CH 5 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.

And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.  And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.  Genesis 28:4-5, KJV

Esau, seething with rage over losing his blessing, was determined to kill Jacob when their father died.  Rebekah caught wind of Esau’s plan and her manipulative wheels commenced turning lest God’s words about the elder serving the younger failed.[1]  Esau’s wives had been a source of grief to the family for years, so Rebekah complained that life would not be worth living if Jacob married a woman from Canaan.  Still smarting over the sorrow Rebekah and Jacob caused Esau, Isaac did not hesitate to send Jacob far from home in search of a wife. 

Isaac informed Jacob it was time for him to get married.  However, a wife from Canaan would not be acceptable.  Jacob must select a wife from among his Uncle Laban’s daughters.  Before Jacob left his father’s tent, Isaac prayed that God would give Jacob the blessing of Abraham.  Then Jacob packed his bags and departed for Haran where Rebekah’s family lived. 

A WEAKNESS

Nothing has changed from Jacob’s day to today.  All of God’s people past and present are still waiting for the blessing of Abraham to come upon them, so we can receive our inheritance.  If we already possessed this blessing, we would no longer need to walk by faith.

 …Hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for… Romans 8:24-26, NIV

 While we patiently wait to receive the blessing that many generations have hoped for, our prayers can become a liability instead of an asset if we pray without the Spirit’s help.  Christians have reduced prayer to one simple idea: prayer is talking to God.  There is an element of truth in that idea, but it is an incomplete truth.  If we don’t know how to talk to God, praying can amount to little more than empty words that complicate our lives. Jacob proved the foolishness of speaking hastily in God’s presence on his way to Haran. 

 OUR FATHER

Jacob was near Bethel when the sun began to set, so he pulled up a stone for a pillow and went to sleep.  This sleeping son of Abraham was a liar who did not respect his father, but God did not hold Jacob’s sins against him.  Sin entered the world through Adam, but sin is not taken into account when there is no law.[2]  Therefore, Jacob’s sins did not influence the way God treated him.  All of God’s people can expect the same treatment from God that Jacob received: The writer of Hebrews revealed why:

 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.”  The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”  Hebrews 12:18-21, NIV

The writer of Hebrews was referring to the day Jacob’s children stood at the foot of a mountain and entered into a covenant of law with God.  The nation of Israel has been subject to the terms of that covenant to this day.[3]  The covenant of law was established with Jacob’s children after Jacob died; therefore, God was not obligated to consider Jacob’s sins when he dealt with him.  

God does not hold our sins against us unless we foolishly do something that obligates God to deal with us on any other terms but grace.  Jacob was devoid of the true knowledge of God.[4]  Consequently, he moved his relationship with God from grace to law.  Part of Jacob’s problem was this: he did not know who his father was. 

 He [Jacob] had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac…Genesis 28:12-13, NIV

 God appeared to Jacob in answer to Isaac’s prayer that God would give his son the blessing of Abraham.  For Jacob to receive the blessing, he needed to know who his father was.  In Jacob’s dream, God called himself “the God of your father Abraham.”  Abraham was not Jacob’s father.  Abraham was Jacob’s grandfather.  Isaac was Jacob’s father.  Why didn’t God say, “I am the God of Abraham your grandfather and the God of Isaac your father”?  Why didn’t God say, “I am the God of your fathers, Abraham and Isaac”?  Why didn’t God say, “I am the God of your father Isaac”?  “Why” is very important.  God does not speak idle words.  Every word God speaks is with purpose.

God did not give Isaac the title of father because God was teaching Jacob how to receive the blessing of Abraham.  In essence, God said to Jacob, “I am the Lord God of Abraham, and I am the God of Isaac, but your father is Abraham.”  How can that be?  Either God had his genealogy confused or Grandpa did a terrible thing!

God did not have his genealogy confused but he did have a purpose.  God called Abraham Jacob’s “ab,” a Hebrew word that means “father,” both literally and figuratively.[5] God knew Isaac was Jacob’s father, but Abraham is the “father” of our faith.  Abraham was the first to possess the kind of faith that pleases God, and is the example everyone must follow who desires to inherit the blessing God gave to Abraham.

