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#384 THE ORACLES OF GOD, GENESIS 27

This chapter continues the study of Genesis, chapter 27:1-29. The last chapter pointed out that the life of Isaac is basically recorded in one chapter; yet there are other references to Isaac where his life is not the main theme.

In Genesis 27, we will read about Isaac and what pertains to him. However, the chapter does not center around the life of Isaac, but the lives of his children. We will see what has transpired as the fruit of his life.

We read in GEN 27:1, "And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I." We’re in the eventide of Isaac’s life, talking of the fruit of his life. Isaac was a very godly man; yet, he had many shortcomings and failures. I believe this fact to be the highlight of chapter 27. We see the fruit of the life of Isaac recorded in his children.

Genesis 27 clearly gives us a revelation of Isaac's weakness. Even though Isaac is recorded as one of the greatest monuments of faith and was put on the altar during the life of Abraham, we must remember that it was Abraham who did so. The weaknesses of Isaac are recorded in this chapter. His good judgement was swayed by a cunning, crafty son. When he was making his last will, this lack of good judgement was overruled by the Lord. We must understand that God decrees what His will is, and what God has decreed will be the end. Even though, at times, we use poor judgement, the Lord overrules in order that His decrees shall stand.

Take notice of GEN 26:5: "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Abraham obeyed, and because of this obedience, the Lord was telling Isaac, "I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven." The blessings of Abraham would come upon Isaac because Abraham obeyed. It is not a small blessing to have parents who are God-fearing parents and walk in the ways of the Lord.

The apostle Paul taught that Israel's greatest blessing was that they had the oracles of God. That was the greatest blessing given to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel. In ROM 3:1-2, we read, "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision [the covenant of circumcision made with Abraham]? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." The oracles of God were given to the children of Israel. The Philistines didn’t have that. None of the heathen nations surrounding Israel had the oracles of God. Unto the children of Israel "were committed the oracles of God." Therein was the greatest blessing.

The word "oracles" comes from the Greek Word "logion" which means "an utterance of God." In other words, they had those utterances of God or those times that the Lord had spoken and had allowed the Israelites to know His will. He had spoken to Abraham and to Isaac.

In GEN 26:3, we read that the Lord appeared to Isaac and said, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father." God Himself came down and spoke to Isaac and to Abraham. These things spoken by God Almighty were recorded and preserved, and called the oracles of God. In our language today, we would call them the Word of God. You and I have the oracles of God, i.e. that which God has spoken. That was the greatest blessing God had given to distinguish between the Israelites and the heathen nations.

This generation will be held accountable for that greatest of all blessings, "chiefly, because that unto (us) were committed the oracles of God." You and I have the Word of God, which tells us what God has spoken and where His will is revealed. We are accountable for this great blessing. A legal definition will help explain this. Suppose you buy a piece of land from a man whom you trust greatly. You confide in that man, and he tells you there are no mortgages and the title is clear. He gives you a warranty deed to put on record, and you give the man the full fee and accept. You take the warranty deed and go to record it. You have what is called "constructive notice," which means if there is a mortgage, it is filed of record. You are chargeable with knowledge of what is on that record because if you have taken time to look, you would know what that record contains. Now if you come before the court and say, "This man deceived me; he lied to me. He said the title was clear." The court will tell you, "No, you had constructive notice. You would have known if you had gone and checked the record. You would have found that mortgage was on record. You have bought a mortgaged piece of land. You have given that man your money. You have to pay that mortgage because you would have known if you had taken time to check."

Every person that has access to the Word of God has constructive notice. It makes no difference what a pastor tells you. Many pastors are not telling the whole truth because they are looking for fame or a job. Their main concern, in many instances, is that they get their paycheck. What they tell you may not be the Word of God at all. But on the Day of Judgement, every one of us has had constructive notice. We have the Word of God. The oracles of God are committed unto us, and all we need is to read it. Then we would know the veracity of what they are telling us.

The Word of God is one of the greatest of all blessings. It can also be the source of one of the greatest curses because on the day of judgement, you and I must account for knowledge of what is in the Word of God, whether we’ve read it or not, because it was available to us. We have constructive notice.

