Friday, January 14, 2011

The Life And Rhymes Of Jacob

Jacob is the younger twin born to Isaac and Rebekah.  His older twin is Esau (name means "hairy"), who is also called Edom (meaning "red").  Jacob's name means "heel tripper," or "supplanter" and he was always tripping up his older brother.

As a teenager, my pastor's wife nicknamed me "Jacob" for all the wrong reasons - faithless, manipulative, and plotting.  There was a sense of accomplishment when she stopped calling me "Jacob" in my college years and said that now I can be called "Israel."  Though the old Jacob creeps back every now and then.

Many of you, like me, can identify with Jacob.

John J. Davis writes of Jacob:  "We see Jacob on one hand as a man of faith and prayer, and on the other as a man of slick maneuvers and cunning ways.  He was by nature strong-willed, ambitious, self-reliant, shrewd, and at times unethical.  While Jacob was a man of domestic capability and fidelity, Esau was a brave, generous, heroic, and rugged hunter who broke away from the quiet pastoral life of is father to enjoy a reckless, self-indulgent career of pleasure.  The most important way in which Jacob differed from Esau, however, was that Jacob was heir to God's promise and a man of faith, although his faith was at times rather weak and imperfect."  (Paradise To Prison: Studies In Genesis, Baker, 1976, p. 241)

Jacob schemed for prominence in extorting the birthright of Esau for a pot of stew (Gen 25:27-34).  Jacob schemed for approval in pretending to be Esau and stealing his blessing (Gen 27).  God taught Jacob lessons of faith with the Ladder (Gen 28:10-22) demonstrating God is His authority (vv. 12-14) and yet God is accessible (vv. 15-16).  The Lord also wrestled the schemer to bring him to his knees (Gen 32).

The Life And Rhymes Of Jacob
·      27 Jacob lied to his father pretending to be his brother to steal a blessing intended for another
·      28 Esau was mad so Jacob he ran and fled to a place that was called Haran
·      29 Jacob with Rachel he wanted to wed, but Laban would give him the sister instead
·      30 Sibling rivalry will intensify when they are married to the same guy
·      31 Laban tricked Jacob into a bad deal, but Jacob would leave under appeal
·      32-33 Jacob feared Esau but didn’t fight, but didn’t fear God whom he wrestled with might
·      34 Shechem violated Dinah then asked for marriage; Simeon & Levi saw justice miscarriage
·      35-36 The death of Rachel made Jacob sad, it didn’t get easier when he buried his dad
Image from:

God had a plan for Jacob, he just needed to trust Him.  Sounds like a Jacob I once knew.

Romans 9:10-13  10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

No comments:

Post a Comment