Genesis 35:16-29Genesis 35:16-29. These family records mingle well with the story of God's grace. The mothers "Ben-oni is the father's Benjamin." Out of the pain and the bereavement sometimes comes the consolation. A strange blending of joy and sorrow is the tale of human love. But there is a higher love which may draw out the pure stream of peace and calm delight from that impure fountain. Jacob and Esau were separated in their lives, but they met at their father's grave. Death is a terrible divider, but a uniter too. Under the shadow of the great mystery, on the borders of an eternal world, in the presence of those tears which human eyes weep for the dead, even when they can weep no other tears, the evil things of envy, hatred, revenge, alienation do often hide themselves, and the better things of love, lessee, brotherhood, amity come forth. Jacob was with Isaac when he died, and Esau came to the grave. - R.
I. THE WAY IN WHICH ALL JACOB'S PREVIOUS CULTURE TENDED TO THIS ONE RESULT OF MAKING HIM AN ISRAEL.
1. God makes good His general blessing in special effects to His saints.
God appeared unto Jacob again.1. God useth to knit comforts unto griefs for His saints. When creature comforts go out of sight, God cometh in.
2. God's appearance is enough to countervail the disappearance of any comfort.
3. In various ways God hath appeared to His saints, but now only in Christ.
4. Repeated manifestations of Himself doth God afford to the necessities of His saints.
5. All God's gracious appearances are to bless His people.
6. God's blessing for this life and that which is to come is effectual.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
2. God minds His saints of their own mean name and state in changing
3. God alone removeth the lost estate and name of His people.
4. God alone bringeth His saints to a higher name and state.
5. God's sanction alone settles the name and glory of His saints.
6. This sanction God repeats at His pleasure for His people (ver. 10).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
He called his name Israel —
II. THE WAY IN WHICH ALL JACOB'S SUBSEQUENT EXPERIENCES IN LIFE TENDED TO THE CONFIRMING IN HIM OF THE CHARACTER OF AN "ISRAEL." Even to the end of Jacob's life, God did not wholly remit His discipline. Loss of Joseph, famine, anxiety respecting Benjamin, &c.
III. WHAT A GLORIOUS ISSUE IT WAS TO A LIFE SO UNTOWARDLY BEGUN, THAT, BY THE DIVINE CULTURE, IT SHOULD BE THUS TRANSFORMED FROM THE CHARACTER OF A "SUPPLANTER" INTO THAT OF AN "ISRAEL."
1. It is a glorious thing for a man, by means of a Divine discipline of life, to be made acquainted with the characteristics of his own nature.
2. It is a glorious thing to have life enriched with manifold experiences.
3. It is a glorious thing to be made conscious of moral improvement and advantage.
4. It is a glorious thing to be brought into intimate fellowship and communion with God.
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