Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
"Thou hatest wickedness."
"Be ye angry, and sin not." There can hardly be goodness in a man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Thrice it assailed him in different forms, but ever he met it with, "Get thee behind me, Satan." He hated it in others; none the less fervently because he showed his hate oftener in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer." He hated wickedness, so much that he bled to wound it to the heart; he died that it might die; he was buried that he might bury it in his tomb; and he rose that he might forever trample it beneath his feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like his famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, "Depart, ye cursed" which are, indeed, but a prolongation of his life-teaching concerning sin, shall manifest his abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is his love to sinners, so hot is his hatred of sin; as perfect as is his righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
"Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho."
Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, much more the man who labours to restore Popery among us. In our fathers' days the gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundation. O Lord, be pleased to thwart their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young in gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the priestcraft. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope's bane and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, "The devil hates goose quills" and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit's blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word this night will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord's glory shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do?
Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 4-6, John 10:24-42 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
The Temple’s Furnishings
1 He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. 2 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. 3Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit. The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
4 The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. 5 It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths.
6 He then made ten basins for washing and placed five on the south side and five on the north. In them the things to be used for the burnt offerings were rinsed, but the Sea was to be used by the priests for washing.
7 He made ten gold lampstands according to the specifications for them and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north.
8 He made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He also made a hundred gold sprinkling bowls.
9 He made the courtyard of the priests, and the large court and the doors for the court, and overlaid the doors with bronze.10 He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner.
11 And Huram also made the pots and shovels and sprinkling bowls.
So Huram finished the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of God:
12 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
13 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars);
14 the stands with their basins;
15 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;
16 the pots, shovels, meat forks and all related articles.
All the objects that Huram-Abi made for King Solomon for the temple of the LORD were of polished bronze. 17 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 18 All these things that Solomon made amounted to so much that the weight of the bronze could not be calculated.
19 Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in God’s temple:
the golden altar;
the tables on which was the bread of the Presence;
20 the lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed;
21 the gold floral work and lamps and tongs (they were solid gold);
22 the pure gold wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers; and the gold doors of the temple: the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and the doors of the main hall.
2 Chronicles 5
1 When all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and all the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of God’s temple.
The Ark Brought to the Temple
2 Then Solomon summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 3 And all the Israelites came together to the king at the time of the festival in the seventh month.
4 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the Levites took up the ark, 5 and they brought up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The Levitical priests carried them up; 6 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
7 The priests then brought the ark of the LORD’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles. 9 These poles were so long that their ends, extending from the ark, could be seen from in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
11 The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:
“He is good;
his love endures forever.”
his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
2 Chronicles 6
1 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 2 I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
3 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. 4 Then he said:
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said, 5 ‘Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’
7 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 8 But the LORD said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 9 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’
10 “The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with the people of Israel.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had placed it in the center of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 14 He said:
“LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
16 “Now, LORD, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.’ 17 And now, LORD, the God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true.
18 “But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet, LORD my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.
22 “When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, 23 then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.
24 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you and when they turn back and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication before you in this temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.
26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
28 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.
32 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 33 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
34 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to you toward this city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
36 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; 37 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’; 38 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; 39 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you.
40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
41 “Now arise, LORD God, and come to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.
42 LORD God, do not reject your anointed one.
Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”
you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.
42 LORD God, do not reject your anointed one.
Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”
John 1024 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Deborah No. 2
The Woman Who Was a Fearless Patriot
Name Meaning —Although we know nothing of the early history of this prophetess-judge, it may be that her parents with a knowledge of the unselfish and untiring service of Deborah the nurse, gave their baby girl the same name which, as already indicated, means “a bee.” This we do know that the practical qualities symbolized by the busy bee were as necessary to Deborah as they were to the right performance of the less conspicuous and humbler duties of the former nurse Deborah. While Deborah the patriot gathered honey for her friends, like a bee she had a fatal sting for her enemies as the Canaanites came to experience. “Science confirms the ancient belief that, of all the animal kingdom, the bee ranks among the highest in intelligence” says Mary Hallet. “So Deborah stands out as among the wisest of all the Old Testament women.”
Family Connections—We have no genealogy of this female warrior and writer. The only personal touch we have is that she was “the wife of Lapidoth” (Judges 4:4 ), whose name is the only thing the Bible gives us. Their home was between Bethel and Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. The palm tree under which Deborah ruled and possibly lived was a land mark, as palms were then rare in Palestine. In honor of her works, it became known as “The Palm of Deborah” (Judges 4:5). Although referred to as a “mother in Israel,” we have no record of Deborah being a mother of natural children by Lapidoth.
