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Saturday, November 21, 2015

"For Whom the Lord Loveth He Disciplines" # 15

The Discipline of Dying: (continued)

Jacob was old and dying: By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshiped leaning upon the top of his staff. In this one scripture the Holy Spirit is revealing the long life of Jacob before the Lord. From the beginning, before Jacob was ever born, the Lord had plans for Jacob. The Lord chose him over his brother Esau to receive  The Promise, which included the blessing of the firstborn and the inheritance God had promised Abraham. BUT the fullness of the promise was The Christ, The Messiah, The Anointed of God Who, in eternity past, was Anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfill and bring to completeness the Eternal Purpose of God - for Abraham's SEED was The Christ (Galatians 3:16). However, all that Jacob thought about most of His life was the blessing and the inheritance of the firstborn; and he used trickery and deceit to steal them from his brother with the motive of gain to himself, and later on gain to his own seed. But as we know, God had a purpose in Christ for Jacob, and his twelve sons, for they were the beginning of the twelve tribes of Israel. In Genesis, chapters twenty-five through fifty, we find the Holy Spirit's account of Jacob's life and death and burial; and we find God's discipline, correction, and chastening all along the way. Nevertheless, at the end of Jacob's life, we find the peaceable fruit of righteousness and holiness; and there is no root of bitterness in his life, as there was in Esau's (Hebrews 2:15-17). No, the discipline of the Lord had worked, for we find Jacob, when he was dying, worshiping and leaning on top of his Staff. Worshiping and leaning? Now that does not sound like the Jacob who deceived his father, tricked his brother, preferred Rachel's children over Leah's, and thereby caused a murderous jealousy in his other sons' hearts against Joseph. No! Jacob's ambition for himself and his seed is gone, and his selfish love for others has turned into a selfless love for His God.

Oh, Jacob had blessed Joseph's sons, but he had also blessed his twelve sons; and the blessing came not from his self-centered heart, but from the Heart of God. Jacob was dying, and his whole being, his heart, his spirit and soul, even his body, was worshiping and leaning upon the top of his Staff. It is not by accident, but by divine design, that the Greek word used for staff has the same meaning as the Hebrew word that was used for Moses' rod or staff, when God told Moses: "lift up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel (Jacob) shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea" (Exodus 14:16). So, just as He had promised, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob saved Israel, and executed judgment upon the gods of Egypt as He delivered His people. But there is a great deal more to these Inspired Words of the Holy Spirit about Jacob.

This is why Hebrews 11:13-16 tells us, "These all died in faith, not having received The Promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth ... they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city." Jacob, by faith had seen afar off, because by faith he was one of those of whom the Word  says, "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not The Promise, God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect - that they without us should not be brought to completeness." By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshiped, leaning upon the top of his staff - Jacob died worship the Everlasting Ways of His Lord.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 16 - (The Discipline of Learning and Knowing Through Being Exercised and Trained By the Discipline of the Lord:)

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