Jacob wanted God’s blessings so badly, he supplanted Esau and deceived Isaac.  Jacob’s deceit obtained him nothing but strained relationships with his brother and father.  Isaac could not give Jacob the blessing he desired.  God is the only father that can give us the blessing of Abraham.  However, God could not receive Jacob as his son because Jacob walked in the ways of the world.[6]  He learned the ways of the world from Isaac who had walked in the ways of the world most of his life.  Therefore, God directed Jacob’s attention away from Isaac as a father to follow.  For God to receive Jacob as his son and give Jacob the blessing he wanted so badly, Jacob needed to learn how to walk in Abraham’s faith.[7]

If the only way to receive the blessing of Abraham is to possess Abraham’s faith, it is spurious to imitate anyone’s faith but Abraham’s.  Jude admonished us to contend for the faith that was “…once for all entrusted to the saints.”[8]  The life Abraham lived gave humanity the “one faith” for “one hope” that the Apostle Paul preached.[9]  In Isaiah’s day, God was still admonishing the nation Jacob became to look to Abraham as their father.

 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father…Isaiah 51:1-2, NIV

 Abraham’s faith is a rock because his faith alone teaches us what it means to love. Abraham did not choose whatever he wanted to hope for and then expect God to fulfill his wishes; an unfortunate and common practice in today’s Christianity.  He received the hope God set before him and then believed he would possess the things God promised, even if God had to raise him from the dead. 

Many years later, God told Jeremiah why he came to Abraham, and why he delivered Jacob’s children from Egypt,

 “I myself said, “’How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.  Jeremiah 3:19-20, NIV

 Abraham is the father of our faith, but God is the father who gives us the inheritance.  Jacob’s children turned away from following the father who desired to give them the “most beautiful inheritance of any nation,” but God will never forsake his nation. 

The Apostle Paul compared the nation of Israel to a good olive tree under God’s care.  Every branch that does not believe is broken off.  Branches on wild olive trees that believe are grafted onto the good olive tree contrary to nature.  Any branches broken off because of unbelief can be grafted back onto the good olive tree if they repent of their unbelief.  When God is finished pruning, the only branches on the good olive tree will be the branches that possess the faith of Abraham, regardless of what nation they were born into.  Everything God has done since the covenant of grace he made with Abraham up to the present day serves one purpose: to create a nation that believes in him.  The New Testament calls this nation the “new man.”[10]

Jacob had difficulty trusting God because the only concept Jacob had of a father was Isaac.  Isaac tried to please God through sacrifice, was jealous of the law, and only loved those who satisfied the lust of his flesh.  Before God and Jacob could have a relationship, God had to prove to Jacob that he is the father Jacob longed for; a father who would love him unconditionally without showing partiality.  God directed Jacob’s attention to Abraham because the faith Abraham possessed would enable him to receive God as his father and enable God to receive Jacob as his son. 

 THE VOW

Having established Abraham as Jacob’s spiritual father, God confirmed the gospel.  One seed or one man from Abraham’s family would become as numerous as the dust of the earth and bless all families of the earth.  Then God gave Jacob some specific promises. 

  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15, NIV

 Jacob awoke and concluded he had been sleeping at the gate of heaven.  He was awed by God’s presence and promises but not so much that he couldn’t go back to sleep.[11]  When Jacob arose the next morning, his awe of God had faded.  Jacob’s prayer proved it.

 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. Genesis 28:20-22, KJV

 Jacob made a vow for which he paid a high price.  His vow created a weakness in his relationship with God by removing him from a place of grace that required nothing to a place of law that demanded fulfillment. 

God was willing to be Jacob’s father without asking anything in return.  Jacob was not so gracious.  He promised to honor God with the title of “my God” if God would be with him, keep him, give him bread to eat, give him clothes to wear, and bring him home in peace.  Jacob added two demands to the things God had already promised to do in the dream: food and clothes.  “O you of little faith,” Jesus said, “…do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.…”[12] Jacob prayed like a Pagan instead of a child of God.

 Jacob’s attempt to sweeten the deal God had already offered was an insult.  He did not need to ask his heavenly Father for food and clothes.  A father who loves us would never withhold the necessities of life.  Unfortunately, Jacob didn’t know how much his Father in heaven loved him and did a foolish thing. He added requirements that he must fulfill. If God performed the three things he offered, plus the two things Jacob added, Jacob would do three things.  He would make the Lord “My God”, make the rock he slept on God’s house, and give to God a tenth of all God gave him.  In plain English, Jacob promised to serve God, build a church, and tithe.

