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WHAT’S IN A NAME:

“REUBEN”

“And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband shall love me. (Genesis 29:32)”

Jacob had entered into a labour intensive agreement with Laben, according to the divine will of God, for the woman of his desire, Rachel. When his seven years of servitude were completed, he believed that he would receive his payment according to the terms of the contract, at the hand of Laben. Instead, when he awoke, he found that he had been beguiled and deceived. Laben had changed the terms and had given that which pertained to tradition and obligation rather than what had been agreed upon. Leah, whose name means weary and impatient, was Jacob’s wife. She was the first born daughter of Laben and, by the account of scripture, she had a sight deficiency, for she was ‘tender eyed’ (weak or delicate eyed). According to the custom of the people of the land, it was more important that she be married first, much more important than any contractual agreement between Laben (to make or build) and this foreign supplanter (Jacob) from a distant land; “And Laben said, it must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn (29:26)”. So Jacob did not receive that which he labored for and did not love that which he received.

Jacob, who had manipulated and connived his way into obtaining the birthright from Esau and the blessing from Isaac, had been faithful and righteous, by the grace of God, in completing the requirements set before him, yet his first wife was of debt according to the traditions of man. Leah knew that she was an unwanted substitute. Her mannerisms and antics demonstrated a deep seated contempt for the situation. She listened to Jacob’s protest to her father, Laben, the morning after his deception was discovered. She understood the lame excuse that was given as her father described her marriage as being of necessity to the customs of the people. She idly stood by, in disgrace, as Jacob demanded and received his beloved and further agreed to an additional seven years of servitude clearly demonstrating his love for her; “And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her weeks; and he (Laben) gave him (Jacob) Rachel (the ewe sheep) his daughter to wife also”. What an insult and a disgrace to have this man, this foreigner, treat her with disrespect and contempt. She stood as first born, first married and second fiddle.

Leah devises an approach to this predicament after the nature of the fallen race of Adams seed, work. She develops a plan whereby she shall do good works, produce fruit worthy of praise so that she may return unto Jacob and say; ‘see here the works of my hands’. In payment for services rendered, she expected to receive the love of Jacob. She would accept her role and perform her duties daily as wife and present to her husband tokens of her love, her fidelity and her value. According to the evidences of the flesh, her plan was proceeding according to schedule as she delivered 6 sons and a daughter unto Jacob, herself, and two more sons by the surrogate intervention of her hand maid, Bilah. Yet even though her plan succeeded by the standards of the eyes of man, she could never succeed in obtaining the love of Jacob since it is of grace and not by works. No amount of work or productivity could produce anything more than the wages due. Every thing she did to prove herself a good and loving wife was tainted by the attempt to procure that which she did not already have (reference the five foolish virgins who attempted to buy oil for their lamps from those who did not have oil in Matthew 25). It is thus improper to refer to the current religious system as being ‘modern’, for it is as old as man. All the collective good works which the household of Adam could do, throughout the annals of time, cannot persuade or procure the love of God, for it is an everlasting love which He had from before the foundation of the world, for His beloved, chosen in Christ.

God commended that love to His people in that, while they were yet sinners and at enmity with God, He sent forth His Son to be the propitiation (appeasement) of the debt. This is in accordance with that everlasting love from before the foundation of the world. It is the immutable love of God who cannot be influenced or coerced in any way. The children of the household of grace, like Rachel, have the love of the Father before it is manifested unto them. When the children, were not yet partakers of flesh and blood, God loved them. When they became partakers of flesh and blood and fell, corporately, in Adam by his inherent inability to measure up to the Holy standard of the righteousness of God, He loved them still. Like Jacob, He took His wife before He completed the work set before Him for He came forth having His reward (His bride) with Him and His work before Him. When He finished His work that the Father had given Him and fulfilled all things written of Him by the prophets of the Most High, she was inseparably one with Him. She was with Him in the garden. She was in the judgment hall as He was beaten by the hands of those whom He had created. She was in Him as He hung on the cross and at His death, burial and resurrection and when He ascended to the Father. When He came before the Father, He declared His generation, (Isaiah 53:8), as those who had been washed in His precious blood. This is the regeneration for they were His generation of old and His seed, “and the seed shall serve Him and it shall be accounted to Jehovah for a generation” (Psalm 22:30).Therefore in Him she lives and moves and has her very being.

