Day 4: Vayetze/Genesis 30:14-43
YHVH is all about life, cleanness, and righteousness; yet, in the creation of man, He elected to create something that could choose death by living unclean. As we are infinitely aware, man is imperfect. All he undertakes, especially without Elohim, is contaminated with unclean sin and corruption, along with what these bring in attitudes and behaviors. However, YHVH sees what man’s eye cannot. It is within the heart and soul and He has willingly set forth a path for redemption.
The heart of man, in wholeness, is what YHVH is after and He writes His Word on that heart so that man’s soul and might will follow His Word in faithfulness, being set apart for YHVH. Outwardly, the Covenant keeper may be disheveled or unsightly; but, inwardly, he is set apart for YHVH’s habitation.
This is best illustrated in instances of lepers. A leprous individual is unclean and to be set out of camp while the leprosy is spreading or infectious. Interestingly enough, that same leper, completely covered with the evidence of the disease, yet without any red, infectious areas, can be readmitted into camp and walk among YHVH’s people (see Vayikra/Leviticus 13:12).
The matters of looks and what seems to be wholesome from the outside appeals to most people—most of them are, after all, aesthetically driven.
For example, Laban clearly desired to have the choicest flocks and understood that Yacov’s time with him for fourteen plus years had caused a great blessing for Laban’s livestock. Yacov took full advantage of Laban’s greed by willingly taking the striped, black, spotted, and marred goats and sheep as his wages for continued service. Yacov’s presence in Laban’s land seemed to manipulate a blessing for Laban and himself. Moreover, while breeding the sheep and goats, Yacov was inspired to precipitate the conception of more spotted and striped livestock so as to gain more of Laban’s flocks for his own wages. Yacov did not go by the looks of goats and sheep from the outside. While the color and marred blemishes made for less attractive garments, tents, and other materials, it did not make the animal any less useful or more defiled. If for sacrifices, it was still acceptable; the wool, regardless of color, could be spun for warm clothing and blankets; the hides would be perfectly acceptable for all leather goods. Laban’s desire for outwardly good looking livestock made Yacov a very wealthy man.
YHVH, Who inspired Yacov to such husbandry efforts, created man with the ability to sin and choose evil rather than good. With His patience and long-suffering, the Creator allows man, even encourages him to be fruitful and multiply, to perpetuate humanity. This is not for the sake of having sin or condoning sin; rather, it is for the benefit of having His choice, first-fruit of the earth, namely, men whose whole hearts are His despite the stripes and spots they possess on the outside. Those that are redeemed have had their pasts removed. What causes them to be unfit for use is made pure and useful for YHVH.
Yeshua took upon Himself the stripes of punishment and the blemishes of verbal and physical persecution, which mutilated His Body to appear less than perfect. However, it was Messiah’s wholesome, faithful perfection that could not be taken away and, in that perfection, all of those who believe and call upon His Name are found to be perfect in Him—they are without spot or blemish.
Yeshua was, and is, the living Ark of YHVH’s presence. Like the Ark of the Covenant, He allows Himself to be carried by men that dwell amongst the unclean of the world. Likewise, Yacov carried the presence of YHVH wherever he went. His presence with Laban was a blessing, not because of Yacov’s righteousness, but due to YHVH’s. The presence of YHVH either brings about conviction resulting in repentance or condemnation due to rebellion; His glory causes the clean to be separated from the unclean and the holy set apart from the common. Laban did not ascertain this part of the blessing, only that Yacov’s continual abidance brought forth fruitfulness. That fruitfulness always belongs to Elohim, first and foremost.
We are not perfect, it is Messiah in us that is. We cannot be seen as righteous, it is Yeshua Who stands before the throne for us that is. Our garments are wrinkled, our lives have been afflicted, and all that we do on earth is corrupted in some way. There is a constant bombardment of contamination and death. YHVH sees all of these things and still He loves us.
We are to be His first fruit—those that are set apart for His use as the offering for the works of His hands. As He cordons us off from those who reject Him, we are to bear fruit beginning in our hearts, but reaching to our minds, actions, and offspring. In due time, we will be removed farther away so there can be no chance of contamination or accusation by the adversary, any longer. Until then, we can walk in the blessings of Yacov in that YHVH is with us and uses the works of our hands to bless us, others, and Himself.
Dwell upon 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but YHVH looks at the heart.”