Faith: Remembering, Resting in, and Receiving God’s Righteousness The Faith of Jacob Hebrews 11:21, “By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff.” This references the account in Genesis 48 in which Joseph presents his sons Ephraim and Manasseh to his father, Jacob, to bless.In the account, Jacob puts his right hand on the head of the younger, Ephraim, even though Joseph presents Manasseh on Jacob’s right side.The right hand is symbolic of favor, strength, power, and authority. In this act, Jacob was remembering God’s faithfulness to him (Gen. 48:15) and God’s promise first given to Abraham which he is now an heir of (Gen. 48:16).He put Ephraim before Manasseh—YOUNGER BEFORE THE OLDER.Jacob remembered God’s word to his mother, Rebekah, “The older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). —This is a theme throughout Scripture: younger brothers obtaining favor over their older brothers. We see this in the account of Cain and Abel.Abel’s offering was pleasing.Even after Abel was murdered, Seth was born, of whom it is said he was in the “image and likeness” of Adam.The original intent was restored through Seth, the younger brother. The account of Ishmael and Isaac…Ishmael, begotten of fleshly effort by Hagar and Abraham, is therefore a son of the flesh.Isaac was begotten of God’s promise—a spiritual son. Jacob favored his youngest two sons, Joseph and Benjamin, over the older ten. In the act of blessing the younger son Ephraim, Jacob was remembering the promise of a new nation/land in God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 48:21). -By faith, Jacob saw the foreshadowing of the NEW COVENANT in the Abrahamic covenant.In Genesis 49:22-26, Jacob’s blessing of Joseph, we can observe increasing blessing in each generation.It gives this forward momentum in which one has to look to the future. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of everything before Him—God’s final word (Hebrews 1:1-4). Romans chapters 9-11 discuss the Jews and Gentiles.Read 9:1-13.Israel represents the older brother which tried to obtain righteousness by works of the flesh.The Gentiles represent the younger brother who obtains righteousness by faith. Galatians 4:21-31 corroborates this.The Galatian Christians were being pressured by Jewish Christians to adopt Jewish customs, else they might not be fully Christian.Paul is dismantling and refuting this argument by pointing out that we are no longer under the Law.He uses the example of Hagar, the slave woman who begets children of the flesh—those seeking righteousness on their own.However, those born of the Spirit are free.Those people can expect persecution, so stand firm! (4:29) All of us used to be the older brother, living according to the flesh.Christians, who have been born again of the Spirit are now the younger brother, and they are children of promise. The question is whether we as Christians are living like the older brother or the younger brother. The older brother is characterized by arrogance and entitlement.They think they have something to offer God in and of themselves.They also think they deserve everything just because of who they are (social status; familial standing; achievements, basic human dignity even).We can see this arrogance and entitlement in the examples of Cain, Jacob’s older sons and the nation of Israel, including those Jews in the region of Galatia in the time Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians. In Romans 9:14-24, it is clear that God’s sovereign choice stands.We cannot think we can figure out who will be blessed by God as His chosen people, as it seems Joseph did when he placed his firstborn at Jacob’s right hand. Paul gives a warning to Christians in Romans 11:17-24.Just because we are God’s chosen people does not mean we should become conceited or entitled in any way.Stand by your faith which is an awesome GIFT OF GOD (Eph. 2:8). Really our value is that we are God’s creation.See Psalm 8:1-9—that we would make His name known as His children. Paul writes in Romans 8:12-17 that we have been freed from the flesh by the power of the Spirit.Now, let’s walk by the power of the Spirit, no longer fearing whether or not we can please God.Christ in us has accomplished the redeeming work, and now we can even share in being heirs of Christ’s life—the glory yet to be revealed! It is these truths which Paul exposits further in Romans 9-11.Read Romans 9:30—10:4…CHRIST IS EVERYTHING. FAITH IS REMEMBERING, RESTING IN, AND RECEIVING CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.Like Jacob, we can remember and rest in God’s faithfulness, looking forward to receiving God’s promise of eternal life, which is the spiritual reality of the covenant with Abraham. The “younger brother” has this faith.The question is whetherwe are like the younger brother, looking for this promise: perfection in Christ. Of Jacob and the rest of the exemplars in Hebrews 11, the author says this: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In this passage, we see the mention of the “right hand…” Jesus is in the seat of ultimate authority—the “younger,” so to speak (as he appeared after the patriarchs and giving of the Law), is superior. The older has served the younger. Those of us who are running this race will be with Him as joint heirs at the right hand of God. This requires us to leave behind the “older brother” which was our former life, and to live as the “younger brother,” the Spiritual child of promise, born again by the power of Christ who will bring us to perfection.