Seeing Christ in Others--Part 2
Dec 12, 2007
One measure of our level of spiritual maturity is our ability to "see." Spiritual myopia is a symptom of spiritual immaturity. Maturity is hardly possible without improving one's eyesight.
When Jacob acquired the ability to see the face of God in his worst enemy (Esau), he was given the name Israel to reflect that new level of maturity. As such, he became the classic O.T. type of overcomer and set the pattern for all of us to obtain that title.
Both Jacob and Esau must have known the original prophecy concerning them, which their parents received before their birth. It was said in Gen. 25:23 that "the elder shall serve the younger." In essence, it was in the divine plan that Esau would serve Jacob, and therefore, the birthright was to be given to Jacob. Both sons must have known the ultimate plan of God, but neither understood the path to get there. Jacob took the prophecy as a mandate to make it happen, even if it took a lie to fulfill the divine plan (Gen. 27:24). Esau, on the other hand, simply opposed that prophecy altogether, for God raised him up to oppose it (Rom. 9:17), even as He raised up Pharaoh for the same purpose.
As long as Jacob could see Esau only as an enemy opposing the divine plan, his view was immature. Jacob probably did not know how to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), nor did Esau know how to accept the truth at all. And so this sibling rivalry remained active for 98 years, until finally Jacob became Israel.
Theoretically, if Jacob had been spiritually mature, he would have understood the sovereignty of God in a deeper way. He would have had confidence in God's ability to bring about His plan without the help of the flesh. He also would have understood that the plan cannot truly be established in an unlawful way (such as lying to his father). But he was spiritually immature in those days, as all are until God gives them experience.
Jacob did not seem to know the Law of the Hated Son (Deut. 21:15-17), which says that the firstborn cannot be disinherited without cause. Esau was the firstborn, and even though the prophecy was against him, the birthright could not be taken from him until he had proven himself to be unworthy of it. When Isaac was about to give Esau the blessing in Gen. 27, Rebekah panicked and induced Jacob to take advantage of Isaac's blindness and lie to obtain this blessing. They thought, "O my God! The prophecy is about to be broken! Quick! God needs some help! It's all up to us now!"
They did not have the faith to believe that God could actually fulfill that which He had promised. And they felt that a lie would serve the cause of the Kingdom of God better than the truth would. They were wrong, because that lie changed the course of world history, and we are still feeling the negative effects of it to this day, as I explained in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.
If Jacob had known the mind of God in this matter, he would have understood that Esau had not yet had time to show his unworthiness. He had not yet reached the point of stubbornness and rebelliousness where he fit the full description of the Law of the Stubborn Son (Deut. 21:18-23). This is the law which immediately follows the Law of the Hated Son, mentioned earlier. They are placed back to back, because they go together prophetically. The hated son cannot be disinherited until he proves himself to be a stubborn and rebellious son--in which case he may lawfully be disinherited.
Rebekah and Jacob could not wait for the divine plan to work out by itself in the slow-but-sure manner that God works. And so they themselves violated the law of God by lying to Isaac. In so doing, they violated the will of God--His thelema. But, when we step back and look at the bigger picture, we see the boulema plan. It is apparent now that the struggle in the womb (Gen. 25:22) prophesied of a much bigger divine plan, for it spoke of a long struggle that would still be with us to this day. And so Jacob's lie--the violation of God's thelema (will)--actually brought about the fulfillment of the divine boulema (plan), for it brought the struggle beyond their personal lives and into a national forum.
In other words, it was the divine plan that this struggle continue to the present day, where Esau is now proving himself to be unworthy on a national scale. Jacob gave the birthright back to Esau in 1948 in order to play out the final act of the divine drama. "Isaac" once again has been blinded in order to make the plan work.
The descendants of Esau were conquered and incorporated into Jewry in 126 B.C. in order that they would be able to represent the house of Esau in modern Zionism. Esau's desire to possess the Holy Land (Mal. 1:1-4; Ez. 35:10, 36:5) is now seen in modern Zionism, and its bloody and unlawful methods are precisely according to Esau's stubborn and rebellious character (Ez. 35:6).
There are some today who understand the historic truth of this, but who need spiritual maturity in order to know how to react to it properly. It is not enough to know the truth, but also to speak the truth in love. This is possible only when we see the world situation through the eyes of God, knowing the divine plan and purpose for the present conflict.
If we use fleshly means to try to establish the will of God, our methods will only serve the problem, rather than the solution. Those who hate Jews are of no help, and those who hate Palestinians have no understanding either. I do not expect many people to know who is who, simply because of the blindness that God has placed upon most people in this day. The blindness is self-evident in the fact that virtually every history book ever written admits that Esau's descendants (called Edom or Idumea) were conquered and absorbed into Jewry around 126 B.C., and yet only a handful of people understand its implications.
For this reason, Jews think that Christians are Esau, and the Christians think the Palestinians are Esau. Both views are absurd and certainly non-historical. In my view, the Jewish people are fulfilling at least three different strains of Bible prophecy, and modern Zionism fulfills all three. The dominant one, however, is that of Esau, for God prophesied of Esau's Zionist mindset and told us of Esau's lust for blood to accomplish his desires.
When we recognize and understand the divine plan, we can rest in it, knowing that God is the Author and Finisher of all things. We can understand that Jacob's lie and theft violated Esau's rights, and for this reason God used blindness to induce "Jacob" to return to Esau everything that he stole thousands of years ago. But we can also understand that the current situation will not last forever. The Law of the Stubborn Son will be invoked at the appointed time. It cannot be stopped on a national scale. Jews also need to understand this in order for individuals to avoid the consequences of the divine judgment. I do not say this out of hatred for Jews. My motive is simply to set forth the divine plan and say, "Walk ye in it."
Knowing the divine plan is the way we can see Christ in Esau's face today. There is no need to hate anyone, and there is no reason for frustration, which so often causes men to lash out. All is going according to plan, and though the wheels of history grind slowly, they do reach the goal in the end. God will resolve "the controversy of Zion" (Isaiah 34:8), the struggle between Jacob and Esau. Neither side will end up possessing Jerusalem, for "Hagar" will be cast out in favor of "Sarah" (Gal. 4:22-31), and God will establish a New Jerusalem to fulfill His promises.
This is the second part of a series titled "Seeing Christ in Others." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones