JACOB CAME IN PEACE
Genesis 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. 17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. 19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money. 20 And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-israel.
The title of our lesson comes from the Interlinear Bible which lists verse eighteen above as, And Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem. The word Shalem is the exact same word translated peaceable in Genesis 34:21.
Therefore we find that “through many dangers, toils and snares,” Jacob finally arrives at his desired destination. And so it shall be with all of God’s chosen ones! The Lord Jesus says to his disciples, Let us go over unto the other side, (Luke 8:22), and so they did arrive! But he did not tell them that there would be such a storm as would strike fear into the hearts of seasoned fishermen, who had often times before sailed those waters! But again, they arrived!
There is that same certainty in all of the elect’s lives! They shall, without the loss of one, most certainly arrive in the presence of his glory! But there will just as certainly be trials and tribulations! John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Patient endurance and a determined perseverance in the pursuit of God’s will are necessary to the believer arriving safely at his goal! 2 Corin. 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
And the glory of our afflictions is set by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. 1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
God’s Providences are designed to work together for the elect in order to bring them into the predestinated image of Christ! Read Romans 8:28,29. And we also know that the works that the believers shall produce, in order to evidence their election, are as much ordained as is that individual! Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Therefore patient endurance is essential for the believers to fulfill their ordained journey through time and space.
We MUST remember that God gave his identity as I AM THAT I AM, and not, I AM THAT WHICH I AM DOING! We humans always judge identity by accomplishments! But God judges identity by character, which are manifest by holy works. Therefore we must learn patience since we are going to be eternally like him, and live in his holy, glorified realm!
Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls. If you had a nickel for every professing believer who actually understood that verse, you probably wouldn’t have enough money to pay off Sears! Lets let the Apostle James help us. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
It is the enduring of God’s ordained trials that works within us a spiritual patience. And this patience is not just human toleration. It is a spiritual endurance by a firm hope and faith in Christ! And this is not just a short termed process! For we must keep on keeping on until patience has her perfect work. That is, until the heart, soul and mind of the believer is abiding in an effectual contentment! 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
And this contentment is not as the world perceives. They think to have what one wants is then to be content. So after they obtained that new house which they just had to have, why are they now not content? It is because godly contentment is not having what you want! Godly contentment is wanting what you have!
The Lord Jesus Christ is Alpha and Omega at one and the same time! He is the ending from the beginning! As Alpha he ordained as recorded in Genesis 33:1 that Esau came! But at the same time, as Omega, he also ordained that when Jacob’s patience was successfully tried, then the words in verse 16 of this chapter would also appear! Those words are, Esau returned! Once God has dealt with Jacob by his instrument Esau, then God would deal with Esau! – And he did! Verse 16 informs us that Esau returned unto Seir. Listen to Ezekiel 35:7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. God promises that anyone that returns to Seir shall be cut off!
Be sure that God knows about your enemies, and will most certainly deal with them! But he will deal with them only after they have been used to perfect our patience! (Read Isa. 10:12-14).
Pastor Gene Breed