2TI 3:16-17 reads, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God [This is speaking of the oracles of God. The Word of God is His revealed will, which He has spoken from heaven.], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The knowledge of what is contained in the Word of God is available to you and me. When we take someone’s word, and it is not the Word of God, then it is our duty to search the Word of God to see if those things are so.

God is very jealous of His Word! No man has any authority to interpret God's Word; the command is to "Preach the Word." Of all the thousands of different religions that we have in the world today, the difference lies in how they interpret the Word of God. It is amazing that there has never been a human being on the face of the earth who was given authority to interpret the Word. The job of a pastor is to unfold the Word and to tell you, "This is what the Word says." I don’t have to tell you what it means. I just have to tell you, "This is what it says." I have to go into the Greek and search it out. I have to be able to thoroughly and rightly divide the Scriptures and explain to you, "This is what the Word of God says."

We are commanded to preach the Word, nothing more. Turn to

2TI 4:1-2 and read, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ [That is a heavy charge!], who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word [It doesn’t say to interpret the Word, but to preach the Word.]; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

This is from the Word, itself. I may not add to it or subtract from it. My commission is, "Preach the word."

The apostle Peter's admonition is the same as we can see from 1PE 4:11: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God [This is saying to let him speak as was uttered by God Himself. When I speak to you, it is my commission to speak, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ I may not add a word to it or subtract a word from it. I must be faithful.]; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever." How can God be glorified if I am perverting His Word? In JOH 1:14, we read, "And the Word was made flesh." Jesus Christ is the Word. How can He be glorified if I am perverting the Word? I may not add or subtract from it, "that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever." Dominion speaks of the authority of the Word, of Jesus Christ, that must be proclaimed. It must not be altered.

The Lord told the prophet Jeremiah in JER 15:19b, "...and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them." The Lord is saying that Jeremiah would stand before Him and take "the precious from the vile." What is more precious than truth? What is more vile than error? It was Jeremiah’s commission to sort out that which the children of Israel and the high priests were bringing forth and decide which were the commandments of men. He was to properly divide the Word and be as God’s mouth. How can I be as God’s mouth unless everything I say is, as the apostle Peter said, "Let him speak as the oracles of God." Everything I say must be exactly what the Word of God says. That’s how I shall be as His mouth and proclaim His Word.

We cannot doubt that Isaac was aware of the oracles of God, i.e. the utterances of God or the Word of God, since they were so sacred to Israel. They were not only kept in the Temple of God, but they were in the most holy place. See this in 1KI 6:16: "And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house [Solomon is building the temple of God.], both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place." The Word of God is most holy. Notice what is written on the cover: "Holy Bible." We are not to tamper with it. It is not to be altered. It is the authority with which God Almighty speaks, and He speaks to you and me. It was placed in the most holy place.

The Word of God, i.e., the oracles of God, was the very foundation upon which the ark of the covenant rested. Notice in 1KI 6:19-20: "And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. [In other words, the ark of the covenant, which is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the very foundation of the Church, rested upon the oracles of God. It is so important that the authority of God's Word is proclaimed without reservation.]

And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar." He overlaid the oracle of God with pure gold to show its inestimable value.

As we can see in the days of David, it was common practice to seek God's counsel by inquiring at the oracles of God. We read in 2SA 16:23, "And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God [Ahithophel was a very well trained, highly educated man. He understood and knew the oracles of God. It became his thinking. Every decision or counsel that he gave was scriptural. It was all based upon the Word of God. He thought and acted scripturally. That’s why his counsel ‘was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God,’ as though he had sought it out and taken it from the Word of God. His principles, his decisions, all his counsel were based on scriptural principles.]: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom."

