A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jacob and Esau

"Jacob Have I Loved; Esau Have I Hated" There's a Showstopper!
Repost from a year of so ago.

This note is in support of the orthodox Christian doctrine that God does not change. One of the 
incommunicable attributes of God is immutability. Anytime you change the essential attributes of anything, it 
ceases to be what it was. If something has four legs, a tail, two eyes, chases rabbits, barks at squirrels, wags 
its tail when friendly, and is filled with is not a dog. You can wiggle anyway you want to, but such 
a creature may not exist at all, but if it exists it is not a dog, no matter how much you want it to be. It might 
have been a dog at one time, but it is a dog no longer.

Several things need to be said about Jacob and Esau. They are mentioned first in Genesis 25. Isaac's 
beloved wife Rebekah had no children for many years after they were married. Isaac prayed earnestly to the 
Lord and God heard his prayer and Rebekah conceived. [This was not a change is God's plans, for He had 
promised Abraham a blessed seed through Isaac--so cool your jets, you with changeable gods. The 
promises of God and His immediate providence often seem to contradict. It is a test of faith.].

God told Isaac that there were two nations in Rebekah's womb, two very different people, one stronger than 
the other, and the elder should serve the younger. When the twins were born Esau was born first [the elder] 
and Jacob was born second [the younger]. Jacob took hold of Esau's heel. Isaac was sixty years old when 
they were born. This means that he and Rebekah waited for twenty years after they were married to have 
children. God is very often not in a hurry, nor does He feel it necessary for us to know everything. We are to 
walk by faith. Abraham waited for 100 years before Isaac was born; it was ok for Isaac to wait until he was 
sixty. There are several considerations about Jacob and Esau. There are others, but these are major and to 
the topic before us.

First Consideration. Both had exactly the same parents, descended from Isaac and Abraham, the same 
mother and father, the same grandfather and grandmother. God said before they were born that the elder 
would serve the younger.

But Isaac loved Esau, who was a man's man, a hunter, one who made Isaac's heart glad. Jacob was a "plain" 
man, and quiet, ordinary sort of a person, but the word can also mean upright and honest, and even 
"perfect." Hebrews says that Esau was profane, but that doesn't seem to appear in the Biblical narrative.
Esau delighted the heart of Isaac.

When Isaac was old, he determined to give Abraham's blessing to Esau. Why not? He loved Esau, and 
surely God could see the advantages that Esau had over Jacob. Every Sunday School child knows the story-
-at least they did when I was a kid. Now, maybe they know more about giant pickles and carrots.

Isaac tried to change the decree of God. He knew what God had said concerning the elder serving the 
younger, but surely God need Isaac's input into this decision. So he called Esau and told him to go make him 
some savory meat and he would bless him.

But Rebekah heard her husband, she called Jacob, and they deceived the old blind man and Isaac gave 
Jacob the blessing. There is no way to justify this deception, it was wrong and contrary to the duty of wife 
and son to so deceive their father. But that is not the lesson. The lesson at least is this:

1. Isaac has no authority to even seek to change the decree of God. Isaac recognizes this, and after he saw 
that he had been deceived, he could not change the blessing. It is interesting that people think that God can 
change His decrees, but Isaac can't change his. The Bible says that Gen. 27: 33 And Isaac trembled very 
exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all 
before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed."

2. There is nothing more humbling or more productive of the fear of God than the realization that after you 
have done all you could to NOT do the will of God, you have done it anyway. Esau did not value the 
birthright because he was a profane man and earthly minded.

Isaac was a man of faith, but his sin could not be the cause of Esau's losing the brithright; Rebekah and 
Jacob's perfidy could not be the cause of the giving of the birthright and the blessing. This whole sordid and 
sorry mess has nothing in it anywhere that God could look down and see, "Well, that changes my mind." Nor 
did any of the mess stir Him to change His mind about blessing the children of Abraham. That was fixed in 
His immutability.

The Calvinist doctrine of immutability ought to be embraced by every hopeful son of Abraham, for there is 
no great foundation of the hope of Israel than the immutability of God. God is the Rock. As David said: 2Sa 
22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, 
and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.

3. Even the Psalmist understood this idea: Our evil and our goodness cannot reach to God. He is 
transcendent, and above all things, although He is never absent from anything. He cannot be stained with our 
sins, nor can He be enriched with our goodness. In Psalm 50, the Lord has a controversy with the saints 
because they thought the blood of bulls and goats were something that He needed, when the cattle on a 
thousand hills were His. He said they should be thankful, call upon Him in the time of trouble, and keep their 
obligations to each other.

He was angry with the wicked because they took His covenant in their mouths and thought that He was just 
like them: 21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an 
one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that 
forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

Esau was not hated of God because he did evil; he did evil because he was hated of God. The doing of 
righteousness and faith are wonderful gifts of God; not the purchase price of God's gifts. We will draw this 
out in further posts.

