Jacob was a deceiver. Perhaps not the man we would have expected God to choose to be one of the patriarchs. He stole his brothers’ birth right. He deceptively took his brothers’ special blessing from his father to receive prosperity, abundance, and be one who would be served and honoured. Maybe we can identify in some ways with his tenacious character and self-centred determination and scheming.
However, we can take encouragement from the fact that, despite his natural bent, which wasn’t godly, God’s purposes would be fulfilled in his life. In Jacob, God was building His chosen nation through which all peoples will be blessed (Genesis 28:13-15.) Yes, God wasn’t to be diverted from His great purpose and plan. How great to know He also has a purpose and plan for our lives, which is always for our good, and for blessing!
It was Jacob’s encounters with the Lord that impacted his life. He experienced the presence of God at Bethel. After being in the house of God (the meaning of Bethel), his life took a new direction. Committing his way to the Lord and trusting Him for protection and provision, his desire and decision was now to enthrone the Lord as his God. This was a pivotal moment for Jacob. It will be for us too, if we commit our lives to the Lord in this way.
Jacob was later touched by God as he wrestled with Him. His walk was forever changed. At that time Jacob’s great desire was expressed: “Oh that You would bless me!” And God always delights to bless His people.
God called Jacob to return to Bethel, to live in His presence. Jacob’s obedience to God was rewarded, as God reiterated His blessing, purpose and plan for His chosen people and land. Jacob received a new identity – the one God always intended – and he was now to be called ‘Israel.’ Changed from ‘the deceiver’, ‘the one who clung to his brother’s heel’, to be ‘one who wrestles with God - who clings firmly to God.’
If we desire God’s blessing, let’s meet with Him too, and dwell in His presence. Then we can come to realise our true identity and the purpose of God for our lives.
Prayer: Lord, my desire is to know You, submit to You and meet with You. O Lord, please bless me and bring me to know my true identity in You, so I can know Your great purpose and plan for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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