Dear Lord, in Jesus Christ's name I pray. Welcome Holy Spirit, embody this nation, government and military. God bless Donald Trump, keep him protected, helped and leading your nation strong and free. God bless Justin Trudeau, bend his will to yours, humble him and teach him what he needs to know of You. Thank you Lord for the peace talks in Korea! This is an appreciated answer to so many pleading prayers! We pray for the same peace and understanding in Cameroon, please have mercy and save its people. Please forgive us of all our sins. Especially excuse evil where we oppose, mock and vilify You. Please Lord, we know not what we do. Bless and revive us Lord, thy kingdom come. Put us through the painful process of cleansing this world, nation, generation and church of backsliding, sleepiness, enemies within, blasphemy, watering down of God's truth, word and law. Prune and throw such chaff into the lake of fire. Have us accept and cherish your free gift of salvation and eternal life immediately through your Son's sacrifice in place of our sin debt. May we all pray for this in our life now! Heal, restore and revive your body of Christ saved to do good works in the Lord. May we be light, salt and disciples to this desperate world. Hallelujah, he is risen, he is risen indeed! I pray this sincerely for all lost, enemies and loved ones in Jesus Christ's name, amen! GregoryB
This entire blog was spawned from a sermon entitled, What about Jacob? Or, can a man find healing in a woman? To make this brief, I did not understand, nor was I able to track with what the pastor said, as he tried to prove his point about Jacob. Sorry, I can't really see it but I am enjoying the study, as usual.
As we finished part one of our look at Jacob, the grand deception was complete. Do you think Rebekah and Jacob gleefully danced around the campfire that night as they celebrated how well they pulled it off? Hardly, for Esau, as you will see, has every intention of killing Jacob once Isaac is dead.
Notice how there is no concern on the part of Esau for how this will affect his mother. And, all this evokes another question, is it possible for Esau to regain his birthright? I don't think so, at least not in God's eyes.
Cheating not only Esau but your father as well, you would think that Jacob would be gone already, but only minutes from now Issac calls Jacob before him and commands him to not a wife from the same cluster of women that Esau had chosen from. Isaac directs Jacob to Laban, Rebekah's brother. Maybe, Isaac knows full well what kind of man Laban can be considering the backhanded maneuver Rebekah has just pulled on Isaac.
With that said, let's continue on.
I mentioned in the previous post, that Esau did not take this selling of the birthright serious. If he had
Wouldn't it seem logical to say something to Isaac? Wouldn't Isaac have known? Why would Esau bother to respond Isaac as though there was not a problem? “As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Jacob logically only has seconds to get out of Esau's presence, and, his fathers.
Genesis 27:30-37 ESV As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me." His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed." As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!" But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?"
The deception is pulled off, and now you would think that Jacob has to flee, an exile. And Esau is the reason.
Genesis 27:38-41 NASB Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." So Esau lifted his voice and wept. 39) Then, Isaac, his father answered and said to him, "Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. 40) "By your sword, you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck." 41) So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
So Rebekah calls Jacob in once again.
Genesis 27:42-45 NASB Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, "Behold your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43) "Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! 44) "Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury subsides, 45) until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
But Jacob still hasn't left. To make matters worse, we now learn of Esau's wives and what grief they are causing Rebekah.
Genesis 27:45 NASB until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
In response to Rebekah, Issac calls Jacob in once more.
Genesis 28:1-5 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2) "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. 3) "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
While Isaac's command is that he get a wife from Laban's daughters, we don't see anything that tells us he knows what he is looking for. Jacob, in a sense, stumbles upon Rachel, and she is a vision of how a girl should look. He wants her and is willing to work for her to get her. There is an irony here in that Rachel, is not an accident by any means, for Laban, her father is Jacob's uncle. (Consider: If Rebekah knew how to be devious it only makes sense that Laban, Rachel's father, would also know how to be underhanded.)
Jacob makes no effort to negotiate for her but tells Laban that he will work seven years for her. (That timeframe may be significant on several levels. Seven is the number of perfection, redemption, and a theme that recurs throughout scripture.)
