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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed 5/30/2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/30/2012

Genesis 49:1-12
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF JACOB, Lesson 66a

The old pilgrim Jacob is about to leave this world. He is now 147 years old. His beloved son Joseph is 56 and his youngest, Benjamin, is 39. His death is at hand and he calls his 12 sons to his deathbed. Before he leaves this world, he knows there are some things that must be dealt with in the lives of his children. As we read through this chapter, it becomes clear that he has praise for some and chastisement for others. For a few of these boys, it would be the hardest hour they would ever face. For a few others, it would be their crowning moment. It was time for the 12 sons of Jacob to face the Judgment Seat of Jacob.

As we look at these verses, we may first wonder if there is anything at all here for the church. The answer is that there is more than you may imagine. For in this sad scene of a dying patriarch, we see a small picture of the coming Judgment Seat of Christ, which every born again believer will face when we leave this world. The New Testament is clear in its teaching that there will be a time when every child of God will face the deeds done in these fleshly bodies, (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15).

It is fascinating to consider what Jacob told his sons. Notice verse 2. He tells them that he is going to speak of what will befall them in the last days. If you follow these boys and the history of their offspring, you will see that what Jacob prophesied came true in every instance during the kingdom years of the nation of Israel. And, we will see that the same is going to prove true for the church. What is said to us at the Judgment Seat of Christ will determine our standing in the kingdom of God.

Now, I don't have time to consider the words of Jacob to all 12 of his sons. However, I want to concentrate on just a few of these boys and their father's dying words to them. These few that we will consider today seem to give a good description of the kind of people who will face the Lord Jesus Christ in judgment soon. Let's look into these verses and think for a moment about “The Judgment Seat Of Jacob“.

V. 2-3 WE SEE A MAN CRUSHED

Reuben's Station - Firstborn. His position in the family is stated for all to hear.
Reuben surely must have thought that all his wickedness was forgotten and that he would receive all the blessings and privileges that came to the firstborn. I can imagine his sigh of relief as Jacob addressed him as one who had been the pride and joy of his life.

Reuben's Sin - Jacob's next words must have come like a slap in the face! "Weak as water!" Like water which always seeks its own level, no matter how low that is, Reuben always seemed to seek the lowest level of life. Then came the bombshell! A sin that was committed over 40 years ago, a sin that was thought forgotten was brought into the light for all to see. Jacob reminded Reuben that Reuben had seduced one of Jacob's wives, (Gen. 35:22-23).

Imagine Jacob, still reeling from the death of his beloved Rachel, hearing the news that his own son had defiled his father's bed with Bilhah. Imagine the hurt. Imagine the broken hearted father waiting for a confession that never came! Now, it is all thrown out into the open! Now, Jacob says for all to hear, "He went up to my couch!"

What a lesson for the child of God! Many times we sin against the Lord and we try to hide that sin. We cover it up and pretend that it never happened. All the while our Father in heaven is waiting, brokenhearted, for His child to confess in bitter tears. Oh, but there is coming a day when all the secrets of men's hearts will be revealed. All those secret things will be shouted for all to see. Now, there can be forgiveness, then, only weeping and sorrow over sin committed and hidden away! What we do not bring out at the mercy seat, will be brought out at the judgment seat!

Reuben's Sentence - "Thou shalt not excel!" And, he didn't! His tribe never rose to prominence in the nation of Israel. In fact, they were often found on the wrong side of the fence. They were often found in direct opposition to the will of the Lord.

By the way, those with unconfessed sin in their lives will never excel in the things of God! There will always be a hindrance there. Imagine how Reuben must have tried to keep his sin a secret all those years, and all the while Jacob already knew about it. Friends, God knows us better than we want to admit! He knows everything we have ever done. He knows everything we have ever tried to hide. He knows it all!

It is interesting that Reuben, the oldest, never found his place in the family questioned. This judgment seat was not about determining position in the family. He was in the family and had been since birth. Nothing he had ever done had changed that fact. It wasn't about position in the family, it was about performance in the family. Because how one performed in the family determined one's position in the kingdom! So it is with the child of God! When we arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ, our position in the family will not be in question! What will be judged that day will be our performance in the family! Our performance in the family will determine our position in the kingdom. Don't fool yourselves! Heaven will hold more rewards for some than it does for others! God is just and God is fair! He will reward a faithful son more than a foolish son!

