For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Measure for measure is so real. So much of what happens to us is the returning of our own actions. The dish life serves us often proceeds from the kitchen of our own cooking. The harvest we reap is surely the result our own sowing. By this standard a man’s life is easily assessed and his character revealed. If someone has many friends, he must have been friendly. If others are generous with him, he must have been sharing. By the same token, if someone finds the heart of others like desert sand or a sky of brass, closed to his needs and pleas, maybe he lived his life as selfishly as a closed book. We are all too often to blame for the hell we create with our own two hands.
Jacob deceived his father Isaac by concealing his identity under goat's skin. Several years later Jacob becomes victim of deceit as Laban conceals Leah’s identity in the nuptial chamber. This would result in a family’s sibling rivalry that would cause Leah’s children to later try to kill Joseph. As they did, they put the blood of a goat on Joseph coat to pretend he had been killed by a wild animal, thus repeating the theme of being concealed under the identity of a goat. Joseph would later trick them by concealing his own identity as an Egyptian viceroy (Genesis 40-45).
When Leah’s children headed by Judah returned from pasture with the news about Joseph, Judah showed Jacob the ‘hard evidence’ of Joseph’s bloody coat to prove their case. Judah used the Hebrew words, ‘haker-nah’, meaning ‘Please, recognize these’. Many years later, Judah would be tricked and exposed by his own daughter-in-law using the very same words, ‘Haker-nah’. These must have pieced his heart as he remembered the treachery and lying to his own father (Genesis 37:32; 38:25)!
The concealing identity theme is a common one throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Kings, queens and prophets used it, sometimes even under God’s own purpose.
It could even be said that today Messiah hides His Jewish identity from both Israel/Jacob, and the gentiles. To the Western world He conceals His Jewish identity appears and appears to them as a Westerner, thinking, dressing, eating and living as they do. This in turn makes Him unrecognizable to His people. But as with Joseph with His brethren, the day will come when Yeshua will throw off His ‘Egyptian garb’ and say to them, “I am Yeshua, your brother” (Genesis 45:3). At that time Yeshua will show the whole world who He really is: the King of the Jews. He will also reap the harvest of His own labor and doing. At that time He will also reunite Rachel and Leah’s family (the whole twelve tribes) under one banner (Ezekiel 37), and rule over the whole world from His throne in Jerusalem (Revelations 19 and 20).
In this day and in the Word to Come we each reap the harvest of the actions of our lives. What will it be for you?