“And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb: but Rachel was barren” (Gen. 29:31). These two sisters were thus engaged in the most simplistic of Adamic struggles of works vs. grace. Leah felt that if she produced fruit she would earn the love and affection of her husband while Rachael was perplexed by the absence of the ‘proof’ of her husbands love which she interpreted as judgment from God. She approaches Jacob and demands that he give her children and Jacob answers, “Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of thy womb? (Gen.30:2)”. Are the ways of man within himself? Was it in the power of either Leah or Rachael to produce or withhold? Both were involved in normal conjugal relations with Jacob yet it is God who is Sovereign Lord and man, “knoweth not what is the way of the spirit nor how the bones grow in the womb of her that is with child” (Ecc.11:5). Man, with all his technology and ‘advanced’ sciences has absolutely no control over fertility, ovulation, gestation or fertilization for, “children are an inheritance of the Jehovah, the fruit of the womb His reward” (Ps 127:3). God, by His grace opened the womb of Leah and caused her to be fruitful and multiply while restraining Jacobs love for her. See how she grieves over this and as she produces child after child she anticipates that this one will persuade her husband to love her. This same grace and same purpose of God closed Rachael’s womb and purposely prevented offspring while all the while never diminishing Jacob’s love. Let all those who profess a conditionalistic methodology for salvation or obedience for the ‘daily walk’ contemplate the type set forth here and by the grace of the Wisdom of God be given eyes to see that it is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by His grace that He loved, redeemed, washed and delivered His children from death.

Thus a child is born unto Leah and she named him Reuben. Little attention is given in our society today to the names which are assigned, by well meaning parents, to their offspring. Some attempt to continue a legacy by using the names of prior generations. Some attempt to champion an ethnic cause or a social issue and even others wax philosophical or religious. The Sovereignty of God demands that, whatever method or logic is employed by Adam, each and every person, born unto his race, generation upon generation, has been given the name assigned unto them, before the foundation of the world, by the Omnipotent God. Some may dispute this with an argument of personal experience in how they chose their child’s name, yet the scriptures declare on more than one occasion, how the Lord sent His angel to expecting parents and said, “Thou shalt call his name…” Was this not the case with Samuel, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth our Lord, to name a few? Was there even the hint of possibility that another name could have been used? Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, was struck mute by the angel and did not regain his speech until he insisted that the child be called John. (Even at this some will insist upon the free will of man and claim that he CHOSE to call his name John. We prefer to say that in the day of the power of God, Zacharias was made willing and obedient). Since all things are established by the testimony of two or three witnesses, we conclude, by the proclamation of the Word and the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that, not only is the time of our habitation and the limitation thereof established of old (Acts 17:26), not only are we fearfully and wonderfully made and our members known unto Him, being yet imperfect and unformed (Ps. 139:15) but He has established the name by which we are called, according to the good pleasure of His will. Indeed, if of the household of faith and a child of promise, He has called us by that name for He alone can tell the hosts of heaven and calls them by name (Genesis 15:5 & Psalm 147:4). And so neither Jacob nor Leah called his name Rueben but our Father in Heaven decreed it to be so.

This was not only a name but it was a proclamation. Leah was so elated that she had produced a child for Jacob and that the first born was a son that she cried out, ‘Reuben’ “See a son”. Her efforts seemed to have been rewarded by God. Her curse had been turned into a blessing and born of her loins was the heir to Jacob’s house. Those of a mind for conditional blessings would assert that her obedience to Jacob wrought the blessing from God. She, being despised, had become subservient to the demands of her master and as a dutiful wife had shown forth the fruit of her labour. But we have not so learned the wonders of our Heavenly Father. He had predetermined the path that she should walk and the events that should transpire. This would include her betrothal and conception, the birth of Reuben and the absence of love from Jacob. God had predestinated this event to have been concluded, fixed and sure, before the world began.

