
iii. 28:1-5: Without holding on to the deception he suffered in Jacob’s hand, Isaac, in line with God’s programme, sincerely blessed and guided this usurper. Supplanting others is a serious sign of spiritual laxity.
iv. chaps. 29-31: Jacob’s years of sojourning with his mother’s uncle was a mixture of joy and sorrow. He too was short-charged–nemesis. Yet, the grace turned his disgrace to grace. What a loving God!
v. 30:43: Being the bearer of the covenant blessings. Grace unlimited!
vi. Jacob’s experience shows that God is constantly working through imperfect people to do the unimaginable. The grace of Jesus Christ enables us to make personal connection to God, and helps us to enjoy all His benefits and great spiritual blessings.
So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it (35:14).
i. 31:1-20: The home-sick Jacob left His uncle with all he had made during his 21-year sojourn. God’s grace sustained and blessed him (vv. 1,9).
ii. 32:1-21: He left home as a teleguided son of his parents but returned as a mature adult who had learnt to depend on God for life’s decisions. No wonder, he prayed to God to find Esau’s favour before meeting him (vv. 9-12).
iii. vv. 22-32: Also, he knew he needed divine intervention. So, he sought personal encounter with God, overnight, and he indeed got a change of identity (cf. Prov. 8:17; Jer. 29:13). It takes a better knowledge of God to do this.
iv. Apart from the Peniel encounter, he had other undeniable encounters with God that became a divine chance for his transformation and reconciliation with God, his Benefactor, and then, his brother.
v. 35:1ff: To further solidify his position in God, God ordered him back to Bethel, where He started with him. There, he built an altar. Meeting place with God is a must for spiritual maturity. How is your daily devotional life?
vi. There is no better way to have the knowledge of God and grow in His grace, than to learn through those experiences He allows, just like He appeared at Luz to Jacob, and favoured him at Laban’s place. When he eventually returned home, God had symbolically and prosperously changed his name. Grace is serious at work.
1. The blessings of God for Jacob had been divinely programme. Only that his own over-ambition and his mother’s overzealousness made him have it rough.
2. With all the experiences of Jacob, God wouldn’t for any reasons change His programme. He must fall in line with God’s agenda or else…
1. Clarify from the life of Isaac, how he was seen as a man foreshadowing Christ.
2. Was God in support of Jacob’s shortcuts? How does grace come in?
* There is nothing like accident, or coincidence with God. That is why He is the God of providence. He knows the end from the beginning.
* The story of Isaac was given to us to show God’s plan of salvation, through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for our sins.
* On the cross, Jesus became what we were, that we might become His likeness (2 Cor. 5:21).
* Both Jesus and Isaac fulfilled God’s promises, and were the only sons of their father (Gen. 22:2; Matt. 3:16,17).
* Prophecy actually went before the two of them (Gen. 21:9; Mk. 15:29-32).
* Isaac had three days to Mount Moriah, and Jesus also had three days from the cross to the grave, and to resurrection.
* Above all, just as Isaac submitted willingly to his father for the rite to be performed, Jesus surrendered to the will of the Father by laying down His life for our sins, and as our ransom.
* Not at all, God never supports injustice. In fact, shortcuts to success, or to achieving anything may be very quick and seemingly profitable, but God does not favour it in anyway, and the aftermath is always detrimental.
* He is the God of process and procedure, and the best way to achieve the real progress in life is through His process and processing.
* We must understand that God always works/acts according to His own time schedules, and not our own pace, characterised by impatience and unnecessary rushing.
* The idea of shortcut to success by Jacob never paid him in anyway. He actually faced the consequences, because he too was swindled and used on several occasions. So don’t settle for shortcuts or quick-fixes.
* But for God’s grace, he would have missed out on God’s covenant, for that singular act of trying to run ahead of God, or be smarter than He, and his own brother.
* God’s grace is capable of taking care of all circumstances, including our deficiencies and flaws. God can do amazing things with anyone, no matter how sinful or broken they are.
* Through God, the most broken persons can do great things, if he eventually cooperates with God.
* God’s covenant blessings and gifts are to be received, and not grabbed cunningly. God doesn’t take it likely with grabbers and supplanters.
How will you feel as a parent, to realise that the same pocket money you kept under the pillow for your son, was stolen by the same child? You have kept the money for him to be taken to school the following day, only to get there and find it missing. And you later realised that he was the one who stole it. That is the case of Jacob and God. He tried to play fast on God, and he paid heavily for it, yet God’s grace restored him. It is like God is saying, you don’t kill your child because he is defiant. Allow grace to do its work in you; don’t be too smart.
To God be the glory, for His manifold grace that we enjoy, which has helped us to come to the end of lesson four in this Grace and Knowledge series, in peace. By now, we should have better understood that there is God’s grace and that we are His heirs as elicited in God’s covenant relationship with Abraham. Also we should have better appreciated the fact that God’s grace surpasses all our weaknesses, and bypasses them all to bring God’s purpose to fruition in our lives. Therefore, we should keep on with the grace of God. Rejoice!
Mon. 6: Jacob: Born To Be Served (Gen. 25:22-26)
Tue. 7: Jacob, A Shepherd And Tent-Dweller (Gen. 25:27)
Wed. 8: Jacob: Loved By Rebekah (Gen. 25:28)
Thur. 9: Jacob Takes Esau’s Birthright (Gen. 25:31-34)
Fri. 10: Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessings (Gen. 27:27-30)
Sat. 11: Jacob Flees To Padan-Aram (Gen. 28:1-5)

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