and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram.
See what awkward work is made when men go about to please others, and promote their worldly interests, by imitating that in which they have no delight. Ignorance and error mark every step they take, Esau was in no need of a wife. His parents would not be gratified by his connection with the apostate family of Ishmael. In short, he is out in all his calculations; nor can he discover the principles which influence those who fear the Lord. Thus have we often seen men try to imitate religious people for the sake of gaining esteem, or some way promoting their selfish ends; but instead of succeeding they have commonly made bad worse. That which to a right mind is as plain as the most public highway, to a mind perverted shall appear full of difficulties. "The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city" (Ecclesiastes 10:15).
The divergence of the two representative men is seen in this short statement of their marriage relations.
1. Domestic life under the blessing of God and apart from that blessing.
2. The true blessing is the blessing of Abraham, the blessing which God has already provided, promised, and secured.
3. The heir of the blessing must be sent away and learn by experience how to use it.
4. The disinherited man, who has scorned his opportunity, cannot recover it by his own devices. Esau is still Esau. Polygamy was suffered, but never had the blessing of God upon it. - R.
Then went Esau unto Ishmael. I.
HIS CONDUCT WAS MERCENARY.
II. HIS CONDUCT WAS ONE-SIDED.
III. HIS CONDUCT WAS FRAMED BY THE PRINCIPLE OF IMITATION.
Hypocrites hearing of blessing upon others, pretend to make to it as well as any.
2. Hypocrites hearing God's charge to accompany His blessing, would seem to observe it (ver. 6).
3. Hypocrites seeing the obedience of saints, would seem to imitate it (ver. 7).
4. Hypocrites perceiving what is displeasing to God and His servants, would seem to avoid it (ver. 8).
5. Hypocrites in all their pretences for God, take their own ways without His counsel.
6. Hypocrites in all their pretended imitations of the saints do but add sin to sin (ver. 9).
PeopleAram, Bethuel, Esau, Haran, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Laban, Mahalath, Nebaioth, Nebajoth, Rebekah
PlacesBeersheba, Bethel, Haran, Luz, Paddan-aram
TopicsAram, Hearkened, Hearkeneth, Jacob, Obeyed, Padanaram, Padan-aram, Paddan, Paddan-aram
Outline1. Isaac blesses Jacob, and sends him to Padan-aram.
6. Esau marries Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael.
10. Jacob journeys, and has a vision of a ladder.
18. The stone of Bethel.
20. Jacob's vow.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 28:6-9
5681 family, nature of
LibraryThe Heavenly Pathway and the Earthly Heart
'And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
February the Fifth Everywhere the Gate of Heaven
"Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not." --GENESIS xxviii. 10-22. That is the first time for many a day that Jacob had named the name of God. In all the dark story of his wicked intrigue the name of God is never mentioned. Jacob wanted to forget God! God would be a disturbing presence! But here he encounters Him in a dream, and in the most unlikely place. "And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!" Jacob had yet to learn that there is everywhere "a ladder set up on …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
The Presence of God.
"And Jacob awakened out of his sleep and said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not."--GENESIS xxviii. 16. These words indicate the beginning of a new life in the patriarch Jacob. They tell us of the moment when, as it would appear, his soul awoke in him. And they surprise us in some degree, as such awakenings of spiritual capacity often do; for Jacob's recorded antecedents were not exactly such as to lead us to expect the dream and the vision, and the awakening which are described …
John Percival—Sermons at Rugby
Jacob's Waking Exclamation
I would address you this morning upon a topic which may perhaps be as useful to us as to Jacob, if God the Holy Ghost shall but enable me to preach, and you to hear. Oh thou that art everywhere, be speedily now; be thou in this place, and may we know it, and tremble in thy presence. I shall speak on three points; first, the omnipresence of God--the doctrine of it; secondly, a recognition of that omnipresence, or the spirit which is necessary in order to discover the presence of God; and thirdly, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861
Notes on the First Century:
Page 1. Line 1. An empty book is like an infant's soul.' Here Traherne may possibly have had in his mind a passage in Bishop Earle's "Microcosmography." In delineating the character of a child, Earle says: "His soul is yet a white paper unscribbled with observations of the world, wherewith at length it becomes a blurred note-book," Page 14. Line 25. The entrance of his words. This sentence is from Psalm cxix. 130. Page 15. Last line of Med. 21. "Insatiableness." This word in Traherne's time was often …
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations
Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!
Hence, let us learn, my brethren, the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopia of Scripture, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863
The Life of Faith.
The fruit of these trials. The conduct of the submissive soul. It results from all that has just been described that, in the path of pure faith, all that takes place spiritually, physically, and temporarily, has the aspect of death. This is not to be wondered at. What else could be expected? It is natural to this state. God has His plans for souls, and under this disguise He carries them out very successfully. Under the name of "disguise" I include ill-success, corporal infirmities, and spiritual …
Jean-Pierre de Caussade—Abandonment to Divine Providence
The Plan for the Coming of Jesus.
