The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Episode: “Jacob”
Family dysfunction followed 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 (2020)”
from Avraham to Yeshua
In this series, we examine how the Lord offered a message of deliverance through 12 significant Bible characters, beginning with faithful Abraham and culminating with Messiah Himself. Dr. Jeffrey Seif teaches on location in Israel and discusses the lesson’s application with David and Kirsten Hart in the studio. We enjoy enlightening dramatic re-enactments from past series, along with Zola’s music, completely re-orchestrated and sung by David and Kirsten.

Caption transcript for Divine Deliverance (2020): “Jacob” (3/11)

  • 00:03 male announcer: Welcome to "Our Jewish Roots"
  • 00:05 with insightful Bible teaching by Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:09 In this program, the desire for wanting a blessing results
  • 00:12 in a wrestling match with an angel.
  • 00:14 Today on Divine Deliverance.
  • 00:20 announcer: From the beginning, our Creator revealed
  • 00:24 his will to the common man.
  • 00:26 Individuals listened to his call and responded in obedience from
  • 00:32 the first Hebrew Avraham to the culmination
  • 00:35 salvation Messiah himself.
  • 00:39 The Lord faithfully intervenes with his Divine Deliverance.
  • 00:45 ♪♪♪
  • 00:53 David Hart: So glad you've joined us today.
  • 00:54 I'm David Hart.
  • 00:55 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:57 Dr. Jeffrey Seif: I am Jeffrey Seif,
  • 00:58 and we are in for something.
  • 01:01 I was having a conversation with my wife this morning.
  • 01:03 We were thinking how, goodness gracious, people can be so
  • 01:06 trippy, it's amazing God gets any work done on planet earth.
  • 01:10 A case in point, Jacob.
  • 01:13 Kirsten: Okay, we were chatting, if you don't mind me
  • 01:16 saying, right before we started taping this, and I said it's
  • 01:20 crazy that a mom would name her son deceitful.
  • 01:23 Like doesn't that set him up for a crazy life, right?
  • 01:26 Isn't that what his name means?
  • 01:28 Dr. Seif: So, it seems there's some interesting names
  • 01:29 in biblical literature and that conniving connotation
  • 01:34 is interesting to be sure.
  • 01:37 Kirsten: It is, and he gets a name change.
  • 01:38 Dr. Seif: Yes, he does.
  • 01:40 Kirsten: And he makes that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • 01:42 He makes that threesome.
  • 01:45 Dr. Seif: Yes, and there's something about--
  • 01:47 I mean, there's a song, not that I need to teach you
  • 01:48 about Christian songs,
  • 01:50 there's something about that name.
  • 01:52 And well that famous song in churches, you know, Jesus,
  • 01:56 Jesus, but there's something in the names, isn't there?
  • 01:59 Kirsten: That was good. I'm excited for today.
  • 02:01 David: Yes, deception is brewing in Isaac's family today.
  • 02:03 Let's go to our dramatic reenactment right now.
  • 02:07 ♪♪♪
  • 06:12 Dr. Seif: I get it, we get hungry, it happens, and
  • 06:15 certainly Isaac's at a place in his life where he's at the end
  • 06:19 of life, and I get wanting to get that last supper.
  • 06:25 With all that, there's a problem of all this.
  • 06:28 Here I'm holding this venison in my hand, and you know what?
  • 06:32 There was a son who brought it by his hand to his father's,
  • 06:36 but there was deceit in the mix.
  • 06:38 Oh, it troubles me.
  • 06:40 I don't like to see brothers pit against brothers, but I raised
  • 06:44 boys, I know it happens.
  • 06:45 There's family intrigue here.
  • 06:47 The mother pivots away from one toward the other,
  • 06:51 that's problematic.
  • 06:53 A brother who--son who lies to his father, who stealthily
  • 06:57 deceives him in order to gain something from him,
  • 07:01 that bothers me.
  • 07:03 Like I said, there are a number of problems in this text.
  • 07:07 There are a number of possibilities as well.
  • 07:09 And when God put the story in the Bible, he wasn't looking for
  • 07:12 my permission, and he wasn't necessarily looking
  • 07:15 for my understanding.
  • 07:18 But I'm left to make sense of it.
