GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28 (Gen 28:1) And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Those words of Isaac were not his own. His wife had dropped the hint and he was repeating to Jacob what she wanted, yet it was presented as Isaac’s idea. No doubt he complied with the idea, for his wife had not originated from the Canaanites and the wives of Esau were a grief, so it was exactly what should be done whether the idea came from him or another. OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY 2Co_3:14 *(2) Obtaining a family in Padan-Aram Fled to Haran Gen_28:1-2 People who employ a great deal of craftiness in their management of affairs are invariably entrapped in their own net. Life is so complicated, and every matter of conduct has so many issues, that no human brain can possibly foresee every contingency. Rebekah was a clever woman, and quite competent to outwit men like Isaac and Esau, but she had in her scheming neglected to take into account Laban, a man true brother to herself in cunning. She had calculated on Esau’s resentment, and knew it would last only a few days, and this brief period she was prepared to utilize by sending Jacob out of Esau’s reach to her own kin, from among whom he might get a suitable wife. But she did not reckon on Laban’s making her son serve fourteen years for his wife, nor upon Jacob’s falling so deeply in love with Rachel as to make him apparently forget his mother. She knew exactly how much of her mind to disclose so as to lead her husband to adopt her view and plan. She did not bluntly advise Isaac to send Jacob to Padan-aram, but she sowed in his apprehensive mind fears which she knew would make him send Jacob there; she suggested the possibility of Jacob taking a wife of the daughters of Heth. She knew she did not need to tell him where to send. Sure enough, Isaac called Jacob and sent him to his mother’s family to obtain a wife. Esau saw that the daughters of Heth he had married were displeasing to his parents and that they wanted Jacob to marry in the family, so he married wives of Ishmael. He felt that would be according to their desire, it would win their preference, and somehow still obtain a blessing from his father. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28—PAGE 1
Gen_28:8-9 He does not see any difference between Ishmael’s family and the chosen family; they are both from Abraham, both are naturally the same, and the fact that God expressly bypassed Ishmael in giving the inheritance meant nothing to Esau. An act of God has no meaning to him. He merely sees that it has not pleased his parents as well as he might by his marriage and he attempts to remedy it. How like the world that says, “We will not, of course, divorce the world, will not dismiss from our homes and hearts what God hates and means to destroy, will not accept God’s will as our sole and absolute law, but we will so far meet God’s wishes as to add to what we have adopted something that is almost as good as what God asks. We will make our little alterations which will not quite upset our present ways. Why did Esau marry an Ishmaelite woman? He thinks he can take rank with men whose natures God has changed, by the mere imitation of some of their ways; who thinks, that as he cannot without great labor, and without too seriously endangering his hold on the world, do precisely what God requires, God may be expected to be satisfied with a something like it. Are we not aware of endeavoring at times to cloak a sin with some easy virtue, to adopt some new and apparently good habit, instead of destroying the sin we know God hates; or to offer to God, and palm upon our own conscience, a mere imitation of what God is pleased with? Do you attend church, do you come and submit to a service? That is not at all what God asks, though it is like it. What He means is that you worship Him, which is quite a different employment. Vision of God Gen_28:11-22 Served for Rachel Gen_29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. Household of Jacob (Gen_30:1) Laban was not the type person who would seek God’s friendship for himself, but he would try to make a profitable use of God’s friends. He wants to get God’s blessings second hand. If men could be related to God indirectly, as in law and not by blood, that would suit Laban. If God would admit men to His inheritance on any other terms than being sons of God in a direct line; that is, if there were a relationship once GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28—PAGE 2
removedâ€”a kind of sons-in-law, so that mere connection with the Godly, though not with God would win His blessing, that would suit Laban. Laban is like the modern church goer who appreciates the social value of virtue, truthfulness, fidelity, temperance, godliness, but wishes to enjoy their fruits without the pain of cultivating the qualities themselves. He is scrupulous as to the character of those he takes into his employment, and seeks to connect himself in business with good men. He knows those really Godly will make his home more peaceful, better regulated, safer than otherwise it might be. But with all his recognition of the reality and influence of godliness, he never for one moment entertains the idea of himself becoming a Godly man. Gen_31:1 (Gen 28:2) Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. He even told him of the family from whence his wife should come, and that she should be a daughter of Laban. Jacob did what he was told; however in a much different manner than any of them expected. He did not mention Bethuel, and very likely he was dead by this time, but sent him to Laban to obtain one of his daughters. It was not likely however that he knew who those daughters were for they were probably born after Rebekah left home. (Gen 28:3) And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; We hear no more of Isaac after this until his death. The last act we know of him was in the blessing of his sons. Here he repeated to Jacob that Jehovah would make him productive in material things as well as in seed. Once Isaac sent Jacob away the story turned to Jacob, and his attempt to find the wife he was sent to obtain. The difference between this blessing and the one that Isaac mistakenly conferred upon Jacob earlier is rather striking. In the first, there was no mention of the Abrahamic promise, but here Isaac apparently made an effort to go all the GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28â€”PAGE 3
