“But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren, for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him” (Gen. 42:4).
The scriptural record is silent on the matters pertaining to the life of Benjamin from his birth until the famine had a firm grip upon the land. This orphaned babe came into this world as his mother died, with an aged grieving father and siblings much older than he. No doubt he was suckled by one of the three remaining wives of Jacob and raised in a similar manner as the rest of his brothers and sisters, but there can be no question as to the uniqueness of his situation. Some would espy these circumstances as being adversely against the proper nurturing of the child. The environmental difficulties which this child grew up in would be cited as the excuse for every act of defiance, any and all abnormalities in his childhood development and of course the reason for his being maladjusted to the socio-economical habitations of his peers. Such is the psychology of Adam which remains consistent with the conduct in the garden where Adam looked for an excuse for his actions. The carnal mind cannot believe that a person, especially a child, has been ordained of old to be who he is, or that every step of his life has been meticulously ordered fast and sure including the circumstances and situations wherein they live, move and have their being. This child was the first born and only begotten of Israel, he was without his mother yet he was the most important element in the deliverance of Jacob and his family.
The severe famine grew worse over all the face of the earth. Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt yet he knew nothing about the circumstances by which this abundance ‘came to pass’. His only concern was for the provision his family required to continue live the lifestyle, to which they were accustomed. He sent his sons to “buy for us from thence that we may live and die not. And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt”. Jacob remained at home with his young son in full anticipation that this business transaction would be successfully consummated and his son would return promptly. He certainly expected that these grown men would make haste in their journey and expedite their trading of commerce for they knew the severity of the conditions at home and in the pastures. Yet they were detained by a man whom they knew not, accused of being spies and returned home, heavy laden with food and a brother short. The account they relayed unto Jacob, when they finally arrived, horrified their aged father, who was still grieving over the loss of his beloved child, Joseph. Now his remaining sons informed him that he not only was shy another son but the potentate who held Simeon captive, demanded that the youngest child be surrendered also. “And Jacob, their father, said unto them, me you have bereaved; Joseph is not and Simeon is not and you will take Benjamin? All these things are against me” (42:36). Though the promise of God is that He works all things for good to them that love Him, to the called according to His purpose, the natural man cannot see the ‘good’ nor does he rejoice in the ‘all thing’. Even when Reuben vowed upon the life of his own two sons yet would Jacob not release Benjamin but rather stood still as the provender and food supply was slowly depleted.
The scriptures do not record the exact amount of corn that was brought back to the land of Canaan but it can safely be presumed that Jacob sent his sons to buy what he expected to be sufficient amounts to sustain them through this current crisis. The purchased bounty was consumed in less than two years time and all this while, Simeon was in an Egyptian prison. He did not speak the language, was unfamiliar with the customs of the land and knew no one in his new home. When he and his brothers came before Joseph and interpreters were used this signified that Joseph did not want them to know he understood them and that they could not speak in the Coptic tongue. There should be no doubt that Joseph intended no harm to Simeon and thusly Simeon was most likely assigned to the same King’s prison (Gen. 39:20) where Joseph was imprisoned after the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife. This was a place where a person could be incarcerated one day and restored the next as it pleased the king. It was no doubt the place where a the chief butler was accused and sentenced by the King and three days later, forgiven of his trespasses and restored to his former station while the chief baker was delivered up to be hanged by the neck until dead. This of course was no consolation to a man who could not communicate to anyone in the prison and was absolutely ignorant of the state of affairs at home.
The exact amount of time of this illegal incarceration that had elapsed is not recorded either but it was also about two years (Gen. 45:6). Jacob commissioned his ten sons to go and buy such as was needed so “that we may live and not die” (42:2). He in no wise intended for his emissaries to simply purchase sufficient to get them through the week or season but his initial intention was for them to buy sufficient commensurate to the need of the entire family, which was now 70 souls. When they returned with the news of the head potentates’ edict and Simeon’s detention, Jacob delayed any further action on the matter until, as the famine grew sore in the land, “they had eaten up all the corn which they had bought out of Egypt”. Even then Jacob did not consider this course of action as a solution to the critical situation he was in as he instructed them this time to “Go again and buy a little food”. The proverbial ‘push’ had come to ‘shove’ and there appeared no way out of this predicament. Whatever the exact time that had passed from the first trip until this second one could only be projected by speculation but, for certain, Jacob was in anguish about the fact that this time Benjamin would have to go to Egypt.
It is worthy of consideration the seemingly callas attitude of Jacob toward Simeon. It would appear to be cousin to the apathy that his sons exhibited toward Joseph and his well being when, after being confronted with the bloody coat, Jacob did not send out a search party or make any further inquiry. When faced with a decision between the life, health and welfare of the one, Joseph, Jacob was more concerned with the survival of the family. This is not intended as a rebuke against Jacob or some strange admonition as to what ‘ought’ to have been done in similar situations. Consider the parable which Christ spoke to the Pharisees saying, “How do you think? If a man have an hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains and seek that which is gone astray?” (Matt. 18:12). This is the natural tendency of man to cut his losses and protect what remains. It is also another in the never ending examples of how God has ordained and orchestrated the means whereby the subjects of His creation are brought to the places where the purpose of God afore prepared them to be. It shows how the thoughts and intents of the heart of man are controlled by the perfect sovereign rule of Almighty God who puts it in their hearts to fulfill His will. It also demonstrates how the interweaving of all the factors into the equation made Jacob ready, through the means of attrition and starvation, to relinquish his hold on Benjamin and, at the appointed time, to make the trip for the benefit of his house of Israel.
“And God Almighty give you mercy before this man that he may send away your other brother and Benjamin; if I am bereaved, I am bereaved” (43:14).
Jacob’s spirit was now broken. He instructed his sons to take the best fruits of the famine weary land as a present to Joseph; “a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds”. This is indeed a strange statement since the famine was “sore in the land”. If there were sufficient quantities of these items to present as a gift before the second in command of the land of Egypt why were they not sufficient for the family so that they did not have to travel to the foreign land? Fresh fruit, honey, balm, spices, myrrh, (pistachio) nuts and almonds would indicate that there was a water source somewhere in order for these things to grow. The balm is known as syrup or sap today and was widely used in medicines or as common trade commodities. The spices were aromatic powders made from pounding the vegetation and myrrh was a fragrant resin which was squeezed from the leaves of the plants. In the midst of a great drought these items would be considered luxuries rather than necessities and so the riches of the land were counted as common for the sake of feeding the family.