  • 07:21 Inasmuch as I find problems with the story, I, at one level,
  • 07:25 shouldn't be too surprised because there's a problem when
  • 07:28 you look at Genesis, you know, five minutes into the reading,
  • 07:31 you realize something has gone horribly wrong.
  • 07:34 Case in point here, we're looking at biblical literature's
  • 07:38 major dysfunctional family.
  • 07:42 Now, that's contemporary language, but when you look
  • 07:44 at Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jacob's brother
  • 07:48 and what have you, there's all this family intrigue,
  • 07:51 everything you don't want, and it really is
  • 07:54 a dysfunctional family.
  • 07:57 If you look in your own family system and you consider dynamics
  • 08:01 and you find problems with it, don't think for a minute
  • 08:04 that all is lost.
  • 08:06 And I say that, nevermind the bad news, nevermind casting
  • 08:09 negativity of what I'm looking at, the story here is
  • 08:14 fascinating because God still comes through.
  • 08:18 He comes to and works through flawed humanity.
  • 08:24 And by the way, that's a testimony to God's grace,
  • 08:27 his graciousness, that he is so very inclined to do that.
  • 08:31 That's good news for modern man.
  • 08:34 The truth of the matter is a little bit of deceit,
  • 08:36 a little bit of manipulation, a little bit of hustle,
  • 08:38 that unfortunately, is part of the human condition.
  • 08:45 Speaking of the human condition and going negative,
  • 08:47 it's interesting when dad beckons the son forward,
  • 08:53 when Yitzhak calls forth his son thinking it's Esau.
  • 08:58 Isaac said to his son, "How in the world were you able
  • 09:02 to find this meal so quickly?"
  • 09:05 In chapter 27, verse 20.
  • 09:09 He said, and listen to the son's response.
  • 09:13 It's so telling to my way of thinking.
  • 09:15 He said, "Because Adonai your God facilitated it
  • 09:21 happening for me."
  • 09:23 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:26 Your God, it wasn't my God.
  • 09:31 And I mention that because when it comes to religion, a lot
  • 09:34 of people, that's your religion, it's dad's religion,
  • 09:38 it's mom's religion, but there's no personal experience.
  • 09:44 This fella Jacob is going to experience a transformation.
  • 09:48 He won't be performing like this forever.
  • 09:51 And again, for my money,
  • 09:52 manipulating a dad is inexcusable.
  • 09:56 He is going to reform, as you'll see as we walk through this
  • 10:00 because he's going to experience deliverance,
  • 10:04 and he is going to have a change of constitution,
  • 10:08 and he who was your God, he will become my God.
  • 10:16 ♪♪♪
  • 10:22 male narrator: And Jacob left his mother and father
  • 10:24 in Beersheba, and journeyed toward Haran.
  • 10:35 Finding a suitable stone for a pillow, he lay down
  • 10:38 and fell asleep.
  • 10:43 And Jacob dreamed there was a ladder that reached up
  • 10:47 into heaven.
  • 10:50 He saw angels of God ascending and descending.
  • 10:54 And the Lord said, "I am the Lord,
  • 10:58 the God of your grandfather Abraham.
  • 11:01 I am the God of Isaac.
  • 11:03 I will give you the land that you are lying upon.
  • 11:07 I will give this land to you and to your seed, and your seed will
  • 11:11 be like the dust of the earth and you shall expand to the west
  • 11:15 and east, to the north and to the south.
  • 11:19 All the families of the earth shall be blessed because of you
  • 11:23 and your descendants.
  • 11:26 I am with you and will protect you wherever you go
  • 11:30 and will bring you back to this land.
  • 11:33 I will not leave you until I have done
  • 11:36 what I have promised."
  • 11:42 Dr. Seif: One of the reasons why I am unimpressed by Jacob
  • 11:46 is because he, in effect, was a mama's boy.
  • 11:50 Probably get some mail for saying that, but you know,
  • 11:52 his brother Esau was the, you know, quarterback
  • 11:54 of the football team, most likely to succeed,
  • 11:57 and Jacob's always hanging around with his mother
  • 11:59 helping out in the kitchen.
  • 12:00 I mention this because he's on the road.
  • 12:03 He's on his own now.
  • 12:04 And you know, it's the first time in his life.
  • 12:07 He is, in effect, the prodigal son.
  • 12:09 He's on the run.
  • 12:11 He's running for his wife.