Jacob’s vow is the first record in the Bible of a man making a covenant with God.  The God of Abraham is a covenant-making God, but it is far better to let God set the terms of a covenant. Entering into a covenant with God will complicate our lives if we fail to fulfill our part of the agreement.  In God’s kingdom, a vow, oath or covenant is a legal transaction.  If Jacob had considered his spiritual father Abraham, he would have known how to have a relationship with God.  Receive God’s offer without adding to it or subtracting from it. A simple yes will do!  

Abraham never tried to negotiate a better offer for himself or promise to reward God.  If Jacob had considered his father Abraham, he would have remembered that Abraham gave the Sodomites’ possessions, not his personal possessions.  Jacob complicated the next sixty years of his life because he did not understand the faith of his father Abraham. 

When God promises something, it is best to let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” Either accept what God has promised or reject it. 

  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.  Matthew 5:33-37, KJV

 The King James Bible says “cometh of evil.”  The Interlinear Bible says “evil comes.”  Poneros, the Greek word that was translated as “evil” in the King James Bible means hurtful and is derived from ponos which means toil or anguish.[13] In sum, negotiating a deal with God will bring evil or anguish into your life.  Don’t misunderstand, Jesus wasn’t implying that someone who makes a vow is an evil person.  He warned us to say what we mean and mean what we say or we will bring a hurtful situation into our lives. 

James reaffirmed Jesus’ warning when he wrote, “Above all, my brothers, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else.  Let your yes, be yes and your no be no or you will be condemned.[14]  The Interliner Bible says, “lest into condemnation ye fall.” Krisis, the Greek word translated as “condemned,” means a decision.[15] In other words, if we cut a deal with God and don’t keep our end of the deal, God is obligated to make a decision.  The law that God lives by will condemn us because God’s law states: “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.” [16]

God is very particular about the law.  Nations are founded upon law, and law is established with oaths or vows.  Jacob was trying to act like God at Bethel with one major difference.  Instead of making a covenant with himself as God does, Jacob made a covenant with God.  If we desire a relationship with God based on a legal contract, we must not break our word.  If we break our word, we have mocked God and “God is not mocked.[17] A lesson the nation of Israel is learning the hard way.

 THE CONSEQUENCES

When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it.  He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.  It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.  And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?  Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.  Therefore stand in awe of God. Ecclesiastes 5:4-7, NIV

 After Jacob made his vow at Bethel, he continued his journey.  Jacob arrived in Haran, fell in love, married, and forgot about his vow.  He had been living in Haran with his mother’s family for twenty years when Rachel gave birth to Joseph, the eleventh of twelve sons.[18]  Of Jacob’s four wives, Rachel was the last wife to have children, making Joseph the youngest firstborn son.

  And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.  Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.  And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.  And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.  And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.  For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also? Genesis 30:25-30, KJV

 Jacob was tired of his labor making someone else rich.  He had a large family and wanted to start his own business, so he could leave an inheritance to his children.  Jacob desired to do good things.  Anyone who does not provide for his own family is void of faith and worse than an infidel.[19]  God saw the good desire in Jacob’s heart and wanted to bless him.  However, there was a business agreement that Jacob needed to resolve first.  God sent an angel with a message to remind Jacob of the vow he made at Bethel. 

The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’  And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.  I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me.  Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’” Genesis 31:11-13, NIV

 It was imperative that Jacob keep his vow.  If Jacob did not fulfill his vow, God would be obligated to destroy the work of Jacob’s hands.  The angel reminded Jacob that God had kept his part of the vow made at Bethel.  It was time for Jacob to return to Bethel and fulfill his part of the vow so God could bless Jacob when he provided for his own house. 

Jacob held a family meeting and unwittingly condemned himself by confirming that God had kept his end of the deal.  Jacob told his wives, “… I see your fathers’ countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me…your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.[20] The God of my father has been with me! Condition one had been met.  God suffered Laban not to hurt me! Condition two had been met.  Then Laban’s daughters, who became Jacob’s wives, confirmed where Jacob’s riches came from.  They told their husband, “Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children.  So do whatever God has told you.[21]  God had provided the wealth for Jacob to have plenty of food and clothes for his family.  Conditions three and four had been met but not condition five – returning home in peace.

 The family meeting concluded with the mutual agreement that it was time to do whatever God desired.  I truly believe that Jacob intended to obey God, but found himself doing the opposite and could not understand why. My conclusion about Jacob comes from personal experience. I also intended to obey God, but no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I wanted to obey, I could not find the strength. The reason Jacob and I failed will be explained in Chapter 7. Most believers set out to obey God with good intentions, but good intentions are not enough to conquer sin.  Instead of going home, Jacob ran from God.  