Occasionally, a strong-minded and unique woman breaks in upon human history and by her exploits leaves the impact of her personality upon events and secures for herself an imperishable honor. England, for instance, will never forget the bolds deeds of Margaret of Anjou, who at the head of her northern forces swept over the country like a cyclone, destroying armies and tearing down thrones. In France, Joan of Arc, the patron saint of her country, professed to have divine visions as to her destiny to restore peace to her distracted nation by the crowning of Charles. From school days we have known how she led 10,000 troops against the English at Orleans, and compelled them to retreat, and of how other victories followed as her consecrated banner struck terror into the hearts of her enemies. Ultimately, she was burned at the the stake as “a martyr to her religion, her country and her king.” Her ashes, thrown into the Seine, were carried to the sea, and the sea, taking them around the world became emblematic of her universal fame.
Similarly gifted with superior spiritual, mental and physical powers to leave her mark upon the annals of time was Deborah whom God raised up and endowed with a remarkable personality and varied gifts for the deliverance of His distressed and defeated people. A woman of unusual attainments, Deborah carved out an enviable niche for herself. With characteristic resoluteness she occupied several positions.
She Was a Wife
While nothing is said of her husband and home life, there is no reason to affirm, as some writers do, that being born to rule, Deborah was master in her own home. Some writers feel that since Lapidoth was the husband of a prominent woman, that he was “hen-pecked” or that Deborah “wore the trousers.” Wharton in Famous Women suggests that Lapidoth was a weak man married to a strong-willed and a strong-bodied woman. “His very name is in the original Hebrew put not in the masculine, but in the feminine gender. I have no doubt that while by no means so great, he was yet ‘as meek as Moses.’” Although meek, Moses was by no means weak.
We prefer to believe that Lapidoth admired the ability and influence of his more conspicuous wife. His name means, “torches” or “lightning flashes,” and we can well imagine how in his quieter way he was the encourager of Deborah in all her activities. Although not so forceful and capable as his wife, yet he was illuminative in his own way and behind the scenes was as good and conspicuous in faith as the woman he loved, and in whose glory he was content to bask. Many of the notable men of the world have testified to the succor and inspiration they received from their wives who walked with them in full agreement as they climbed the heights. Perhaps the shoe was on the other foot in that God-fearing home. Deborah would never have become the dazzling figure she did, had she not had the love, sympathy, advice and encouragement of a husband who was happy to ride in the second chariot.
She Was a Prophetess
Deborah is one of several females in Scripture distinguished as being endowed with the prophetic gift, which means the ability to discern the mind and purpose of God and declare it to others. In the days of the Old Testament, prophets and prophetesses were the media between God and His people Israel, and their gift to perceive and proclaim divine truth stamped them as being divinely inspired. Such an office, whether held by a male or female, was a high one and corresponds to the ministry of the Word today. Can you not picture how hungry-minded Israelites found their way to that conspicuous palm tree beneath which Deborah sat, stately in person with her dark, penetrating, prophetic eyes, and poured out wisdom and instruction as she declared the whole counsel of God? As a woman, she had intuition as well as inspiration, which is always better than a man’s cold reasoning. Had Pontius Pilate taken the advice of his wife he would not have signed the death warrant of Jesus Christ.
She Was an Agitator
As one meaning of “agitation” is to stir up or excite public discussion with the view of producing a change, then Deborah was an effective agitator who stirred up Israel’s concern about its low spiritual condition. The land was debauched and well-nigh ruined, and under the rule of the Canaanites liberty had been lost. The people were dejected and afraid, for their spirits had been broken and all hope of deliverance had vanished. But Deborah did more than prophesy; she aroused the nation from its lethargy and despair. Hers was a fearless and unsolicited devotion to the emancipation of God’s people, and she awoke in them a determination to free themselves from their wretched bondage and degradation. Out went her call and challenge to the help of the Lord against the enemy. Day after day, she excited those who gathered to hear her words of divine wisdom with the certainty of deliverance from a heathen foe if only they would bestir themselves from their folly and fear and go out and fight.
She Was a Ruler
Deborah was the fifth of the leaders or “Judges” of Israel raised up by God to deliver His people from the bondage their idolatry had caused, and instant both in word and deed she fulfilled her role as “Judge,” at a time when men tried to do right in the sight of their own eyes. As the position of woman in those days was of a distinctily subordinate character, Deborah’s prominence as a ruler is somewhat remarkable. All Israel was under her jurisdiction, and from the palm tree bearing her name, and elsewhere, called “the sanctuary of the palm,” she dispensed righteousness, justice and mercy. After the victory over the nation’s foes, she ruled with equity a land that had rest from war and captivity for forty years.
She Was a Warrior
Having fought with words she went forth to throw off the oppressor’s yoke with swords, and what a fighter this patriotic and inspired heroine proved to be. Deborah sent for Barak, the son of Abinoam of Naphtali, and told him that it was God’s will that he should lead her forces and deliver the country. Long slavery and repeated failures made Barak hesitate, but ultimately he decided to lead the army provided Deborah, the brave-hearted and dauntless ruler, went with him. Barak felt he could face the foe if his ruler were at hand, and out they went to meet Sisera, a mighty man of war, who had terrorized Israel for many years. Great were the odds against Deborah and Barak, for their army consisted of some 10,000 men. Sisera commanded 100,000 fighters, and had 900 iron chariots. When the eventful moment of combat came, the dauntless spirit of Deborah did not quail. True, tremendous odds were against them, but Deborah had God as her Ally and “the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” A fearful hailstorm overtook the land, and the Canaanites were almost blinded by the rain, and were ultimately overwhelmed in the swollen river of Kishon. Sisera escaped but was killed by Jael while asleep in her tent. (See Jael .) Thus Deborah gained undying fame as the female warrior who rescued her people from their cruel foes.