  • 12:14 Ostensibly, truth be known, he's running for his life.
  • 12:17 Mother knew we need to get this boy out of here
  • 12:19 because his brother's gonna kill them.
  • 12:21 And off he goes alone, doesn't have two nickels
  • 12:23 to rub together.
  • 12:24 Now, the family had some means, but mother wasn't able to fill
  • 12:28 his pockets with American Express card and cash,
  • 12:30 he's on his own.
  • 12:32 And as much as we want our children to experience God in
  • 12:35 church, sometimes they have to go out on their own
  • 12:39 and find him on the road, and that's our story here.
  • 12:45 It's his first night out, you know, scared as a cat.
  • 12:48 I'd imagine he lays down.
  • 12:50 It's a restless night.
  • 12:52 You know what it's like when you're up against
  • 12:53 uncertain circumstances.
  • 12:55 But guess what.
  • 12:56 Amidst the turbulence of his trying times,
  • 12:59 God shows up for him.
  • 13:02 And the Word in chapter 28 in Genesis is striking.
  • 13:06 The Word in verse 13, "I am Adonai,
  • 13:09 the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac."
  • 13:14 "Yeah, you know, I am the guy.
  • 13:16 You know, you are God, his God.
  • 13:18 Yeah, I am that guy."
  • 13:21 And he goes on to say, guess what, in verse 15,
  • 13:25 "I'm gonna be your God too."
  • 13:29 "Behold I am with you, and I will watch over you
  • 13:34 wherever you go."
  • 13:39 Listen, I'm a dad.
  • 13:41 I've raised sons, and you know, they're under your tutelage when
  • 13:43 they're little and off they go into this scary world, off they
  • 13:48 go into the wild blue yonder.
  • 13:51 When I read this, I retroject back to the moment, and I've
  • 13:57 experienced in my children's life a God who is watching over
  • 14:02 his Word to perform it and who is with them, that this boy has
  • 14:09 an experience where heaven opens up and he sees coming down
  • 14:13 from heaven and going into heaven.
  • 14:16 And let me say a flash like that is what our children need.
  • 14:26 Like I said, it's a great story.
  • 14:28 It's not just reading about those people back then,
  • 14:30 but it's a story about redemption
  • 14:32 and deliverance unfolding.
  • 14:35 Deliverance is here coming to a young man, and we're going
  • 14:40 to see deliverance coming through that young man.
  • 14:44 But here we experience him experiencing God and saying,
  • 14:49 "Truly, this is a stairway to heaven.
  • 14:52 This is the place," and he names it the House of God.
  • 14:58 If you're at a place in your life where you're ready to give
  • 15:01 up on your kids, don't, because they too might find
  • 15:06 a stairway to heaven.
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  • 15:47 Kirsten: Now let's continue our story as Jacob receives
  • 15:50 a name change.
  • 15:56 narrator: Thinking it best that he appease his brother,
  • 15:59 Jacob with this servants saying, "Maybe Esau will forgive me
  • 16:04 and accept me if I present him gifts."
  • 16:08 Specially selected herds of animals would be gathered
  • 16:11 and sent ahead of their personal meeting.
  • 16:13 His wives, maids, and children would also proceed Jacob.
  • 16:18 But first, that very evening, there would be a remarkable
  • 16:23 encounter with the divine.
  • 16:25 It would change Jacob's life forever.
  • 16:29 ♪♪♪
  • 16:34 ♪♪♪
  • 17:18 Dr. Seif: I've raised boys, and to be gut-level honest,
  • 17:21 there have been times when I felt they've wrestled with me,
  • 17:25 and even wrestled with religious issues,
  • 17:28 and it's been rather unpleasant to behold.
  • 17:31 Now, there's an argument I shouldn't say this on national
  • 17:33 TV, and of course, my boys aren't here
  • 17:35 to defend themselves, but I think if we're honest,
  • 17:38 part of growing up and moving on,
  • 17:40 kids do that normally.
  • 17:42 It's not even a critique.
  • 17:43 It's more of an observation.
  • 17:45 This guy did it. This guy did it.
  • 17:48 If you look at Jacob, he's transformed.
  • 17:52 In fact, we say, "Come with us to Israel."
  • 17:56 Why don't we say come with us to Jacob?
