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What’s In A Name?

JOSEPH

“And God remembered Rachel and God hearkened her and opened her womb” (Gen. 30:22)

Years had passed with seemingly no word from the God whom Rachel loved and worshiped. Twenty or more long silent years had elapsed relegating her to the role of a doleful spectator as her sister produced child after child. Leah had been given the role of the fertile wife, even though she did not have the love of Jacob while Rachel was assigned the status of a barren woman. Human nature concludes that one of these was blessed while the other was cursed yet the testimony remains that Jacob loved Rachel and esteemed her above all others (Gen. 29:18).

After twenty or more years of heartache and despair it would be easy for Rachel to esteem the hope of having children as a lost and fading memory and give up on the promises. After many years of praying, waiting, conniving and scheming and just about everything else imaginable (not to mention the contention between she and Leah and her children), it would only be natural for a person to come to the conclusion that their labours were fruitless and that God had either forgotten them or given them to believe in something that was not meant to be. So very often, when the peace and comfort of the Spirit appears to be gone from the life of one who thinks they are a child of grace, they stumble and fall into a feeling that God has abandoned, forsaken or turned a dead ear to them. This false assumption leads to fear and a serious doubt which many times cascades into a deep depression. This normally culminates in a melancholy state of mind and an introvert countenance. In this condition of apathy and isolation the carnal mind remains until such a time when it pleases the Father to reveal His still small voice. Rachel endured many years of these feelings, wondering if the promises of God pertained to her, if she had committed some heinous iniquity which made her invalid as a mother or if, maybe, her God had abandoned her.

The omniscient nature of God demands that He not only knows all things from conception through performance with all contingencies and probabilities accounted and controlled but that He could never forget anything. God is not a man that He should have the inabilities of the flesh to forget, as in a lapse of memory, or that He should overlook a point of His sovereign will. He has purposed all things in Himself and has caused them each, individually and corporately, to come to pass by the power of His will. The thoughts and intents of His heart are the reality of His creation that we live in and there is nothing that exists that did not originate in Him. He is the first cause of every cause and the commander of time and circumstances. He is the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” of man (Heb. 4:12) which He has created for His glory and honour and which occur in time and space which are every present before Him.

Therefore nothing can exist without it being of His purpose which He purposed in Himself, nothing can come to pass but by the power of His will and nothing can ever escape His all inclusive knowledge. So when God remembered Rachel it is not after the nature and characteristics of man that He had forgotten her, it was that her time and specific events of her life appointed to that time had come to pass. She was made to wait because she was not yet ready for the labour God had assigned to her. She spent those twenty years in preparation for the exact moment when God would call her to mind and bring her, ‘stage front’, to begin the next act in His marvelous play.

He did not forget her. He had ordained all the painful events of those long and arduous years as a period of training exercises to fashion and mold her into the person she needed to be for the job she was assigned to perform. Young Rachel at the well was not ready to be a mother to Joseph, who was ordained to be her first child, and the stage had not yet been properly set for the arrival of this child onto the scene. The precision of time and circumstances needed to be in exact order according to the meticulous purpose of God and so she waited and endured until the moment came when God remembered her.

This remembrance is a magnificent characteristic of God and it is the foundation for the hope of the children of grace. When the wickedness of man had grown to the pre-set limitation of being only evil continually, it was sorrowful to God that He had created man on the earth. He who limits all things acknowledged that the sin of man had reached the limitation set for it and the time had come for man to be destroyed from off the face of the earth. The time had also come, with no reference to the wickedness of man, that the earth should be changed from its created state. The firmament was to be removed, rain was to fall and the landscape altered. Every living thing that crawled upon the face of the dry land as well as the vegetation was to be obliterated and changed but Noah found grace in the eyes of Yehovah (Gen.6:8).

“And God remembered Noah” (Gen. 8:1)

Noah was a child of grace, foreknown of God and predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. Noah had not found grace because he withstood the corrupt society and had campaigned for reform. He found grace because he was a son of God upon whom the wrath of God would not come. The grace of God was upon Noah from the beginning and when the judgment of God came in the form of the flood, he and his family (eight righteous souls) were protected in the Ark which is a type of Christ and His Beloved.

