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Jacob – Genesis 32:1–32

Sunday, February 19: Jacob

Genesis 32:1–32

If there was ever a man who found himself between the proverbial “devil and the deep blue sea,” it’s Jacob between the day he leaves behind his father-in-law, Laban, and the day he meets up with his brother, Esau.At the end of Genesis 31 Laban is behind him and he can’t go back. They did not part on friendly terms. The deal was that if either of them crossed the boundary marker left at Gileed, the other would regard that as an enemy invasion.

As a result, Jacob has his back up against the rock of this binding covenant. He can’t retreat. He has nowhere to go except forward. But ahead of him is a hard place: the territory of his twin brother. Twenty years before he had cheated Esau out of his birthright. As a result of his deception he had to run for his life.

Now his mother, Rebecca, had said that when Esau cooled off she would send word for him to come back. But word never came. Sadly, she died while he was away and for all Jacob knows, Esau is just as ready to dispatch him like a wounded deer as the day he left.

But what Jacob doesn’t know is this: Laban and Esau are the least of his worries. The treacherous Laban might be behind him and the murderous Esau before him, but in the middle he must wrestle with God – literally.

This week we come to the famous scene pictured in the image we have been using for the study series. It’s a picture of God’s patience, but also of a love so great that God will break us if that is what it takes to bless us. It’s a lesson on the lengths God is willing to go to make us into the kind of people he wants us to be.