But Jacob was not trying to impress the ruler or to buy his favour. The choicest of products in a water impoverished land would appear deficient and would be an embarrassment in the courts of Egypt. Jacob did not tell his sons to load their sacks to the top and give this man a storehouse of dainties. This man owned the land of Egypt and most of the surrounding lands had been traded for the food in Joseph’s granaries; he was the food czar. Rather Jacob told them to take a little amount to emphasis their diminutive status as he sent them to pay tribute to the King of Egypt. He was ignorantly fulfilling the vision of Joseph, which he had ardently denounced, in that which he was presenting. He revealed to this man of power and substance that his family was at what they thought was the end of the way for his sacrifices were hollow or empty as represented by the nuts.
He also demonstrated to all of Egypt that he did not think his family would survive to the next spring as he gave him the sign of spring, the almond nuts. These were the first to bud or come alive in the spring and stood for hope of food, prosperity and wealth. When Jacob gave these over to Egypt, he signaled that they had virtually nothing to trade, no cure for their problems (balm) and little hope for survival. Jacob was bowing down before this man, as foretold, because his family was reduced to eating the gummy substance from the trees (honey) seasoned with a pulverized powder and resin squeezed from the leaves of the trees. Even though they still had animals, which were undoubtedly not fairing well without provender, these people were impoverished and destitute. Jacob was not sending a gift as a courtesy to Egypt, he was begging for his life and the life of his family as he revealed in his tribute how bad the situation had become. Jacob gave all that he had and released the son of his right hand, Benjamin, to go to Egypt with no assurance that he would ever see him again. Thus by faith, Jacob went to Egypt in hope of buying “a little food”.
Benjamin is a silent participant in all these proceedings. Even though he is but a ‘young lad’ he plays the most important role in this transaction. The edict from Joseph was not for Jacob to be brought to Egypt to answer for the actions of his sons, neither was it for the money to be returned with interest. Nor was it for this tribute of meagerly substances for Joseph’s only demand was that Benjamin be brought before him. Amidst the turmoil of these very trying circumstances, Jacob was brought (drawn) to the place and given the mindset where he made the decision, which God had ordained him to make, in great sorrow and anguish, God had interwoven the means to prevent any other conclusion and to ensure that the nation of Israel would be in Egypt. He turned the heart of His servant and made him willing in the day of His power to bow subservient before this heathen ruler and beg for food.
No mention is made of any communications that took place en route from Canaan to Egypt. It is not reported that the brothers tried to coach Benjamin in the correct manners of the Egyptian court or to brief him on their strategy in the upcoming confrontation. They knew they had to confess that they had once again found their money in their sacks and hope that this ruler would somehow believe them and be merciful. They also anticipated that they may never return home again or worse, return home without Benjamin. Yet in the ever turning and churning ebbs and flows of this sea of confusion and doubt, Benjamin is silent and without opinion or objection. He has been drawn into this most convoluted situation by no action of his own and his only guilt is to be Joseph’s brother, a fact of which he is completely ignorant.
“And Joseph made haste for his bowls did yearn upon his brother and he sought where to weep and he entered into his chamber and wept there” (Gen. 43:30).
The chief power broker and head of the food distribution and financial stability of the nation of Egypt was overcome with emotion as he looked upon his younger brother for the first time. He had awaited the return of his family for he knew the severity and longevity of the famine of the land; “yet five years in the which shall be neither earing nor harvest” (45:6). He anxiously anticipated this meeting yet when it came to pass, he could not restrain himself. Benjamin did not come to him and introduce himself for he was a ‘young lad’. He deferred to the financial expertise and diplomatic intrepidity of his older brothers completely ignorant of the man in whose presence he stood.
This convergence of diverse emotions appeared to be growing worse as the brothers had concluded that all these things were against them. Reuben had surmised that none of this would be the way it was if they had not dealt in treachery against Joseph (42:22). Judah laid the burden upon his shoulders as he gave Jacob his assurance that; “if I bring him (Benjamin) not unto thee and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever; for except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time” (43:9). The emotions of guilt were erroneously accompanied by unspoken blame one upon the other even to the assumption that the famine itself had not happened if only they had acted differently.
Such are the feelings that are the product of the carnal logic and vain assumptions of Adam. The events were unfolding in complete accord with the perfect will of Almighty God for everything that came to pass and everyone involved. They were all part and parcel to the prophesy given to Abram hundreds of years earlier yet the conclusions of the sons of dust were that they could not only change the course that these most disturbing events were following but could have avoided them all together. This is evident in the minds and imaginations of man on a daily basis as he questions decisions that were made, words that were spoken and actions that were committed. The natural man, being devoid of the mind of God and not only ignorant but completely apathetic to the will of God, cannot comprehend the sovereignty of God in all things. He does not know what ‘good’ is in the purpose of God or how the Wise and Masterful arranger and conductor has orchestrated all things together for good. He is ambivalent to his place in the orchestra and seeks daily to ‘find himself’ and the ‘meaning of life’. He is blind and cannot read the music. He is deaf and cannot hear the sounds that are made. He is deficient of the natural ability to properly play the instrument he has been assigned and therefore he knows nothing of how they all operate in complete harmony unto a joyful sound before the throne.
These men all had a different perspective of the cause of these horrific occurrences and each had their own idea of how this should ‘play out’ but not one of them was assured of their own safety or the safety of Simeon who languished in prison. Nor had they any guarantees for the welfare of the preferred son, Benjamin. In the midst of the tumult of the angry waves that appeared to be crashing all around them, wreaking havoc in their paths, Judah assumes the status of the diplomat and speaks to Joseph and said; “O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ear and let not thine anger burn against the servant, for thou art even as Pharaoh” (43:18). The word of God, which was given in the sign of Joseph’s dream those many years ago, was being manifested and all, to whom it was plainly revealed by Joseph, stood veiled in darkness that it was coming to pass before their eyes. The vision that had made these men so mad that they sought to kill their brother was now the proper mode of conduct for them to attempt to save their lives; but the matter quickly got worse.