God had just caused a major change in the world He had created as rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. He had caused the fountains of the deep to open up and the flood waters to cover the highest mountain of the once dry land. He had destroyed every man, woman and child save eight righteous souls. He had decimated everything that crept upon the earth with all the vegetation that fed the fowl of the air, the beasts of the field and man. All that was left was the waters as they decreased continually from off the land and an Ark floating upon the waters wherein God had preserved His select group, elect according to grace. Is there any conceivable way that Noah and his family had been forgotten by the Creator of the universe who had just destroyed heaven and earth? Not likely!

God preserved Noah and his family, with all the animals He had brought into the Ark. He had afore-ordained the intensity and duration of this devastation and destruction and Noah could not be released from his protective custody until the fullness of the time of these events had come to pass. Noah could not walk on the water, the scriptures do not say that he became a fisherman to provide for his family’s needs and there was no place where there was dry land to release all those animals. So God kept him in the ‘solitary confinement’ that He had commanded and enabled Noah to build until the appointed time when all things were in order for the exodus from the Ark. Also with all the wind that was blowing the water back to its designated resting place, the place was not yet prepared for the raven to find meat or the dove to find a resting place for the sole of her feet and the Ark had not yet arrived at the correct location to deposit her accompaniment onto Mount Ararat. Thus, “God made a wind to pass over the earth and the water assuaged. The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped and the rain from heaven was restrained and the waters returned from off the earth continually and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the Ark rested in the seventh month on the seventh day of the month upon the mountains of Ararat (the curse reversed)” (Gen. 8:1-4).

God manifested an oath before Noah and his seed after him, with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle and of every beast of the earth with him, from all that go out of the Ark that He would not cut off the flesh any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall a flood destroy the earth (9:9). He then set a sign in the heavens to assure Noah of His covenant that He would never forget (15). This is an everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Can God forget such a thing as this? Absolutely not!!

ldquo;And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham…” (Gen. 19:29).

God had called Abram forth out of the land of the Ur of the Chaldeans ( ‘the light of the flame of the clod-breakers’) unto a land wherein he was a stranger and sojourner. He had come forth with Sarai and Lot and was made nomadic in the land. When Lot and his men became contentious with Abram, God separated them. Lot was given to look unto the plains and see the lush lands. And so he dwelled in the cities of the plains of Jordan and pitched his tent toward Sodom (13:12). The adventures of Lot and his family lead him to become a resident in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah wherein was great wickedness. God lead righteous Lot to this place and made him a part of the thriving community of lasciviousness and evil concupiscence and the soul of this righteous man was vexed because of the evil in this place (II Pt. 2:8).

The righteous judgment of God rained down upon these evil cities and destroyed all the inhabitants but Lot and his two daughters were delivered. These were preserved so that the children of Moab (of father) and Ben-ammi (son of my people) could be born and become nations of the earth. The blessing of the son of Lot (envelope), Moab, is an earthen vessel afore prepared unto glory wherein a child of grace called Ruth (friend) was to dwell and become the great-grandmother of King David. She was an essential portion of the lineage of Joseph and Mary and thus the line of Jesus son of David (Matt. 1:5).

Now, after this had come to pass and not before when the fullness of time had come, God remembered Abraham. How could He possibly have forgotten the man that He came to and told all that should come to pass with the destruction of the cities in the plains? The man who pleaded with the Messenger of Yehovah to spare the cities if only 10 righteous people dwelled therein and the man who rose up early in the morning to the place where he stood before Yehovah and beheld the smoke of the country which went up as the smoke of a furnace (19:28)? God had not only not forgotten Abraham, but He had set him aside to keep him safe as His wrath was poured out upon the wickedness of man. He had placed Abraham in a location where he could see the hand of God and bare witness of the testimony of the wrath of Yehovah precisely when these events had come to pass.

God remembered Abraham.