As we learn to understand how jealous God is of His Word, and how it was held so sacred by the descendants of Isaac, we must not question Isaac's knowledge of the oracles of God, or Isaac’s awareness of what God had told Abraham. Isaac knew that God was going to bless him because Abraham had obeyed these oracles. We cannot question that Isaac was aware of these oracles. We read in GEN 26:24, "And the Lord appeared unto him [Isaac] the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake." Isaac was certainly aware of the utterances of God. We must understand that in this chapter, Isaac was sinning against knowledge. As we read the chapter, it would appear on the surface that Jacob was the cheat and the liar, the wretched sinner. Not so. When we understand the oracles of God that had been revealed to Isaac, we will see that Isaac was sinning against the oracles of God. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it was the wrong of Isaac that brought about the wrong of Jacob.

Read GEN 25:21-23: "And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. [See now what the Lord told Rebekah.] And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." The oracle of God, or what God had told Isaac’s wife, was that Esau would serve Jacob. We must not question that Isaac knew this and understand that Isaac was attempting to place Esau ahead of Jacob by giving him the blessing instead of Jacob. Why was it when Isaac’s eyes became dim that he was going to place the blessing upon Esau when the Lord has already spoken and said the blessing would be upon Jacob? See who was at fault for the sin of Jacob and that of his mother in deceiving Isaac. The Lord overruled Isaac in his absolute disregard for the oracles of God, and He still placed the blessing upon Jacob. One sin, however, multiplies into more sin. It was Isaac’s sin to disregard the oracle of God, which said, "the elder shall serve the younger." Isaac intended to disregard this oracle because he loved Esau. That’s where he fell.

We must see the subtlety of Satan and how crafty Esau was in winning the heart of Isaac. We must not doubt that Jacob and Esau knew. Turn to GEN 25:34: "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." Esau sold his birthright for a pottage of stew. He had no respect for his birthright. Do you suppose that he knew that the oracles of God declared that he would serve Jacob? He disregarded it, but in a cunning way, tried to circumvent the will of God.

GEN 25:27-28 reads, "And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. [As we read that verse, it doesn’t seem, on the surface, to tell us that much. But when we search it out, taking some of these common words into the original language, and understand what they really mean, then we see what this verse is saying.] And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob." Where was Isaac’s downfall? His appetite for earthly things overruled his good judgement in obeying the oracles of God.

By understanding the word "cunning," we’ll see how Esau connived and brought about the pit into which Isaac fell. The word "cunning" comes from the Hebrew word "yada" which means "cunning, famous, familiar friend." The word "cunning" in Webster's Christian series is translated to mean, "Artful, shrewd, sly, crafty". It implies the use of fraud or lies to accomplish the purpose rather than open, candid, or direct means. Esau was a cunning hunter. In order to be a successful hunter, you have to outsmart the deer. You have to be crafty, artful, and cunning to be a good hunter. This reveals the character of Esau.

The word "yada" also means "famous, familiar friend." Esau was a cunning hunter, who used his venison to win the heart of Isaac, to cause Isaac to become his friend. Verse 28 says, "And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob." Esau used his venison, his shrewdness, and his tactics to win the heart of Isaac because he knew that when Isaac became old and pronounced his blessing, this was his only hope of sneaking in and still getting the blessing himself. Isaac was becoming the prey of craft.

"Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents." The word "plain" is also very significant. It comes from the Hebrew word "tam (tawm)" which means, "pious, gentle, dear, coupled together, perfect [unspotted from any wrong attitudes], plain, undefiled, upright." How do we put that together? Jacob was upright, perfect, honest, and yet, he deceived Isaac.

Isaac had been beguiled. He was using poor judgement. He was violating the oracles of God in his old age, wanting to pronounce the blessing on Esau. Jacob saw this as did his mother. They saw that it was against the will of God for Esau to have the blessing, but their faith faltered. They couldn’t leave it in the Lord’s hands and let the Lord stop him. They resorted to human reasoning and were going to fight fire with fire.

The word "Nebuchadnezzar" means "defender of your own border." As we grow in grace, we come to where we no longer have to defend our own borders, because we trust the Lord. Why did Jacob and his mother not trust the Lord to overrule what Isaac was doing? Why didn’t Rebekah go to her husband and remind him of the oracles of God? Isaac, the head of the house, had left his station and was no longer walking under the oracles of God, so who was the leader, the head of the house? His wife used human reasoning. One sin compounds into a multitude of sins. The sins that came upon Isaac’s descendants were grievous and multiplied. These descendants suffered because of them for generations. It was all brought about by Isaac’s failure to obey the oracles of God.