Joseph had extended to them hospitality which he had shown to no one else who came to buy food from Egypt. He heard their story about the money in their sacks and assured them that their “God, and the God of your father’s hath given you treasures in your sacks; I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them” (43:23). Grace was given to these who had betrayed Joseph as he brought them into his house, washed their feet and gave their animals food. They made ready to present the pittances of gifts which they had brought while Joseph had a meal prepared for them. As he entered the room; “he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin” for the first time. His heart was drawn out after this lad as he called for the meal to begin.
This was a most perplexing situation for all involved. The brothers were still convinced that evil should befall them, the customs of the Egyptian society declared it an abomination to eat with Hebrews (‘one from beyond’) and Joseph could not offend his countrymen by sitting with his brothers. He commanded that they sit before him “the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men marveled one at another” (43:33). Under the espying eye of the people of the nation he had saved from the famine and had thusly promoted to prosperity and power, Joseph sat across the table from the family whom he loved, especially Benjamin the mime; for still he said nothing as he obediently walked his assigned path.
The anxiety and apprehension of this event could only escalate as they each received a portion of food form Joseph’s hand. This must have been exasperated when Benjamin, for no apparent reason received five times more than they did. Yet they “drank and were merry” with their benevolent host and at the conclusion of this most opulent feast, Joseph commands that their sacks be filled with food and his cup placed in Benjamin’s sack, with his corn and his money.
“When they were gone out of the city, not far off, Joseph said to his steward, Up, follow after the men and when you have overtaken them, say unto them, Wherefore have you rewarded evil for good?” (44:4).
The mind of Adam concludes and evaluates things as separate and isolated events. His finite mind views the events of today as being in the present and those of tomorrow as future but in the purpose and will of Yehovah, all things are the present tense. He has set forth His creation as a continuous series of points or moments along a line called time and each event is contingent upon the prior. These men thought they had found an ally in the nation of Egypt for they had reclaimed their captive brother, obtained more food that they had imagined, eaten a pleasant meal with drink and merriment and now were preparing to leave for home with Benjamin. They had no sooner left the city and the past caught up with them again.
The purpose of God was for the house of Jacob to take up residence in the land to await and prepare for the 400 years of captivity. The only person who was suited for the prestigious position was the ‘son of my right hand’. No one else was so amply equipped to serve as the crucial lynch-pin that would facilitate the next chapter in this escapade. Joseph placed the cup in Benjamin’s sack because he knew how precious he was to his father. Discovering the cup in another’s sack may have been suitable for the detaining of one of the other brothers because of their presumed guilt, but this would have resulted in the entourage once again returning to Jacob with the food and an extended absence as they consumed the product. Accusing Benjamin of this heinous crime and detaining him was the single event that the family feared the most for it insured that Jacob would come to Joseph.
The first time this charade was launched by Joseph, the brothers were brought to the conclusion; “We are very guilty concerning our brother in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us” (42:21). However, as the cup was discovered in Benjamin’s sack, “then they rent their clothes and laded every man his ass and returned to the city” (44:13). The first time they were reminded of their actions towards Joseph as Reuben gave his sermon on the Adamic philosophy of cause and effect. This time, Judah, the financial expert who was more concerned with turning a profit than the welfare of his brother, espouses another in the vast repertoire of carnal reasoning as he stated to Joseph; “God has found out the iniquity of thy servants, behold, we are my lord’s servant, both we and with whom the cup is found” (44:16).
According to this logic, it took a cunningly devised ploy, followed by a false accusation and the threat of an almost certain incarceration by Joseph to demonstrate that the prior conduct of the brothers, which had allegedly evaded the omniscience of God, had now suddenly come to His attention. Not only was the conclusion that this critical event in the history of Jacob’s family had eluded the knowledge of the Almighty but now, when it was revealed to Him, He reacted to it. Judah’s statement insinuated that these occurrences were God’s retribution for the iniquity which took place many years ago which were so well hidden that even He did not know about them. The ten brothers were able to hide the truth from Jacob and the rest of the family in such a magnificent manner that the Almighty God of the Universe did not discover the truth until just as the men were leaving with the food that would save the lives of Yehovah’s chosen family. This impugns the sovereignty of God, accuses Him of the weaknesses and frailties of the flesh and reduces Him to a level below that of His creations. This is the logic of the doctrine of Adam.
How preposterous, yet purported from every pulpit, as the ministers of the customs and doctrines of man preach that God cannot forgive you of your sin unless you confess them to Him first. The melodious sound of their songs of praise say, ‘Bring your burdens to the cross’, along with, ‘Tell it to Jesus’ and the ever powerful exhortation to the audience to, ‘Remember, God is watching’ while they try to deduce, “What would Jesus do?” These are common themes of the duty of man in the endless quest for the procurement of deliverance from sin. And when a matter turns in such a way that is unpleasant or difficult, these ‘miserable comforters’ prescribe the ointment of the apothecary laden with dead flies as they receipt the irrefutable doctrine of Job’s friend, Eli-phaz (My God is gold or brilliant); “Remember, I pray thee, who perished being innocent or where were the righteous cut off?” (Job 4:7). Judah was preaching the fallible doctrine of the logic of dust as he assumed that God had discovered that which they had done but had kept secret these many years.
However, lest the finger of accusation and condemnation be pointed to harshly at Judah let it be known that all who are born of Adam have and exercise the same logical conclusions. Adam does not comprehend the eternal decree of God and how that everything which was, is and ever shall be are part and parcel to each other in the performance of His Will. God is not a respecter of persons. He does not react to the thoughts or actions of His creation, He has ordered and established them for His good pleasure. Joseph had laid an insidious trap for his brothers and falsely accused them twice. Is God then made a transgressor of His Law because He ordained this man to act as he did? Not at all, nor has God altered the course He established of old with every way and means necessary for all things to come to pass. Shall the clay pot fashioned by the Master for a specific purpose accuse the Potter of impropriety in what He has done? If the great house requires a chamber pot and one is fashioned for such a purpose, when it is discarded and crushed into powder, is the Potter called into account? The vessel was fashioned by the skillful hands for an express yet limited purpose and after it was defiled in the service of that purpose it was destroyed; thus the craftsmanship of the Potter is appreciated, the service is rendered and the predestinated end of the matter realized. The evil which these men purposed in their hearts was a necessary ingredient in the realization of this catastrophic situation where that which was feared the most has come to pass.