V. 5-7 WE SEE MEN CONDEMNED, (Simeon and Levi)

Their Shame - Old Jacob brings to light another sin that happened long ago. He recalls the time that they slew an entire village to protect the honor of their little sister, Dinah, (Gen. 34). Their sin was not done in secret, it was a high-handed sin that was committed in full view of everyone, but there was never any repentance of any kind.

It is almost astounding what some Christians can do! It is a disgrace how many of them live their lives and they do so without remorse, and without the slightest hint of repentance. However, the day will come when they will face the Lord Jesus Christ. On that day, their sins will be dealt with properly.

Their Sentence - When this sin was committed, Jacob, rebuked his sons, (Gen. 34:30). Now, after waiting in vain for them to repent of their wickedness he deals with their sins harshly. He divides them and tells them they will amount to nothing in the kingdom! This is exactly what happened! There was some measure of repentance on the part of the Levites and they became to Temple works and the priestly tribe, but just as Jacob said, they were scattered, (v. 7). They possessed no land of their own, and they were scattered all over Israel. Simeon was eventually swallowed up by the tribe of Judah and disappeared. Their sin cost them plenty!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“There Is A Great Day Coming” By Will L. Thompson

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming;
There’s a great day coming by and by,
When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left,
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain
Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready for the judgment day?
Are you ready? Are you ready?
For the judgment day?

There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming;
There’s a bright day coming by and by.
But its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain

There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming;
There’s a sad day coming by and by,
When the sinner shall hear his doom: “Depart, I know you not!”
Are you ready for that day to come?
Refrain

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  


This Is My Prayer, Tue 5/29/2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heavenly Father, Loving God, inspire within our hearts a Love for people. May we humbly serve others by bringing them to the One, Jesus, who has the power to comfort and the power to save. We thank You for Jesus who can more than satisfy the spiritual hunger of all humanity. Let us draw near to You through Him and in Him, for He is our All-in-All. Father forgive us of all our sins. This we ask and pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 5/29/2012 8:18AM

    Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together. ~Irisa Hail

Lord Jesus, give us Your courage today to do the work that You have placed in front of us. Help those who do not know You as Lord and Savior see our faith and desire it too. In Your Precious name and according to Your will for the world, I pray, Amen

My prayer today is that the Spirit of God would make the benefits of our salvation more real to us today than ever before. Because of Jesus, we now have access into the throne room of God 24/7 without the fear of being consumed. We can boldly approach our God and Father with confidence night or day, because we have full access to Him in Christ! ...Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God!


Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 8:21:20 AM

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MISSM66 5/29/2012 8:16AM

    Amen emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue 5/29/2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/29/2012

Genesis 49:1-12
CONFRONTING THE PROBLEM OF SIN, Lesson 65d

v. 8-12 A MAN WHO CONFESSED HIS SIN

The next brother in line that day was Judah. If I had been him, I would have been shaking in my sandals. Those other brothers had been evil, but Judah was worse than them all. Consider the sins of Judah’s life.

Gen. 37:26 – Judah is the one who talked his brothers out of killing Joseph and into selling him as a slave instead.
Gen. 37:31-35 – Judah was part of the lie that broke Jacob’s heart. They told him Joseph was dead and Jacob entered and extended time of mourning.
Gen. 38:1 – When Judah sought a wife, he married an unbeliever.
Gen. 38:7-10 – He raised two sons, Er and Onan, who were so evil that God killed them both.
Gen. 38:12-16 – Judah was a man controlled by fleshly lusts. His wife died and he sought female companionship in the bed of a woman he thought was a harlot.
Gen. 38:12-23 – Judah was guilty of committing incest with his daughter-in-law. She tricked him, but he was still responsible for his actions.
Gen. 38:24-30 – Judah was judgmental. Tamar, his daughter-in-law became pregnant through their incestuous relationship and Judah ordered her to be burned for her infidelity. As it turned out, she exposed him as the hypocrite he was. Their relationship produced twin boys, one of whom would become a distant ancestor of the Lord Jesus, (Matt. 1:3).

Judah is standing there hearing everything his father has said to the first three brothers and I can imagine him waiting for the hammer to fall. But, when Jacob speaks to Judah, there is not one word of judgment. There is no mention of his sins. There is no word about his failures and his mistakes. There are only blessings, hope, and promises. Look at the great things Jacob promises Judah.

He will be the object of praise among his brethren. In fact, Judah would lead the nation of Israel as they marched through the wilderness, (Num. 10:14).
He will be a conqueror. He will be strong and courageous like a mighty lion. Judah eventually became the largest of all the tribes, (Num, 1:27; 26:22).
Kings will come from his family. David and Solomon will descend from Judah.
Shiloh, or the Messiah, the greatest King of them all would one day come from Judah’s lineage. His name would be Jesus and He would be called the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”, (Rev. 5:5).
Judah would be so prosperous that he would tie his donkeys to the grape vines and allow them to eat grapes instead of grass, because he would have so much to spare, (v. 11).
He would be healthy and his people would prosper in the kingdom, (v. 12).
The blessings and prosperity of Judah would boggle the mind!

Why this seeming disparity? Why is Judah blessed after all the evil Judah did? The answer is right there in (verse 11). We are told that “he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes”. This is a reference to what Judah did in (Gen. 44:18-34) when he stood before Jacob and confessed everything. He brought his sins out in confession, and they are not mentioned against him again! That is forgiveness!

That is how it works for us! What we bring out at the mercy seat is forgiven and will never be brought up again, whither here or at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The truth is, we all fail and we all fail regularly. We all come short of the glory of God in thought, word and deed. We all come shot in both sins of omission and sins of commission.

The only way we can be restored to a place of fellowship with the Lord is for us to be honest about our sins. There is forgiveness for everyone who will repent and forsake his sins, (1 John 1:9)! Thank God for such a kind, loving, forgiving Savior!

Conc: We all deal with the sin problem, don’t we? The question is: How do we deal with it?

Do we try to hide our sins away?
Do we just do as we please with no thought for God’s will or for the effect our sins will have on others?
Or, do we handle them God’s way?

If the Lord has touched your heart about this matter of sin, come get before Him today and do what you need to do. There will either be confession, or there will be chastisement. There will either be separation and holiness now or there will be a high price to pay in the future. The choice is yours!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“I Need Thee Every Hour” By Annie S. Hawks (1872)

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
Refrain:
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
Refrain:

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
Refrain:

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
Refrain:

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
Refrain:

SHARE TODAY’S LESSON WITH A FRIEND!




  


This Is My Prayer, Mon 5/28/2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

You are our God, Father; the God that takes cares of us in everyway. Help us Father to develop a taste for the task You have sent us to do, just like You did with Jesus. Enable us to have a taste for serving in ministries, helping others in need, developing the skills You hae given us, and doing what is good and right.
Remind us of the love and the gift of eternal life that is ours in Jesus. Increase our borders of faith and spirituality. Engraft Your Word upon our hearts and minds, Forgive us when we fall short of the task. This we ask and pray in Jesus' name. Amen!
Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEORGIAGIRL26 5/28/2012 12:59PM

    That is a good prayer. I believe that we should keep praying for one another.
Hope that you have a great day. Your sister in Christ, Holly emoticon

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STARWARSFAN2 5/28/2012 12:30PM

    Amen. Happy Memorial Day, MJRVIC2000. emoticon

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AHEARTFORCHRIST 5/28/2012 11:55AM

    Beautiful prayer.

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EDITOR 5/28/2012 9:49AM

    "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" Thanks for the goodie, Vic, and have a blessed Memorial Day.

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LOSTLIME 5/28/2012 9:47AM

    Thank you for the prayer.

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PLAYBLUES22 5/28/2012 9:12AM

    Thank you Sweetie, for constantly praying for us emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon 5/28/2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/28/2012

Genesis 49:1-12
CONFRONTING THE PROBLEM OF SIN, Lesson 65c

v. 5-7 MEN CONTROLLED BY THEIR SIN

Next Jacob turns his attention to Simeon and Levi. He accuses them of being filled with cruelty and violence. He says they act impulsively and recklessly and cause great damage in so doing. These men operated in “anger” and in “self-will”. They did as they pleased, without regard for the consequences they would face. Unlike Reuben, they never tried to hide their sins. They did what they did out in the open and everyone knew about it.