It may be essential to consider Rachel's age at this time. I doubt he would have pursued her if he did not think she was old enough to marry.
“Joseph married at about age 30 (Gen_41:45). This was old by Egyptian standards, since most males were still only boys when they married. Yet it is clear that a boy had to be not only sexually mature but also able to provide for his wife and thus settled in his occupation before he married. Girls seem to have married between about twelve and fourteen. They did not have to wait until established in a career. Some royal marriages, occurring for dynastic or other political reasons, took place when the individuals were very young. For example, Tutankhamen died at the age of eighteen or nineteen after a nine-year reign and marriage, so he must have been nine or ten when married.”
NELSON'S Bible Manners & Customs, How the People of the Bible Really Lived,
Howard F. Vos, THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS
Jacob does not do what many desperate men would do, and rape her, he waits the seven years. He then goes to Laban and demands that she be given to him for he has paid for her.
Laban deceives Jacob just as Jacob had deceived Esau and gave him Leah.
Laban makes a statement here, in response to Jacob's shock and disappointment, that I never noticed before.
And Laban answered It is not done thus in our country, to give the younger before the elder. Genesis 29:26 Brenton)
As that particular pastor exclaimed: "this had to cut Jacob like a knife, as this is precisely what Jacob and his mother had done to Esau.” And, Uncle Laban may well have been told of it. If not, it is amazing how the Holy Spirit puts words in your mouth.
According to the pastor, the premise behind all this is that Jacob, a broken man, (I am not so sure he could understand that for a long time,) pursues Rachel, the vision of perfection, in hopes that she would heal him and make him a better man. I am not sure I see all that, but it makes sense, as most men do just that. While the hope of finding something that calms the inward brokenness he feels may be going on in the back of his mind, it is not directly noted in scripture; many things aren't, and yet the more in-depth answers and subjects are there if we pursue them.
One of the things that I see in scripture is that God is in control, regardless of how lousy the circumstances seem to be.
The pastor said, “that God gives us examples of people who are messed up so that we can know what not to do.” If that theory is correct, then why would God tell Israel, explicitly, not to learn from the surrounding nations, for the surrounding nations were doing everything wrong, worshiping idols, and sacrificing their children to gods. While I might argue that learning from my neighbor how to work with Iron could be a necessity that would allow a civilization to create water pipes. However, there is often a hazard in close associations, especially with those not so grounded, as it can cause us to be drawn away by the deviant and those used by Satan. Along with that, I have had several acquaintances that claimed to be Christians. One, it turns out, was in a men's home (the men's home is somewhat irrelevant except that you can make an obvious assumption - and that is that the person from the home has had some mighty struggles in the past.) While the leadership of the men's home had mandated church services and Bible studies they had to attend, they could not seem to get the world out of this brother. He, in a short period, took a job on the night crew, and I rarely saw him after that. His reattachment to the world seemed to grow and he left the group home he was a part of.
You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23:32-33 AMP)
And you shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will give over to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16 AMP)
You didn't merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time, you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways. (Ezekiel 16:47 CJB)
Is it the person becoming the snare? Perhaps, but what we do know is that Satan will deceive you through any means possible. In some cases, it might be an innocent but attractive looking woman.
Yes, Jacob's life is one huge psychodrama. He is a liar, a cheat, and a general a mess; he does not even seem to slow down all those years later when he meets Esau again. But there is a method to God's madness. God seems to use broken people; he even seeks them out. He seems to find pleasure in lifting them up and healing them. On the plus side, our savior is a descendant of the line from Jacob.
My point: That no matter how messed up the narrative, or, our story is, we can and should glean as much as we can from each one, for it is God's story. Sure, you think it is all yours, but it is never anything less than God's plan, you merely get to be a part of it.
"For I know what plans I have in mind for you,' says Adonai, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. " (Jeremiah 29:11 CJB)
I read the entire "Christian's going to hell" thread and was about to jump in with my own reply. I did not realize the limitations of this forum section. I suppose that is fine. I got a lot out of what was discussed but still struggle with some of it. I get all the points of views, proof, beliefs and such. I am not trying to call out or trap anyone. I am a baby Christian and have honest questions for clarification. I pray we can all come to an agreement on God's word and truth.