Judah was not as concerned for Benjamin as he was for saving his own skin and that of his two sons yet he could not remove Benjamin from the equation. Joseph told them that they were free to return to Jacob, with the food but Benjamin must remain with him. Judah set forth, as he again prostrated himself before his lord, how that if they returned; “and the lad be not with us, seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life, it shall come to pass, when he sees that the lad is not with us that he (Jacob) will die and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father, with sorrow to the grave” (44:30f). There can be no question of the magnitude of grief that Jacob would have felt if these had indeed returned without Benjamin but it is a complete supposition to conclude that the time of Jacob’s habitation would come to an end as a result. There indeed is a time to be born and a time to die and equal to this axiom is the manner in which the time comes to pass; “No man has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither power in the day of death and there is no discharge in war, neither shall the wicked deliver those that are given to it” (Ecc. 8:8).
“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren” (45:1).
This young lad had made an arduous journey without knowing specifically why. He had arrived in the court of Pharaoh of Egypt only to be introduced to (through an interpreter) the second most powerful ruler in the land. He enjoyed privileges and familiarities which the common businessman could never attain and upon his departure was falsely accused of theft for a cup that was found in his food sack. The same dignitary who had just sat at meat and drink with these sons of Jacob now was bellowing for everyone to leave the room which must have made the situation seem all the more hopeless. As the room clears and these bewildered brothers stand defenseless, the accuser of the brethren begins to cry so loud that those who had left the room heard him and wondered. This is the scene as Joseph states, “I am Joseph! Does my father still live? And his brothers could not answer him because they were troubled at his presence” (45:3)
Of course they were troubled for they stood face to face with their guilt, injustice and the revelation of a collective prevarication which had lasted many years. Benjamin now meets someone he was told, for as long as he could remember, was dead. He did not feel the guilt that Reuben felt, nor he did not accuse God of a lapse in memory or inattentiveness to His creation as Judah inferred. He indeed was the only one of the party who stood innocent before Joseph as all these events came to pass along the path which he was ordained to walk. Benjamin was personally drawn along this course, specifically prescribed for his life, by the purpose of God who works all things after the good pleasure of His will. He had been an active participant who performed seemingly with an unknown purpose, not knowing where his path led or why he was called to Egypt and throughout each and every magnificent manifestation of the sovereign will of God, there is no record given of one word that the lead actor ever spoke. His performance was exquisite for he missed not a cue and his timing was exact because it is God who worked in him both to will and do His good pleasure.
The next thing this lad experienced was that this head potentate of Egypt was speaking to them in their native tongue, crying like a babe; “and he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept and Benjamin wept upon his neck” (14). Amazing how in a manner of minutes the tide had drastically turned and the situation changed from hopelessness to jubilation. The brother he knew only in legend and family folk-lore as his mother’s first born was now giving him “three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of raiment” and sending the family back in carts laden with benevolence to retrieve their father and bring him to his long lost son. The heart of Joseph was overcome with the anticipation of the revelation, the emotions of the guilty parties were stymied, Jacob’s heart fainted at the news and the seventy souls of Israel were made willing in the day, the very moment, to leave all they had and go to Egypt.
“Yehovah shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion. Rule thou in the midst of your enemies. Your people shall be willing (have readiness of mind) in the day of your power (strength & efficiency), in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning you have the dew of your youth” (Ps. 110:2).
Yehovah did not drag the nation of Israel kicking and screaming through the wilderness contrary to their wills and there were none who desired this deliverance who were refused and left behind. That is the argument of accusation which the doctrine of Adam portrays against the sovereign predestination of God. Yet all who were ordained unto deliverance into Egypt were brought forth as the severity of conditions of the famine came to pass in the fullness of time. Jacob may have been given thought to leave the land of Shechem and traveled to Egypt to barter for the release of Simeon but he demonstrated no intention of pulling up stakes and moving his family down into that foreign land. He may have felt that his sons had not negotiated a proper deal for the food on their first trip, so this time, perhaps he would accompany them to add his voice to the proceedings yet his heart was made to stand still. Now full well expecting that his sons were returning home with sufficient food and the entire family his heart was about to be turned.
The scripture is again silent in the matter but it would be of proper consideration to wonder about the conversations between the brothers as they returned home to Jacob. How would they ‘break’ the news to their father that they had lied to him in the beginning concerning Joseph and had continued the ruse for these many years? How could they expect that Jacob would ever believe them again after the revelation of this heinous prevarication? Lesser matters than this have left many a family in disarray as the silent weeds of animosity and resentment flourish in the once beautiful garden of the home.
With each step the excitement of this jubilant company grows in anticipation of the revelation to Jacob that Joseph lives and Benjamin is safe. Jacob, however, is ambivalent to everything that has transpired and expects food for the family and Benjamin. In fact when the news was presented that Joseph lives and is governor over all the land of Egypt, Jacob’s heart fainted because he did not believe the report. Only when the overwhelming evidence was presented to him did he accept the testimony and say; “I will go to and see him before I die” (Gen. 45:28). He did not acknowledge Benjamin or praise his sons for their prowess as he anxiously anticipated the reunion with his beloved son. “And Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba (the ‘well of the oath’ where Abraham planted a large tree and called there on the name of Yehovah, the eternal God – Gen. 21:33 and Yehovah appeared unto Isaac and confirmed His oath with Abraham – Gen. 26:24) and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father, Isaac” (Gen. 46:1). Here he received assurances from Almighty God that He would make Israel a great nation in Egypt and that he would be attended to by Joseph until the day of his death; “and came Jacob and all his seed with him: his sons and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters and his sons’ daughters and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt” (46:7).
God had made Jacob’s family an abomination to the Egyptians by making him rich in livestock. Jacob had accumulated great wealth from his father-in-law by taking the ‘unwanted’ and ‘blemished’ animals. The culture of the Egyptians taught an ethical standard of racial purity which concluded all who dealt in herding and slaughtering of animals to be unclean; so unclean that they were considered a social abomination. Even if Jacob had concluded that the move south would be advantageous for his family, he had no word from Yehovah, he had no invitation from the government of the land that his people would have been a blight upon this society. Now that the news was come that Joseph lives and the invitation was extended or rather commanded, Yehovah God speaks to Jacob and reiterates the promise He gave to Abram over 400 years earlier; “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down into Egypt for I will there make you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt and I will surely bring you up and Joseph shall put his hand upon your eyes” (46:3).