Notwithstanding the characters of Jacob and Esau, we see how Isaac's appetite for the things of the flesh blinded his eyes for the oracles of God. He allowed his eyes to be blinded to the character of Esau and of Jacob. Jacob was upright, honest, undefiled, perfect, but Esau was a trickster, a liar. He used fraud and every subtle means to accomplish his goal. Why didn’t Isaac see that? "And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob," GEN 25:28. That was his sin.

In his old age, Isaac's eyes not only failed in natural vision, but as the result of his appetite for fleshly delights, he placed his own human reasoning ahead of the oracles of God and was blinded from seeing God's decree in giving the blessing to Jacob instead of Esau.

Isaac brought such grief into his own life and into the lives of his children by his sin. It says in GEN 27:1-5, "And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; [Again, it was Isaac’s appetite for earthly things that motivated this situation.] And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it."

Sin multiplies into more sin and brings a terrible curse. We see recorded the horrible fruit of placing human reasoning ahead of the authority of the oracles of God. GEN 27:6-10 reads, "And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death." Rebekah planned to deceive Isaac and have Jacob slip in ahead of Esau. Isaac’s sin brought about her sin.

"Jacob was a plain man..." In other words, he was pious, gentle, perfect, undefiled, and upright. See how Jacob rebuked his mother for such folly! We read in GEN 27:11-12, "And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing." Jacob was upright. He saw through this and reproved his mother, saying it would bring a curse, not a blessing.

See how one sin multiplies into a multitude of transgressions when Jacob's mother taught him to become a deceiver. What a horrible thing it is when parents teach their children to deceive. Here we have a young man who has an upright and clean heart. He is perfect and undefiled, but his mother teaches him deceit.

GEN 27:13-14 tells us, "And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice [Oh if God had given her the grace to say, ‘Obey the oracles of God.’ It would have saved her Jacob, Isaac, and herself such grief if she had been so wise. But she said, ‘only obey my voice.’] and go and fetch me them. [Rebekah was going to help God bring about what He had told her. The Lord doesn’t want our help. He wants our heart. He wants honesty.]

And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved."

When his mother said, "Upon me be thy curse, my son," how little did Jacob realize what that meant. He did not realize what it meant to have that curse rest upon his mother. We read about it in EXO 34:7: "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." Jacob didn’t realize that when that curse came to rest upon his mother, that it would rest upon her and her children to the fourth generation, which included him. He did not understand that you cannot disobey God’s Word and pass the curse off on to your fellowman. When she said, "Upon me be thy curse, my son," Jacob should have rebelled. We must "obey (our) parents in the Lord," EPH 6:1, as long as we’re not doing it against God’s Word. She taught rebellion in Israel. She taught him to come against the Word of God, and that curse came upon her and Jacob.

That same cursed deceitful heart was not only upon his mother and her brother Laban and upon her mother’s house, but it came back to haunt Jacob in his own children in his old age.

In GEN 45:25-26, we read, "And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not." The history of Joseph tells us that his brothers sold him. Taking his coat, they put blood on it, and deceived their father, telling him that an evil beast had devoured him. They deceived their father with their brother's coat just exactly like Jacob deceived his father. For more than twenty years, Jacob had grieved over his son Joseph, thinking he had been slain, and now his children had to come and confess that they had deceived him with their brother’s coat. The curse for the sin of deceit had come upon his mother, upon her children, and upon his children to the third and fourth generation.

Jacob was an honest, upright, perfect man, but his mother taught him how to deceive. That curse rested upon her and her brother, Laban. When Jacob left her brother’s house, he said to his wives, "And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times," GEN 31:7. Deceit was a curse that came upon the house of Isaac as the reward for his human reasoning because he did not come to the oracles of God. He listened to the cunning fables of his son, Esau, and allowed Esau to become a familiar friend. Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob because of Esau’s venison, because Isaac had a love for earthly things.

