“Happy is he that bath the God of Jacob for His help, whose hope is in the Lord His God.”
It is wisdom not to put your trust in the princes of the world.
Let not the dreams they weave before your longing eyes charm you to that extent that you place your trust in them. Because their breath goeth forth, they return to the earth and in that very day their thoughts perish. And you are left destitute in the cold. There is no help in men.
Over against this idle trust stands the cry of the Holy Ghost: Happy is the man that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.
Let the object of your trust be the God of Jacob.
Then and then alone you are safe for time and for eternity.
Because the God of Jacob is the Almighty God.
When the Bible repeatedly testifies regarding the God of Jacob, the meaning is first of all that this God stands over against the various gods in Canaan. There were many gods in those days. Every tribe in Canaan, sometimes every individual family, ruled by its patriarch had its own god. And in time of war or drought, in all manner of calamities these poor people would turn to their gods and cry out their need of them: O help us, for the water has come over our souls. It is pitiful to read some of the petitions that came down to us through the ages, testifying of their need of help and the- efforts put forth to get it from the heathen gods.
Yet all was vain. These heathen gods were no gods, idle and helpless. Things with them went on just the same and these things were governed and ruled by Him Who dwells in the heavens.
The God of Jacob, however, was and is different. When Jacob went to that God with strong crying and tears, he was helped out of all his calamities. Never did this patriarch knock in vain on the doors of heaven. God heard him in that he was helped.
Moreover, the God of Jacob became also the name of God among the descendants of Jacob. All the god-fearing Israelites went to the God of Jacob for strength and help in time of trouble. And they also, like their father, were helped out of all their distresses. Take for instance the God-fearing Hezekiah. When he was in dire need of help at the time the wicked were lying without the gates of Jerusalem, cursing the Name expressly and wantonly, and when they sent wicked letters to this pious king of the people of God, cursing and mocking the God of Jacob, he went to God and spread forth these letters before the Countenance. And his cry was heard: Now, therefore, O Lord our God save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even Thou only. Do you not notice that the God of Jacob was his help? Neither did he trust in vain. For this God of Jacob sent His angel and destroyed a hundred and fourscore and five thousand of the wicked in one night. And so the name of the God of Jacob was to the nation of God’s people the name of Him Who helped in time of need.
Why, even in our day you will notice that when God’s people are in trouble they will cry to Jacob’s God. The Holy Ghost leads us to do this. Jacob had a troublesome life. It seemed as though all things were against him. His father, his brother, his uncle, the elements. His sons also, for they robbed him of his children. All these things are against me! Now we know that this was not so. We know that all things worked together for good unto Jacob. But Jacob did not know this. And therefore he spent his life in crying to God for help against his distresses. And God heard. From step to step the God of Jacob fought for him and delivered him.
Ah, yes, the God of Jacob is God, the Almighty, Who is willing and able to help His people who are in distress and trouble.
And the God of Jacob is all this because He is the Lord God.
That has a wonderful significance.
The Lord God.
He is the Covenant God.
Lord means: I am that I am. That is, I am the unchangeable One. I am the Eternal One, the Immutable One. There is no shadow of turning with Me. Therefore He is also the ever faithful One. In His everlasting Counsel He saw Jacob, that is, Israel, that is, the Church of Jesus Christ, that is, the sum total of the elect of God, and seeing them He counseled peace and security for them in the Son of His love. And because He is the Lord, that is, the Unchangeable One, He keepeth truth for ever, He is the ever faithful Covenant God.
This Lord made promises. And what promises! I am your God and the God of your seed. I am coming to you, my darling children! I am going to come to you and I will come ever closer to you, until you shall be so everlastingly close to Me that it may be said that I am all and in all.
And nothing can change this promise from its fulfillment.
God did come to His own Jacob in a picture. It was the first heaven and earth. Through omnipotent creation he weaved an image of the fulfillment of the promises, which is the reason that Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 seem so much alike.
