The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Episode: “Jacob”
Family dysfunction came on the heels of the birth of twin boys. The younger held tightly as he wrestled with the angel wanting a blessing. Yet the best news of all time, the good news of salvation came through this man who became Israel.
Series: “Divine Deliverance”
from Avraham to Yeshua
In this series, we examine how the Lord offered a message of deliverance through twelve of the most significant Bible characters, beginning with the faithful Abraham and culminating with the Messiah Himself. Dr. Jeffrey Seif teaches from location and then discusses the meaning and application with David and Kirsten Hart. Beautiful dramatic reenactments from past series are presented along with music written by Zola Levitt.

Caption transcript for Divine Deliverance: “Jacob” (3/12)

  • 00:01 Kirsten Hart: Even in the midst of a very dysfunctional family,
  • 00:06 God can still work. This program today should give you and your family hope.
  • 00:09 Here's "Zola Levitt Presents."
  • 00:12 ♪♪♪
  • 00:15 ♪♪♪
  • 00:18 male announcer: From the beginning, our Creator
  • 00:20 revealed his will to the common man.
  • 00:24 Individuals listened to his call and responded in obedience,
  • 00:29 from the first Hebrew Avraham to the culmination of salvation
  • 00:33 in Messiah himself, the Lord faithfully intervenes
  • 00:38 with his divine deliverance.
  • 00:44 ♪♪♪
  • 00:51 David Hart: Thank you for joining us today
  • 00:52 on "Zola Levitt Presents."
  • 00:54 I'm David Hart.
  • 00:55 Kirsten: I'm Kirsten Hart. Jeffrey Seif: Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:56 David: We are in our series, "Divine Deliverance."
  • 01:00 Kirsten: And today's person that we're talking about,
  • 01:03 Jacob, I have a little bit of a problem with because
  • 01:06 he was very deceitful to his dad.
  • 01:08 Jeffrey: Yes, it's like, "Deliver us from ourselves.
  • 01:11 Deliver us from this family."
  • 01:13 Kirsten: Right, and I think we think, and maybe you think
  • 01:16 also, that the people that made it into the Bible were these
  • 01:19 wonderful heroes that were just perfect in God's sight and
  • 01:23 his eyes, but not in the beginning.
  • 01:26 Jeffrey: We're used to looking at biblical personalities
  • 01:30 through stained glass.
  • 01:31 You know, Saint So-and-so, Saint So-and-so.
  • 01:33 Maybe they were just real people.
  • 01:35 Maybe what's really beautiful is a beautiful and gracious God,
  • 01:38 not a beautiful and perfect person.
  • 01:40 Kirsten: Ooh, that's good. I like that.
  • 01:42 David: Right now, let's go to our dramatic reenactment
  • 01:44 and find out more about Jacob's journey.
  • 01:46 Also, teaching on location from Dr. Seif.
  • 01:50 ♪♪♪
  • 02:02 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 02:39 [speaking in Hebrew]
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  • 02:59 [speaking in Hebrew]
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  • 03:06 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:27 [speaking in Hebrew]
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  • 03:55 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 04:11 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 04:32 [speaking in Hebrew]
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  • 05:02 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 05:14 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 05:29 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 05:41 ♪♪♪
  • 05:52 ♪♪♪
  • 05:56 Jeffrey: I get it. We get hungry, it happens.
  • 05:59 And certainly Isaac's at a place in his life where he's
  • 06:02 at the end of life, and I get wanting to get that last supper.
  • 06:09 With all that, there's a problem with all this.
  • 06:12 Here I'm holding this venison in my hand.
  • 06:15 And you know what, there was a son who brought it by
  • 06:18 his hand to his father's, but there was deceit in the mix.
  • 06:22 Oh, it troubles me.
  • 06:24 I don't like to see brothers pit against brothers,
  • 06:27 but I raised boys.
  • 06:28 I know what happens. There's family and tree here.
  • 06:31 The mother pivots away from one toward the other.
  • 06:34 That's problematic.
  • 06:37 A brother who--a son who lies to his father, who
  • 06:41 stealthily deceives him in order to gain something
  • 06:44 from him, that bothers me.
  • 06:47 Like I said, there are a number of problems in this text.
  • 06:51 There are a number of possibilities as well.
  • 06:53 And when God put the story in the Bible, he wasn't looking for
  • 06:56 my permission and he wasn't necessarily looking for
  • 07:00 my understanding, but I'm left to make sense of it.
  • 07:05 In as much as I find problems with the story, I at one
  • 07:09 level shouldn't be too surprised because there's
  • 07:11 a problem when you look at Genesis.
