Jacob’s life is on display in the Bible in the book of Genesis, starting with Chapter 25.
Jacob was a twin, the second born. He wrestled with his brother Esau, even in the womb. It is said that he came forth into the world holding onto his brother’s heal.
The animosity grew worse over time, and Jacob stole his brother’s birthright over a bowl of stew. Esau was so hungry from hunting, that he gladly and easily gave up something that was very important.
Jacob’s good and bad deeds are exposed in the chapters of Genesis.
Isaac, his father was sixty-years-old when the twins were born. He loved the hunter, Esau, his firstborn, so much, and Rebekah loved Jacob. She was an accomplice to his win of the birthright. She helped Jacob succeed, but also had to send him away, thinking that when Jacob also stole Esau’s blessing from his father,Esau might kill him.
Jacob left his home, and had encounters with angels, on his way to Uncle Laban’s house.
Laban deceives Jacob, giving him his eldest daughter for a bride, when he thought he was marrying Rachel whom he loved.Jacob worked seven years for Leah, and seven more for Rachel.
Jacob’s story is one of deceit and salvation.
He acquires a lot of livestock. Laban changes his wages ten times. He is not happy with Jacob, because he is prospering so quickly. Jacob was rewarded all the speckled animals, and found a way to birth cattle, sheep, and goats, that were speckled.
Jacob leaves Laban, and is worried that his Uncle may harm him. Yet, he is worried about going back to his father, as Esau may seek revenge.
Here is the prayer Jacob prays to God, when he is troubled in Genesis 32:
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac,Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
1. Jacob addressed God
2. He reminded God of what He said.
3. He recognized that he was not worthy of God’s mercy, kindness, and faithfulness.
4. He was grateful for the gifts God had given him, so many that he had to split into two camps.
5. He prayed that God would save him from the hand of Esau. (That was his immediate problem)
6. He was specific about his fear, that he would be attacked, along with his wives and children.
7. Again, Jacob reminds God of what he said, and the promise that was made,– that he would prosper,and have descendants as numerous as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.
He sent ahead presents for Esau, goats, rams, ewes, camels, bull, donkeys, and their young.
Jacob became injured during the night, wrestling with an angel of the Lord. His hip socket went out of joint. When Jacob inquired the angel’s name, he would not tell him, but blessed Jacob. Jacob said he had wrestled with God, Himself.
Esau did not kill Jacob. He was glad to see his brother. It was a joyous reunion. Jacob set up homes nearby, and bought a parcel of land, and set up an altar to God, and called it, “El-el-o-he Is-ra-el”.
Sometimes our fears keep us from doing what we know we should do. Jacob handled the pressure with prayer. God answered him.
Dear God, Jacob’s life mimics our own. We are sinners. We need Your mercy and salvation. I thank you for the promises You share with us in the Bible. One is that if we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I am grateful for Your mercy and forgiveness. My fears are that this world is catapulting into sin, and that our children are suffering for it. We need Your help, presence, forgiveness, and love. We need Your healing and deliverance from evil, and Your protection from temptation, sin, and deception. I know that You have a plan for us of salvation for those who put their trust in You, and who believe on Your Son. In the name of Jesus, Amen.