way in conferring the covenant blessing. But even in this there could have been a deficiency, a lack supplied by God Himself in the vision that came as a sequel, that being the fact that "all the families of the earth" would be blessedin his seed. Nevertheless,even as it stood, the blessing seemed to convey the impression that Isaac had repented of his sinful effort to convey the birthright to Esau. (Coffman)
(Gen 28:4) And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. [Give thee the blessing of Abraham] May he confirm the inheritance with all its attendant blessings to thee, to the exclusion of Esau; as he did to me, to the exclusion of Ishmael. But, according to St. Paul, much more than this is certainly intended here, for it appears, from Gal_3:6-14, that the blessing of Abraham, which is to come upon the Gentiles through JesusChrist, comprises the whole doctrine of justification by faith, and its attendant privileges, viz., redemption from the curse of the law, remission of sins, and the promise of the Holy Spirit, including the constitution and establishment of the Christian Church. (Adam Clarke) (Gen 28:5) And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother. Jacob was able to go get his own wife. Isaac needed someone else to make his decisions, so a servant was sent to obtain a wife for him. Their natures were entirely different. Notice that Mosessaid, “Jacob’s and Esau’s mother,” not “Esau’s and Jacob’s mother.” Even he recognized the value of the blessing and the birthright. (Gen 28:6) When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; Esauwas now without blessing or birthright and his heart was probably much more sensitive from this time forward, to what his father said and did. He listened carefully to what they instructed Jacob. His profane mind
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could not grasp the significance of it all, but at least now he was listening, whereas he very likely had not followed their advice much in the past. (Gen 28:7) And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; Esaurecognized that Jacob was obedient to his parents and that they sent him to find a wife from the family. Well he too wanted acceptance and was looking for a way to obtain it. This shows how the carnal mind works. It was similar to that of Cain who knew that God wanted a sacrifice, but did not understand the significance of the type he should bring. Thus here Esausaw that his family wanted their children to marry within the family, but did not grasp the significance of it being from the promised seed. (Gen 28:8) And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; There were probably many ways Isaac had shown that he did not care about the Canaanites wives, but probably the way he did it the most was by what he kept saying. His words were likely listened to carefully by Esau, and even more so now. He apparently did want to pleasehis father in all he did but his carnal mind did not always allow for that. (Gen 28:9) Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife. Notice the reason Esaumarried this woman. He saw that his wives did not pleasehis parents, so he decided he would try to pleasethem by marrying into the family. The problem was, it was the wrong side of the family. Thesewere from the children of doubt, the Ishmaelites. Esauwas profane, he did not understand spiritual things, and so he did not get the picture yet. That was Cain’s problem, which was Ishmael’s problem, which was Esau’sproblem. That is the carnal mind trying to reason about spiritual things, and they simply don’t get the picture. (Gen 28:10) And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. Jacob was now leaving home with the great treasures he had always wanted, the birthright and the blessing. What he needed now was a family GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28—PAGE 5
to make that covenant blessing unfold so he started under the orders of his parents to fulfill this goal. He took no servants with him, which would be somewhat unusual for that day, but this special assignment was something he perhaps thought could be accomplished quickly and without the help of others. (Gen 28:11) And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. Very likely it was a restless night and difficult to sleep. He certainly had a lot on his mind. He had those great treasures, but he also had a brother who now wanted to kill him. Would he pursue? Would he forget before he returned? Would he be able to find a wife among the family? Finally he dropped off to sleep. If men, through their own fault, are deprived of numerous blessings, and are left desolate and alone, they sometimes, during the silence and darknessof night, or in scenesof solitude, gloom, and peril, reflect on their condition, and are brought into such a state of mind as to be prepared, through grace, for new and glorious manifestations of divine favor. (FBN)
(Gen 28:12) And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. It was time for God to intervene. He probably had never heard from God directly. Now God was giving him a dream and in that dream there was a communication between heaven and earth. 2Pe_1:10 BLESSEDASSURANCE 7. ANGELS DESCENDI NG BRING FROM ABOVE Gen_28:12 (Psa_34:7) This psalm dates from one of the darkest hours in David's life. His fortunes were never lower than when he fled from Gath, the city of Goliath, to Adullam. He never appears in a less noble light than when he feigned madnessto avert the dangers which he might well dread there.