He protected him and increased his wealth in Kadesh and Shur with Abimelech king of Gerar. He then visited Sarah and opened her womb at 100 years of age, returning unto her and Abraham the way of youth and giving them a son called Isaac (Heb. Yitz-khak – ‘he laughs’). The time of His promise, which He had made with Abram and made him the father of many nations, had come to pass. He brought forth the father of Jacob, the child of promise whom God loved and patriarch of the nation of Israel.

“And God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob” (Ex. 2:24).

After the house of Jacob had grown to eleven sons and one daughter, God brought to pass an encounter at the crossing of a stream in the mountain range of Gilead. Jacob had sent his wives, handmaidens and children across the ford of the river and he was left alone. He had been emptied (Jabbok) of all possessions and stood alone to wrestle a man whom he did not know. This encounter lasted all night with neither man prevailing. Here God revealed himself to His servant and Jacob called the place, Peniel, ‘the face of my God’. The man that he wrestled with blessed Jacob and changed his name to Israel, for as a prince he had the power of God (Gen. 32:24ff).

The path that was assigned to Jacob led him to another encounter with Yehovah God when he came out of the field (Padan-aram). Here God again blessed him and repeated the commandment that his name should no more be called Jacob (the supplanter) but Israel (the power of God). He also commanded him to be fruitful and multiply because “a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee and kings shall come out of thy loins” (Gen. 35:11). Jacob had already produced, from Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah ten sons and one daughter but now the Lord was to open the womb of Rachel and Joseph was to be born. When God instructed him to be fruitful and multiply, as Israel, the children of Jacob were already on the stage of the time of their habitation but the generation of the ‘Son of My right hand’, (Ben-jamin), was not yet manifested. God reiterated the promise He gave to Abraham and Isaac and said that the land which He had promised them was to be for the seed of Jacob/Israel after him.

Approximately thirty years later, Yehovah God brought forth a great famine upon the land and Israel was without food or water. Israel saw that there was corn in Egypt and considered in himself to send his sons into that land to buy some relief. Unbeknown to him, Yehovah God had sent Joseph, whom they supposed to be dead, before them, to prepare a place for them in Egypt. Israel went into the land of the sons of Ham, the land of ‘double straits’ and ‘fortifications’ to be preserved of God from the evil that He had brought upon that region of the world. He ordained from before the foundations of the world was laid that this drought and famine should come upon Israel, just as it had come upon his father Abram (Gen. 12:10) to drive him into Egypt. Israel was to dwell in peace in the land for many years until, according to the good pleasure of His will, a Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph. Into the heart and mind of this man, God placed suspicion and an irrational paranoia that caused him to force these seemingly harmless people into servitude. There they languished for four hundred years and,

God remembered Israel.

Had God forgotten about this people? Had His promise to Israel slipped His all-knowing mind? Or better yet, had God misplaced them and forgot where He put them?

God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent. Has He said and shall He not do? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good? (Num. 23:19).

God had made a promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Shall He not remember His oath and His covenant? He made a promise to Abram, before he had any children, that his seed would be as the dust of the earth, “so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (Gen. 13:16). As Abram grew older and was without an heir, God confirmed His oath, as the Word of Yehovah came to Abram, saying, “he that shall come forth from thy bowels shall be thine heir” (15:4). After Hagar conceived and Ishmael was born, God again confirmed His promise and told, the then ninety year old Abraham, that He would MAKE him “exceeding fruitful and I WILL MAKE nations of thee and kings shall come out of thee. And I WILLestablish MY covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an eternal covenant to be a God unto them and to thy seed after thee” (17:6). He then told Sarai, who was 91 years old, that her name was changed and that she would conceive and bare a son. Not because of anything she had done or could do but because, “ I WILL bless her and give thee a son also of her. Truly I WILL bless her and she shall be the mother of many nations; kings and people shall be of her” (17:15).

Now Abraham and Sarah only had to wait anotherten years but in the fullness of time, the Word of Yehovah God came to pass. He returned unto them both the way of youth, made their seed fertile and caused them to come together, so that a son could be born and the promise of God made manifest.