  • 07:13 You know, five minutes into the reading,
  • 07:15 you realize something has gone horribly wrong.
  • 07:18 Case in point here, we're looking at biblical literature's
  • 07:22 major dysfunctional family.
  • 07:26 Now, that's contemporary language, but when you look at
  • 07:28 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jacob's brother, and what have
  • 07:32 you, there's all this family intrigue, everything you don't
  • 07:36 want, and it really is a dysfunctional family.
  • 07:41 If you look in your own family system and you consider dynamics
  • 07:44 and you find problems with it,
  • 07:47 don't think for a minute that all is lost.
  • 07:50 And I say that never mind the bad news, never mind casting
  • 07:53 negativity of what I'm looking at, the story here
  • 07:58 is fascinating because God still comes through.
  • 08:02 He comes to and works through flawed humanity.
  • 08:08 And by the way, that's a testimony to God's grace,
  • 08:11 his graciousness, that he is so very inclined to do that.
  • 08:15 That's good news for modern man.
  • 08:18 The truth of the matter is a little of deceit,
  • 08:20 a little bit of manipulation, a little bit of hustle,
  • 08:23 that unfortunately is part of the human condition.
  • 08:29 Speaking of the human condition and going negative,
  • 08:31 it's interesting.
  • 08:33 When Dad beckons the son forward, when Yitzhak calls
  • 08:39 forth his son thinking it's Esau, Isaac said to his son,
  • 08:44 "How in the world were you able to find this meal so quickly?"
  • 08:48 in chapter 27, verse 20.
  • 08:54 He said, and listen to the son's response.
  • 08:57 It's so telling to my way of thinking.
  • 08:59 He said, "Because Adonai your God facilitated it
  • 09:05 happening for me."
  • 09:08 Key, "Ki hikrah Adonai eloheicha," your God.
  • 09:12 It wasn't "My God."
  • 09:15 And I mention that because when it comes to religion,
  • 09:18 a lot of people, "That's your religion.
  • 09:20 It's Dad's religion.
  • 09:22 It's Mom's religion," but there's no personal experience.
  • 09:28 This fellow Jacob is gonna experience a transformation.
  • 09:32 He won't be performing like this forever.
  • 09:35 And again, for my money,
  • 09:36 manipulating a dad is inexcusable.
  • 09:40 He is going to reform, as you'll see as we walk through this,
  • 09:45 because he's going to experience deliverance, and he is going to
  • 09:49 have a change of constitution, and he who was "your God,"
  • 09:55 he will become "my God."
  • 10:00 ♪♪♪
  • 10:06 announcer: And Jacob left his mother and father in Beersheba
  • 10:09 and journeyed toward Haran.
  • 10:19 Finding a suitable stone for a pillow,
  • 10:22 he laid down and fell asleep.
  • 10:28 And Jacob dreamed there was a ladder
  • 10:30 that reached up into heaven.
  • 10:34 He saw angels of God ascending and descending.
  • 10:38 And the Lord said, "I am the Lord,
  • 10:42 the God of your grandfather Abraham.
  • 10:45 I am the God of Isaac.
  • 10:47 I will give you the land that you're relying upon.
  • 10:51 I will give this land to you and to your seed.
  • 10:55 And your seed will be like the dust of the earth and you shall
  • 10:58 expand to the west and east, to the north and to the south.
  • 11:03 All the families of the earth shall be blessed because
  • 11:07 of you and your descendants.
  • 11:10 I am with you, and will protect you wherever you go,
  • 11:14 and will bring you back to this land.
  • 11:17 I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised."
  • 11:23 ♪♪♪
  • 11:27 Jeffrey: One of the reasons why I am unimpressed by Jacob
  • 11:30 is because he, in effect, was a mama's boy.
  • 11:33 I'll probably get some mail for saying that, but his brother
  • 11:36 Esau was the, you know, quarterback of the football
  • 11:39 team, most likely to succeed, and Jacob's always hanging
  • 11:42 around with his mother, helping out in the kitchen.
  • 11:44 I mention this because he's on the road.
  • 11:47 He's on his own now.
  • 11:48 And you know, it's the first time in his life.
  • 11:52 He is, in effect, the prodigal son.
  • 11:53 He's on the run. He's running for his wife.
  • 11:58 Ostensibly, truth be known, he's running for his life.
  • 12:01 Mother knew we needed to get this boy out of here
  • 12:03 'cause his brother's gonna kill him, and off he goes alone.
  • 12:06 Doesn't have two nickels to rub together.