The Lord does overrule all the sins of His people for their good, but the grief it brings into their lives is to give them a holy reverence for His oracles. The Lord overruled the sin of Isaac in trying to pronounce the blessing upon Esau instead of upon Jacob, but the Lord allowed Isaac’s wife to become a deceiver. He allowed Isaac’s son, Jacob, to use deceit and treachery because it was deceit and treachery that stole Isaac’s heart, but God also allowed that curse to come upon Jacob and his children. Should this not cause you and I to have an holy awe and reverence for the authority of God’s Word. We should walk according to God’s Word and not according to the imaginations of our own heart.

In PRO 26:2, we read, "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come." The curse that came upon the descendants of Isaac didn’t come without a cause. Even though this world is filled with deceit, the Lord will overrule it to His praise. He overruled the deceit of Esau and the human reasoning of Isaac, and Jacob still received the blessing that God had revealed to his mother, but how horrible that they used deceit to bring it about! The blessing was still what God had decreed it to be. God could have prevented Isaac from pronouncing the blessing of Jacob upon Esau, but they didn’t trust God.

See how God overruled all this deceit in JOB 12:15-17: "Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools." It’s all in the Lord’s hand. He allowed this deceit to be used to bring about His very purpose, but the fact that they used deceit instead of honesty also brought about a curse.

Rebekah resorted to human reasoning in her zeal to uphold the oracles of God: "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." God’s oracle, His decree, was that Jacob would receive the blessing, and He had spoken it to Jacob's parents. Then this sin came upon them.

Rebekah capitalized upon Isaac's sin to help God perform His decree. Isaac fell in his lust for the venison of his son, Esau. Rebekah made savoury meat and capitalized upon Isaac’s weakness because she wanted to help the Lord bring about His decree. The Lord didn’t need her help. He could have, and He would have restrained Isaac, but Jacob fetched the meat to his mother.

We read in GEN 27:14-17, "And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob."

As Job said in JOB 12:16, "...the deceived and the deceiver are..." both in the hands of the Lord. The Lord used it and overruled it all to still accomplish His decree. We see the deceit of Jacob in "GEN 27:19: "And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn." Do you think that there will be a blessing upon a lie? The blessing was not because he lied. The blessing was because God had so decreed. But Jacob harvested the fruit of the lie all his life.

Now Jacob seemed like a rich man. Isaac had blessed him. We read in GEN 27:25-29, "And (Isaac) said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee."

With such a blessing, you’d say that Jacob seemed like a very rich man, but think how much richer he would have been with God's blessing, but without Rebekah's curse. He had the blessing, but he also had Rebekah’s curse.

God does reward every man according to his doings in this life, but in the spiritual sense, Christ came to take the curse of the broken law. Jacob had to bear that curse all his life. The curse and the deceit haunted him all his life. Yet, we read in GAL 3:13 that "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." That is the blessedness that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who have fallen in sin and those who have learned by bitter experience throughout their whole lives what it is to live under God’s curse, in the end, if they are one of God’s dear people, Christ takes that curse. Jacob understood what it was for Christ to take that curse.

Christ took upon Himself the curse that came upon you and me and the entire human race in the Garden of Eden as a result of walking away from the will of God. That is what opens the way for you and me to have eternal bliss. It says, "Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree," and Christ was nailed on a cross to take away the curse that you and I deserve.

As God looked upon Jacob in the Lord Jesus Christ, we see the curse was removed, and his sins were all covered. That is the blessedness that we have in Christ. Our sins are covered with His blood. The blood of Christ covers all our sins, and they are cast into the sea of everlasting forgetfulness where they will never be called to remembrance again. The blood of Christ becomes a blanket and covers it all.

We read in Numbers that Balak had hired Balaam to curse Jacob (Israel). NUM 23:7-8 states, "And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?" The Lord was looking at Jacob in Christ and saw that the curse was taken by the Lord Jesus Christ and that all Jacob’s sins were washed away. When Balak asked Balaam to give a curse, he was not able to curse. Why couldn’t Rebekah trust the Lord? The Lord restrained Balak and Balaam. Balaam said, "How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?" Why couldn’t Rebekah say, "How shall Isaac bless whom the Lord has not blessed?" Why couldn’t she have trusted the Lord? Why couldn’t she have gone to Isaac and reproved him of his sin of violating the oracles of God by placing the blessing upon Esau instead of upon Jacob? In her weakness, she was going to help the Lord and brought all this misery and grief upon herself.