  • 17:59 The word Yakov has a name that kind of implies a kind of
  • 18:02 craftiness and deceitfulness, but his name was changed and it
  • 18:07 was changed to Israel, sariel arguably is a prince of God.
  • 18:13 This guy didn't just had a change of name,
  • 18:17 he had a change of perspective,
  • 18:19 and it came through a wrestling match.
  • 18:23 Now, let me just say, I think if God was wrestling with man,
  • 18:27 it wouldn't last all night.
  • 18:29 It wouldn't last for a split second, nevermind I think God
  • 18:31 would win it on the quick.
  • 18:33 There's a prolonged struggle here.
  • 18:35 And you know, you're not gonna just wrestle with God
  • 18:39 and the only injury you're going to sustain is something
  • 18:42 with the hip.
  • 18:44 You're gonna get crushed like an ant.
  • 18:46 But God lets this play work its way out in order that people
  • 18:52 can be transformed on the out.
  • 18:55 And by the way, the word transform,
  • 18:57 trans is the Latin for to crossover,
  • 19:00 and form, you hear metamorphosis,
  • 19:02 meta is change, morphe is form.
  • 19:05 People undergo metamorphosis, metamorphe, a change of form,
  • 19:10 and it happens internally.
  • 19:13 You might know some that are wrestling with God.
  • 19:15 I would pray them through.
  • 19:17 When you look at this story, we're told in chapter 32,
  • 19:20 verse 25, that Jacob is there wrestling, Yakov is
  • 19:26 in the middle of a match, and it's prolonged.
  • 19:29 In the consequence of which in 29, he says, "Your name
  • 19:33 will no longer be called Jacob, but rather, Israel."
  • 19:40 Who within the sound of my voice has experienced
  • 19:44 a transformation in their own life where you find
  • 19:48 that you're different now than you were then?
  • 19:52 And what separates you now from then is a wrestling match.
  • 20:01 People wrestle with deliverance today.
  • 20:05 They wrestle with the divine deliverer.
  • 20:10 It's been known to happen.
  • 20:12 When I read the New Testament, people are wrestling
  • 20:15 with the Lord, the sayings of Yeshua.
  • 20:19 But he watches over his Word to perform it.
  • 20:23 And somehow, some way, people are transforming in the process.
  • 20:28 It's good news for Jews here,
  • 20:30 and it's good news for me and you here.
  • 20:34 God delivers, he changes people, and he changes circumstance.
  • 20:42 David: One of the takeaways that I take from today's program
  • 20:45 is there was wrestling with God in the Bible,
  • 20:49 and it still happens today.
  • 20:50 I don't know about you, but I've had some of those moments
  • 20:52 where I'm wrestling with God, why?
  • 20:55 Have you ever had that?
  • 20:56 Dr. Seif: Yeah, I think everyone does,
  • 20:58 and if someone says they don't, they're just a liar.
  • 20:59 You know, a lot of times on television,
  • 21:01 we just smile and make it look so nice,
  • 21:03 every hair in place, everybody happy and clappy.
  • 21:05 At the end of the day, we have our private times,
  • 21:07 and we do wrestle, everyone, whether you're on this side
  • 21:10 of the camera or yours.
  • 21:11 Kirsten: That was good because I see the angel,
  • 21:14 of the Lord, or angel of God, or God himself,
  • 21:16 whoever it was wrestling Jacob, was trying to change
  • 21:20 that nature inside.
  • 21:22 And we have this nature inside of us sometimes
  • 21:25 that we just fight and we fight.
  • 21:28 And finally, finally, Jacob gave in and his name was changed.
  • 21:33 Dr. Seif: It's a great point because people can change
  • 21:37 and we wonder that.
  • 21:38 We have difficult people in our life and that might be
  • 21:40 why you're up wrestling at night, you know.
  • 21:42 And we just wonder, oh goodness, the way they're thinking,
  • 21:45 the way they are.
  • 21:47 And but we do see transformation,
  • 21:50 and we see that at the end of the day here.
  • 21:52 After the wrestling match, we see a changed man.
  • 21:56 Kirsten: We talked about this, that the hip, Jacob's hip,
  • 22:01 right, for the rest of his life.
  • 22:03 I don't know, there was something in, I don't know if it
  • 22:06 was disjointed or what happened, but it's almost like
  • 22:09 a reminder of, "I changed you, but don't forget
  • 22:13 where you came from or don't forget what happened."