  • 12:08 Now, the family had some means, but Mother wasn't able
  • 12:11 to fill his pockets with an American Express card and cash.
  • 12:15 He's on his own.
  • 12:16 In as much as we want our children to experience
  • 12:19 God in church, sometimes they have to
  • 12:21 go out on their own and find him on the road.
  • 12:27 And that's our story here. It's his first night out.
  • 12:30 You know, scared as a cat I'd imagine.
  • 12:33 He lays down. It's a restless night.
  • 12:35 You know what it's like when you're up
  • 12:37 against uncertain circumstances.
  • 12:39 But guess what?
  • 12:40 Amidst the turbulence of his trying times,
  • 12:43 God shows up for him.
  • 12:45 And the Word in chapter 28 in Genesis is striking.
  • 12:50 The Word in verse 13, I am Adonai,
  • 12:53 the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac."
  • 12:58 Yeah, you know, I'm the guy--you know, your God, his God.
  • 13:02 Yeah, I am that guy.
  • 13:04 And he goes on to say, "Guess what?"
  • 13:07 in verse 15, "I'm gonna be your God too."
  • 13:13 "Behold, I am with you, and I will watch over you
  • 13:18 wherever you go."
  • 13:24 Listen, I'm a dad.
  • 13:25 I've raised sons, and you know, they're under your tutelage when
  • 13:28 they're little and off they go into this scary world.
  • 13:32 Off they go into the wild blue yonder.
  • 13:35 When I read this, I retroject back to the moment.
  • 13:41 And I've experienced in my children's life a God who
  • 13:45 is watching over his Word to perform it and who is with them.
  • 13:51 That this boy has an experience where heaven opens up
  • 13:56 and he sees coming down from heaven and going into heaven.
  • 14:00 And let me say, a flash like that is what our children need.
  • 14:10 Like I said, it's a great story.
  • 14:12 It's not just reading about those people back then, but it's
  • 14:14 a story about redemption and deliverance unfolding.
  • 14:19 Deliverance is here coming to a young man and we're going
  • 14:24 to see deliverance coming through that young man.
  • 14:28 But here we experience him experiencing God and saying,
  • 14:33 "Truly, this is a stairway to heaven.
  • 14:36 This is a place," and he names it the House of God.
  • 14:42 If you're at a place in your life where you're ready
  • 14:45 to give up on your kids, don't because they too
  • 14:49 might find a stairway to heaven.
  • 14:56 announcer: Our resource on this program,
  • 14:57 "Sons of Promise" on DVD.
  • 15:00 For your donation of $65 or more, you'll receive
  • 15:03 all eight programs which recount the history
  • 15:05 of Abraham's family through Isaac and Jacob.
  • 15:08 God's eternal covenant with the children of Israel is revealed
  • 15:11 and proved faithful against the backdrop
  • 15:13 of the modern miracle of Israel.
  • 15:16 Call 1-800-WONDERS and ask for the
  • 15:18 "Sons of Promise" DVD or visit us at levitt.com.
  • 15:25 male: Hi, thanks for watching "Zola Levitt Presents."
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  • 15:53 ♪♪♪
  • 15:56 David: Through your support, you're literally helping us
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  • 16:01 We just wanna say thank you for that.
  • 16:03 Right now, let's go back to our dramatic reenactment.
  • 16:11 announcer: Thinking it best that he appease his brother,
  • 16:13 Jacob met with his servants, saying, "Maybe Esau will forgive
  • 16:18 me and accept me if I present him gifts.
  • 16:22 Specially-selected herds of animals would be
  • 16:24 gathered and sent ahead of their personal meeting.
  • 16:28 His wives, maids, and children would also precede Jacob.
  • 16:32 But first, that very evening, there would be a remarkable
  • 16:37 encounter with the divine.
  • 16:39 It would change Jacob's life forever.
  • 16:44 ♪♪♪
  • 16:54 ♪♪♪
  • 16:56 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 17:16 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 17:28 ♪♪♪
  • 17:33 Jeffrey: I've raised boys, and to be gut-level honest,
  • 17:36 there have been times when I felt they've wrestled
  • 17:38 with me and even wrestled with religious issues, and
  • 17:43 it's been rather unpleasant to behold.
  • 17:45 Now, there's an argument I shouldn't say this on
  • 17:47 national TV, and of course my boys aren't here to defend
  • 17:50 themselves, but I think if we're honest, part of growing up
  • 17:53 and moving on, kids do that normally.
  • 17:56 It's not even a critique, it's more of an observation.
  • 17:58 This guy did it. This guy did it.
  • 18:02 If you look at Jacob, he's transformed.