That horrible curse which Isaac and Rebekah brought upon themselves and their children by straying away from the oracles of God can only be removed by Christ saying as Rebekah said, "Upon me be thy curse, my son," GEN 27:13. When the Lord Jesus Christ gives us our pardon, He says, as Rebekah said, "Upon me be thy curse." In other words, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of that broken law, and God can again look upon us in His love and favor.

When the spiritual Jacob has that curse removed, then neither Balaam nor Balak can pronounce a curse again. Read in NUM 23:19-21 where Balak was insistent that Balaam should pronounce a curse. Balak brought Balaam to a different location so he could see the Israelites from a different angle. From that new station, Balaam said, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it." Wouldn’t it have been a blessing if Rebekah and Jacob could have rested in such faith instead of using such treachery and deceit?

As God rebuked Balak and Balaam, He also would have prevented Isaac from bestowing a wrong blessing. Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob should have understood, as Balak found out, that when God blesses, He cannot reverse it. Balak went with all determination to curse. The Lord overruled him; He did not allow it.

Verse 21 continues as Balaam has a vision of Jacob in Christ. Balaam said, "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel." We’ve heard about Jacob’s sins and how he deceived his father. Here, we see Balaam hired to pronounce a curse upon Jacob, but the Lord showed him and Balaam said, "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob," because the Lord looked upon Jacob in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jacob was covered with the blood of Christ. "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them."

Balaam’s response to this was, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!" Did Balaam die the death of the righteous? No. He died by the sword as a curse. God sent Moses deliberately to slay him because his life was not the life of the righteous.

Today, so many people want to die the death of the righteous. When you go to a funeral, everyone is going to heaven. You hear them preach everybody to heaven because they are menpleasers. They are not preaching the oracles of God. If they have not lived the life of the righteous, they are not going to die the death of the righteous.

Of Balaam, it is said that he "loved the wages of unrighteousness," IPE 2:15, and he "perished in the gainsaying of Core," JUD 11. In other words, he perished in hell because he taught Balak how to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. When the Lord said that He would not curse Israel, Balaam told Balak, "but I’ll show you how you can get Him to do it. You send your women, your prostitutes, and your idols in there and cause Israel to sin against the Lord, and then the Lord will bring His judgement upon them." That is what happened, and 20,000 in Israel were slain by the Lord because they did take the women of Midian, and they did worship their idols. The Lord brought his judgement upon them, but He also slew Balaam. He perished because he taught Balak how to cast a stumbling block before Israel. He wanted those "wages of unrighteousness." Balak had hired him to come and pronounce a curse upon Israel so that Balak could get an edge on Israel.

Today, how many people have the religion of Balaam? They are willing to cast a stumbling block before the true repentant sinners, and they have the doctrines of Balaam. In REV 2:12-14, we read of the revelation of Jesus Christ to the church of Pergamos: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name [He’s saying that the church there had many things that were very pleasing to the Lord.], and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."

In the churches today, how many teach the doctrines of Balaam? How many teach that all you have to do is accept Jesus and you’re saved? They don’t teach repentance. They want to die the death of the righteous, but do they live the life of the righteous? If they do not live the life of the righteous, they’re not going to die the death of the righteous. This is the deceit that God says is in our churches today, that they teach the doctrines of Balaam. They teach the doctrine of dying the death of the righteous without living the life of the righteous. That is the doctrine of Balaam.

The Lord says, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam." We must notice the urgency of seeking the oracles of God, i.e. the Word of God. God is so jealous of His Word, and God will not allow His Word to fall to the ground void, Cf. ISA 55:11. God requires it of our hand. Our Christian walk of life is to be cleansed "with the washing of water by the word," EPH 5:26. Amen.


These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.

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