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How unlike the terror and self-degradation of the man who "scrabbled on the doors," and let "the spittle run down his beard," is the heroic and saintly constancy of this noble psalm! There, in the safety of his retreat among the rocks, with the bit of level ground where he had fought Goliath just at his feet in the valley, and Gath, from which he had escaped, away down at the mouth of the glen, he sings his song of trust and praise; he hears the lions roar among the rocks where Samson had found them in his day. What a picture of the outlaw and his wild followers tamed into something like order, and lifted into something like worship, rises before us. Not only the "clefts of the rock" but the presence of God's angel is his defense; and round him is flung, not only the strength of the hills, but the garrison and guard of heaven. The angel also appeared to Abraham when he took the knife to slay his son. It was the Angel of the Lord that appeared to Jacob and said, "I am the God of Bethel." It was He who stood before Joshua, the warrior leader of Israel, sword in hand, and proclaimed Himself to be the Captain of the Lord's host. The vision of the divine presence ever takes the form, which our circumstancesmost require. David then needed safety and protection. Therefore he saw the Encamping Angel. Joshua the leader of Israel saw the Captain of the Lord's host, as he stood before Jericho wandering what should be done. He needed a sword now, so God appeared as a warrior. If I needed a carpenter He would come in over alls. Isaiah, in the year that Uzziah died, saw the King eternal and immortal. Girl at A and M attacked by six men. She called to the Lord. Then a German Shepherd came by her side. When she got to the dorm the dog was gone. An angel does not have to look like a man. Someare worried about what an angel looks like. Angels appear as they are needed. Those children in Yosemite saw him as a man. Man in Russia who was a Christian who was persecuted and thrown into the cold Siberian winter. Bear left and came with brown paper sack with a lunch. Man left lunches on log. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28â€”PAGE 7
If God cannot have a bear that can get to you He will send you a raven. Where did the raven get it? Ahab's palace. When I was driving to Normangee, He took the wheel. "This poor man cried and the Lord heard him!" Missionary told of those in the church that were protected by angels. Later a man from among group of persecutors said there are men standing out there with swords. Every car that passesyou brings you within three feet of death. Every fifth car has either a drunk person or a drug addict in it. Charles Manson said he started to kill a man at a stop sign. Car pulled up beside us on a lonely road. You could feel the evil. They suddenly drove away. Car pulled behind us on the road to Crockett and tried to get us off the road. Suddenly stopped and lights went out. David said I do not trust in my sword and shield. He took it but that was not his confidence. Like we are. Those bolts on our doors would not keep out anybody out. The last lock I put on there is JESUS! Woman in Columbia on bus that ran over the side. To one man He is wisdom, to another strength, to the solitary companionship, to the sorrowful consolation, to the glad sobering, to the thinker truth, to the worker practical force, to each his heart's desire, if the heart's delight is in God. We may be wandering, solitary, defenseless,but we are not alone. Our feeble encampment may lie open to assault, and we be all unfit to guard it, but the other camp is there too, and our enemies must force their way through it before they get at us. We are in its center, as they put the cattle and sick in the midst of the encampment on the prairies when attacked by Indians. Our highest hope is not immunity from trouble, but of rescue out of them. The protection that we have is protection in, and not protection from, strife and danger. We have to fight, but He will fight with us; to sorrow, but not alone, nor without hope; to passthrough many a peril, but we shall get through them. JACOB'S VISION
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Jacob had fled from home on account of his nobler brother's fierce wrath at the trick that their scheming mother and he had contrived. It was an ugly, heartless fraud, a crime against a doting father, as against Esau. Rebekah got alarmed for her favorite son, and her fertile mind hit upon another device to blind Isaac and get Jacob out of harm's way, in the excuse that she couldnâ€™t bear his marriage to the Hittite woman. Jacob's life was in danger. He saw the steppes of rocky ledges going upward. They would be the stairway that night in vision of the ascending and descending angels. Thesethings would be in his mind as he lay down and gazed into the violet sky so far above him, burning with all its stars. Weary, and with a head full of sordid cares, plans, and