I wrote Epiphanies of Patriarchs as a sequel to Steps of Faith when I taught an adult class. Steps of Faith examined the “one faith” that pleases God, and how Abraham learned to walk in this faith one step at a time. Epiphanies of Patriarchs discusses the obstacles to spiritual growth hidden in Isaac and Jacob’s life that made it difficult to walk in their father’s faith.
I seldom realized what I had until after I wrote it and taught it. I had for years wondered what it meant to walk in the Spirit and how I could know if I was walking in the flesh. I found my answers while writing this series. A Simple Yes and That Man are my favorite chapters.
Understanding the kind of love and humility necessary to overcome the flesh and walk in the Spirit of Abraham’s faith lies in God’s dealings with Isaac and Jacob. Their failures reveal the meaning of sincere love and true humility. Their victories set an example of the kind of peace-loving faith that pleases God.
The ten chapters in this series will follow weekly on Sundays:
CHAPTER 01CHILDREN OF PROMISE
Children of Promise examines how God’s thoughts differ from ours, identifies who the children of promise are and how we can understand God’s plan for his children. The city Abraham looked for is proposed as a key that unlocks our understanding, followed by a discussion of the importance of partial knowledge until the maturity necessary for agreement is obtained.
CHAPTER 02 GREAT MAN OF FAITH
Great Man of Faith discusses how Isaac’s faith exceeded Abraham’s and why Isaac is not honored as the father of our faith. Using New Testament scriptures that reveal who Sarah and Hagar represent, the author exposes a peculiar twist in God’s wisdom and explains how God dealt with Isaac and Ishmael in an equitable manner.
CHAPTER 03 A JOURNEY BEGINS
A Journey Begins explains how Abraham inadvertently corrupted Isaac’s faith and how to discern when the flesh is directing us and when the Spirit is leading us. Isaac repeats his father’s mistake and learns God’s blessings follow an honest acknowledgement of our true character.
CHAPTER 04 A JOURNEY ENDS
In A Journey Ends, Isaac’s long journey to develop a personal relationship with God is examined. The reasons Isaac could not find satisfaction in his relationship with God are traced to a lack of submission, and perception of rejection that produced anger and unforgiveness. After Isaac forgives King Abimelech, God brings Isaac to maturity by exposing the impurity in his heart and Isaac learns to fear God.
CHAPTER 05 A SIMPLE YES
A Simple Yes explains how the corruption in Isaac’s faith robbed Jacob of the knowledge of God and distorted his concept of love. Lacking a true knowledge of God, Jacob spoke hastily after God appeared to him at Bethel and a foolish vow changed his relationship with God from one of love and grace to law and judgment.
CHAPTER 06 NO LOVE FOR FATHER
No Love For Father examines key elements to living a victorious Christian life. What it means to love the world by studying the life of Isaac and Jacob. How walking in lust corrupted their lives and thwarted their love for God.
CHAPTER 07 THAT MAN
That Man discusses the dual nature of humanity and how duplicity produces prayers that create obstacles in our relationship with God. Jacob’s desperate prayer and famous wrestling match, commonly attributed to an angel or theophany, was a struggle with – sorry, I’m not going to spoil the surprise. I will tell you this. Jacob wasn’t wrestling with an angel or theophany.
CHAPTER 08 SWINE
Swine explains why Jacob suffered great pain after he found the perfect will of God for his life. The arrogance lurking in his heart is exposed and a loving heavenly father disciplines his son. God separates Joseph, smothered by his father’s unhealthy concept of love, from his family, so Jacob could bear fruit and Joseph could mature.
CHAPTER 09 ABOUT FATHER
About Father explores religious arrogance that alienates us from people who need us. Arrogance is traced in Jacob, Jobs and the author’s life. A comparison of Jacob and Job’s life reveal people who live different lifestyles share a common sin – a failure to love. The author compares her life with her father’s to reinforce this truth and discusses the unconditional nature of love.
CHAPTER 10 A MISUNDERSTANDING
In A Misunderstanding God renews Jacob’s mind at the altar Abraham built. Jacob learns that his mother misunderstood the things God told her before he was born and accepts the bitter reality that he was never the younger that his elders would serve. Instead, his family would become the elder insolent son who serves the younger son – Jesus the Messiah. When Jacob, the elder, humbles himself before Joseph, a younger believer, God exalts Jacob to a greater status than Pharaoh.