Learning From Our Big Brother

When ‘Elyon gave each nation its heritage,
when he divided the human race,
he assigned the boundaries of peoples
according to Isra’el’s population;
but Adonai’s share was his own people,
Ya‘akov his allotted heritage. – Deut 32:8-9

God made all the families of the earth. Out of all of them, He chose Israel to be a light to the other families. He gave them His instructions for how to live with each other in order to be that light.

Out of the twelve sons of Jacob, God chose one of them to serve Him in His temple. He gave them a special set of instructions on how to do that.

baby brother on big brother's shouldersBecause of the work of the Son of David, from the line of Judah, we are blessed to be included in that family of Israel. But it’s not so that we can just sit around and talk about how blessed we are. Nor is it so we can look jealously at our older brother and plot and scheme to take his place.  Rather, we have work to do just as our older brother, Israel, has work to do. We are called to co-labor with him to help shine God’s light, to repair the world, to make things ready for when Messiah returns.

So rather than being jealous of our big brother, Israel, and seeking to destroy his place among all the families our Father created, and interfere with God’s plan, we should spend our time learning from him.

Why? Because then we would truly discover the nature and character of our God.

Last night I was honored to facilitate the study “Walk in the Word” at Community Christian Church. It was a great study in chapter 4 of Hosea. However, at one point the discussion centered on grace. The overall opinion was that grace didn’t exist in the Old Testament, or if it did, it was a different kind of grace.

I Am the Lord, I change not. Mal 3:6Before I could blurt out, “God is the same yesterday, today and forever” and go off on a tirade of how Jesus didn’t come save us from the God of the Old Testament; how this is a Marcion heresy that was rejected by the Gentile church a long time ago, though still subtly taught. Nope, I didn’t do any of that because God slapped His hand over my mouth. You see, He very wisely understood that it wasn’t the time or the place. (It also made me realize that the post I’ve been working on, entitled “It Is All About Grace”, needs to be completed and posted.)

So the conversation moved on, and it was a good one with a lot of sharing and insightful comments. But I realized that as much as we Gentiles think we understand the character of grace and mercy in our God, we really don’t. And God nudged me to finish the post I’m working on about grace.

two candlesBut in the meantime, I truly believe that we should consider learning from our big brother, Jacob, who long ago discovered the grace and mercy of our Father, so we can truly work with him to be a light in this dark world.


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