361 Check the Facts

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12,13).

I’m so thankful for the new insights that I am receiving regarding Your word, dear Lord. All that we have been taught, the foundations of Protestant Christianity, have come to us through our heritage of Greek rational philosophy which has governed the western world’s thinking since before the time of Christ. Of course we read and interpret the Scriptures this way. In Your wonderful providence and control, all the essentials of our faith have been preserved, and stand true in whatever language or culture they touch. But some misconceptions have had devastating results for the world, and there is so much we have missed that can bless us.

Lately my thinking has been challenged by teaching on the rights of the firstborn in Scripture, which opens up a whole new understanding of Jacob and Joseph, for example. I had thought it only meant a double inheritance on the death of a father. Well, it does, but now I realise that it was for a purpose beyond personal gain. In the community setting of the nomadic Semite race, the head of the family was commissioned by You to care for his whole family group. This was the privilege that Jacob coveted and Esau did not value (Genesis 25:34b). This is why You chose Jacob above his brother even though he was not physically the firstborn. We have been taught that Jacob was a weakling because he was not like Esau, but Scripture tells us “Jacob was a man of integrity dwelling in tents” (v27 Heb.). Nor did Jacob deceive his brother though Esau accused him of that (v36). He offered a price which Esau could have refused for a position that Esau did not want at the time. You nowhere condemn Jacob for deceiving his father either: Isaac knew the prophecy of who was to succeed him but he wilfully reverted to Esau who was his favourite, giving the blessing 80 years before he actually died and without the required witnesses.*

I was wrongfully taught negative things about Joseph too, right from childhood. He was given dreams that were a prophetic message for his family group and his responsibility was to share them. He was not being arrogant and proud as I thought but fulfilling his prophetic calling. And You gave him the privileges of the firstborn son although he was way down the line of successors (I Chronicles 5:1,2), because his heart was godly, and what we read of his brothers through Genesis shows that most of them were not. This adds meaning to us because Christ was the firstborn of many brethren. So all that was inherent in being the firstborn applies to Him, and He is therefore responsible for the needs of the community which He heads. That’s us!

It’s so important to know these things because these misunderstandings have contributed to the antisemitism that blights our world today and has caused so much suffering to Your people. Please, dear Father, disseminate truth widely to Your church that we may all recognise what is false in the evil days that face us.

*Acknowledgement: Dr Ashley Crane

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Posted by on Sep 28 2014. Filed under Readings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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