possibly fears, he slept. Jacob had thought himself alone; the vision peopled the wilderness. He had felt himself defenseless;the vision mustered armies for his safety. He had been groveling on earth, with no thoughts beyond its fleeting goods; the vision lifted his eyes from the low level on which they had been gazing. He had been conscious of but little connection with heaven; the vision shows him a path from his very side right into its depths. He had probably thought that he left the presence of his father's God when he left his father's tent; the vision burned into his astonished heart the consciousnessof God as he lay there in the solitude of the night. He found God was the one who would lead him from here through the Mesopotamian valley. God would be with him when he found his wife and increased his goods. When he returned to the land, wrestled with the angel, met Esau, and his sons schemed against the Shechemites, then he pitched his tent in Canaan. God was with him when he lost his son, and later found himself in Egypt, and learned that God is the provider and Savior. We passfrom the lone desert and the mysterious twilight of Genesis to the beaten ways between Galilee and Jordan, and to the clear historic daylight of the Gospel, and we hear Christ renewing the promise to the crafty Jacob, to one whom He called a son of Jacob in his after better days, "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." From henceforth "ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28â€”PAGE 9
JesusChrist is the ladder between God and man. On Him all divine Gifts descend; by Him all the angels of human devotion, consecration, and aspiration go up. Jacob's vision was meant to teach him the nearnessof God. It was meant to teach us the nearnessof God. It was meant to teach the swift directness of communication, whereby His help comes to us and our desires rise to Him. God taught him that He could make a workshop, or a mere garden into a Bethel; a house of God. Everywhere the ladder stands; everywhere the angels go up and down, that is a house of God. How quickly God can answer? He can answer quicker than you can think. He can answer before you ask. Remember Sister Kilgore's story of the lady who saw the angels bringing prayers into the Presence of God faster than lightning. They came shooting into His presence and back came the answer. It does not take six weeks to get an answer. He does not have to look for the card in the card catalogue to see who I am. (Psa_139:1-15). He is our sword and shield. It is the secret of purity also. How could Jacob indulge in his craft, and foul his conscience with sin, as long as he carried the memory of what he had seen in the solitary night on the uplands of Bethel? Jacob fled from life but could not flee from God. Men on road to Emmaeusthought their Savior was gone and all the time He was walking with them. (Luk 24) (Gen 28:13) And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; To Abraham and Isaac the Lord revealed Himself in a theophanic manner. To Jacob it was in a dream. But in that dream He made Jacob realize that the same blessing He gave to Abraham and Isaac was extended to him. He realized at this moment that his fatherâ€™s blessing was really being granted even though he had gotten it the wrong way. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 28â€”PAGE 10
GAIN BY LOSS (Gen_28:13-15) What you seem to lose God makes up to you Jacob lost friends—soGod said, "I'll be with you" Jacob lost country—soGod said, "Thou shalt spread abroad" Jacob lost property—soGod said, "I will give you land" Jacob was lonely—soGod said, "Angels shall attend you" (Gen 28:14) And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Thesecovenant promises were what God had said so many years ago to Abraham, and more recently to Isaac. He was now ready to bestow the same upon Jacob. His seed was going to bless all the families of the earth. The final fulfillment of that would of course be through JesusChrist who is the final seed of Abraham that brings all this to pass. (Gen 28:15) And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. He was part of the drama of redemption and God was going to deal with him as He does with all who are a part of that special project in a very close relationship. He had a special call upon his life and he knew it. There are two very observable facts which may be gathered from the joint study of the Bible and our own hearts. 1. That we are prone to distrust the promisesof God, though we know Him to be unchangeable. 2. That God so condescendsto our weaknessthat He reduplicates His pledges,in order, as it were, to compel us into confidence. (H. Melvill, B. D.)
(Gen 28:16) And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
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He had just experienced one of the greatest revelations of his life—that wherever he was, the God of Abraham was right there guiding his steps. JACOB'S VISION (Gen_28:16-17) 1.