A closer examination of the name, Reuben, would bear out the concept of ‘heir’ even further since ‘Ben’ (son) is a derivative of the Hebrew word ‘Bana’, to make or to build. This is the word that is used when describing the labour of the children of Israel when in captivity in Egypt, “Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick,” (Exodus 5:7). Both words “make” and “brick”, are from the same root word and have reference to the building materials, the building process and the building itself. Pharaoh was refusing to give the children of Israel the ingredients needed to make the bricks that were used in building the monuments unto him and the great cities of Pithom and Raamese, (Exodus 1:11). Further he instructed them to go out and collect these building materials themselves, “and the tale of the bricks, which they make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish thereof: for they are idle” (Ex.5:8). This ‘making’ or ‘assembling of materials together’ is represented by the word ‘Laben’ and the bricks are called ‘Lebana”. The splendor and glory of the buildings is represented in these words also as they reflect the idea of ‘white’ or ‘whiteness’ as in “Lebanan”. This ‘whiteness’ implies cleanliness and purity as it is used in Isaiah 1:18, “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow”. Thus Pharaoh was building a demonstration of his greatness (whiteness) by the slave labour of the children of Israel and they were proving their worthiness (righteousness) by the works of their hands. When he ceased giving them the materials of his design, they were sent out under the auspices of their own abilities to gathering straw and build. Instead of the straw that Pharaoh (Satan) demanded for the quality of his building, they found stubble showing the inability of the arm of the flesh to find, in this world, suitable materials for anything other than the great house (Pharaoh) of the land of entrenchments (Egypt).

The first part of his name also commands further investigation. “Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction” (Gen29:32). The Hebrew word that has been translated “looked” in this verse is ‘ra a’. It not only has the concept of ‘looking’ and ‘seeing’ as with the natural eye, but of ‘watching over’, to ‘observe’, to ‘give attention to’ and to ‘consider’. These are the words used upon the mount when God told Moses to observe that you build the tabernacle according to the building pattern that I have shown unto you, (Gen. 25:9). Leah was not insinuating that the Almighty was looking about creation one day and happened to see her in her affliction, wondering what had happened. But rather, in her affliction, which was by the hand of God, God was watching over her and had manifested this observance with tangible evidence, a child. Her statement is then understood as, “certainly, I AM is watching over my misery, now therefore I will have the love of my husband” (Gen.29:32).

The name “Reuben” then means much more than, ‘see a son’. It is a declaration from Almighty Sovereign God that He and He alone is ‘watching over His righteous building’. He has assembled the necessary components (Leah and Jacob), in the fullness of time, or at the exact moment, and even by the means of treachery and deceit of Laben, He caused them to act according to the nature which He had created in them, “And it came to pass in the evening, that he (Laben) took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him (Jacob); and he went in unto her”. He had prepared Jacob’s seed to be viral and Leah’s egg to be fertile and receptive. He caused the fertilization of the egg and formed the bones in her womb which, at the end of the prescribed time period of 9 months, brought forth a child, the first born of the house of Jacob. This is a wondrous work which He performs in the sight of our eyes, in the midst of this present evil generation, proclaiming His Lordship and Sovereignty, each and every day and though a MAN show it to you, Adam, yet shall you not believe. “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. “ (Ecc. 11:5)

