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Special Lectures
Lecture 26 : [Restoration] The Providence Centered on Abraham’s Family 3
Date created : 2015-03-04/ Views : 1001
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The Era of the Providence of the Foundation of Restoration 5
Chapter 26 Abraham Isaac and Jacob’s Family

Welcome back to the path to happiness. I’m your host, Dr. Tyler Hendricks. 

In our last session, we came to know the heart of Abraham and Isaac, and the price they paid, with God, to save this world and all its families. This history reveals that God has a plan, and that love and oneness with God will always lead to life. 

But God was not done with Abraham, as we will see as we look at what happened with Isaac’s family in this session. 

God led Isaac to marry a special woman, Rebekah, and she gave birth to twins, Esau and Jacob. To build the “foundation for the messiah” in this family, however, Esau and Jacob had to be placed in the divided positions of Cain and Abel and, in that position, fulfill the “indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature” and lay the foundation of substance. Esau and Jacob in Isaac’s family were like Cain and Abel in Adam’s family and Shem and Ham in Noah’s family, so they faced a special challenge to overcome hatred and win the victory of love. The explanation is found in Genesis, starting in chapter 25.
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Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to twins, and they fought, even in the womb (Genesis 25:22-23). What’s more, even when they were in the womb, God said He loved Jacob and hated Esau. He divided them into the positions of Cain and Abel wherein the elder related to evil and the younger related to goodness. The firstborn was red at birth, and his entire body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.  His younger brother came out grasping Esau’s heel with his hand, so he was named Jacob. (Genesis 25:25-26) The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:27-28)
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from hunting, famished. Esau asked for the stew, and Jacob said he would give it to him in exchange for his birthright. Esau readily agreed, so he valued his birthright as less important than bread and a pottage of lentils, food for his hungry stomach. The Bible says that Esau “despised his birthright.” (Genesis 25:29-34) 
Thus Jacob gained the firstborn-son position from Esau. In the Old Testament, the birthright of the firstborn son is the position of the head of the family. He is the one who inherits the father’s blessing. He is in charge of all the family’s household matters (2 Chronicles 21:3) and has also the right to inherit the property. (Deut 21:15-17).
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As days passed, Isaac became old and was almost blind. He would die soon so he decided it was time to give his formal blessing to his eldest son. He was passing on the blessing he had received from Abraham, the blessing that was given by God. He called his firstborn, Esau, and said, “go out to the field and hunt game for me; and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die." (Gen. 27:3-4) Esau left right away to hunt for some game.

Rebekah overheard Isaac’s words, and she called Jacob and said, “You should receive the blessing that Esau will inherit” and told Jacob to “Go out to the flock and get a good lamb. I will make a good stew so you can give it to your father and receive his blessing.” But Jacob worried, “But I do not have hairy hands like my older brother and if father finds out, he would not give me blessing but instead curse me.” His mother then said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say… (Gen. 27:13).” This is how great her love for her son was. She then prepared the food Isaac loved, took Esau’s best clothes and put them on Jacob, and covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with goatskins. Then she gave Jacob the food and the bread she had made and told him to serve his father.  

Jacob did so, and went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau (Gen. 27:22).” Isaac blessed him with all his heart, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and people bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed (Gen. 27:27-29)” This is how Jacob, who had purchased the position of the firstborn-son, became the heir and inherited the blessing of the firstborn-son.
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Soon after that, Esau came to Isaac to be blessed, but Isaac could no longer give the first-born’s blessing to Esau. Esau wept loudly, became angry, and determined to kill Jacob after Isaac’s funeral. What was Jacob to do? Again, his mother advised him well. 

Rebekah arranged for Jacob to dwell with her brother, his uncle Laban, in Haran, to find a wife and live until Esau’s anger cooled. Laban had two daughters, Leah, the older, and Rachel, the younger. Jacob fell in love with the beautiful and charming Rachel. He told Laban that he would work for seven years to gain Rachel’s hand. After the seven years, Laban deceived Jacob and tricked him into marrying not Rachel, but Leah.

Jacob went to his uncle and asked why he deceived him and was answered, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.” He then promised to labor for another 7 years for Rachel, and after a short time he was able to marry Rachel. 