The Lord revealed Himself again to Abraham and his son “thine only son Isaac” on Mt. Moriah as the ‘self contained eternal one who sees’ (Yehovah-Yirah). This revelation stood as a type as the father offered his son up for a burnt offering before the Lord but only in the natural sense of the type. The beauty of the anti-type was also revealed as Abraham told Isaac, “My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb for a burnt offering” (22:8). Here atop this mountain, when the Lord brought forth the Ram caught in the thickets for the sacrifice, He again confirmed the oath, this time in the presence of the heir; “that in blessing I WILL bless thee and in multiplying I WILL multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens and the sand which is upon the sea shore and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” (22:17).

At this time, Abraham had only one son and Isaac had none. Yet the counsel of the Almighty stands that calls those things that are not yet as though they had already been completed (Is. 46:10). So in accordance with all necessary ingredients, circumstances and personnel, God brought forth Rebekah, Isaac’s wife and opened her womb after another extended period of time when she was barren. Within her womb the two children struggled together to the point that Rebekah inquired of the Lord in the matter. God revealed to her that there were not just two children in her womb but that “two nations are in thy womb and two manner of people shall be separated from the bowels, AND the one people shall be stronger than the other AND the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). God once again confirmed His oath and then made it manifest in the appointed hour for “when her days were fulfilled, behold there were twins in her womb” (24) and thus the birth of Esau and Jacob.

God had separated these two men. He took Jacob into a land away from Esau and brought him to the ‘well of the seven fold oath’ (Beer-sheba) and into the mountain area (Charan). Here the immutable God proclaims “ I AM YEHOVAH GOD of Abraham thy father and the God of Isaac. The land where on thou liest, to thee will I give and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (28:14). This reaffirmation came before Jacob had come to the house of Laban, before he met his wife Rachel and well before the children of Leah were born.

“And God remembered Rachel”

What an awesome concept to be remembered of God! To be given to consider that each son of Adam is a necessary part of the order of God’s magnificent creation is far beyond the comprehension of man. And to meditate upon the principle that God “has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined the times, before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26) is too wondrous to discover. But the purpose of God is amplified as He declares His intentions to His people by His Word in an immutable oath. Consider for a moment, that before the foundation of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was empty and without substance, Almighty God, without influence, coercion or duress, determined the exact moment of conception, gestation and manifestation of the earthen vessel that is now occupied by His eternal incorruptible seed. There is no such thing as an untimely birth. There are no ‘mistakes’ that results in an earthen vessel being manifested into the world with all necessary traits and characteristics, emotions and intellect, size, shape, nationality and gender to precisely fit where and when it seemed good in the sight of the Master Builder so to order it to be. The fact is that He does not leave the inhabitants of this world or His people to find their way through the maze of time and circumstances. It is commensurate to the eternal will of God; “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him though He be not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27). Everything walks the path set for them with each step of the way unalterably fixed so that each person, place and thing functions in perfect harmony with each other in their proper environment to form the symphony of creation.

Since Yehovah God is the first cause of every cause and nothing comes to pass but by the power of His will, events unfold at the appointed time as the particular act, scene and movement of the play comes due. God has not forgotten anything and surely no one has to remind Him lest a step be missed, a word be spoken or an event happen out of place because of a lack of His superintendence. The Word of God, which is the fullness of the Immanuel who tabernacles in the child of grace, is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart of His people (Heb. 4:12). Could there be even the slightest possibility that He is not the same to those in and around His Beloved who interact with Her on a daily basis? Of course not! Each and every inhabitant of the earth, at this very moment is performing the labour assigned by the King Bridegroom for His Beloved Bride.

All His work is for Her in whom His soul delights. He created the heavens and the earth for His Bride and He is glorified in His work. The heavens declare the glory of Yehovah and the firmament shows forth His handiwork (Ps. 19:1) and His righteousness (97:6) as the invisible things of God are clearly seen in His creation (Rms. 1:20). His righteousness is the garment which the Bride has been granted to be arrayed in as she has made herself ready for her Beloved. Will any insinuate that the Bridegroom has forgotten His Bride until such time as another should remind Him that today is the day of His wedding feast? How absurd and such blasphemy!