This is not to insinuate in any way that Reuben is a child of grace; that is a determination which God alone has decreed before the foundation of the world. It is, however, a clear statement that God has prepared earthen vessels for His glory and honour and places within them the seed as He has determined. God has fashioned each and every one of Adam’s race from the beginning when He formed him out of the dust of the earth and shall continue to cause them to be reproduced until time shall be no more. And when the time of their habitation has ended each vessel will return unto the dust from whence they came, “for out of it wast thou taken: dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen.3:19). The children of promise have, over the millennium, become partakers of flesh and blood as have the wicked, the seed of the serpent, which have been reserved unto the Day of Judgment. They both have been afore prepared to receive the seed assigned to them. Some have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, washed and consecrated for use in the Master’s house as vessels of honour. They have been bought with a great price and have a pearl of great worth within. Although they remain corrupt according to the lineage of Adam (Romans 7:18), the old man has been crucified with Christ that the body of this death might be destroyed (Romans 6:6). Others are vessels of dishonor in which the wickedness remains and the lewdness is demonstrated, “In thy filthiness is lewdness” (Ez.24:13). These walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). They have no right, no memorial nor portion with the vessels of mercy for they have no oil within (Matt. 25:3). They may and do look alike, act in a similar manner and require the same daily maintenance but the one vessel contains the new man with life and a peace which passes all understanding, which is Christ in you the hope of glory. The other possesses the old man of death and eternal torment in the lake of fire where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“I will declare the decree: Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Ps. 2:7). Reuben stands as a type of Christ in that he is the first born of the house (having his seed in him), the beginning of the building and a child of promise.

Everyone born unto Reuben would forever be known a child of the firstborn of the house of Jacob. All honour and privileges of the firstborn would belong unto them being heirs and joint heirs with Reuben. The blessing of the father would come to them first and the continuation of the blood line or the house would remain in the lineage of the assembly of the house of the firstborn. Christ is the Son of God begotten of the Father (Ps.2:7) and the only begotten (John 1:4), therefore He is the Firstborn and all His seed is ‘the general called out assembly of the Firstborn’ (Heb. 12:23). The blessing and promise of the Heavenly Father is with and unto them. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (Eph. 1:3). He is the only suitable sacrifice which the Father could accept; being firstborn without spot or blemish, for the Righteousness of God can accept nothing short of complete Holiness and perfection. Therefore as the perfect sacrifice, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:36), He brought a better sacrifice than the blood of bulls and goats, His precious blood, according to a better covenant based on an everlasting love, which covered His entire family and delivered them from the Holy Righteous wrath of a Just God. He, as the High Priest after the order of the King of Righteousness, Melchizedeck, entered into a better sanctuary not made with hands and appeared in the presence of God for us. He made His offering of complete obedience to the will of the Father and fulfilled the entire law to every jot and tittle upon a better altar of which no man has ever or shall ever give attendance and to accomplish all this, the Father prepared a body for Him as He had prepared the one for Reuben, born of a woman yet without sin. “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1). No one but those of the house of the Firstborn can present an acceptable sacrifice unto God.

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19). Christ spoke of His body as the temple which He would raise up and build. As the firstborn of God, He is the beginning of the house. As the firstborn of many sons He is the elder brother of the family of the redeemed. All His seed precedes from Him and through Him being in Him from before Adam was created. Just as King David had assembled all the materials and necessary parts from many nations to construct the temple of the King of Peace (Solomon) so Christ came forth having all His seed, the necessary building materials for His temple, in and with Him, for He is both David (the beloved) and Solomon (man of peace). This is a building, fitly framed (closely joined) together which grows up unto an Holy temple, the habitation of our God (Eph. 2:21). Each part precisely prepared with every necessary component to supply the design of the whole and fulfill the predestined plan of the Wise Omniscient Builder and Maker. Christ is the building, the materials of the building and every act of the building process.