I was hoping we could base the discussion on Matthew 25 ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+25&version=NIV ) and how it related to the thread I could not jump in on. My question is this. Does Matthew 25 add or take away from any and all posts made there by *everyone*?
I have more specific questions too. The ten virgins for starters, do they not represent Christians covered in the blood of Jesus? I am not clear on the oil in their lamps as well. I suppose it could relate to my above general question.
I am wrestling with all this. I believe I am a born again Christian. I have faith in my salvation. I am concerned about others I care for and love. I will elaborate and add more enquiries as this thread develops. May opportunities open to know and understand the Holy Trinity better. Be well, content and helpful in the Lord.
Description from the ministry on this young woman's testimony:
"Powerful Coming Out Story - Emily spent 7 years living out her same-sex attractions while being outspoken about God’s acceptance of her lifestyle. After her engagement with her female partner ended, she was invited to a Bible study. This weekly examination of the holiness of God challenged her day after day until her life completely changed. It is a powerful testimony that calls the homosexual community not to heterosexuality but to holiness. Emily’s story lovingly addresses the heart of the matter: that homosexuality is only one sin among many that manifests itself within a sinful heart. Only by the grace and mercy of God can we be transformed.
Regardless of what you have done in your life, redemption is provided to you through Jesus Christ. Just like Emily, even if you have sinful desires and affections, God died for you. He can make you a new creation and save you from a terrible fate. God is rich in mercy and full of great love, and He provided a way out. The narrow road to salvation requires that you call sin what it is, repent of it, and trust that Christ’s death and resurrection is sufficient to atone for the punishment you deserve. If any man is in Christ, he is a NEW creation. Unless this happens for you, your sinful desires will always drive your actions and shape your interpretation of Scripture. As culture influences the church, even Christians are deceived on this topic. However, for the person who claims to be gay and a Christian, understand that it is not possible for Christians to remain in willful, unrepentant sin. 1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God makes a practice of sin, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” God's message has always and will always involve crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires and living for Christ."
Gal 5:24-25 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
What is it that makes us decide to trust and believe, not just God, but people?
Everything we do as followers of Christ is wrapped around faith, the essence of trust and belief. However, there is added disincentive in the story of Rahab in that these two men who may have entered her house under false pretenses, have now enlightened her that they are spies; that her life is now in danger from the spies and the guards of Jericho. They point out that her only reasonable choice is to hide them, and she does.
For us, there is a sudden awareness that her faith in this unknown god and her desire to be rescued by Him has become challenged. What does this added incentive do to your belief system?
Ponder once again what Rahab tells the two Israeli spies.
Joshua 2:9-10 NASB and said to the men, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10) "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
At first, it is deeply personal as she says, “ I know that the LORD has given you the land and that the terror of you has fallen on us,” This paragraph has belief and fear written all over it. While I, Rahab, know that the Almighty has his hand on you, there is a profound and genuine concern on the part of the entire city for their safety, lives, and mine as well.
Joshua 2:11 NASB "When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Does fear promote belief? I know it does not work for me. I may, under duress, comply out of concern for the safety of my family and myself, but I will never come to admire and possibly love you, as Rahab did.
The reality is that God's most significant impact on our faith is through signs. The idea that God is okay with that, comes from the verse where she recaps the two notable stories of which the people Jericho were aware. “We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.”
It is rapidly becoming evident that Rahab is a smart woman. You don't last long in such a business without the skills of a spy yourself, and she, therefore, strikes a bargain.
Joshua 2:12-13 NASB "Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father's household, and give me a pledge of truth, 13) and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death."
The men hear her out and respond with the words she needs to hear.
Joshua 2:14 NASB So the men said to her, "Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you."
Having received a promise of protection, and trusting their word, she provides them with a way of escape. I am going to do something peculiar here, and verse 15 last because I cannot see any practicality to her shouting additional instructions to the men as they rappel down the wall from her window.
Joshua 2:15-21 NASB 16) She said to them, "Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way." 17) The men said to her, "We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18) unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father's household. 19) "It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20) "But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear."
15) Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall so that she was living on the wall.
21) She said, "According to your words, so be it." So she sent them away, and they departed, and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
The bargaining is completed. Rahab lets them out through a window and uses the same scarlet cord to signal Israel's troops that hers is a safe house.
Suddenly it occurs to me. While the scarlet color may have been associated with her profession, it now represented that scarlet blood that saves us all. Few realize what took place. Consider also the tremendous significance, as Jesus was three days and nights in death, so to the scarlet rope hung from that window. Our redemption through Jesus was signaled all throughout this book we call the Bible, and today, I saw it.
What would have happened had the townsfolk of Jericho saw that cord suddenly hanging there? With the armed militia out chasing the spies, did the town now feel safe? I doubt it. The city may have gone on lock-down. How did this rope go unnoticed? That can only be God.
Did Rahab and her family demonstrate a strong faith in this God of Israel, and were therefore saved?
We don't know any of that. Rahab took a chance and pitched her case, knowing full well that they could turn against her. If what she says is true, then the people within Jericho comprehend the threat that Israel poses. Finding out that two Israeli spies have infiltrated the city just raises the threat level exponentially. The result of the increased threat level is that the family, which may have treated her as an outcast, hurriedly gathered survival supplies and joined Rahab in her home.
Joshua 2:23-24 NASB Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. 24) They said to Joshua, "Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us."
Safely back at camp, they related all that had happened. What a story. Oh, and by-the-way Joshua, there is one more thing you might find interesting - “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.” At least that is what Rahab told us.
Melted – is the Hebrew word moog, meaning to melt; literally (to soften, flow down, disappear), or figuratively (to fear, faint).
Since this is a character study on Rahab, I am going to bypass much of the detail involved in the attack on Jericho. It is admittedly fascinating to learn how Jericho's walls fell. Having seen pictures of the archaeological digs at Jericho, it becomes apparent that they went straight down into the ground. Except for one spot, that portion that Rahab lived in. Joshua 6:20
The NASB states that the wall fell flat. What does that mean? The Hebrew word is taḥaṯ: A preposition meaning under, beneath; in place of. It indicates a position below or underneath some other reference point.” Word Study Dictionary.
While the word flat is indeed an option, how do you explain under, beneath or a position below, especially when the passage goes on to say that every man walked straight ahead?
We don't return to Jericho in the book of Joshua until chapter six. In the meantime, circumcisions have been performed, and Israel has passed through the Jordan on dry land, just as they did the Red Sea. This time they placed a large mound of stones to commemorate God's goodness and what a coincidence that a large mound of stones has been located in the Sea of Galilee.
I suppose the obvious thing to consider here, is that much time has passed and that scarlet cord is probably still hanging out that window.
Joshua 6:21-23 NASB They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man, and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22) Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her." 23) So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.
How befitting that the young men who made the agreement should go and gather Rahab and her family.
“Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.”
Albert Barnes commentary states, “These words literally “made to rest outside the camp of Israel” - indicate that being still in their paganism, they were separated from the camp of the Lord. This was only for a time. They desired, and eventually obtained, admission to the covenant of the chosen people of God.”
Another instance where we have no details. We know nothing about paganism, but it is probably safe to assume. Since Rahab seems to have a faith in this God she knows little about, we shall see her come to understanding and acceptance.
Joshua 6:25 NASB However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
And everyone lived happily ever after, well, I would hope so. Sadly we live in reality, but there are three other passages I want you to see.
In spelling out the Jewish heritage of Jesus, the gospel of Matthew includes Rahab.
Matthew 1:5 NASB Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse.
Boaz, if you remember, owned the land in which Ruth had been directed to work by Naomi, her mother in law. Boaz buys the right to marry Ruth, and they produced a child named Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Rahab is found in Hebrews 11 because of her faith.
Hebrews 11:31 NASB By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
And lastly, as an example of how faith works, we have the writings of James.
James 2:24-25 NASB You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25) In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Understanding the ramifications, Rahab accepted the spies, protected them, and sent them safely on their way. So, Rahab then becomes an example for us, of faith and how it works.