Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 09:30:36 +-100 Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 60 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Genesis 33:9-11 - Esau or Jacob: much or all 2. Song of Solomon 5:2-6 - The spouse's behaviour 1. Genesis 33:9-11 - Esau or Jacob: much or all ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly reading: Genesis 32:4-36:43 Genesis 33:9-11 And Esau said, I have much, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have all. And he urged him, and he took [it]. At the return of Jacob to Canaan, he has met Esau his brother. Through many and great gifts, Jacob tried to reconcile Esau with him. Esau said to him, What do you mean by all this drove which I met? Jacob answered him that it was "to find grace in the sight of my lord". But Esau was not willing to accept the gift, and he said, "I have much, my brother, keep that you have unto yourself". We read that Esau said, "I have much". Esau was rich. He had much of the goods of this earth. There was nothing of the earthly goods that he lacked. Herein we see fulfilled the blessing of Isaac his father. He said, in blessing his son Esau, "Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;" (Genesis 27:39) Understand that Esau shall dwell in the best of the earth, and that he will be blessed of the dew of heaven from above. The blessing of God caused Esau to have much. After Esau refused to accept the gifts, Jacob answered him, and said, "Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have all." Jacob not only has much, like Esau, but he excels his brother in riches. He has all. Herein we see the difference between Esau and Jacob. Esau had much, but Jacob had all. And this is true. Esau only had of the goods of this earth, but Jacob had, besides the goods of this earth, also God, the Creator of heaven and earth. And if one has God, then he justly may say that he has "all". The blessing Isaac gave to Jacob was greater then the one for Esau. We know that Jacob had much riches. We know that he did not have all that was on earth. But he said "all", because he also had God. Even if he would be poor, but had God, he might say "I have all". Having God is infinite more then having goods of this earth. The goods of this earth can rot, or can be stolen, or can die; in short, these temporal goods can perish. But when one has his good in heaven, then it will endure all. As Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21) Or, with the words of Solomon, "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death." (Proverbs 11:4) Think also of the rich fool. He gathered much wealth on earth, but neglected to care for his poor soul. When he thought that he had gathered enough riches to live from during the rest of his life, and that it was now the time to take rest, "God said unto him: 'Fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?' So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:20,21) The real and enduring riches are in heaven. Jacob, during his return to Canaan, much feared that his brother Esau still was full of wrath. Esau had said in himself, before Jacob left Canaan, that he should kill Jacob. Because of that Jacob fled, but now returned. Was Esau still vengeful? He didn't know it. He so much feared, that he took refuge in God. He prayed, "Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, the mother with the children." (Genesis 32:11) Jacob pleaded on the might of God, for God was the only One that could deliver him from his brother's hand. Jacob had ground enough to plead on. For, his return to Canaan was not an own invention, but was done in obedience to God's command. So, it was the LORD, Who had commanded him to return, and shouldn't He also save him from the wrath of Esau? Hear Jacob, in his prayer, use this as a ground of plea. "And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee." (Genesis 32:9) The LORD had said him to return to his country. And the LORD will also protect him during and after his return. We see that Jacob had great wrestlings with God in prayer. His fear was great, and he still had not received answer from God. He was not sure of Esau. Did Esau come to kill him, or was he reconciled? When he saw Esau at a distance, he knew: This is the moment of decision. Esau will now kill me and all I have, or he will let me alive. After he had met Esau, and after he had experienced that Esau was reconciled, "Jacob said, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me." He had seen Esau's face as though he had seen the face of God. These are his words. What does this mean? It means, that he in the face of Esau, who was pleased with him, had also seen God's answer on his prayer. He had prayed for meeting Esau in safety and with friendliness, and when he saw that Esau was friendly, and was pleased with him, he saw therein the answer of God on his prayer. In Esau's friendly face, Jacob saw God's favour towards him. God had heard his prayer, and had given in Esau's heart that he was pleased with his brother. We see that it is possible to receive answer on a certain prayer through the circumstances. When we pray for delivery from dangers of death, and we are delivered, we should see in that God's face. Jacob was delivered from his fears of death, but even if God's people are not delivered, but die - even then they will see God's face. Then, they will not only see God's face in the circumstances, but then the will see Him as He is in reality. As one said, that he had "a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:" (Philippians 1:23) 2. Song of Solomon 5:2-6 - The spouse's behaviour ---------------------------------------------------------------------- I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole [of the door], and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. Song of Solomon 5:2-6 The Song of Songs describes the love between God and His people on earth. God is represented by