  • 18:06 In fact, we say, "Come with us to Israel."
  • 18:10 Why don't we say, "Come with us to Jacob"?
  • 18:13 The word "Yakov" has a name that kind of implies a kind
  • 18:16 of craftiness and deceitfulness, but his name was changed
  • 18:21 and it was changed to "Yisrael."
  • 18:24 "Srael" arguably is "Prince of God."
  • 18:28 This guy didn't just have a change of name, he had a change
  • 18:32 of perspective and it came through a wrestling match.
  • 18:37 Now, let me just say, I think if God was wrestling with man,
  • 18:42 it wouldn't last all night.
  • 18:43 It wouldn't last for a split second never mind.
  • 18:44 I think God would win it on the quick.
  • 18:47 There's a prolonged struggle here, and you know, you're not
  • 18:51 gonna just wrestle with God and the only injury
  • 18:54 you're gonna sustain is something with a hip.
  • 18:57 You're gonna get crushed like an ant.
  • 19:00 But God lets this play work its way out in order that people
  • 19:06 can be transformed on the out.
  • 19:09 And by the way, the word "transformed," "trans"
  • 19:12 is the Latin for "to cross over," and "form,"
  • 19:15 you hear "metamorphosis."
  • 19:17 "Meta" is change," "morphe" is form.
  • 19:19 People undergo metamorphosis, metamorphe, a change of form,
  • 19:24 and it happens internally.
  • 19:27 You might know some that are wrestling with God.
  • 19:29 I would pray 'em through.
  • 19:31 When you look at this story, we're told in chapter 32,
  • 19:35 verse 25 that Jacob is there wrestling.
  • 19:39 Yakov is in the middle of a match and it's prolonged, in
  • 19:44 the consequence of which, in 29 he says, "Your name
  • 19:47 will no longer be called Jacob, but rather Israel."
  • 19:54 Who within the sound of my voice has experienced a transformation
  • 20:00 in their own life where you find that you're different
  • 20:03 now than you were then?
  • 20:06 And what separates you now from then is a wrestling match.
  • 20:15 People wrestle with deliverance today.
  • 20:19 They wrestle with the divine deliverer.
  • 20:25 It's been known to happen.
  • 20:26 When I read the New Testament, people are
  • 20:28 wrestling with the Lord.
  • 20:30 The saying's of Yeshua, "But he watches over his Word
  • 20:35 to perform it," and somehow, some way, people are
  • 20:41 transformed in the process.
  • 20:43 It's good news for Jews here and it's good news
  • 20:45 for me and you here.
  • 20:48 God delivers.
  • 20:50 He changes people and he changes circumstance.
  • 20:57 Kirsten: I really don't wanna come across self-righteous or
  • 21:00 holier than thou, but as a mom, I have a little bit of a problem
  • 21:04 with Jacob fooling his father for this birthright.
  • 21:08 I mean, it was not a good deal what he did, right?
  • 21:11 Jeffrey: I think the bond between parent and child
  • 21:13 should be sacrosanct, sacred, and there should
  • 21:16 be honesty and truth flowing.
  • 21:18 This gaming business doesn't abide with me either.
  • 21:21 It's not just a problem in the pages, it's a
  • 21:24 problem into the modern ages as well.
  • 21:26 And I say that because I know a lot of people that
  • 21:29 are just so disappointed in their kids.
  • 21:31 You know, they look to raise 'em up right in the fear and
  • 21:34 admonition of the Lord only to discover that it's like
  • 21:38 they passed puberty and got demon-possessed.
  • 21:41 It's like something else seems to have taken over.
  • 21:43 Gone are the Sunday school lessons.
  • 21:45 Gone is the virtue as they've broken away
  • 21:47 to go another way in life.
  • 21:49 David: We haven't experienced that with our children,
  • 21:51 thank the Lord, but it happened early on in the Bible
  • 21:56 and it still happens today.
  • 21:57 But there is hope for all of us.
  • 22:00 Kirsten: Right, God saw who he would be.
  • 22:02 Jeffrey: Yes, God turned it around.
  • 22:04 To your point, it pivots.
  • 22:07 On the highway of life out there,
  • 22:09 he has an experience with God.
  • 22:12 He wrestles with him and he wrestles with himself
  • 22:17 and his circumstance.
  • 22:19 He does come out of it a new man.
  • 22:20 I love it in the text.
  • 22:22 It says that Jacob, subsequent to this match,
  • 22:26 he names this place where he wrestles with God.
  • 22:29 In Hebrew, Penuel.
  • 22:32 "Punim" is the word for face, the face of God.