Christ’s building is also His body which is His church. She, like Eve before her, was in her Husband before she became manifest. She was preserved and prepared in him for the path she must walk. She is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. This preparation included every ingredient to build (‘tebanyth’, feminine form of the word ‘banah’ {ben}) her according to the pattern of heavenly things as shown (‘ra a’, root word for ‘reu’) unto Moses in the mount. She is the candlestick (Ex. 25:31 & Rev. 1:20). She is made of pure gold, the brilliance of the Godhead, her parts are His parts (Ex. 25:33) and she is without spot or blemish. She was one with Him in the heavenlies from eternity past and God revealed her to Moses to be a part of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle where God would set His name. First is the mercy seat where God would meet with man. Next is the table of the showbread where the Bread of Life is ever fresh every day and then there was the menorah, the candlestick, the church whose light is the Light of the World. She has the anointing of the Spirit and need not look to the means of the weak and beggarly elements of this world to obtain it. If she did not have the pure anointing oil in her lamp from before the foundation of the world, then, like the foolish virgins, she cannot beg, borrow, buy or steal it for it is not of this world. She has the true light upon the sweet smelling ointment of the anointing in the bowls shaped like almond (ever watchful, never slumbering). This light is seated upon the oil just the same way that the Spirit sat upon the apostles in the upper room as “cloven tongues of fire” (Acts 2:2). She is a garden enclosed yet she became partaker of flesh and blood and the earthen vessel prepared for her, fell in the corruption of Adam. She did not sin, for that which is born of God cannot sin, but in the weakness of the flesh, in which she dwelt, according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, Adam’s inability to hear and obey the law of God, was made manifest. This body of flesh and blood which the bride became partaker of was the same as the one which was prepared for the Anointed Son of God, yet He was without sin. Therefore, God commended His love unto her, in that while she was yet sinners, Christ died for her and redeemed her from the curse of the law. He was responsible for the house, His bride, and He was faithful above the entire house (Heb. 3:6). He, who knew no sin, became sin for His bride, and His house. He suffered, bled, died, covered the sin of His house with His precious blood, atoning for the sin, and removed it as far as the east is from the west, to be remembered no more. Therefore the building of God, His family, was proclaimed righteous (white) because He was, “delivered up for our offences and raised again for our justification, therefore, being justified, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 4:25f).

The Godhead manifested His satisfaction with the sacrifice when He saw the travail of His soul by raising Him from the dead in power and might. The righteous obedience of the Firstborn Son, being one with the Father and the Spirit was His birthright to sit at His right hand of the Father, as King of King and Lord of Lords, since He had overcome the world. His seed was eternally vital, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. She was one with Him in His incarnation, throughout His life, death, burial and the resurrection. He then presented her before the throne in the wave offering and declared, “Behold I and the children whom thou hast given Me.” (Is. 8:18) This is the regeneration as He declared His generation, His Family and His bride before the Father, cleansed from all unrighteousness, being washed in His blood. The seed is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and a spiritual body and as we have born the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (I Cor. 15:42ff). Reuben is then fulfilled as Christ presents the completed Holy House and Family of the faithful as He proclaims, ‘see your righteous building’.

Lastly, but by no means finally, Reuben is a child of promise. Although God never revealed the name of Reuben to Rebeckah, when the children struggled within her, He did say unto her that there were, “two nations in thy womb, and two manners of people shall be separated from thy bowels” (Gen. 25:23). This was of course concerning her twin sons Jacob and Esau but it included their offspring and the nations which would be built from their seed. Reuben is then a fulfillment of this promise as the firstborn of Jacob. He is also the result of the same promise for his grandfather Isaac was also a child of promise. God promised Abram a son. Abram tried to accommodate God as he and Sarah devised the plan which was by the means of Hagar. Ishmael is the firstborn of Abram but the promise was that, “Sarah thy wife shall conceive and bare thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac” (Gen. 17:19). Abraham was made strong through faith, imputed unto him for righteousness sake, to fulfilled the promise and was undaunted by the deadness of Sarah’s womb or the impotence of his seed due to age. All of the chosen seed would be born not by might nor by strength but by the promise of My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.