When this first creation went down in the gloom of death and the curse, the Lord came closer through the altar and the blood of sacrificial animals. He taught His Jacob that this world which had fallen so low must be elevated, must be raised to new heights of glory. He came closer to Jacob, for He taught Adam and Abel to build an altar, that is, they must take some earth or stones and make a heap or two. It is the exalted and elevated world.
Later the Lord came closer. Listen to Stephan, just before his stoning: . . . David, who found favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built Him a house, The Lord came ever closer. In splendor of gold of Ophir and the needlework of artists, God dwelled in the Holy of Holies and taught Jacob that He loved Him. And He showed His love in manifold tokens and signs and types and washings and sacrifices. God came closer to Jacob for his help for He accepted the token of blood once every year when the High Priest entered His abode. And the angels were very desirous to understand this miracle of grace. They bent forward over the sprinkled blood on the mercy seat.
And the Lord came closer when Jesus was born.
For Jesus is Jacob fulfilled. God promised that He would come to Jacob and be his God. Well, this is fulfilled in Jesus. According to the flesh, Jesus is Jacob and God dwelleth in Jesus in unity of the Person. Immanuel: God with us. And with this Jesus the wonder of grace is manifested to angels also: now they may see it! Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace! Now we see it! This babe will take away all the sin of Jacob.
And with this Jesus the fallen world is elevated for He climbs the steep sides of the mountain of God’s holiness. Climbing in His resurrection and ascension, He cries out: The glorious gates of righteousness, throw open unto Me!
And the Lord God came still closer to Jacob when the Holy Ghost was poured out on Pentecost. Now God dwells in the hearts and mind of all the Jacobs, both small and great. And now we all are temples of the Holy Ghost.
But the flesh is corrupt and the body is inclined to the dust. And in the night we hear the groaning of Jacob with strong crying and tears: O wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me out of the body of this death!
And God, the God of Jacob hears him, for He is the Lord God. He shall remember His covenant which He made from everlasting. The time is at hand that also the bodies of the Jacobs shall be made to conform to the most glorious body of Jesus. The lives of the souls of Jacobs were first fruits, but the harvest of the bodies is coming. He shall raise our mortal bodies through the Spirit that dwells in us. At the day of Jesus!
And the God of Jacob shall come still closer. For a new commonwealth is coming. We expect according to His promises a new heaven and a new earth. And that new commonwealth shall be such that heaven and earth: shall be united and in the midst of them shall descend the tabernacle of God out of heaven. Then God shall dwell with His people and shall be a Father unto them and they shall be His sons and daughters. And all the tears of Jacob shall be washed away.
What have the sons of man ever done for you? We are killed all the day long by them. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter by them.
Recall the history of Jacob, What did Jacob get for help out of Esau and Laban? None at all. But on the contrary: those two relatives brought him much sorrow and tears. And if it had not been for the help of the God of Jacob he would have been swallowed up alive. No thanks to Esau and Laban for the revival and survival of Jacob. These evil men were as wild beasts around de turtledove of God. Ah, Jacob, thou hast all our sympathy!
But I hasten to add that Jacob was happy. For happy is the man who has the God of Jacob for his help. Whose trust is in the Lord his God.
Indeed! All things work together for his good. Even tears and suffering must serve to bring the promises to fulfillment. That is wonderfully shown in the Christ of God. That dark night cannot be spared in the scheme of things. The strong crying. and tears of Jesus in everlasting agony are the foundation of all fulfillment of the promises. Without them we would cry in hell.
But blessed is that man! Blessed now for he wrestles with God and will not let Him go without the blessing of Jehovah God. And the blessing is remaining. All things testify of the love that cannot be measured.
And blessed anon in the land that is fairer than day. There we shall be so blessed, beloved reader, that we shall never sin any more. If there was no more revealed than just that: it would be sufficient to elicit my highest singing and praises of God. Not sin any more. Can you imagine anything sweeter?
Oh, even through the dimming tears, I see glory that cannot be uttered in the vale! Not sin any more; nevermore to roam. Ah, blessedness unspeakable!
Let all of Jacob say: Amen Hallelujah!