God’s Promises Remembered

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 35:9-36:439And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him. 10And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. 11And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 13And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. 15And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el. 16And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor. 17And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. 19And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 20And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day. 21And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. 22And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: 24The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: 25And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: 26And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram. 27And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. 29And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. 1Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. 2Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. 4And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel; 5And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan. 6And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. 7For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle. 8Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. 9And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: 10These are the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau. 11And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. 12And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife. 13And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife. 14And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah. 15These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, 16Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah. 17And these are the sons of Reuel Esau's son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife. 18And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau's wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife. 19These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes. 20These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, 21And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. 22And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 23And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. 25And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah. 26And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. 27The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan. 28The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran. 29These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah, 30Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir. 31And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. 32And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 33And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. 34And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead. 35And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith. 36And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. 37And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. 38And Saul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. 39And Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 40And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth, 41Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 42Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar, 43Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites. (Genesis 35:9‑36:43)
God appeared to Jacob at Bethel, telling him again that his name was to be Israel, which means, a prince. God delights to change our names! My name was once Sinner (1 Timothy 1:15), but now it has been changed to Saint (Romans 1:77To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)), be­cause the Lord saved me. Has He changed your name, dear reader? God had not told His own name when He wrestled with Jacob at Peniel, but when Jacob arrived at Bethel, He did. He said, “I am God Almighty.” We might say, before going further, that God has made Himself known by dif­ferent names in the different dispensa­tions. A dispensation is a certain period of time in which God has acted in a certain way. For example, the dis­pensation of law began when the law was given at Mount Sinai, and ended when the Lord Jesus died at Calvary in order to redeem helpless sinners from its curse, for all had broken it. The patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — knew God as “Almighty.” God made Himself known as “Jehovah” to the children of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. Now we who are saved know God as our “Father,” and when the kingdom of Christ is set up on earth during the millennium, God will be known as the “most High.”
Joy in the Finished Work
Jacob, after listening afresh to God’s wonderful promises of blessing, set up a pillar of stone. He never wanted to forget those promises again, as he had for so long in the past. He then poured a drink offering over it. We all know that offerings had an important place in Old Testament times. They all pointed on to the one perfect sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and each of the different offerings, such as the burnt offering, the sin offering, and here the drink offering, all tell us of the varied aspects of His work. The drink offer­ing tells us of the joy we find in think­ing of His finished work, and the oil poured upon it reminds us that it is by the Spirit of God, who now indwells all believers, that we find this joy (Romans 5:55And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)). Unsaved people do not find any joy in thinking of the work of Calvary because they have never been born again by the Spirit of God.
Blessing in a Coming Day
When Rachel had given birth to Ben­jamin she died. She called him Ben­oni, which means the son of my sorrow, but his father called him Benjamin, meaning the son of my right hand. This tells us of the Lord Jesus, who will bring blessing to Israel, and through whom all the promises can be fulfilled. The children of Israel, like Rachel, have been set aside for the time, but in a coming day they will be brought into blessing through Christ — the Son at God’s right hand.
We will just make a few remarks about the thirty-sixth chapter. While Jacob and his family were still strangers and pilgrims, Esau and his family were establishing themselves in Mount Seir, and prospering. So it is today. The boy or girl who desires to be faithful to the Lord may not get along so well in this world as the un­saved. The world will never want a faithful testimony to Christ, for it is still the same as when it crucified Him. It hates those who confess His blessed name boldly (1 John 3:1313And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:13)). Esau and his descendants prospered for a time, but when God brings his earthly people Israel into blessing during the millennium, Esau’s people will be cut off entirely (Obadiah 1:1818And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it. (Obadiah 18)).
Further Meditation
1. Why did Jacob set up a pillar of stone after he heard the promises of God’s blessing?
2. Joy in the finished work of the Lord Jesus should characterize all of God’s people. Exodus 15 gives one description of that joy. How did the people thank the Lord for their deliverance?
3. You might find the pamphlet Joy by D. F. Rule an encouragement that sparks your thinking on this happy subject.