Sunday, February 12: Jacob
Jacob’s story begins with a word from God that his older brother Esau will serve him. But even from the beginning, it’s difficult to imagine how this might be. Esau is older. He’s stronger. He’s bolder and braver. His father is on his side. He doesn’t look ready to serve Jacob any time soon. But Jacob is cunning, and before long we see that Esau is no match for him—at least not in brains. First, Jacob swindles his birthright and then his blessing.But Jacob’s cunning is also his downfall. What Esau lacks in brains he makes up for in brawn, and before long Jacob is on the run for his life. We know from the beginning that Jacob is God’s man, but he does everything he can to run from this calling.
When we pick things up in chapter 31, Jacob is at the height of desperation. He’s run as far as he can, and there is nowhere else to go. He’s a slave to the man who was supposed to save him from his brother. He misses his family. He wants to be free. He wants to go home.
In chapter 31, God sees Jacob’s plight and tells him that it’s time to go home. But the road home is not clear. First, he has to convince Laban to let him go. Laban has the legal authority to kill him or let him go, and he doesn’t seem very eager to allow his cash cow to go free. And even if he does release Jacob, there is still the matter of Esau.
Fortunately for Jacob, twenty years with Laban has broken him. He’s tired of running from God. He’s ready to trust. God tells him to go, and he obeys. For the first time in his life, Jacob does the right thing. He’s turned the corner.
What do you want? Are you running from God? Are you ready to stop and trust? Are you ready to go home? God was with Jacob, and He’ll be with you.