It came at a time of inward and outward trouble.
It satisfied all his spiritual necessities. a.
It assured him that Heaven and earth were not separated by an impassable gulf.
It assured him that there was a way of reconciliation between God and man.
It assured him that the love of God was above all the darkness of human sin and evil.
It imparted to him the blessings of a revelation from God.
It revealed to him the awful solemnity of human life.
It resulted in Jacob's conversion a.
He erected a memorial of the event
He resolved to make God first in all his thought and actions
(Gen 28:17) And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. What he had seen and heard had left an indelible impression on his mind. He could never forget this place that was the very first real encounter with his father’s God. He could never forget that God was a living God; He was not an idol. THEHOUSEOFGODTHEGATETO HEAVEN (Gen_28:17) George L. Glass,Sr.
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INTRODUCTION: The gates were the important part of an ancient city. They gave the only means of passing through the walls. Much of the legal businessof the city was done there. According to what we can learn about weddings mentioned in the Bible, the wedding garments were given at the entrance [gate or door]. The man without a wedding garment, did not come in at the door (Mat_22:12). 1.
To the garden there was a gate (Gen_3:23-24).
To the ark there was a door or gate.
The door of the ark thou shalt set in the side (Gen_6:16).
a. All flesh that was saved went into the ark by way of the door (Gen_7:16). 3.
The Church today is the gate to heaven.
Upon this rock I will build my church (Mat_16:18).
The Church is not just a building, but, a body of baptized believers.
B. He will present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle (Eph_5:25-27). C.
The Church is the gate to heaven and the Church has a door.
a. Jesussaid, "I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." (Joh_10:9). b. Jesusgave to Peter the keys to the kingdom, [church or heaven] whatsoever you loose I will loose (Mat_16:18-19). D.
Peter opened the gate to all the people of the world.
Jewson the day of Pentecost (Act_2:1-4, Act_2:37-39).
The Samaritans (Act_8:14-16).
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To the Gentiles (Act_10:5-6).
CONCLUSION: God in His goodnesshas opened for us a way to heaven. The gate stands open to you now. -308(Gen 28:18) And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. He knew this holy place must be anointed. It may never have meant anything to anyone else, but this was a sacred place in Jacob's life. All men need such a place of encounter with God and return to it from time to time as Jacob did. Jacob "took the stone that he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar." That is to say, he made his affliction the monument of His mercy. (C. S. Robinson, D.
D.) (Gen 28:19) And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. When he arrived the place was known as “Almond tree” but he renamed it “House of God.” To him it was the very gate to heaven for he had seen the angels ascending and descending upon the ladder. Luz transformed into Bethel! A grove of almonds into the house of God! The Bible is full of transformations. There is a law of gravitation spiritual as well as physical. The downward plunge, the leap earthward is natural becausein accordance with this law. But what natural law can turn the current upward, heavenward? A burning brand and natural law can accomplish a transformation of ruin; but it needs Divine intervention, a law of supernatural potency, to repair the ruin, erect the pillars of redemption, and upon them to sweep the arch of perfected restoration. In other words, between Luz and Bethel; the grove of almonds and the house of God; I recognize the necessity of a Divine heart and a Divine hand. (D.
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(Gen 28:20) And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, This was not the best way to approach God. We often encourage people to approach God the right way, and condemn the style that Jacob used. Yet we must understand Jacob. He was a supplanter. That was the only way he knew how to do business.He had to negotiate. So he said, "God if you will do all these things, then I will serve you. You will be my God." (Gen 28:21) So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: He knew the only true and living God. This was the God of Abraham and Isaac. So Jacob bargained and said, if you will take care of me and bring me back then shall the Jehovah be my Elohim. His forefathers had made their commitments and Jacob had lived within the framework of theirs all his life, but now it was time to make his own. We cannot always survive off of the commitment of our fathers. (Gen 28:22) And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. And this place would be a sacred place from that time forward. Not only that, Jacob would throw in ten percent of everything just for good measure. He must have thought he was really doing God a service. Jacob was impressed with the conviction that the place where God communicates with men is "the gate of heaven." That communion with God by faith is an opening to the mind of the eternal and invisible world, a realizing of that interior and more elevated sceneof God's dominions, where He reigns unveiled. Faith is the gate of heaven. (E. Craig)
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