JACOB LIFTED UP HIS EYES
Genesis 33:1 ¶ And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. 3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Genesis 33:5 ¶ And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. 6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. 8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. 10 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. 11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. 12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. 13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. 14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. 15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
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.
Just what does it mean in the scriptures when we read that one “lifted up his eyes?” It is far more that one just directing his physical eyes to a more upward position. In the bible it means to have revealed to one that which they had not previously considered, or seen, in this present clearer light. Let us consider some of these occurrences.
Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, The Holy Spirit here causes Abraham to understand that it is the Lord God who is appearing in the form of men standing in his tent door. 1 Corinthians 12:3 …no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Then in Genesis 24:63 & 64 we read, And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. It was by the Holy Spirit’s revelation that both the bride and the groom recognized each other in this, their first appearance together. There is a disastrous result listed in Genesis chapter six when men, without their eyes being lifted up, choosing them wives strictly by the outward appearance. For the very next verse relates to us that God’s spirit would then begin to cease His striving with man!
Genesis 43:29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. 30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. 31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. This is the account of Joseph having opportunity to see his brother Benjamin, for the first time in all the years since he had been sold into slavery. He and Benjamin where the only sons of Rachel. And how we need our eyes lifted up to see the true sons of the Bride of Christ. For not all religionists are born of the heavenly birth.
Joshua 5:13 ¶ And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? Joshua had the responsibility of conquering Canaan and establishing the nation of Israel upon his shoulders. He was walking around Jericho, assessing his battle plans. But the Lord God appeared unto him, lifting up his eyes to make him aware that the battle is the LORD’s. 1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
All believers must come to understand that although the Lord will win his battles with their involvement, it is by Him alone that they do so! Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 1 Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
And everyone’s eyes shall eventually be lifted up to perceive the reality of the spiritual world! For the Lord Christ will finally remove the image of the beast from off all minds! But, like this next incident, with far too many it will be too late!
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Even Esau is said to have lifted up his eyes in verse five of our context. But he only was astounded at the wives and children of his brother. But now, in the halls of eternal darkness, he too, like this rich man, has an understanding of things relating to the Lord God! For then every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Even one of the seven churches of Asia had to be admonished by the Lord concerning their inability to rightly and clearly see the matters of the spiritual realm. Their eyesight was so dimmed down by worldly involvement that they could not even perceive their own carnal condition. Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Then these last two (and the ones we have already listed here are not conclusive), are completely unlike all the others in scripture. For they are concerning our Lord Christ and his perception of heavenly things. He, being our example, reveals to us the value of his gift of faith given to all believers which evidences things not seen! Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 Corinthians 4:18 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.
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. His heart was always lifted up in God consciousness. But here, outside of Lazarus’ tomb, he lifts up his eyes and voices an audible prayer for the believer’s sake. He transcends the bounds of visible ‘reality,’ and peers into the realm of true spiritual glory!
And lastly, we come to this passage. John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. His lifting up his eyes here in this, his high priestly prayer, reveals his spiritual oneness in the Trinity. For here we have the revealing of the priorities of God listed out as a result of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on Calvary. These then are the purposes, in their rightful order, of that which the Lord God intends to accomplish by the Son’s death, burial and resurrection!
The main and foremost priority of the crucifixion is the glory of God! …the hour is come, glorify … The glory of God is the aim of everything, even to the most common events! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
The second priority is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. …As thou hast given him power over all flesh… Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
The third priority, falling into its place due to these first two, is the salvation of God’s elect. …that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him…The salvation of men is not primarily to keep them out of hell. That, like the tail of the dog, comes when the dog comes to you. The salvation of men is the third priority of the Trinity in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as God is glorified, and Jesus of Nazareth is recognized as Sovereign Lord, that men have the accomplished redemption applied to their souls.
For it is only in the present reign of Christ wherein men are saved. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, (that is in his present mediator reign), till he hath put all enemies under his feet. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Upon the purging of our sins, and acquiring “satisfaction” to the Father, (Isaiah 53:11), this High Priest did that which no other priest has ever done! He sat down! And he did so as the God-man! For he, as very man, and very God, presently rules and reigns until all enemies are make to bow under his feet.
The Prophet Isaiah was only a judgmental, moralist until he had his eyes lifted up to gaze upon the glory of Christ exalted. Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
But after this awareness of who the Lord God really is, he then saw himself! Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
This little two-for-a-nickel ‘Jesus’ who is being offered by religion today, is just a new and improved Santa Claus, and can save no one. We must get back to the inner, spiritual awareness of the real Lord Jesus! Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Be very careful with a supposed religious understanding. For the Lord will make you blind. But come as a blind supplicant and he will give you sight! John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Pastor Gene Breed
June 16, 2016