Genesis 34 tells us the story of what Simeon and Levi did. Their sister Dinah was raped by a man named Shechem, (v. 1-2). After the rape, Shechem wanted to marry Dinah, (v. 3-4), so he had his father approach her family to arrange the marriage. Simeon and Levi agree to allow Shechem to marry their sister, if he and all the men in his village agree to be circumcised, (v. 13-23). Shechem and his people agree to the terms and are circumcised, (v. 24). Simeon and Levi waited three days, until the men were at the peak of their soreness, and they attacked the village, killing every man in sight and taking all the livestock for themselves, (v. 25-29). Jacob rebuked his sons when they committed this sin, (v. 30), but they never repented and made it right, (v. 31).

Their sin cost them and their descendants greatly. Consider what happened to their descendants in the kingdom years.

Simeon became the smallest tribe in Israel, (Num 26:14).
When Moses pronounced his blessing on Israel, Simeon was omitted, (Deut. 33:8).
Simeon was forced to share territory with Judah during the kingdom years, (Josh. 19:1-9).
By the times of King Josiah, the tribe of Simeon was numbered with Manasseh, Ephraim and Naphtali, (2 Chron. 34:6). They were indeed scattered throughout the land.

Levi was also scattered, but there was some measure of repentance on their part. At a place called Baal-Peor, Moses faced a rebellion among the people of Israel. When Moses asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side”, (Ex. 32:36), the people of Levi came to his side. As a reward, they were made the priestly tribe, and were the consecrated servants of the Lord.

In the kingdom, Levi had no inheritance in Israel. Instead, they were given forty-eight cities scattered throughout the nation. Six of these cities were called the “Cities of Refuge”, (Josh. 21:1-3).

Simeon and Levi allowed their passions, their lusts, and their fleshly desires to control their lives. As a result, they never achieved all they could have in the kingdom of Israel.

The same is true in the lives of many people around us today. Whether it is the pursuit of the pleasures of sin; unbridled lusts; rampant desires; or simply self-centeredness, there are multitudes that are controlled by their sins. When this is the case, those people are never able to reach their fullest potential in Christ. They are always struggling and never walking close to Him. God cannot use them in that condition. He cannot bless their lives. He cannot work in or through them to accomplish His perfect will.

God’s desire for His people is that we turn away from sin to follow a lifestyle of service and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, (Matt. 16:24; Rom. 12:1-2). God wants us to separate ourselves from evil and consecrate ourselves to Him alone, (2 Cor. 6:17).

The sins of Simeon and Levi cost them dearly, but they also cost their children. Because of the sins of these men, their families did not receive the inheritance they could have had.

The same is true in our lives. Our sins affect more than just us. Mom and Dad, your children see where God ranks on your list of priorities! They know when other things are more important than Him and His house. They pay attention to those little “slips of the tongue”, when you let a “little” cuss words or a “little white lie” slip out. They see your commitment to Jesus and they will often base their commitment to Him on what they learn from you.

Sin carries a very high price. Often the highest price is paid by the children of the guilty parties! That is the clear, consistent teaching of the Bible, (Ex. 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). What you see in many families is just the results of sin and the damage it causes. Children act, think, talk and walk like their parents. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.

The best gift we could ever give our families, those who will follow after us and those who live around us is a life controlled by the Spirit of God. When He is in control, We will lead people to Him and not away from Him, when He is in control we will set a standard of godliness in our families that will endure for generations.

One thing that blesses me about these boys is the fact that their place in the family is never questioned. They are the sons of Jacob and all the sin in the world cannot change that truth. They are his sons and they will not be denied.

God’s people can be guilty of some serious sin. We often break the heart of God by the things we do and say. But, nothing can ever undermine our relationship with Him. We will sin, but we will still be sons. He will deal with us through chastisement and even judgment.

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“ Prepare To Meet Thy God” By J. H. Stanley

Careless soul, why will you linger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God?
Hear you not the invitation?
Oh, prepare to meet thy God.
Refrain:
Careless soul, oh, heed the warning,
For your life will soon be gone;
Oh, how sad to face the judgment,
Unprepared to meet thy God.
Why so thoughtless are you standing,
While the fleeting years go by,
And your life is spent in folly?
Oh, prepare to meet thy God.
Refrain:
Hear you not the earnest pleadings
Of your friends that wish you well?
And perhaps before tomorrow
You’ll be called to meet your God.
Refrain:
If you spurn the invitation
Till the Spirit shall depart,
Then you’ll see your sad condition,
Unprepared to meet thy God.
Refrain:

INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!

  


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