 RUNNING FROM GOD

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.  When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.  Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.  He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my master Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.  I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants.  Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.'” Genesis 32:1-5, NIV

 Jacob waited until Laban left to shear his sheep and then Jacob gathered up all possessions and left Haran.  When Jacob reached the hill country of Gilead, he ran into some temple messengers from God.  The angels had come to collect what Jacob owed God, but Jacob didn’t want to keep his end of the deal.  Instead of traveling toward Bethel to keep his vow, he set up camp at Mahanaim and sent some messengers to Esau. 

Scholars dispute the exact location of Mahanaim, but they agree that it is located east of the Jordan River and north of the Jabbok River.  That location would make Jacob’s camp a minimum of one hundred miles from Edom, where his brother Esau resided.  Jacob wasn’t anywhere near home yet, so why did he summon Esau for a meeting? Unless Jacob was looking for a loophole in the covenant he had with God.  Returning home in peace was the last condition of the deal Jacob made with God. Before Jacob became a tithe poorer, he wanted proof that God had fulfilled condition five.  When Jacob’s messengers returned with the news that Esau was on the way, Jacob’s fear and urgent prayer to God revealed the truth.  He did not believe God had created peace. 

Things went from bad to worse when Esau arrived – for Jacob!  Esau was thrilled to see his brother again and planted a sincere kiss on Jacob’s neck.  Then Esau cried tears of joy that he had been reconciled to his brother.  Jacob cried tears of regret.  Every excuse to bypass Bethel was gone.  Jacob’s actions after Esau departed prove Jacob’s tears were insincere. 

 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.”  But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young.  If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die.  So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”  Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.””But why do that?” Jacob asked.  “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”  So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir.  Jacob, however, went to Succoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock.  That is why the place is called Succoth.  Genesis 33:12-17, NIV

 “Until I come to my Lord in Seir,” exclaimed the liar, as he waved goodbye!  Esau went home and without doubt prepared a welcome home party, inviting family and friends to meet his long lost brother.  Jacob never appeared.  He went to Succoth and rented land, where he built a house and shelters for his livestock.  Do you suppose he was sheltering his livestock from the weather or from God?

It is a small wonder that the nation Esau became hated the nation Jacob became. Jacob cheated and manipulated Esau all of his life.  He resented his brother because Esau was “Daddy’s favorite”.  In truth, Jacob never wanted to see Esau again.  All Jacob wanted was a way out of keeping his vow.  He never thought Esau would come so far out of his way to meet him.  Esau didn’t cooperate with Jacob’s plan.  If only Esau had known what sweet revenge God gave him that day, the root of bitterness that destroyed the nation Esau became might not have taken root.  

While Jacob was in Succoth, he took inventory and decided the price of his vow was too high to pay.  His subsequent actions proved it. 

 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city.  For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.  There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.  Genesis 33:18-20, NIV

 After resting a while in Succoth, Jacob changed his mind.  He packed his bags and crossed over the Jordan into the land of Canaan.  Instead of going to Bethel to fulfill his vow and continue his journey home, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem.  This time Jacob bought a parcel of land and pitched his tent.  Obviously, Jacob did not intend to leave any time soon. 

Jacob believed God existed. He erected an altar and called it El Elohe Israel, so he could worship the Mighty God of Israel, but Jacob didn’t really believe his God was mighty. Bethel was a mere twenty miles to the south.  Jacob wasn’t worshipping a mighty God.  He was mocking a mighty God.  

If our actions put God into a no win situation like Jacob’s did, God will allow tragedy in our lives.  Jacob desired to provide for the members of his own house and God wanted to bless him but couldn’t. When Jacob made a covenant with God and didn’t fulfill it, God was obligated to hold Jacob’s sin against him. God sent messengers to remind Jacob about his unfilled vow because God did not want to judge him.  Jacob refused to keep his end of the deal and that left God with one option. 

 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.  But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.  Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you make your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.  Deuteronomy 23:21-23, NIV

 God did not complicate Jacob’s life with a vow.  He came to Jacob with grace, which demanded nothing in return.  Jacob was the one who freely vowed to make the Lord his God after all the conditions had been fulfilled. Jacob is the one who vowed he would return to Bethel and worship God with a tenth of all God gave him.  He would have fared much better in life if he had kept his mouth shut. 

