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Jacob, The Worship of Faith
Heb. 11:21


In this chapter, we have three man who showed their faith before dying. First, it was Isaac, now its Jacob. Like Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Isaac, Jacob is mentioned only in one verse. Large portion in the book of Genesis were written about him. A man of faith who just like his father Isaac, is able to leave blessings to others specially to his sons before he died.

Illustration/Application: Count the Promises

Two little girls were counting their pennies. One said, “I have five pennies.” The other said, “I have ten.” “No,” said the first little girl, “You have just five cents, the same as I.” “But,” the second child quickly replied, “my father said when he comes home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents.” Trustfully, she counted what her father had promised. That’s exactly how a Christian can be poor in the estimation of the world and at the same time be rich. He counts as his whatever his Heavenly Father has. (Illustrations of Bible Truths.)

I. Jacob
A. Jacob (a supplanter) – one of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. The brother of Esau, he was known also as Israel (Gen. 32:28).
B. Jacob was born in answer to his father’s prayer (Gen. 25:21), but he became the favorite son of his mother (Gen. 25:28). He was nicknamed Jacob because, at the birth of the twins, “his hand took hold of Esau’s heel” (Gen. 25:26). According to the accounts in Genesis, Jacob continued to “take hold of” the possessions of others-his brother’s birthright (Gen. 25:29-34), his father’s blessing (Gen. 27:1-29), and his father-in-law’s flocks and herds (Gen. 30:25-43; 31:1). (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
C. Jacob is deceitful and clever. He inherited Abraham’s blessing and became the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.
D. According to generally accepted calculation Isaac was 137 years old when he gave the blessings to his sons. Jacob and his twin brother Esau were both 77 years old at that time.
E. Jacob spoke many things in his final blessing upon his twelve sons. He prophesied not only the birth of Christ, but he prophesied the time when Shiloh should come and “unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10).

Illustration/Application: God’s Word is Always Right
J. H. McConkey writes: “We said to a physician friend one day, “Doctor, what is the exact significance of God’s touching Jacob upon the sinew of his thigh?” He replied, “The sinew of the thigh is the strongest in the human body. A horse could scarcely tear it apart.” Ah, I see. God has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing with us.           Heartwarming Bible Illustrations.

II. Important events in his life not mentioned
A. Buying of Esau’s birthright (Gen. 25:30-34)
B. Deceiving Isaac to get Esau’s blessings (Gen. 27:1-29)
C. The dream and the vision of the ladder in Bethel (G en. 28:10-19)
D. The years in Haran (Gen. 29:15-30)
E. The wrestling at Jabbok’s ford and given a new name (Gen. 32:24-32)
F. The severe discipline of trials and testing (Gen. 34:1-2, 35:18-19, 27-29, 37:32-34 and 42:36).
G. Blesses his sons (48:1-49:28)

Illustration/Application: The Midnight Wrestle
We are all familiar with the story of Jacob’s famous wrestling match with God’s angel. In light of the events that transpired, one can hear Jacob say:
“I have seen God face to face” (Gen. 32:30). Our moments of vision come at daybreak: but they are ushered in by the agony of dread; the long midnight vigil; the extreme agony of conflict; the shrinking of the sinew. Yet, when they come, they are so glorious that the frame is almost overpowered with the brightness of that light, and the exceeding weight of glory. The price is dear, but the vision is more than worth it all. The sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory revealed.
This is life; a long wrestle against the love of God, which longs to make us royal. As the years go on, we begin to cling where once we struggled; and as the morn of heaven breaks, we catch glimpses of the Angel’s face of love, and hear His whispered name: and as He blesses us, we awake to find ourselves living, and face to face with God—and that is heaven itself.           —F. B. Meyer

