Tag Archives: Jacob


William Andrew Dillard

Enduring and mighty lessons spring from what many may see as strange and perplexing events in the Old Testament. Such is the case of the patriarch Jacob wrestling all night with an angel as recorded in Genesis 32.
In context, Jacob was returning from Padam-aram (modern Iraq) with his wives, children, livestock, and substance to his parental homeland. He was under a death threat from his brother, Esau who sold Jacob his birthright, but was extremely angered when Jacob engaged in trickery to actually obtain it. News had come to Jacob that Esau was coming with hundreds of armed men, so he assumed the worst and implemented a cunning plan of appeasement to preserve life and achieve peace. 
Moreover, in the long night before meeting his brother, Jacob is said to have wrestled with an angel until the dawning of day. Refusing to release hold on the angel until he should be blessed, Jacob was given his blessing, and with it a change of name to “Israel.”
“Israel” is a composite of two words: “Sara(h)” “prince(ss), royalty, possessor of power” and “El” “God”; hence, one who has power with God and prevails. This new word became the name of the patriarch from that day forward. Moreover, that name was transferred to the aggregate of his offspring, the Hebrew people who were the Old Testament people of covenant with God, and through Whose power they prevailed often against impossible odds. They had a real advantage (inside track) with God, But it was not after the flesh, but of God’s choosing.
Today, the homeland of the Jewish people is referred to as Israel, but what made that name significant, the presence and power of God, was withdrawn upon their final rejection of their Messiah Who said of them, ”Behold, your house is left unto you desolate…” Luke 13:35.
Jesus had come not only to pay the sin penalty for mankind, which men could not pay, but to bring His covenant people out from under the dispensation of law into the marvelous New Covenant of Grace. A remnant did so follow the Lord, and He also graciously incorporated the nations of all who would believe and follow Him. Hence, the beloved apostle Paul tells us that the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:16. So long as the grace of God is extended in this dispensation of time called “today,” men have the blessed privilege of being a part of that Israel, “One who has power with God and prevails, even His people of the New Covenant.” Do you have an obedient and talking relationship with God? It really is an advantage of blessings both in time and in eternity!

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There is a place where the saved of God need to dwell, it is the “House of God.” This verse instructs Jacob to go up to Bethel and dwell there and make there an altar unto God. This was literally followed by Jacob. Note that Jacob life was a life of trickery and deception and he had to run for his life. He was not the most faithful person called upon God. We get to see glimpses of his life and flashes of his recognition of God and what Jacob would probably call, “sacred” places. One of these is Bethel which had the meaning of “the House of God.”

What would it be like to dwell with God? Those that know Him as “The Father,” will know what it means to dwell with God for an eternity. My Father and Mother are dwelling with God at this very moment. Their pain and infirmities are gone. We have a very poor substitute here on earth. Yet it is pleasant and joyous if we would be close and faithful to our Savior. We have been given a place to gather together with God’s people and sing and praise His name. It is a place to learn of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

When we gather together at His house of praise and worship in a loving and obedient manner we then can worship and praise His name all week long. Obedience has its reward. I can say that at one time I was rebellious and neglected that worship one day a week. Today, faithfulness to my Savior has enriched my life and I now have a greater knowledge of God. I praise His faithfulness towards me and the grace and mercy He has shown me. I am truly unworthy of all He has done for me. May I never forget. May I always in my feeble way, praise Him.

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William Andrew Dillard

Much is heard of Israel in their present conflict with a radical segment of Arabic people. Most of the Christian world, and this writer, too, are pro-Israel. The children of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob were the recipients of the Law Covenant from God, and though left desolate in their official rejection of the Messiah, the nation has a future in the work of God. However this should not blind the Bible student to obvious truth regarding the subject, and how that applies to the present people of New Testament Covenant relationship with Him. Please put on your thinking cap!

To be anti-Israel is to be anti-Semitic. But wait, to be anti-Arab would also be anti-Semitic since both descended from Abraham and are by virtue of that Semites. However, Bible students know that God rejected Ishmael, the father of Arabic people as the heir of Abraham, choosing instead the son of Promise: Isaac. To Isaac was born two sons: Esau and Jacob. Covenant lineage is traced through Jacob due to the faithless rejection of Esau of his birthright. Stay with me in this thinking.

Jacob” (trickster) received a name change from God to that of “Israel” (He who contends with God and prevails) in his wrestling with an angel all night, signifying his hot pursuit of heavenly help in view of what he considered the Imminent, murderous wrath of Esau. Thus does his name have such marvelous and practical meaning. Quite naturally, Jacob’s children then became known as the children of Israel whether their faith and deportment merited the name or not. Happily, much of the time it did.

But in the fullness of time, God sent them the promised Messiah whom they rejected on a wholesale basis officially. While their rejection of Him is more than ample evidence that they were no longer Israel in meaning, a remnant of the faithful received the Messiah, and were by virtue of their faith and obedience to Him the sole nucleus of the New Covenant expression of God on earth, His New Testament Church. They were then the true Israel, and the New Testament Church continues to be so today. Gal. 6:16. What about the political nation that rejected Jesus, the Messiah? Jesus said their house was left to them desolate (devoid and separated from the presence and protection of God as they had known it). This precipitated the massacre and destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans. It caused the great diaspora of the last near 2,000 years. It precipitated the holocaust in WWII. It has brought on them the many and continued conflicts with Arab nations presently. The present political nation is mainly the children of Judah; hence, Jews. They have chosen to use the term Israel, but they do not have its meaning. They are in fact Jacobites. But, one day, the nation will become Israelites again. May the Lord hasten that glorious day when they shall look on Him Whom they have pierced, know true repentance, and be brought into New Covenant relationship with Him to once again be “Israel” in the sight of God.