Here in the land of Egypt the family of Jacob would flourish into the nation of Israel. The lad, Benjamin, would grow and mature; he would marry, raise a family and die in this land. The scripture leaves no record of any feats of heroism he performed, no governmental edicts he wrote or co-sponsored, no famous speeches he gave and not even one word which he spoke yet he stands as the type of each and every child of grace that runs the race before them with patience.
“Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey and at night he shall divide the spoil” (Gen. 49:27)
In the closing days of the life of Jacob, he summoned his sons to his side and “blessed them, everyone according to his blessing he blessed them”. Benjamin was the son of his old age and a most cherished of all his sons yet his words to him were harsh and foreboding. The son for whom he was prepared to sacrifice all for was presented to be after the carnivorous nature of the wolf. Father Jacob prophesied that his youngest son would be a fierce hunter, a ferocious killer and his presence would be as welcomed as the wolf in the pasture. He also indicated that the family of Benjamin would have a ‘pack’ attitude, destroy without mercy in the darkness of the night and leave nothing to be revealed by the light of morning. Thus this ‘blessing’ of Jacob concerning this family was that they would be tenacious, swift, ferocious and feared.
This nature, lifestyle and mannerism was undetectable in the quiet young lad who accompanied his brother into Egypt and spoke not a word. There is no indication of these attributes in any of the accounts concerning the man Benjamin yet they are critical elements of the inherent nature of the descendants of Benjamin which were in him from the beginning. The conduct of the family/tribe/people of Benoi (son of my sorrow) coexisted with the excellencies of the same family/tribe/people of Benjamin (son of my right hand). No amount of social, scholastic, religious or economical education could cause the malevolent actions ordained of old for the sons of Belial which resulted in the gross trepidations of his brothers any more than they could enhance or prevent the noble acts of the civility and grandeur of the ruling son. Jacob was given to foresee the villainy of the sons of Belial over four hundred years hence as they devoured like wolves in the night and were departed in the morn.
The savage destruction of the men of Shechem by Simeon and Levi, under the cloak of justice for the rape of their sister, could not compare with the lecherous behavior of the men of Benjamin who lived in the hill (Gibeah). The greed of Judah, in seeking a profit rather than kill Joseph, is a plausible alternative in comparison to the ones who, burning in the lust of the flesh, sought to abuse and defile the Levite from Bethlehem-judah and the deception of Isaac by Jacob and his mother is more tolerable than the depraved sexual perversion of the ‘lifted up sons of rulers’. These “certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about and beat at the door and spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into your house that we may know him” (Jud. 19:22) This pack of wolves, following their nature, were assembled for the commission of the most heinous crime committed “from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt”, which resulted in the early ‘civil war’ of the nation of Israel. The ‘worthless’ men of hills (lifted up or exalted and deceived by the pride of their hearts) of Benjamin were so utterly consumed in their inordinate lasciviousness and un-natural behavior toward the Levite traveler that they took his concubine and forced themselves upon her until she was dead. These men ‘committed lewdness and folly in Israel’ (Jud. 20:5f) yet armed with irrefutable evidence and the just demands of the Law of Moses against these ‘brute beast made to be taken out and destroyed’, the house of Benjamin was drawn together. The children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren and like a pack of wolves, to protect the brood in complete deference to justice; they defied Israel, The Law and God.
The children of Benjamin assumed the guilt of these men of Belial by defending them as they withstood the remaining eleven tribes of Israel. They were ready to dissolve the union of the house of Israel, with all the types, foreshadows and promises, as “the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto the hills (Gibeah) to go out and do battle against the children of Israel (20:14). That which was evil and wicked beyond comprehension was considered irrelevant to the whole tribe of Benjamin because family pride was at stake. They were apathetic to the victims of this action and, having their conscience seared, their ears blocked and their eyes darkened, they forgot the mighty hand of God which was so evident in their midst. Having eyes to see, they saw not and having ears to hear they were deaf to the calls for justice; “now therefore deliver the men, the children of Belial which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and put away evil from Israel” (20:13). This is the natural man, the ignorant fool who says in his heart there is no God. This is the logic of Adam that “call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitterness for sweetness and sweetness for bitterness. Woe unto wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight!” (Is. 5:20). This is the theology of those who, “when they knew God they glorified Him not as God but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkness” (Rms. 1:21). This is the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, the vanity of this world and the bondage of corruption. “Herein is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred, three score and six” (Rev. 13:18).
Thirty one thousand men were fully persuaded of heart, mind and strength to withstand the military might of “four hundred thousand footmen that drew the sword” (Jud. 20:2). This foolish endeavour was not undertaken for truth, justice or righteousness, nor was it in defense of God and country; the rallying cause was pride. The legacy of this hellacious conduct and the devastating results of the civil war which followed branded the tribe of Benjamin as unsuitable to be numbered among the children of promise. The men of Israel swore an oath, saying; “There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife” (21:1), without seeking Yehovah God for the just course of action, in attempt to purge the scourge of this blight from their family name. This “oath of death” nearly resulted in “one tribe cut off from Israel this day” yet God put it in their heart to devise a way to bypass the oath, save face and preserve the tribe; “Not for your sakes do I this saith Yehovah God, be it known unto you, be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel” (Ezek. 36:32).
There was a feast of Yehovah that was held in Shiloh every year. The elders of the house of Israel instructed the house of Benjamin to lay in wait in the vineyards for the daughters of Shiloh. When these young maidens, who had come to celebrate the feast of rest and tranquility (Shiloh), would begin to dance the dances, the ‘wolves’ were instructed to; “then come ye out of the vineyards and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh”. The very same elders and respectable princes of the tribes of Israel, who had condemned the house of Benjamin as unfit to be part of Israel, were now justifying the kidnapping of these unsuspecting maidens by saying; “And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us and complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes because we did not reserve to each man his wife in war” (21:22). The war of vengeance for the righteous prosecution of the violators of the Law nearly resulted in this devastation of the tribe of Benjamin yet these ‘most noble’ leaders of the nation of Israel attempted to lay the blame for this predicament upon the people of Shiloh; “for you did not give unto them at this time that you should be guilty”. The atrocities of the men of Gibeah were but a microcosm of the nature and subsequent conduct of every son of Adam. The nation of Israel was banded together like a pack of wolves which saw nothing wrong in their conduct for; “There is none righteous, no not one” (Rms. 3:10).
