JACOB – PATRIARCH OF HOPE
Starting today we want to look at Jacob the Patriarch and how it applies to us this day.
Genesis tells us little about Isaac who seems to be a replica of his father, but it has much to say about his son Jacob-Israel. Jacob is a most dislikeable character – treacherous, deceitful, acquisitive, proud and self-centred. The disreputable Jacob tricks his brother Esau out of his birthright and his father’s blessing. Although Esau is magnanimous, forgiving and noble in character, God, in His supreme and unfathomable liberty, has made Jacob the object of His special providence. Jacob may cheat his brother and outsmart his father-in-law Laban, but dishonest as he is, he is still the object of God’s loving covenant-promise. Jacob’s morality is like that of any Middle-Bronze-Age believer, but God takes him as he is, working with him and slowly educating him. Are we any different today? Look closely and see what God is doing with His children, how He is selecting just as He did with David from among his brothers. Where do you stand in the selection process?
At a time of despair, Jacob has a dream at Bethel (Genesis 28: I0-22). God appears to him and renews the threefold promise made to Abraham. Now Jacob can hope in the goodness of God. Assured of the divine Presence, he journeys to his kinsmen in Haran where, through the providence of God, he acquires great wealth and two wives, and is enabled to return in safety to his own land. Again at Bethel, but now at a time of prosperity, he has another dream. He wrestles with the angel of God until daybreak, when he receives the angel’s blessing and a new name, “Israel,” indicating his new mission in life as the father of the chosen people. There is where I am today. I have walked in the promises and received my new name. Hallelujah
Sir Godfrey Gregg