And the Bride is One, members in particular. Therefore whatsoever is done for the Bride corporately is accomplished for the members particularly. The Bride became sold under sin when she became a partaker of flesh and blood and the precious blood of the Lamb of God was required to redeem her from the bondage of that corruption. Yet the conduct of each and every son of Adam in which the seed was born from above came into remembrance before God when He laid the sin of His people (in Adam) upon the scape-goat in the day of the atonement. She was held captive in the house of the one stronger than she (being made subject to vanity) and was concluded as an active sinner by the conduct of Adam, which is according to his nature. Thus God commended His love unto her in that while the members in particular were yet sinners, Messiah died for His people (Rms. 5:8).

The Righteous Judge called into account each and every thought, word and deed that manifested the fact that Adam and his seed cannot measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God, while continuing to do so with every breath that they take, and He held man accountable for the debt to be paid. Adam could never pay such a bill for he has no money to buy, no righteousness to plead and no deed to perform that would satisfy these just demands. Were it possible (which it is not) for him to have shed his own blood, if perchance it was not tainted with the sin of Adam, it could hardly atone for his own sin let alone the sin of the world. Adam stood forward to accept the sin of his wife, Eve, as he not only willingly and knowingly partook of the fruit but he hearkened to her voice and did eat. Therefore the natural man hears the natural voice and follows the natural instincts in the performance of those things which are by nature sinful and unclean.

But God has laid upon His Servant the sin of His people and, upon seeing the travail of His soul, was perfectly satisfied. His absolute and complete knowledge of the impeccable perfection and holiness of the sacrifice set before Him by His righteous servant, justified many because He bore their guilt (Is. 53:11). He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant that He might confirm the oath with many and bring many sons unto glory (Heb. 2:10).

God remembered His people.

The exact point had come along the time line of creation that the sins of the world should be presented center stage before the throne of God and judgment sent forth. Just as when the time had come when “God saw that the wickedness of man was great and that the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5), and as when the wickedness of Nineveh was come up before Him (Jon 1:3). Again when the sin of Israel and Judah had reached the boundaries set for them by the hand of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, (Jer. 51:5) and the sins of “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:5) had “reached unto heaven and,

God remembered her iniquity” (18:5).

So, likewise, in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman to redeem His people from their sin and to bring judgment upon the world.

The books were opened and the deeds of men revealed and were it not for the shed blood of the Lamb of God, even the sin of the people of the Israel of our God would have been called into account. But God removed that sin as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). The same immutable God who had purpose, proclaimed and performed His oath of forgiveness and redemption has promised that He will never bring these sins into remembrance again. Thus the children of the King rejoice that their sin has been forgiven and removed into the uninhabited land by the only truly ‘fit man’ who could accomplish such a thing. They sing the praises of the Sovereign God that each and every step of their journey is ordained, empowered and controlled by their Lord and Master and that for good (Rms. 8:28).

“...and God hearkened unto her...”

Rachel had not only spent many long years in heartache and frustration pouring her heart out unto the Lord, she had also thought to take the matter into her own hands and try to rectify this injustice. She competed with Leah for children, intimacy and power in the family even though, having the love of Jacob, she had the preeminence. After this extended period of time of seemingly ‘failed’ communion with Almighty God, what else could she have said or done that could move Yehovah God of the Hosts to hear her cry? Like the woman who had the issue of blood, Rachel had spent all she had and done all she imagined could be done and still Yehovah did not hear her.

This is indeed a natural assumption consistent with carnal logic and flawed reasoning. Is God moved by the prayers of man or impressed with the actions of mortal man? Is He persuaded by the intensity, longevity and magnitude of the fervent prayer of His children? Many will quickly attempt to bring a scripture reference to bare here and sight that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jms. 5:16) but is that what is meant? Is the God of the universe such a doting old fool that He needs to be pelted with the superficial, self-centered request of a natural man in order for Him to act and grant their boon? If this be so, why then did the Lord God not hear the persistent prayers of Sarai, Rebekah or Rachel? Where they not praying in conformance with His will as promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Prayer is a much maligned doctrine in the philosophy of Adam. It is presented in theology as the communication of man with God and is often the last resort to finding closure to a matter; “If all else fails, pray”. There are numerous admonitions set before the petitioner as to what to pray for, how to pray and what gets the prayer heard. Yet as is the defining mark of the doctrine of man, the scriptural testimony is deceitfully handled, craftily formatted and/or completely ignored.