  • 22:35 He saw God and that made all the difference.
  • 22:39 Would that you saw him today.
  • 22:42 And I know as worship leaders, you're all about bringing
  • 22:44 people into God's presence, yes?
  • 22:46 David: Right, I think wrestling with God,
  • 22:48 I've been through that.
  • 22:50 I think maybe you've been through that
  • 22:51 in your life early on.
  • 22:53 And it's something that we have to deal with ourselves,
  • 22:55 not our parents getting us through this.
  • 22:59 It's something that we have to deal with ourselves.
  • 23:01 Jeffrey: It's very up close and personal, yes.
  • 23:04 We need to have our own existential encounter,
  • 23:07 our own experience.
  • 23:09 In fact, to know something in Hebrew, "yodea."
  • 23:13 It's from the word "to touch, to experience."
  • 23:16 That's the real knowing, when we experience God
  • 23:19 and come to him face-to-face.
  • 23:21 David: That's right. We will be right back.
  • 23:25 Jeffrey: Our Creator chose certain places on the
  • 23:27 planet to reveal himself and his message of redemption to us.
  • 23:33 Mount Sinai, Moriah, Olives, the Mount of Beatitudes,
  • 23:37 as well as various seas, rivers, and deserts.
  • 23:40 These were the places.
  • 23:42 Some are now only ruins, yet they continue to tell
  • 23:45 of the Lord's faithfulness and love.
  • 23:49 These sacred backdrops have been beautifully captured
  • 23:52 in our resource this week, the book, "Heaven and Earth:
  • 23:57 Landmarks of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation."
  • 24:02 Our producer and director Ken Berg has assembled some of
  • 24:05 his favorite photographs taken during his four decades
  • 24:10 of travel through the lands of the Bible.
  • 24:14 Contact us and ask for the book, "Heaven and Earth."
  • 24:21 announcer: For insightful perspectives on Israel and Bible
  • 24:24 prophecy, ask for our free monthly newsletter,
  • 24:27 "The Levitt Letter."
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  • 24:32 watch the TV program, or visit our online store.
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  • 24:40 Come with us on a tour of Israel or Petra,
  • 24:43 or a cruise to Greece and Ephesus.
  • 24:46 Please contact us for more information.
  • 24:51 Kirsten: Of course, a tour to Israel is about the land and
  • 24:54 the biblical sites, but I've gotta be honest with you,
  • 24:57 one of the first questions I get,
  • 24:59 especially by the girls and women that go on tour is,
  • 25:02 "Will we have time to shop?"
  • 25:04 My answer is yes.
  • 25:06 We go to wonderful shops, places where you can get
  • 25:09 Dead Sea products, where you can get jewelry of the holy land.
  • 25:13 We will have those stops for you, so fear not.
  • 25:16 Go with us, see the sights of the holy land,
  • 25:19 and we'll have fun shopping too.
  • 25:22 Now let's go to some music by our founder, Zola Levitt.
  • 25:26 ♪♪♪
  • 25:37 ♪♪♪
  • 25:47 ♪♪♪
  • 25:57 ♪♪♪
  • 26:07 ♪♪♪
  • 26:16 Jeffrey: It's great to hear Zola's music.
  • 26:19 It's also great to hear the story of Jacob.
  • 26:22 It's interesting to say that because he's not
  • 26:26 a magnificent human being at one level.
  • 26:30 So, Jeffrey, what's so great about it?
  • 26:32 It's great to see the grace of God that reaches
  • 26:36 into that man's life and transforms it.
  • 26:39 It's not only good for Jacob, it's good for me,
  • 26:41 it's good for you.
  • 26:42 What say you?
  • 26:44 Kirsten: If you don't mind me using this term, he made
  • 26:47 the trifecta of God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • 26:51 He made that, and even though he wrestled and even though he
  • 26:55 deceived his dad, God still loved him so much.
  • 26:59 That's the grace.
  • 27:00 Jeffrey: He had to become the God of, to your point, personal.
  • 27:03 Kirsten: That's good.
  • 27:05 David: Thankful for grace, amen.
  • 27:07 Kirsten: We have more of our series next week, come back.
  • 27:09 Tell your friends and family to watch us here
  • 27:11 on "Zola Levitt Presents."
  • 27:13 Jeffrey: And until you go, sha'alu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 27:17 David: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
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Episodes in this series

  1. Abraham
  2. Isaac
  3. Jacob
  4. Joseph
  5. Moses
  6. Ruth
  7. David
  8. Isaiah
  9. Ezekiel
  10. Daniel
  11. Esther
  12. Jesus

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