Leah gave birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, four sons, one after the other. However, Rachel could not conceive and was so unhappy. Rachel then gave her servant, Bilhah, to be Jacob’s concubine and give them a child. Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali. Leah became jealous and gave her servant, Zilpah, to Jacob as a concubine. Zilpah then gave birth to more sons, Gad and Asher. Then again, Leah gave birth to sons, Issachar and Zebulun.

Rachel challenged her older sister. She demanded Jacob to give her a child, and Rachel conceived a child named Joseph. 

Jacob offered another 7 years of labor, and God blessed him with abundant wealth of servants and flocks of sheep, camels and donkeys. But his heart always was to reconcile with his brother, Esau, so he left Haran for Canaan with his wives, children, servants, and livestock. 
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Laban discovered his departure after 3 days. Rachel took Laban’s idols with her and hid them from her father. In this way, Jacob triumphed over the satanic world, represented by Haran, after offering 21 years of drudgery in his fight to restore the birthright. After winning this victory, Jacob returned to Canaan.
Jacob learned that his brother Esau organized 400 soldiers and was waiting for him. Jacob then wisely prepared for meeting his brother Esau. First, he prepared gifts of his servants and his flocks in two groups. He put each type of animal in the care of a servant, and said to them to tell to his older brother Esau that, “They belong to my lord Esau, a gift from your servant Jacob, and he is coming behind us (Gen. 32:13-19).”

That night, he wrestled with an angel at the ford of the river Jabbok. The angel broke Jacob’s hipbone through that fight, but Jacob wouldn’t give up. Daybreak came and the angel had to leave. But Jacob said that he wouldn’t let go of the angel unless he blessed him. In the end, the angel blessed him and said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and man and have overcome (Gen. 32:28). From his name Jacob which means, “He who supplants,” his name was changed to “Israel” which means “God’s prince” because of his spiritual victory. 

Jacob first sent his gifts, then his two female servants and their children, then Leah and her children to face Esau. Lastly, he positioned Rachel and Joseph at the rear. Each offered themselves as gifts from Jacob. Finally came Jacob, who bowed down to Esau seven times as he approached. Thereupon, Esau came running and embraced Jacob; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him; and they both wept. Jacob introduced his family and said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably (Gen. 33:10).” Esau, who meant to kill Jacob, was able to love and welcome his brother in this way because of Jacob’s wise behavior (Gen. 33:4). Because they became united as one, they fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. Thus, they were able to lay the foundation of substance.
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Thus in Abraham’s family, the foundation of faith and the foundation of substance set the foundation for the messiah. 

Why did not the messiah come? It was because the family foundation was inferior to the power of the surrounding society which was already centered on Satan and could easily overpower Abraham’s family. Therefore, the messiah could not be able to come until that foundation expanded. In addition, because of Abraham’s mistake in the symbolic offering, his sin had to be indemnified by his descendants by means of 400 years of slavery in Egypt. 

On the positive side, Jacob’s success meant Isaac’s success, and Isaac’s success meant Abraham’s success, so the providence of restoration centered on Abraham, though extended to Isaac and Jacob, came to be regarded as having been accomplished in Abraham’s own generation without any prolongation. That is why it is written, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6) This verse indicates that although they were three generations, God regarded them as one generation that was able to accomplish His will.
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We have learned that the providence of restoration can be achieved only through both God’s and humankind’s portion of responsibility. Because Abraham as the central figure could not fulfill his portion of responsibility, his mission was extended to Isaac and Jacob. We also learned that even if the smallest mistake in laying the indemnity condition is made, such as the failure to cut the birds, its restoration requires of a greater indemnity condition. Lastly, we also learned that in our life of faith, we also have to put ourselves as an offering and separate the good and evil within us.

We see principles at work in the courses of biblical figures, creating discernible patterns of events. This helps us understand how God is working in our times and in our lives personally and as families, and about the meaning of the Bible. In our next session, we will expand our horizon from these ancestral families to the courses of Moses and Jesus, and this will give us a clue as to what to expect at the time of the Second Coming. 

Thanks so much for listening, and may God add a blessing to your studies. 

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