To belabour this point would not only be time and space consuming but would be of no profit to any save those who have laboured and been heavy laden under the galling yoke of this teaching. Many long and agonizing hours have been spent trying to learn ‘how to pray’ and not to ‘pray amiss’. Numerous endeavours have been made to try and discover ‘the effectual fervent prayer’ only to come to the conclusion that since one is not heard of God then they must not be one of His Beloved children. The feelings of utter despair due to the ‘weight and sin which doth so easily beset’ the children of hope are only exacerbated by the sense that the words, which are uttered in object sincerity, fall directly to the floor or carry no higher than the ceiling above. So much emphasis is placed on an effective prayer life by the task masters of the land of captivity that the natural man is brought to a despondent feeling of loneliness and frustration. Rachel is no different yet she was given grace to endure many years.

Prayer indeed is the personal communion between the Father and His children. Although after the flesh the redeemed of the Lord experience bondage, strife, fear and agony, which brings them to cry out to their Heavenly Father, the voice of man is not present at the throne of grace. The communion of the saints is ever-present in the smoke of the incense from the golden censor. The Messenger of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous, has offered the sacrifice upon the altar in that sanctuary not made with hands and unto Him was given much incense. This censor was filled with the fire from of the altar and cast down to the earth where the brethren are strangers and sojourners in a weary land. This is the sweet smelling savor before the Lord, which is His church and the smoke of this fragrance, ascends back before that throne with the prayers of the saints contained therein (Rev. 8:2f). The communion begins in the Godhead and is given to the pilgrims on the earth (Heb. 11:13) as they run the race set before them. The path they walk is hedged in with hewn stones (Lam. 3:9) and every step of this path, being particularly assigned, is illuminated by His Word. Therefore the children pray without ceasing unto the One who knows their requests before they are uttered and has already decreed the appropriate answer according to the good pleasure of His will (Matt. 6:8).

These prayers, which are before the Father, as His Jerusalem is (Is. 49:16), whose walls have been appointed as bulwarks (Is. 26:1) and stand as the salvation of Yehovah (Is. 60:18), are not with the untamed tongue of man (Jms. 3:6) or the perverse babbling tongue of confusion of Adam (Gen. 11:7). This form of communication cannot ascend into the presence of God for it is of the earth. It boasts of great things, is a world of injustice and unrighteousness, an unruly evil full of deadly poison and no man can control it (Jms. 3:8).

Shall praise from this polluted dung heap be acceptable before God?   No!

Can the contrivances of a natural earthly man, who is drawn away after the lusts of the earth, be able to fashion a supplication that is according to “Thy will be done”? Never!!

And shall the passions and desires of the flesh ever utter a sound that is not completely self-centered for personal gain being consumed upon lust? No neverfor every moment of his existence is consumed with the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Adam is of the world, his affections are upon the things of this world and he delights after the labour of his hands (I Jn. 2:16).

The only communion that can be ever present with the Godhead is one that is as perfect and pure as He is. Nothing that “works abomination makes a lie” can enter into His gates with praise and into His courts with thanks giving (Rev. 21:27). Thus The Father has sent His Messenger to His people to present the prayers of the saints with groanings and utterances which the natural man cannot hear.

The children do not know how to pray and thus they are taught of the Father. His Spirit makes the necessary intercession as He ‘strive together’ with us in all our ‘native weaknesses and frailties’ (Rms. 8:26). The Spirit is the mind of God. He knows His ways, which are ONE, therefore He prays according to His will. He gives to His children that pure language, “that they may call upon the name of Yehovah to serve Him with ONE consent” (Zep. 3:9). Thus those born of that incorruptible seed, commune without ceasing saying, “Thy will be done as it is accomplished in heaven, so in the earth” (Luke 11:2), as they await the adoption, the manifestation of the sons of God.

