Presentation on theme: "The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide Office of the Bishop Bible Study Program – GENESIS, Chap 35 AOC."— Presentation transcript:
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide Office of the Bishop Bible Study Program – GENESIS, Chap 35 AOC
It feels good to be resuming our power point lessons in Genesis. Our last lesson (before my travels began) covered Genesis 34 in which Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, was ravished by Shechem resulting in the massacre of the house of Shechem. Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham kept moving away from Bethel – the place God directed Abraham at the beginning – but God, as the Hound of Heaven, is relentless in pressing the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to return and remain in that called place. The animosity resulting from the massacre of Shechem is the opportunity God uses to draw Jacob back to Bethel.
1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Gen 35:1 (KJV) God is long-suffering with His chosen people. Though we are childish and stubborn, we cannot outlast God and His purpose for us. Before we go into the place of worship and Communion, we must put away all false gods and make our hearts right with all whom we have offended.
From that fateful night that Jacob had wrestled with the Angel by the brook Jabbok, Jacob (or now Israel) walks in a different way. He limps and has learned to trust in the footsteps of the Lord and not his own; however, just like all sinners who wrestle with God and are changed, there remains many aspects of Jacob’s life that need continual reformation. Individuals, like churches, need reformation when they have forgotten and forsaken their first love. Though we walk differently from our past lives, we need to be often reminded (daily) of our infirmity. We see that Jacob has been reminded to return to the place where he built an altar in former days and to remember, in righteousness, the God who named him Israel.
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. Gen 35:2-3 (KJV) It is a sad testimony that we cling to those “wedges of gold” that hamper our faith once we have come to God; but the Lord is steadily sanctifying the saints to put away such ornaments of idolatry and superstition and follow the true way and the True and Living God.
Wherever the Christian goes, he must make unto himself altars fit for worship of the Lord. It may be a stone, a mountain, or a tin shed; but it must be a place (not an idol) set aside for the quiet times of worship and reverence for the Lord Most High. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. Gen 35:4 (KJV) You may remember Shechem as the city of Sychar where the Samaritan Woman came at noon day to draw water? That woman yet clung to her jewels and trinkets of fortune until she meant the One who could offer all of the treasures of heaven.
Wherever God calls you, He will provide protection and provision. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. Gen 35:5 (KJV) Please note from this text that God needs no sabers or shields to protect His people. He merely instills terror in the hearts of the enemy to withstand their agression. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. Gen 35:6 (KJV) In coming to God, we must bring all of our household. We leave no loved one behind in Egypt or Sodom.
And he built there an altar, and called the place El Bethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. Gen 35:7 (KJV) latyb 'El Beyth-'El (ale); bayth-' Proper Name Location, Strong #: 416El Bethel = "The God of the House of God" El Bethel = "The God of the House of God" There is an El Bethel that awaits us all when we have grown overly satisfied with our self-righteousness. It is then that we must return and remember the First Cause of our Salvation.
Jacob builds another altar at Bethel. Regardless how long we have been a prodigal from the Lord, there is always forgiveness to return to Him as long as the breath of life remains.
But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth. Gen 35:8 (KJV) Returning to the Lord’s favor does not exempt from the curse of physical death and sorrow brought on by Adam’s disobedience – but it does bring assurance of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. The very name of the place suggests that sorrow will attend our faithful walk. “Allonbachuth” means “Oak of Weeping;” but, alas, it is found in Bethel – the House of God, and that is a fine place to be buried for the grave cannot be kept shut. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. Gen 35:9 (KJV) God continues to bless us when we are in the right place.
And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. Gen 35:10-12 (KJV)
13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel. Gen 35:13-15 (KJV)
You may be curious as to why Jacob always set up a stone wherever he met with God? Great stones were used to identify ancient landmarks in olden times. The Ancient Landmark of our Faith is God’s Holy Word. It must not be tampered with or amended without violating the landlines of all others. The stones Jacob erected were “Stones of Remembrance” – not of worship, but to remind Jacob that God had met him at that place. We must always remember those times in life in which we have come face to face with God, our Maker. There is such a stone at Eureka Springs, Arkansas:
This great monument stands upon the brow of a mountain and overlooks the valley at Eureka Springs. It was not designed to be worshipped, but as a reminder that the Lord Jesus Christ died for us and saved us by His redeeming Blood.
Jacob, though meeting God many times, cannot seem to heed His counsel. Remember that God told Jacob to “go up to Bethel and dwell there?” Why is he now leaving Bethel for other parts? Only trouble lies in the way of the man who departs from the place God has called him. Jacob will lose his favored wife and darling of his soul, Rachel, at Bethlehem. And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. 17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. Gen 35:16-18 (KJV)
How sad to be out of the place that God has called us when tragedy strikes! Rachel died in Rama of Bethlehem in child birth. Before she passed beyond the veil of unknowing, she named her son, Benoni – son of my sorrows; but Jacob named the lad Benjamin – son of my right hand. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day. Gen 35:19-20 (KJV)
Rachel’s Tomb as it appears today near Bethlehem (Rama). In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Matt 2:18 (KJV)
Disobedience to the counsel of God takes us where we do not want to go, and places the lives of our family and children on bad ground, for there is no better ground than that to which the Lord calls. And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. 22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Gen 35:21-22 (KJV) What egregious sin abounds when we are not in the perfect will of God. We see such wickedness abounding in America – a land once graced by God’s perfect favor. “.... and Israel heard it.” Gen 35:22 (KJV) What terrible news for a father!
Here follows the geneology of the twelve sons of Israel; however, there would later be thirteen – Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manessah – constituted two sons in the stead of Jsoeph making thirteen tribes. The thirteenth tribe of Levy was dispersed among the other twelve being workers of the Temple. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: 24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: 25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: 26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram. Gen 35:22-26 (KJV)
And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. Gen 35:27-28 (KJV) Jacob travels to Mamre (where the Angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham prior to destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah). Jacob is a faithful son who returns to be with his father who is near to death. But even running to one’s father is no excuse for leaving the place that God has sent us. Mamre is about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Bethel is north of Jerusalem and Jericho. Why did Jacob leave there in the first place? Did God tell him to do so? There is no record of such counsel.
Death is the final mitigator of long-held feelings of malice. As with all occasions of death, the spirit returns to God who gave it, and the body returns to the dust of the earth. Like the beggar Lazarus, the Elect of God are escorted by the Holy Angels to the bosom of Abraham at the moment of death. And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. Gen 35:29 (KJV) We see the sons, formerly at odds over the birthright, are united in the death of Isaac. It is sorrowful that even the death of a mother or father may not unite sibblings who have entertained vicious feelings for one another.
Death is a dark Angel whose coming is so often a relief to those who suffer, but a shadow upon the joy of those who survive the death of a loved one. But it is inevitable since the curse of Adam. We are made sad by loosing the company and fellowship of those we love, yet they are in better estate than ever before. The old familiar grounds that our departed traveled bring back fond memories – even Bethel, Mamre, and Beersheba. No longer will those places be associated presently with the departed, but they remain stones of remembrance. THE END OF CHAPTER 35.