Even the Darkness Shall Be Light

Just as dark comes when we turn out the light, and
death comes when we smother the life, so
wickedness comes when we turn from God and His
righteousness. Why curse the darkness when we
have turned out the light? Why curse death when we
have smothered life? Why curse God for evil when
we depart from faith and righteousness? What fools
we are.

Darkness bears witness to the light; death bears
witness to life; and even our evil bears witness to the
righteousness of God.

Psalm 139:7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness
and the light are both alike to thee.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Jesus Did and Taught!

The Doctrine of Christ is everything. Christianity is not about how you feel; nor about how clean you feel
inside; nor how holy you fancy yourself; or what religious experiences you fancy you have had: it all comes 
down to the Person and Work of Christ. Who is He, and what did He do? Christianity is about Christ and
you only know Him through the doctrine of the Apostles.

2Jo 1:9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in 
the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."

1 Tim. 6:3-5: "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but 
doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse 
disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such 
withdraw thyself."

When we believe and abide in the doctrine of the apostles then we have fellowship with the Lord Jesus that 
they knew: 1 John 1:3.

"Now we see that the sum of the gospel consisteth of these two parts, namely, of the doctrine of Christ, and 
of his acts; forasmuch as he did not only bring unto men that embassage which was given him in charge of his 
Father, but also performed all things that could be required of the Messias. He began his kingdom, he 
pacified God with his sacrifice, he purged man’s sins with his own precious blood, he subdued death and the 
devil, he restored us unto true liberty, he purchased righteousness and life for us." John Calvin on Acts 1:1. 
"Jesus began to do and teach."

2Co 3:15, 18 "15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart....But we all, 
[Context,when reading the Gospel] with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed 
into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The greatest experience you will ever have is when, as God caused light to break forth on that first day of 
creation, the Holy Spirit causes the light to shine into your heart and faith awakens that Jesus is truly the Son 
of God and that His atonement fully satisfies for all your sins. Amen and Amen. 2Co 4:6 "For God, who 
commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of 
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seven Churches of Revelation.

The following link will take you to the first three of seven sermons on the Seven Churches of Revelation.
Sermons are made for listening so take the time to hear.  God bless.   Seven Churches

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We All Have Lost All of Them....

from my FB friend and ex-student:  
Krista Work.  Wonderful Post!

I can hear my dear Little Son entertaining himself while he tries not to nap. He's singing his own versions of
"The Wheels on the Bus" and "Ten Green Bottles." He is talking to his stuffed animals and making them
answer back--using their 'voices.' When we drive places he observes that green means go and red means
stop. He likes me to repeat Hickory Dickory Dock. He calls his daddy his buddy. He runs down hills. He
says "Whee" when we drive around corners.

Yet he was once so small and undeveloped he couldn't lift his head to drink his milk-- I had to do that for
him! He was once so small and undeveloped he couldn't regulate his body temperature--I did that for him! 
He couldn't digest food, or move his arms and legs. Once he didn't even have arms, or legs, or a brain, or 
any body parts. But he was still himself, a precious child, an individual--when in his development would it 
have been appropriate to exterminate him from my life?

Yes, I will be the first to agree that having a child is costly, hard, uncomfortable, painful, tedious, boring, 
humiliating, difficult, encumbering. But isn't a person worth it? He's worth it for his own sake, let alone all the 
benefit he brings into my life. Caring for him makes me more patient, more kind, more tolerant, stronger, 
better able to endure through discomfort, pain, humiliation, boredom, tedium.

Roe v. Wade is a personal issue to me. Motherhood and parenting are valued, cherished parts of my life. I 
was once pregnant, and I gave birth to a baby boy. Now he is nearly two. I am pregnant again--12 weeks 
along, and the fetus has all his/her body parts, completely unique DNA, a separate blood supply that does 
not mix with mine. Someday this pregnancy will result in a child's birth and the expansion of our family.

Yes, Roe v. Wade is personal to me. I think of my own Dear Son and of all the dear sons and daughters that 
are NOT here--people who should be living, breathing, active thirty somethings, twenty somethings, college 
kids, teenagers, tweens, kindergartners, toddlers, babies--perhaps even some of the Newtown teachers' 
coworkers, some of those kids' classmates and schoolmates--some of the Columbine kids' classmates and 
locker neighbors--some of the Virginia Tech kids' classmates and roommates-- We grieve and mourn 
because of all those that have been killed in shootings and terrorist attacks and wars and diseases, but these 
50,000,000 kids have been lost and their empty seats at the table, empty places in classrooms, empty 
lockers and dorm rooms and cubicles and offices and desks are just as empty.

Grieve their loss as well. We've all lost them. Women who should have been mothers, men who ought to 
have been dads...should-have-been sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents, ought-to-
have-been classmates, roommates, cubicle neighbors, teachers and principals, teammates, mechanics, 
electricians, plumbers, doctors, nurses...the list goes on and on.

Philosophy and theology can state truths. So can statistics and math. But empty cribs, missing friends, absent 
colleagues--to me they are more eloquent. I'm lonely for the 50,000,000. My life is all the richer for just +1, 
my Little Son. How much are we all missing with a deficit of 50,000,000 people?


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