Rachel cried and sought her Lord according to her time table. She wanted things to happen in her life according to the way she thought best and advantageous. She was naturally ignorant of the perfect will of God which declares that there is “a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1). Though she earnestly desired these things and continually besought the hand of her God, the birth of her first child was appointed a time yet unknown unto her. Though she sought Him with all her heart and passionately desired this wondrous thing, yet she prayed amiss after the way of Adam.

The effectual fervent prayer begins in the abode and mind of God. He gives it to His chosen people in their appointed time and they cry out to Him when His hand is heavy upon them. He has ordered trials and tribulations, in exact magnitude, intensity and frequency, according to His great love wherewith He loved them. This comes to pass as He reveals Himself in them. The Pharisee of Pharisees may utter vain janglings and endless mantras to no avail but to reveal his own corruption and ignorance. They (the religious men of the world) want to be heard for all in their great swelling words and ethereal utterances and so they are found on the street corners making “broad the robes of their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments” (Matt. 23:5). These have their reward!

In the fullness of time, when the Father is pleased to reveal Himself in His chosen vessels, they speak the effectual fervent pray of a righteous man, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). When the Spirit within caused the one to cry out unto the Lord of Glory, he prays not of the carnal mind, nor of the desires of man nor with the power of the arm of the flesh. His voice, that pure language, calls upon the name of Yehovah because He is “the faithful God which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9).

Saul of Tarsus loved Yehovah God because Yehovah God first loved Saul and gave Himself for ‘the persecutor of the brethren’. The Word of God came forth in power and called unto this one, separated from his mother’s womb unto God, and he, being alive and having ears to hear, heard the voice of the Son of God and came forth. Though he sought the God of Israel after the traditions of the father’s for many years, yet at the exact moment when time and events were precisely finished as required by God, the prayer of Saul of Tarsus was heard because of the everlasting covenant God has with His people. Therefore, he, as every child of the house of the redeemed, has this testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and keeps His commandments (Rev.12:17).

The prayer of Nehemiah could not be made until such a time as the captivity of the children of Israel had been completed as prophesied by God through His servant Jeremiah (Jer. 25:11). When therefore, the Word of God had accomplished all that He was sent forth to do in the heart and mind of the prophet, the Spirit caused great despair in the passion of this servant of God and he called upon the name of “Yehovah God of heaven the great and terrible God that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments” (Neh.1:5). He did not desire to change the mind of God with his relentless badgering and feigned sincerity, his prayer was to the immutable sovereign God and His oath. This is not an oath that is dependent upon Adam to keep his part of the bargain in order for God to be faithful to His Word. It is not an oath that is based upon the obedience of the creature in order for the will of the Creator to be accomplished. The work of the all wise and master builder is not withheld until man asks Him to commence or gives Him permission to proceed. It is not according to the oath that was made in the wilderness, which covenant the fathers broke (Heb. 10:16).

Rachel wanted a child. She thought this would be a proper demonstration of her love for her husband and place her in a position of prominence in the household. She was blinded to the fact that she already had these amenities and that nothing she could do could diminish what she was or change who she was one iota. All of her conniving to outwit her sister was empty and without worth. Every conjugal visit with Jacob for twenty years was without the desired results for God had not given life to the seed and made all parts agreeable. But in the fullness of time, God, who keeps His covenant, gave an effectual fervent prayer to His chosen vessel. The Spirit within then caused a groaning and utterance which man cannot hear to be present before the throne of God. He, having already declared the end from the beginning, heard this cry of one who was faithful in the Beloved, and hearkened unto her.