The continuance of the house of Benjamin was accomplished by an act as vile as the one which almost destroyed it. The legion of this event left a blemish upon this house as the personification of the name he was given at his birth by his mother, ‘son of my sorrow’ (Benoi); yet when the nation of Israel rejected Yehovah God as King and sought to be like other nations, their desire was drawn out after Saul, son of Kish, of Benjamin. The one who would rule over Israel as the ‘son of my right hand’ was indeed the wolf in the shepherd’s attire. He was the son of the children of iniquity (Hos. 10:9) and he was the King of a stiff-necked and rebellious people.
“Beware that you do not forget Yehovah your God in not keeping His commandments and His judgments and His statutes which I command you this day” (Deut. 8:11)
God told Moses that he should die and not cross into the land of promise because of his disobedience in striking the Rock. He also told him that the nation of Israel was, from the beginning, ignorant, blind and guilty before Him. He showed the people His great power and majesty as He brought them out of the land of captivity but He did not give them “an heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear unto this day” (Deut. 29:4). He also told His servant that after his death, the people would, because they were “from the day that you did depart out of the land of Egypt, until you came unto this place, you have been rebellious against Yehovah” (Deut. 9:7), “utterly corrupt and turn aside from the way” (31:29). This is how the nation of Israel is the type of the first Adam. He was shapened in iniquity from the beginning though innocent of the commission of any action. He was created capable of sin because he did not possess the power or ability to be obedient before God. He could not silence the serpent as he spoke; he could not stop Eve as she lusted after the forbidden fruit and he could not prevent himself from taking and eating. He was created to usher sin into the world and death by sin upon all his seed, though none has sinned after the similitude of Adam.
Three hundred years after the atrocities of the house of Benjamin, the prophet of Yehovah, was instructed to “Blow the cornet in the hill (Gibeah) and the trumpet in the lofty places (Ramah): cry aloud in the house of vanity (Beth-aven) after Benjamin” (Hos. 5:8). Nothing that God had brought to pass, as He clearly manifested to the children of Israel His presence and His majesty, had caused them to change their ways, repent in sack cloth and ashes, straighten up and fly right, get some religion or to amend their ways for God had not circumcised the foreskin of their heart (Deut. 30:6). That honour is a privilege reserved for the rightful heirs of the New Covenant. Therefore the house of Israel is the manifested type of those who, “when they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their own imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed beasts and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” (Rms. 1:21f). This is not an anti-Semitic accusation for “in those days no king in Israel, every man did right in his own eyes” (Jud. 21:25) and so it is today.
The prophet further testified that, just as God had told Moses and Moses the children of Israel, “they have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah; therefore He will remember their iniquity, He will visit their sin” (Hos. 9:9). The book is written within and without and every man is judged according to his deeds. As they were ordained of old, so they were written and thus they come to pass. The nation of national Israel represents the natural man who does not receive the things of the Spirit neither can he know them. He is of the earth, earthly, his passions are carnal, the path he walks is directed of God and the time of his habitation is limited; therefore no flesh shall glory in His sight.
The nation of Israel rejected Yehovah God as their King as they desired to be like the ‘easily subjugated people of the low land’ (Canaan). The handwriting of ordinances, the rituals of feasts and observances and the government of their lives, as prescribed by the commandments, were ineffectual upon the people. These types and foreshadows were weak through the flesh (Rms. 8:3) “in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks and diverse washings and carnal ordinances imposed until the time of the reformation. (Heb. 9:9f). Thus with their hearts “as an adamant stone” (Zech. 7:12) the voice of the people cried out to Samuel, “behold you are old and your sons walk not in your ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (I Samuel 8:5). Samuel spoke as the oracle of God as he told them all that would come to pass; “This shall be the manner of the King that shall reign over you:” (8:10) but the hearts of the people were as one man, therefore Yehovah said to Samuel; “hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me that I should not reign over them” (8:7).
The natural man delights in the things of his heart and is drawn away after the lusts (desires – Saul) of the flesh in complete deference to truth. Saul was anointed of Samuel at the appointment of God to be King over Israel and the people rejoiced. The ‘refreshed’ (Aphirah) house of Benjamin brought forth their ‘first born’ (Becorath) and ‘bundled together’ (Zeror) with the claim of ‘my father is God’ (Abiel) and the ‘trap and snare bent into place’ to ‘lure’ (Kish) the nation to their desire (Saul) as king (I Sam. 9:1) exactly as Almighty God had ordained it to come to pass.
Benjamin stands as the ravening wolf and the nation of Israel runs in the same pack, so it is in the fellowship of the flesh. These natural tendencies and inherent instincts are common unto all men, without exception. The wolf is an evil beast of the field yet he is completely under the dominion of the King of the universe. He was created according to the purpose of God and he functions within the design parameters of the labours assigned unto him along the path he is directed to walk.
“Of Benjamin he said, The Beloved of Yehovah shall dwell securely by him who shields him all the day long and he dwells between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12).
The broad way, which leads unto destruction, is demonstrated in the Adamic characteristics and conduct of the children of ‘the son of my sorrow’, Benoi. The narrow way, which leads unto life, is in the way of the Beloved of Yehovah. These walk in the footsteps of the flock and they feed at the Shepherd’s tent (Song 1:8). Once again the testimony of the scriptures is that of the land of two rivers (Shinar) as they coexist but never converge. That which is of the earth is flesh and it shall never change into anything other than that which is of this world. That which is born from above, shall never be brought low and humbled by the Canaanites, or terrified by the Hittites, or ever become anything that is formed from the dust of the ground. The wickedness exemplified by the worthless men of Benjamin pertains to the natural man who was manifested first while the nobility of righteousness belongs unto the spiritual man within who delights after the Law of God.
The Spirit of prophesy given Moses here portrays Benjamin as a type of the Anointed Servant of God, Jehoshua, the Salvation of Yehovah. He is the only begotten of the Father and being the Son of the right hand of God, He is full of righteousness (Ps. 48:10). He has performed all things valiantly and therefore is exalted (Ps. 118:15f). He is the salvation of Yehovah for His people whom He has redeemed from the hand of their enemy (Ps. 107:2).