She Was a Poetess
The prose and poem of Judges 4 and 5 are associated with the same historic event, and reveal that Deborah could not only prophecy, arouse, rule and fight, but also write. It was said of Julius Caesar that, “he wrote with the same ability with which he fought.” This observation can also be true of Deborah, who, after her victory over the Canaanites, composed a song which is regarded as one of the finest specimens of ancient Hebrew poetry, being superior to the celebrated song of Miriam (seeMiriam). This song of praise, found in Judges 5, magnifies the Lord as being the One who enabled Israel’s leaders to conquer their enemies. Out of the contest and conquest came the moral purification of the nation, and the inspiring genius of it was a woman daring and dynamic in the leadership of her nation. No character in the Old Testament stands out in bolder relief than Deborah—prophetess, ruler, warrior and poetess. Her song is immortal because her life was dedicated to God and her deeds heroic and sublime.
She Was a Maternal Figure
The last glimpse we have of Deborah is as “a mother in Israel” (5:7 ). Commenting upon our Lord’s action in taking up little children into His arms and blessing them as being a father’s act in Hebrew custom, Bengel says, “Jesus had no children that He might adopt all children.” Perhaps it was so with Deborah who, as far as we know, had never experienced actual motherhood, but yet became as a mother to all in Israel, and the source of this spiritual motherhood was her piety. Above all of her remarkable gifts was her trust in God which is ever the source of any woman’s highest adornment. As she sat under her palm tree to rule in righteousness and translate the revelation of God, her heart was filled with that “grace divine which diffused itself like a sweet-smelling savor over the whole land.” Hers was a brilliant career because of a heart that was fixed in God. Meroz failed God, and under a curse, vanished, but Deborah is immortal because she served God to the limit of her ability and capacity. She was indeed the female Oliver Cromwell of ancient Israel who went out to fight the Lord’s battles with a psalm on her lips and a sword in her hand.
Jacob [Jā'cob]—he that supplanteth orfolloweth after.
1. The second son of Isaac and Rebekah, and a twin brother of Esau. Jacob appeared a short time after Esau and is therefore called the younger brother. Isaac was sixty years old when Jacob and Esau were born.
The Man of Two Natures
Jacob is an outstanding illustration of the presence and conflict of the two natures within a believer. Similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story, Jacob is good and bad; he rises and falls, yet in spite of his failures was a chosen instrument.
Jacob’s character then, is full of interest and difficulty because of its weakness and strength. His is not a life to be described by a single word as, for example, the faith of Abraham or the purity of Joseph. Jacob seemed to have a many-sided life. He was a man of guile, yet a man of prayer . Inconsistencies are everywhere. His life began with a prophetic revelation of God to his mother, but Jacob’s early years were a singular mixture of good and bad—the bad being very bad.
I. Jacob was the victim of his mother’s partiality. “Rebekah loved Jacob” (Gen. 25:28). This fault must be kept in mind as we judge his character.
II. Jacob was selfish. When his brother came in from the fields faint with hunger, Jacob would not give him food without bargaining over it.
III. Jacob was naturally crafty and deceitful. He violated his conscience when he allowed his mother to draw him away from the path of honor and integrity. He practiced deception upon his blind father with the covering of kid skins. Then he told a deliberate lie in order to obtain a spiritual blessing. He further sinned upon most sacred ground, when he blasphemously used the name of the Lord to further his evil plans.
The thoroughness with which he carried out his mother’s plan is one of the worst features in the life of this misguided son. “Had it been me,” says Martin Luther, “I would have dropped the dish.” It would have been better for Jacob had he dropped that dish of venison. But his proficiency in evil doing is to be despised.
In the life of this sharp trader who mended his ways, for there were two remarkable spiritual experiences in his life—at Bethel and Peniel—the preacher might find the following points suggestive: Jacob cheated (Gen. 25:29-34); deceived ( Gen. 27:1-29); was compelled to flee (Gen 27:43; 28:1-5); was brought on to a higher level (Gen 28:10-22 ); had a romance spoiled, and was paid back in his own coin of deception (Gen. 29:15-30); was affectionate (Gen. 29:18); was industrious (Gen. 31:40); was prayerful ( Gen. 32:9-12, 24-30); received a divine call to the promised land (Gen. 31); was disciplined by God through affliction ( Gen. 37:28; 42:36); was a man of faith (Heb. 11:21); was blessed with sons who became the foundation of a nation. The Hebrew nation is spoken of as “the sons of Jacob” and “the children of Israel” (Gen. 48; 49 ; Num. 24:19).
2. The father of Joseph, the husband of Mary (Matt. 1:15, 16).