“And opened her womb”

Only the One who closed the womb of Rachel could open it again at the appointed time. Man does not know how the seed comes together in the womb or how the bones are formed into the body (Ecc. 11:5). This is the secret work of God and although men seek to know by searching out yet they shall not find out the works which God has made from the beginning; “yea farther, though a wise man think to know yet shall he not be able to find” (Ecc. 8:17). For twenty years neither any ‘old wives tale’, magic potion, fruit or elixir nor egg timer, thermometer, calendar or stop watch could bring about what Almighty God had not purposed to come to pass yet. But there is a time to be born and for this child, his order was to be the eleventh child, tenth male child and first to Rachel and Jacob.

How wondrous to think that at the exact moment the seed of Jacob was given life and made ready to receive. The field had been prepared and the living seed was planted to bring forth fruit. This fruit was to the purpose that a child may be born who would deliver Israel from a great famine some thirty years hence into the land of Egypt where God had promised Abraham that his children would be. Not one of the other children could fulfill the assignment that was given to Joseph and he could not intrude upon their appointed paths.

A speculation may be raised that if only Joseph were not born then maybe Israel would have never been in bondage in Egypt. Such cogitation is based on the carnal reasoning that events are not fixed and sure and that the conduct of man dictates the occurrences in time. Thus mans philosophy declares that you ‘make your own destiny’ and that the future is shaped by the deeds of the present, but “we have not so learned Christ” (Eph. 4:20).

Before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, or ever there was breath in his body, his seed was ordered fixed and sure. Therefore was he created with his seed in him. Each of this seed was assigned a time to be born, a time of their habitation and the limitations and boundaries thereof. They are joined together in their habitations into kindred, tribes, nations and tongues as they pass through the wonderful display of His creation. The time of the birth of Joseph and all celestial and earthly events that accompanied it were ordained of old before the foundations of the world were laid. The heartache that dwelled with Rachel for those many years was absolutely necessary for the birth of her son and the fruitfulness of Leah was equally as necessary. These were all ‘part and parcel’ to the purpose of God and necessary to the proper performance of all persons, places and things involved.

“I cried by reason of mine affliction unto Yehovah and He heard me; out of the belly of hell I cried and thou heardest my voice” (Jon. 2:2).

The cry of the prophet was of no effect while he was safe at home before the Word of God came to him dispatching him to Nineveh. He found no cause to cry out when he was fast asleep in the hold of the ship and the storm was raging all about. He did not know how to pray until he was cast into the deep and was swallowed by the great fish. Then fearing that all was lost, he uttered with a voice that no man could hear and was heard of his Lord and Master. This was his ‘prayer closet’ where he learned how to pray and this was where the petition from on high came to him that he might cry out unto God.

Just as the Father has decreed that “to every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1), so there is a place for every purpose to come to pass. Saul needed to be on the road to Damascus, Jonah needed to be in the deep, “in the midst of the sea” and Rachel needed to be where she was when the revelation came to her that God had opened her womb. Do you think she was elated beyond containment or was she private and reserved waiting to see if these things be so? The scriptures do not indicate save to say that she exclaimed “God has taken away my reproach” (Gen. 30:23). But what reproach was she under? Did Jacob love her less for her bareness? Had she lost her station as the first wife or had she fallen from grace in the eyes of others?

God had not sent a reproach upon Rachel and she was not held barren because of some mythological lack of faith. She was barren by the will of God and the desires of her heart were not realized until the appointed hour. God is neither a respecter of persons that He should bless them for their merits nor a respecter of man that He should curse them for their disobedience. He has created the wicked and reserved them unto the day of judgment just as He has afore prepared the vessels of mercy unto glory. The wicked go estranged from the womb speaking lies while the just live by His faith. He has forgotten nothing and His Word is sure. He has a covenant of peace with His Beloved which he confirmed in His obedience on the cross. His oath and His covenant are ever before Him and all His works are verity and truth. His name is “Faithful and True” and His Word endures forever.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you might be able to stand against the assaults of the Devil, because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, and against powers, and against the worldly governors of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places. For this cause take unto you the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist the evil day and having finished all things, stand fast.

Stand fast, therefore, and you loins girded about with verity and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all take the shield of faith, wherewith you may quench the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; Praying, in every season, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all preservation and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:10).

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes

The Banner of Hope
Volume 7, No. 4
December 2013