This promise also included an inheritance and a land of possession. Genesis, chapter 15, speaks of the seed as being as the “hosts of heaven” and therefore not of this world. Abrams name is changed to Abraham since he is the exalted father of many, the father of the faithful. Faith is not of this world for it is a gift of God. Abraham went out, not knowing where he was going, seeking a better country and a city not made with hands that had foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He was a stranger and a sojourner in a foreign land as was his seed after him and as the house of the faithful is today. “Now we are ambassadors for Christ” (II Cor.5:20) for we seek that eternal abode of the New Jerusalem wherein enters nothing that defiles, nor works abomination, or makes a lie (Rev.21:27). The natural seed of Abram from Genesis 13 can have all the sands of the sea and dust of the earth of the land of Palestine. The governments and armies of this world can agree to establish whatever boundaries they deem appropriate. They can find solace in political solutions to the problems of this present evil generation. They rely upon the strength of the arm of the flesh as they build their temple with hewn stone and daubed with untempered mortar as the mighty hunter, Nimrod, attempted those many years ago at Babel (Gen. 11). They can make all the brick they need from the dust of the ground, fire them completely and use slime for mortar, to make a name for themselves and exalt themselves against the throne of the Most High like their father the Devil.

The child of promise, as taught by the Spirit of Holiness, knows that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Cor. 5:1). It is made of precious living stone, clear as crystal. She is set upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets of pure gold that appeared to John as it were transparent glass. Jesus Christ is the Chief cornerstone of the foundation for He is our rock and our salvation. He is despised of man and cast aside as unfit for their building but He is a great rock in a weary land for His city set upon the hill. Her walls are salvation and Her gate is praise. “Walk about Zion, and go round about Her; tell the greatness thereof. Mark ye well HER bulwarks, consider Her palaces; that ye may tell to the generation that follows” (Ps. 48:132f).

“And He said, Hear now O house of David; is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary God also? Therefore Jehovah Himself shall give a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Is.7:13f). The promise of the Seed that would redeem His people began in the garden of Eden when Jehovah placed enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. This seed, born of a woman and made under the law, would wound the head of the serpent with an incurable wound by the sharp two-edged sword which proceeds from His mouth (Rev. 1:16). This is the Word of God which is sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the dividing point between joint and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts of man. The Word that was in the beginning with God and is God became flesh and dwelt in our midst. His name is Immanuel which being interpreted is ‘God with us”. John saw this Seed as the Lamb of God, “slain from the foundation of the world”. (Rev. 13:18). The promise of His coming is foretold throughout the record of the Old Covenant by all things written by the prophets and fulfilled in the fullness of time when God sent forth His son. His status was the firstborn of many brethren and Head of the house. He came to seek and to save that which was lost and to redeem them that were under the curse of the law. The government was upon His shoulders and the increase thereof should have no end. He is the Mighty God the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. When He asked His disciples, “Whom do you say that I am”, Peter proclaimed, not by the revelation of flesh or blood, “Thou art the Christ (anointed), the Son of the Living God”.

Reuben is the firstborn of the house of Jacob. His life was saturated with events which do not recommend him to any as one as a noble or righteous person. His father said of him, “Thou art unstable as water, thou shalt not excel, because thou went up to thy fathers bed and defiled it; you ascended to my bed.” (Gen. 49:4). He spent his time in the field gathering aphrodisiacs to satisfy his desires. (Gen. 30:14), defiled himself by having sexual relations with his fathers concubine, Bilhah, trying to make himself like unto his father (Gen 35:22) and would have left Joseph in a pit in the wilderness to “rid him out of our hands” (Gen. 37:22). These actions were ordained of old and assigned unto him by God, without any possibility of Reuben’s failure to perform them in their exact order and at the precise time, to exercise(Ecc. 3:10) him in the weakness and vanities of his nature so that no flesh should glory in the sight of God. God is not a respecter of persons. He is seated in Heaven, ruling over the earth and man is obsequious.

Yet as type, Reuben represents the First born of God. “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the Excellency of dignity and the Excellency of power.” (Gen. 49:3). We, if of this household, are His seed, His children and His workmanship. It is He that has made us and not we ourselves. He is the vine and we are the branches. We are the sheep of His pasture, vessels of His mercy and children of the general called out assembly of the Firstborn. “Lord thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Ps. 90:1&2).

November 2007
(Elder) Chet Dirkes

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