Jacob settled at Shechem to provide for his own house in 1715 BC.  By now it was obvious to God, and many witnesses, that Jacob had no intention of paying his vow.[22] Jacob made his vow freely when a simple yes would do.  He created the hindrance that entangled him in sin.  Jacob had no one to blame but himself. 

Proverbs tells us that discipline imparts wisdom.[23]  Jacob needed some wisdom, so God disciplined him.[24]  If God had not intervened, Jacob was in jeopardy of losing his inheritance because God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.  God waited a long time before he did what he had to do. God precedes judgment with mercy in the hopes we will repent, so he does not have to render a decision that brings pain into our lives.

Fifteen years after Jacob’s family settled in Shechem, Dinah, his seventeen-year-old daughter, grew weary of a house full of brothers and went out to see the daughters of the land.  Instead of daughters, she encountered the son of Hamor, the same man her father had purchased land from in disobedience to God.  Meeting the son of Hamor became the first domino in a series of events that destroyed the works of her father’s hands. 

The son of Hamor took Dinah’s virginity and then held her captive while an embarrassed father attempted to arrange a marriage. The grief of Dinah’s eleven brothers quickly became seething anger over the humiliation of their sister.  The guilty son of Hamor hoped for grace, but the sons of Jacob had learned the ways of their father well.  Just like their father, they made an agreement that they never intended to keep.  Dinah could marry the son of Hamor and Jacob’s family would live among them intermarrying with the citizens of the city until they were one people, if the men of Shechem would circumcise themselves.

While the citizens of Shechem were in the process of keeping their end of the agreement with Jacob’s family, Simeon and Levi slaughtered every male in the city and took their sister home.  The rest of Jacob’s sons looted the city and took the women and children of Shechem as captives.  Jacob’s reputation as a fair and honest businessman was destroyed.  The actions of Jacob’s sons made his name such a stench in the land God had to protect him from retaliation by the surrounding cities.[25]

The evil that Jacob’s sons committed plunged their father into an abyss of anguish and pain.  What had Jacob done to deserve this tragedy?  All he wanted to do was provide for his family.  He even built an altar where he taught his family to worship the mighty God of Israel.  Without doubt, he asked the question many have asked before and after him, “WHY, GOD, WHY?”

This time a messenger would not suffice.  God had already sent messengers and Jacob refused their message. This time the God that Jacob had mocked for fifteen years proved his might when he came to Jacob with comfort, kindness, and the solution to his problems.

 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” Genesis 35:1, NIV

 All of this pain, all of this loss, all of this grief, all of this blood, all because he did not think a simple “yes” would do!  “WHY, JACOB, WHY?”


[1] Genesis 25:23

[2] Romans 5:12-14

[3] Exodus 19

[4] 1 Corinthians 15:34

[5] OT:1 ‘ab (awb); a primitive word; father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application) (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.  Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

[6] 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

[7] Romans 4:12, 16-17

[8] Jude 1:3, NIV

[9] Jude 3, Ephesians 4:4-5

[10] Ephesians 2:15, 4:24, KJV and Colossians 3:10, KJV

[11] Genesis 28:17 says Jacob was afraid, The Heb Translated afraid is Yare.  Used of a person in an exalted position, yare’ connotes “standing in awe.” This is not simple fear, but reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the power and position of the individual revered… (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

[12] Matthew 6:31-32, NIV

[13] NT:4190 poneros (pon-ay-ros’); from a derivative of NT:4192; hurtful, i.e.  evil (properly, in effect or influence, and thus differing from NT:2556, which refers rather to essential character, (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.  Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

[14] James 5:12, NIV

[15] NT:2920 krisis (kree’-sis); decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.  Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

[16] Numbers 30:2, NIV

[17] Galatians 6:7, KJV

[18] Jacob’s twelfth son, Benjamin, was born after Jacob kept his vow at Bethel. 

[19] 1 Timothy 5:8

[20] Genesis 31:5-7, KJV

[21] Genesis 31:16, NIV

[22] Hebrews 12:1

[23] Proverbs 29:15

[24] Hebrews 12:7, NIV

[25] Genesis 34:30-35:5

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
This entry was posted in Epiphanies of Patriarchs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to CH 5 A SIMPLE YES

  1. Linda says:

    Now we know who the senbsile one is here. Great post!

    Like

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