  • 22:15 I don't know.
  • 22:17 Dr. Seif: It seems to me that as this man walked away from
  • 22:19 that moment, he carried a memory of it in the way that he just
  • 22:22 limbered along on occasion.
  • 22:24 And if God wanted to destroy a saga, I mean,
  • 22:27 he could have done it, but he just left
  • 22:29 that little reminder there.
  • 22:31 It's an interesting story.
  • 22:32 Kirsten: Not to go back.
  • 22:34 Don't go back to that other nature.
  • 22:35 Dr. Seif: That is true.
  • 22:36 Kirsten: Walk in the newness of what I'm bringing you to.
  • 22:38 David: I don't remember-- I don't want to remember
  • 22:40 my past, but thankful for the little reminders
  • 22:42 that show me where I'm at now and where I was.
  • 22:45 Yes, we'll be right back.
  • 22:48 announcer: Our Creator chose certain places on the planet
  • 22:51 to reveal himself and his message of redemption to us.
  • 22:56 Mount Sinai, Moriah, Olives, the Mount of Beatitudes,
  • 23:00 as well as various seas, rivers, and deserts,
  • 23:03 these were the places.
  • 23:05 Some are now only ruins, yet they continue to tell
  • 23:09 of the Lord's faithfulness and love.
  • 23:12 These sacred backdrops have been beautifully captured in our
  • 23:16 resource, this week the book, "Heaven And Earth:
  • 23:21 Landmarks of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation."
  • 23:25 Our producer and director Ken Berg has assembled some
  • 23:28 of his favorite photographs taken during his four decades
  • 23:33 of travel through the lands of the Bible.
  • 23:38 Contact us and ask for the book, "Heaven And Earth."
  • 23:43 ♪♪♪
  • 23:53 ♪♪♪
  • 24:03 ♪♪♪
  • 24:17 David: There was a time not too awful long ago that Kirsten
  • 24:19 and I thought we'd never had the chance to go to Israel.
  • 24:23 It was a God thing, he allowed us to go,
  • 24:25 and it's a God thing for you to go.
  • 24:28 If you're thinking about going, we would love for you
  • 24:31 to join us on Zola tour.
  • 24:32 You can find all the information on levitt.com.
  • 24:35 Kirsten: Jeff, thank you for bringing the Word of God
  • 24:38 to life to us today.
  • 24:40 We so appreciate that and your insight.
  • 24:42 Dr. Seif: Well, you're kind.
  • 24:44 I love resurrecting these characters.
  • 24:46 Of course, the ultimate resurrected character is Yeshua
  • 24:50 is Jesus himself, but entering into the biblical world
  • 24:56 and bringing this alive, it means something to me.
  • 25:00 I hope it means something to you.
  • 25:02 And I know it does to some of you because if it wasn't
  • 25:05 for you, I wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be here,
  • 25:09 wouldn't have the opportunity to tell this story.
  • 25:12 And it's interesting, too, by the way,
  • 25:14 because there are people that deliberately intend
  • 25:17 to go to church, they get in the car
  • 25:19 and they go, sometimes serendipitously,
  • 25:22 someone just turns on the TV, and all of a sudden
  • 25:25 they alight upon something.
  • 25:26 It's the way the Lord gets to them.
  • 25:29 It's not even so much them coming to the house of the Lord
  • 25:32 as much as it is God bringing the house.
  • 25:35 And I want to thank you for helping us bring the Word
  • 25:38 to your house.
  • 25:40 The Lord loves a cheerful giver, he really does,
  • 25:43 and I want to encourage you please
  • 25:45 to be gracious and share and care.
  • 25:47 And if you find value in what we do,
  • 25:49 please demonstrate that tangibly in a way that helps us
  • 25:53 to keep the ministry going.
  • 25:55 Thanks in advance.
  • 25:57 Kirsten: Come back next week.
  • 25:58 We have more of our series Divine Delivery.
  • 26:01 We will end our program today with a beautiful instrumental
  • 26:04 by our founder Zola Levitt.
  • 26:06 But first...
  • 26:07 Dr. Seif: Before you go, as you go...
  • 26:10 [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 26:12 David: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 26:16 ♪♪♪
  • 26:26 ♪♪♪
  • 26:36 ♪♪♪
  • 26:46 ♪♪♪
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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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