He did not come to make the way of salvation possible for ‘who-so-ever will’ or effectual at the request of the ‘sinners prayer’ but; “Thou shalt call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sin” (Matt. 1:21). He has finished all that was assigned unto Him by the Father whose hand is “upon the man of Thy right hand, upon the son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself” (Ps. 80:17). No son of Adam could do this work “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rms. 3:23). He alone has a mighty arm and His hand is strong; “exalted is Your right hand” (Ps. 89:13). Therefore, because there is none who seek after righteousness and none who search for God after the natural man; “none who call for justice, nor plead for truth, they all trust in vanity and speak lies, they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity” (Is. 59:4), “and He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him and His righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate and an helmet of salvation upon His head and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak” (59:16).
He, being equal with God and One with the Father, made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant. He was made in the likeness of men and being found in the fashion of man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross (Phi. 2:6ff). The right hand of Yehovah became the sin of His people and endured the contradiction of sin against Him. He “has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory. Yehovah has made known His salvation, His righteousness He has openly shewed in the sight of the nations” (Ps. 98:1). The aged Simeon, when he had taken up the Holy child from Mary’s arms, proclaimed; “Lord let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word, for mine eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29).
He laid down His life for His sheep and His precious blood cleansed them from all unrighteousness in Adam. All these things were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3), yet in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the Law, “to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, and because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:4). He came forth having His work before Him and His reward with Him, that “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Pt. 2:9). This was not a people in prospect but a particular multitude which no man can number, reserved and preserved in heaven; this is the Beloved of Yehovah. These have their names engraved in the palm of His hand which were sealed with the nails as a testimony of His sacrifice for their sin. They have been delivered, saved by His right hand (Ps. 60:5), they dwell in Him who is the “man of Thy right hand” (Ps. 80:17) and, as the sheep of His pasture, they are at His right hand (Matt. 25:33).
He is seated at the right hand of the Father; “being the brightness of His glory and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better that the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:3f). He is the bodily image of the invisible God, Yehovah, whose is; “the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and in the earth; yours is the dominion Yehovah and you exalt yourself as head over all” (I Ch. 29:11). He is that Scepter that should reign and the lawgiver who has come forth in praise (Judah) until peace (Shiloh) should come (Gen. 49:10), for by His righteousness His people are justified by His faith and have peace with God (Rms. 5:1). He is the Mighty God, the eternal Father and the Prince of peace whose kingdom has no end. He is the shield and the Rock of defense for His Beloved and from generation to generation He is the dwelling place of His Beloved (Ps. 90:1). There has never been a time nor shall there ever be an instant when the Father and the Son are not One and His people are not One in Him.
“And Philip said unto Him, shew us the Father” (John 14:8)
The earthly manifestation of Jesus of Nazareth was visible to the naked eye and many there were who beheld Him in amazement. The body that was prepared for Him, as He became partaker of flesh and blood and dwelt among mankind was in the likeness of sinful flesh yet He was without sin. That vessel, prepared by the power of the Highest, was the tabernacle for the fullness of the Godhead without dissemination. The Father, Son and Spirit, eternally and inseparably joined as one, were the “image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature” (Col. 1:15) manifested as Jesus, “the carpenter’s son”. The natural eyes saw the form of a man who is the second Adam yet, contrary to the first, He was King of Kings and Lord over all.
God is not isolated to a geographic location or bound by the laws of time and creation. He is above His creation of the heavens and the earth, above all thrones, dominions, principalities and powers and above all the inhabitants of this world. He has magnified His Word above His name (Ps. 138:2) “wherefore God had highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus (Salvation of Yehovah) every knee should bow, of things in heaven and in earth and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9f). Therefore Jesus told Philip, “he that has seen Me has seen the Father and how do you say, Shew us the Father”. He was the fullness of all things, joined together as one and so are His people in Him; “for as the body is one and has many members and all the members of that one body being many are one: so also is Christ” (I Cor. 12:12). When He shed His blood upon the cross it was for His entire family, of whom He is the first-born and for whom He is the propitiation of the sin.
God created man in His image. He created Adam male and female to demonstrate that His Beloved Bride is and always has been eternal in Him. He created Adam having his seed in him to signify that the incorruptible seed is eternally joined unto God and He gave Adam dominion over all the works of His hands to show forth His majesty and Lordship over everything. Adam failed to measure up to the standards of perfection that the nature of the holiness of God demands, therefore he could neither keep the commandments, understand the ramifications of disobedience nor prevent what God had ordained to come to pass. The result of this preordained action was that sin entered into the world and death by sin came upon all the family of Adam, the first born of creation.
The nature of God then is revealed to be complete in and of Himself for He is the Creator of “all things created that are in heaven and in the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things and by Him all things consist” (Col. 1:16). His Beloved Bride is one with Him and though she became a partaker of flesh and blood yet she was never separated from Him. His seed is in Him and at the time appointed of the Father, the seed is born of the Spirit into the habitation of this dwelling in the earthen vessels afore prepared unto glory. Therefore to look upon the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is to see the fullness of the Godhead bodily and likewise to look upon the Bride, adorned in her fine linen clean and white, is to see the fullness of God and His righteousness. That which the eyes of man espies is temporal and shall soon fade away but unto those whom God has given eyes to see, ears to hear and an heart to understand, “we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man; for it became Him, for whom and by whom all things, in the bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:9).
“The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion the fatling together and a child shall lead them” (Is. 11:6).
Benjamin also represents the child of grace as he inhabits the body of this death. The ravening and cravings of the flesh are the ravenous appetites of the wolf which war against the lamb, the sheep of His pasture. The wolf is first manifested and stronger but he was created to serve the younger and although his presence is fearsome and his lusts contrary to the inner man of God yet he is servant not master. The wolf, the leopard and the lion are all voracious hunters whose instinct is for self-preservation and satisfaction but the Holy child of Israel leads them along their appointed path. The stealthness of the wolf lurks in the darkness for the deeds of the flesh are evil (John 3:19). The spotted coat of the leopard makes it blend into the scenery of the earth so the naked eye cannot see his movements as he closes in for to maim and kill. This is the reference to the common people of the land; cunning hunters and men of the field (Esau). The young lions are they who would cover their deeds as they learn to ravin, just as Adam attempted in the garden with his aprons of fig leaves when his eyes were opened. These evil beasts practice the art of wickedness and compound the mischief with deception and lies for all men are liars. This is the natural seed of Benjamin.
