Summary: Jacob’s change by God prepared Joseph to be able to face the trials that were coming.
Intro. Gen 30:24-25 The Birth of the Favorite Son!
I want to begin a series on Joseph. But in doing so, I want to look at his very beginning as we journey into his life. To do that, we must begin with Jacob. Joseph was just a young man at this time. But Daddy was about to be changed forever. With 11 sons and one daughter, Jacob decided to leave his father in law. But Laban was upset with him for leaving, so there was great conflict there. Jacob’s character was seen in his response to Laban: Gen 31:38-42 He changed.
It had been about 20 years since Jacob had left his father and the presence of Esau. It had been 20 years since he had come to that place that was once called Luz, where Jacob encountered God (Gen 28:12-19)
He had been crooked in his life, but then began to walk straighter after God met with him at Bethel. But he still reaped earthly things off of his previous life. His Father-in-law, Laban, and Jacob were cut of the same cloth. "What’s in it for me?" But Jacob had worked for Laban and given him honest work. Prior to our text, Jacob had departed from Laban with his family. He had not been honest prior, but he had worked for Laban honestly. He was still acknowledging the God he had met at Bethel. He now faced a path, on which he would take his family. This would be the memories of a little boy named Joseph. And the journey began. In the human realm, someone trained Joseph, and I believe it was the father that loved him. How did Joseph faced all he did?
I know, the answer is God’s grace, but earthly speaking - Daddy changed!
The First time that Jacob came to Bethel, God saved him - Gen 28:21 "So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
It was here that God Secured him - Gen 32:27 "And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Victory)
God then Touched Jacob, and Settled him - He established a new walk in Jacob. Genesis 32: 30 "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank." Even facing Esau, he was settled!
Now, in our text, we find the Sanctification of Jacob - Genesis 35:1-15
We come to an altar, an altar of surrender - And he built the altar to HIS God. He was faced with a failure of sin in His children (chap 34), and then we come to Chapter 35. And here we find the ultimate change of Jacob, Joseph’s Daddy. Now do not misunderstand, we are all sanctified at salvation. But the work of Sanctification of God is two-fold. You will find in the scriptures- we are sanctified unto God at salvation (positional sanctification). 1 Cor 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
Hebrews 10:14 "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." But the process through which we have followed Jacob is that of Spiritual growth - Progressional sanctification. Jacob had been through much, and in chapter 35, we see God wanted him to be even more "set apart" unto Him. 1 Thess 5:23 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Why do so many believe that God is finished doing anything in their life at salvation? God wants us to be holy unto Him!
After this chapter, we find Jacob as a man full of God’s Spirit, wisdom, blessing his boys, worshiping as he leans on his staff, and dwelling in God’s blessings for years. The focus in Genesis is about to change to Joseph, but before we look at Joseph, I want us to see God reminds, renews, and revives Jacob once again!