God's Darling, Psalms 8:5-8.--the plan for the new man--the Hebrew picture by itself--difference between God's plan and actual events--one purpose through breaking plans--the original plan--a starting point--getting inside. Fastening a Tether inside: the longest way around--the pedigree--the start. First Touches on the Canvas: the first touch, Genesis 3:15.--three groups of prediction--first group: to Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3; to Isaac, Genesis 26:1-5; to Jacob, Genesis 28:10-15; through Jacob, …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
The Prophecy of Obadiah.
We need not enter into details regarding the question as to the time when the prophet wrote. By a thorough argumentation, Caspari has proved, that he occupies his right position in the Canon, and hence belongs to the earliest age of written prophecy, i.e., to the time of Jeroboam II. and Uzziah. As bearing conclusively against those who would assign to him a far later date, viz., the time of the exile, there is not only the indirect testimony borne by the place which this prophecy occupies in …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Letter xxviii (Circa A. D. 1130) to the Abbots Assembled at Soissons
To the Abbots Assembled at Soissons  Bernard urges the abbots zealously to perform the duty for which they had met. He recommends to them a great desire of spiritual progress, and begs them not to be delayed in their work if lukewarm and lax persons should perhaps murmur. To the Reverend Abbots met in the name of the Lord in Chapter at Soissons, brother Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, the servant of their Holiness, health and prayer that they may see, establish, and observe the things which are …
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux
That the Ruler Should be a Near Neighbour to Every one in Compassion, and Exalted Above all in Contemplation.
The ruler should be a near neighbour to every one in sympathy, and exalted above all in contemplation, so that through the bowels of loving-kindness he may transfer the infirmities of others to himself, and by loftiness of speculation transcend even himself in his aspiration after the invisible; lest either in seeking high things he despise the weak things of his neighbours, or in suiting himself to the weak things of his neighbours he relinquish his aspiration after high things. For hence it is …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
Covenanting Performed in Former Ages with Approbation from Above.
That the Lord gave special token of his approbation of the exercise of Covenanting, it belongs to this place to show. His approval of the duty was seen when he unfolded the promises of the Everlasting Covenant to his people, while they endeavoured to perform it; and his approval thereof is continually seen in his fulfilment to them of these promises. The special manifestations of his regard, made to them while attending to the service before him, belonged to one or other, or both, of those exhibitions …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
There are few subjects on which the Lord's own people are more astray than on the subject of giving. They profess to take the Bible as their own rule of faith and practice, and yet in the matter of Christian finance, the vast majority have utterly ignored its plain teachings and have tried every substitute the carnal mind could devise; therefore it is no wonder that the majority of Christian enterprises in the world today are handicapped and crippled through the lack of funds. Is our giving to be …
Arthur W. Pink—Tithing
Gen. xxxi. 11
Of no less importance and significance is the passage Gen. xxxi. 11 seq. According to ver. 11, the Angel of God, [Hebrew: mlaK halhiM] appears toJacob in a dream. In ver. 13, the same person calls himself the God of Bethel, with reference to the event recorded in chap. xxviii. 11-22. It cannot be supposed that in chap xxviii. the mediation of a common angel took place, who, however, had not been expressly mentioned; for Jehovah is there contrasted with the angels. In ver. 12, we read: "And behold …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
A Treatise of the Fear of God;
SHOWING WHAT IT IS, AND HOW DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT WHICH IS NOT SO. ALSO, WHENCE IT COMES; WHO HAS IT; WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS; AND WHAT THE PRIVILEGES OF THOSE THAT HAVE IT IN THEIR HEARTS. London: Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks market: 1679. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and "a fountain of life"--the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
The Shaking of the Heavens and the Earth
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Yet this once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. G od shook the earth when He proclaimed His law to Israel from Sinai. The description, though very simple, presents to our thoughts a scene unspeakably majestic, grand and awful. The mountain was in flames at the top, and …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1
Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation, …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
Christ the Mediator of the Covenant
'Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant,' &c. Heb 12:24. Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart. I shall waive the context, and only speak of that which concerns our present purpose. Having discoursed of the covenant of grace, I shall speak now of the Mediator of the covenant, and the restorer of lapsed sinners, Jesus the Mediator …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him, …
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments
The Strait Gate;
OR, GREAT DIFFICULTY OF GOING TO HEAVEN: PLAINLY PROVING, BY THE SCRIPTURES, THAT NOT ONLY THE RUDE AND PROFANE, BUT MANY GREAT PROFESSORS, WILL COME SHORT OF THAT KINGDOM. "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."--Matthew 7:13, 14 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. If any uninspired writer has been …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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