Yet the Beloved of Yehovah dwells together with these evil beasts as God has made the creature subject to vanity. This causes the Spirit to groan within for “when I would do good evil is present with me” (Rms. 7:21) and it causes the children to cry out “Abba Father” (Gal. 6:4). The cohabitation of these two seeds is not peaceful for; “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rms. 8:23). The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit is contrary to the flesh, therefore the things which the children desire to do they cannot perform (Gal. 5:17). This arrangement is however completely harmonious.
God has rightly paired each of His children with a vessel commensurate to the time of their habitations, properly equipped to perform that which He has ordained and suitable to endure the temptations, trials and tribulations which He has appointed as necessary.
He shields them all day long as the cloud that covered the camp of Israel those years in the wilderness. They dwell in Him and are reclined in the Beloved as they come up out of the wilderness (Song 8:5) and endure the bondage of corruption; “for I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing; for to will is present but to perform that which is good I do not find” (Rms. 7:18). He has removed the yoke of the bondage of the handwriting of ordinances which serves as the schoolmaster to bring each child unto the Anointed deliverance and though the path they walk leads them astray, yet “when He has found, He lays on His shoulders rejoicing” (Luke 15:5).
The wolf cannot harm the inner man nor can the spots of his outer covering hide the vileness of his ways from Almighty God. Though he desires to cover his tracks and conceal his ways, the roaring of the young lion, which is the pride of his heart whereby he is deceived, announces his presence and proclaims his deeds before his Maker. The child of grace cannot control, domesticate or tame the beasts of the field any more than the beasts can do the same to themselves. They serve the purpose of God to reveal the ways of man and remind the children of the Kingdom of God that this world is not their home; “Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast for it is the number of a man and his number is six hundred three score and six” (Rev. 13:18).
The theology of man teaches ways and means to take dominion over the beasts of the field. This is an endeavour in futility for it relies upon the knowledge and understanding of the natural man who is the evil beast and a house divided against itself shall not stand. It also manifests the wickedness of the pride of the heart of Edom who would dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high and who says in his heart, Who shall bring me down? Though you exalt yourself as the eagle and though you set your nest among the stars, thence will Yehovah bring you down (Ob. 3). The prisoners of hope are grieved in the vanity of this way but Christ in them is their hope of glory.
“I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I am Yehovah who does all these things” (Is. 45:7).
Benjamin is the first and only begotten of Israel. His importance in the purpose of God is not according to his humanity and God is not enhanced by his compliance. The whole of God’s creation is designed according to the purpose which He purposed in Himself as everything is designed by His determinate counsel and comes to pass by the power of His will. He gave the light shape and form and simultaneously created the darkness. The one could not exist without the other and therefore they are complimentary one to each other yet in their manifestation they are opposite. The same is self-evident about peace and evil. The peace accords of man are centered around self-gratification, oppression and compromise because of the natural characteristics of Adam; “for scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die” (Rms. 5:7) and evil is sociologically defined. But God has an unalterable standard of both. He has declared by His law that whatsoever is not of faith is sin and the payment for sin is death. He became the sin of His people and by His stripes they are healed, therefore they have a peace with God that is beyond understanding. He gave Himself the sacrifice for sin because of His love for His Beloved; shall he now excuse the guilt of the strange woman without the shedding of blood? His hatred for the transgression of His Law cannot be bartered for or procured and therefore His wrath is revealed against all the ungodliness of man.
The perfection of God’s creation is commensurate to the performance of the intent of His heart. Nothing comes to pass but it was afore ordained in the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God and then actuated at the appointed time. He created the crooked serpent and made him the father of the wicked. He calls for this piercing serpent to tempt the righteous in the proving of the faith within and to oversee the course of the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Yehovah is the Master of the field and He is full well aware of the wicked one who has planted the tares. He is not fearful of this action for He has put it in the heart of this ‘light bearer’ (Lucifer) to be lifted up and say, I am God, I sit in the seat of God in the midst of the seas; yet he is a man and not a God, though he has set his heart as the heart of God (Ezek. 28:2).
Adam hid himself in the garden because he could not face the light of the truth about the course which he walked according to his nature. This is the nature of all his seed and it has been coupled together with the knowledge of good and evil. Those who have been set apart by the Spirit of God, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, are not delivered from this nature, rather they are made painfully aware of it. At his birth, Benjamin was unaware that he had two names but in the fullness of time, his two natures were revealed. Twelve thousand servants of God are sealed with their Father’s name in their foreheads from the tribe of Benjamin yet the entire multitude of the redeemed of Yehovah experience the type as set forth in the man and family of Benjamin. They come into this world with two identities and two names. The one identity is of the earth and his name is the name of man (Adam). The other identity is the eternal sons of God and that new name is a name written upon a white stone which no man knows but he that receives it (Rev. 2:17). His life in the habitation of this dwelling is choreographed in conformance and compliance with the harmony of creation and he performs his part in the appointed hour with grace and accuracy. The conduct in the earthen vessel upon this present evil world serves as proof of the inability of man which is a vexation to his soul but the trying of that faith works patience. When the habitation is complete so then are the trials and tribulations and patience has her perfect way. The incorruptible seed is not tarnished by the manners of the flesh for the children of light behave themselves wisely in a perfect way and walk in the house of Yehovah with a perfect heart. They walk as individuals yet they walk in a perfect way and serve Yehovah with gladness (Ps. 101:2 & 6).
The theology of Adam rejects the sovereignty of God though for a while lip service may be afforded. The children of the King find hope, comfort and an anchor for their souls in the surety of His power, His immutability and His sovereignty over all things.
“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1f).
“And I Yehovah will be their God and My servant David a prince among them; I Yehovah have spoken. And I will make with them a covenant of peace and I will cause the evil beast to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods” (Ezek. 34:24).
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates of the city, for without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and idolaters and whosoever loves and makes a lie” (Rev. 22:14).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
Banner of Hope
Volume 8, No. 3