the friend in Songs, and His people as His spouse. "I sleep, but my heart waketh:" The former verse said, "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." As a result of that abundantly eating and drinking, the spouse fell asleep. When the people of God have eaten and drunk well; when they have enjoyed many of the boons of God, then they sometimes fall asleep. That is, they become slow and sluggish in diligence and good works, and they fall in fleshly peace of mind and freedom for care. "Therefore let us not sleep, as others; but let us watch and be sober." (1 Thessalonians 5:6) I sleep, says the spouse; that is, after having enjoyed God's boons in Christ, I became careless and fleshly. I sleep, says she, "but my heart waketh". Though she had become careless in some degree, yet she had not totally forgotten her friend. The lover of God, though he is fallen asleep, neglecting diligence, has not forgotten God, but keeps Him in his heart. The "heart" here is the renewed man, the inward parts of a renewed man. The spouse slept, but Jesus advises against that: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) The flesh is weak, that is "I sleep"; the spirit indeed is willing, that is "but my heart waketh". The spouse was fallen asleep, but her heart waked. That is, though her spirit was willing, yet her flesh was weak. Watch and pray (not: eat and sleep), that you enter not into temptation. While the spouse was asleep, and her heart waked, she noticed "the voice of my beloved, that knocketh". God saw her asleep, and now came to waken her up. He knocked on the door of her heart, that she might open the door en let Him in. God did not suffer her to continue in her worldly eases and sleep, but he came to wake her up. God does so through the preaching of His Word, and through the work of His Spirit in us. Further, he awakes us using sorrows and oppression, that we might wake up from our easy beds of worldly enjoyments. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20) God stands at the door of the spouse and knocks, saying: "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, my locks with the drops of the night." When the people of God are fallen asleep, God, in His loyalty, comes knocking on the doors of their heart, to awake them. When He stands at the door, shall the sleepers open Him? Shall they open God, when He stands at their door and knocks? No, but the sleepers are lazy. They love their beds of comfort more then God. They love sleeping more then God. When God stands at their door and knocks, saying, Open Me, My spouse, they are too lazy to open Him. They answer: "I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" We see. They have put off their clothes, and don't like to stand up for their God. God is not worth of some work done for Him. The spouse doesn't like to stand up. Also, she fears that her feed may be defiled, and she has just washed them. Not knowing that she shows the filth of her heart, she fears for some filth of her feet. "I have just washed my feed, o Lover, should I then defile them?" We see what a vain excuse the lazy have. When the friend of the spouse heard her answer, he went away. It was not Mrs. Lazy's wish to defile her feet, so He could go. That is what we read in the next words. "My beloved put his hand from the hole [of the door]". He was refused, and went away. After He was gone, the spouse realised what she had done. She understood that she had refused her Beloved, that He might not come in. The laziness disappeared, and she felt again the old love for Him. She said, "my bowels were moved for Him." Her feelings caused her to stand up, and to open the door. "I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved." We see here the people of God repenting after their laziness. They return to God, after He had called them, and after they have refused to listen and obey Him. After their God has withdrawn Himself from them, and is gone away, they begin to repent. They remember the good days of old, when they were with God. Then they realise what they have done, and repent. She opened the door, in the hope that her beloved would enter. But He was gone. He had left her. She was alone. "My beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone". While opening the door, she had hope to see Him, standing there. But now, her hope appeared in vain. It was too late. She had been too lazy, and now it was too late. Her Beloved, He was away. She remembered His voice; a voice full of compassion. A voice never to forget. So it is with the Church on earth, the spouse of Christ. When they hear His voice, they follow Him. They say, together with her in Songs, "my soul failed when he spake." Her soul failed of love, when she heard His voice. And when the Church hears Christ speak in the Gospel, their soul longs to Him. This is one of the true marks of the real church, as opposed to the false one. The real spouse, when she hears the voice of her beloved, longs to him; but to some other woman it does not make any difference whether or not he speaks. The Church, when they hear Christ, long to be with Him, but the false church does not feel any longing. The sister, when he was gone, continues saying, "I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer." He was gone through her laziness. She loved sleeping more then her friend. She sought him, but did not find him. Also when she called, he gave no answer. Also the believer, when he has lost Christ, and after having repented, begins to call for Him, but cannot find Him anymore. They call Him, pray to Him, but He does give no answer. They botched it up, and now He has gone. "I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer". ---------------------------------------------------------------------- firstname.lastname@example.org "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html Written by Teus Benschop -- email@example.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-060.txt .