III. What is worship
A.Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but  delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause, but which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven. A. W. Tozer, quoted in D. J. Fant, A. W. Tozer, Christian Publications, 1964, p. 90
B. Worship is the obligation of God’s creation to give to Him all honor, praise, adoration, and glory due Him because He is the holy and divine creator. Worship is to be given to God only (Ex. 20:3; Matt. 4:10). Jesus, being God in flesh (Jn. 1:1,14; Col. 2:9), was worshipped (Matt. 2:2,11; Jn. 9:35-40; Heb. 1:6). Source: unknown
C. To bow down; to honor; to exalt; to pay homage; to reverence (Ge 24:52; Ex 4:31; 12:27; 24:1; 33:10; 34:8; Mt 2:11). Bible truths about worship:
Only the Lord God of the Bible is to be worshipped (Ex. 20:1-6; 34:14; 2 Kings 17:36; Mt. 4:10; Acts 10:25-26). Not even angels are to be worshipped (Rev. 22:8-9). Jesus Christ is to be worshipped (Mt. 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 18:26; 20:20; 28:9,17; Ph. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:6). Worship is in vain if based on the traditions of man instead of the Word of God (Mt. 15:9; Mr 7:7). Worship must be in Spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24; Ph. 3:3). The world will one day worship the devil and his Antichrist (Re 13:4,8,12,15). (Way of Life Encyclopaedia by D. Cloud)

IV. Worship of faith
A. By faith Jacob, when he was dying…When Jacob was dying, when his body is frail, and weak, worshipped and praised God for all that He has done for him in the past and for the blessed and bright future he will have in heaven. Here are some thoughts about worship in faith:
1. Worship of faith is precious when it is being done at the hour of our death. The Bible says Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Ps. 116:15). Jacob’s life is marked by his worship to the Lord. In Bethel and Peniel, he worshipped. At the very moment of death, he worshipped leaning upon the top of his staff. Dying in communion and fellowship with God should be the way we Christians must die. Stephen at the moment of his death saw the heavens opened and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:56).
2. Worship of faith is more intense, more pure, honest, and truthful at the hour of our death. When your strength is gone, and you are too weak to do things you normally do. When there’s no one else that can help and you just leave everything to God. Still, you can remember and praise and worship the Lord for all the things He did for you and for your loved ones. Jacob must have remembered his sins, mistakes, his trials, doubts and fears. But the Lord still loved him and blessed him and Jacob must have been thankful to the Lord also. We too can do that. We can praise, worship, and be thankful to the Lord at the very moment of our death.
3. Worship of faith is the utmost or highest activity of faith. At the time of our death, trusting the Lord and worshipping Him is the best thing we can do. Jacob knows it’s the best he can do before blessing his children and then dying. In heaven we serve (Rev. 7:15), praise (Rev. 4:10-11); and worship our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Rev. 14:7). In the Book of Revelation, the see the angels, the redeemed sinners, the twenty-four elders worship the Lord. Why do we go to church? To meet or brothers and sisters in Christ? To sing hymns and praise songs? To listen to the sermon? Or to worship God? Our primary aim is to worship the Lord. If in heaven we will be worshipping the Lord, we must be ready, willing, and truly worship Him now that we are strong and in our death bed.
4. Worship of faith will become worship by sight. When we go to heaven, we will see the Lord face to face (Rev. 22:4), and we will worship Him visibly. We will see the reality of heaven. We will see the city not made by hands built by the Lord which our Heroes of Faith longed to see and dwell. We will see the angels (Heb. 12:22), our mansions (Jn. 14:2). The streets of Gold (Rev: 21:21), the tree of life (Rev. 22:2), the pure river of water of life (Rev. 22:1) and many more wonderful things which I can’t write and describe here.

V. Conclusion:
By faith Jacob worshipped God even when he is dying. Worship of faith at the time of our death is precious because it is more intense, honest, pure, and truthful, and it’s the best thing we can do at the last moment of our lives. Soon our worship of faith will become worship by sight because we will see the Lord face to face and see the realities of all that He promised.

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