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Run With Patience  


Hebrews 12:1, 2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus,” Hebrews 12:1, 2.


The context of Hebrews 12 is chapter 11. Here God listed many saints and how their faith produced works that give witness to us that God rewards faithfulness. There is also a lesson that our faithfulness inspires all those who are presently holding to our shirttails.

Abraham was faithful and patient, enduring hardships for Christ’s sake. Therefore, Isaac endured, looking for God’s city. Isaac was faithful; therefore, Jacob was faithful when he finally matured.

All these men were wealthy and could have built their own city. But, God had promised Abraham a city. Therefore, because Abraham believed God’s promise, Isaac and Jacob endured patiently, living in temporary tents.

Jacob both feet in the grave, never having seen the promise come to pass. But, he knew eventually it would become a reality because their father and their grandfather both lived their whole lives looking for that city.

Jesus has promised to come and take His children to the same city Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looked for.




Endure patiently for the sake of all those to whom your life is a witness.

Robert Brock



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Absent and Present


2 Corinthians 5:6-8


“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 5:8.




Paul’s thesis in this passage is that we have two homes, one of the earth where we must live by faith. Since we cannot see our spiritual home with God, we long for that reunion when our yearning heart will be satisfied and at peace.


Often when children grow up and leave home, they find dreams do not come true so easily. After regrouping, they try their wings again until they, like Noah’s dove, can find a place of their own to lay their weary heads. Jesus told His would-be disciples, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). He knew this world was not His home. On the cross, He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit. In the Greek, the words “bowed his head” (John 19:30) are the same words as “lay his head.” On the cross, He finally found the place to lay His head. He had gone home.


Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived by faith as strangers and pilgrims in a strange land, believing God had prepared them a city, and they would one day dwell there and be satisfied and at peace. Going home gives the child of God inspiration to get out of bed each morning and fight the battles assigned to him that day.


Going through the throws of basic training and cutting the apron strings, I called home as often as I could. Finally, I got a furlough. I happily arrived home to find my three brothers had divided all my clothes and one was sleeping in my bed. It hit me hard. This is not your home anymore.






This world is not our home. We are pilgrims and strangers passing through, convincing as many as we can to go with us.


Robert Brock



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Burning at the Stake – They died like men

16th Century – This bloody century continued to drink the blood of the Anabaptists in the heroic story of Jacob Dirks and his sons, Andrew and Jan.  Literally thousands had been put to death by the Roman Catholic State Church of Holland.  The blood of the aged was mixed with the blood of the youths.  Women were tortured with the same ferocity as were the men, but still the Whore was not satisfied.  Jacob, a tailor residing in Utrecht with his family, hearing that the magistrate was soon to arrest him fled to Antwerp in Belgium.  His wife, not sharing his doctrinal views, remained behind only to die from natural causes.  Upon arrival at the place of execution, Jacob said to his sons “How is it with you, my dear sons?”  They answered, “Dear father, all is well.”  Andrew was soon to be married, but he had forsaken his earthly bride and chosen that heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ.  These brave men were each strangled by the executioner, which was considered an act of mercy, before the fire was kindled and their smoke was offered up to God as a sweet smelling sacrifice.  These executions down through the centuries have given authority and validity to the gospel of Christ, as well as the sustaining grace of God, under the most trying circumstances.  In some instances the martyr would raise his hands toward heaven in a prearranged signal that God had truly provided supernatural strength to bear the flames.  Others would sing songs of praise and hymns until the flames silenced their voices.  The greatest trial was when the wood was green or the wind would blow the smoke away and cause death to come more slowly.  These acts demonstrate the utter depravity of man and the inadequacy of man’s religion which always has to be by force and not by persuasion.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 109.
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Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.

I appears to me that God has always had a special place to meet with and spend time with His people. We find in the book of Genesis that God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. Exodus chapter 25:22; God gave Moses instructions about the mercy seat, and said “And there I will meet with thee, and commune with thee…”. Who among us can forget the meetings that Abraham and Jacob had with God at Bethel (the house of God)? When the tabernacle was constructed God made an appearance unto Moses and said; I will meet my people at the door of the tabernacle. When the people entered their land the temple was constructed and yearly people traveled from where they lived to worship at the temple. Today, the church (the people-not the building) is where God meets His people.

Do not misunderstand, each of us pray and talk with God through the week. Yet the evidence is clear, God has the desire to meet with His people in an assembly. I believe He loves us so much, He wants to be with us as a family. My mom and dad always looked forward to a visit from one of their children. They were thrilled, ecstatic, beside them selves when all seven children and spouses and grandkids and great grandkids visited at the same time. God our Father has set a day for a family reunion where we sing together, pray together, and worship together. There are many reasons for this, but let me interject one; it is practice for when we are all together in the presence of the Lord.

If you don’t like getting together with God’s wonderful people, you probably won’t like heaven and you just might have a spiritual relationship problem that needs to be taken care of.  I am going to that place God has appointed to meet with Him this morning. I will be in the house of God with all His wonderful people. How about you?

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