Tag Archives: Jacob and Esau

He couldn’t trust God

Jacob fights Esau

I don’t own the rights to this photo, and I’m not making any money on it.

Jacob had issues with trusting God

He couldn’t trust God with his future. He had to assure it for himself. God helps those who help themselves. — Doesn’t the Bible say that?

So he took advantage of his brother to wheedle out of him the birthright. Then he impersonated his brother in front of his blind (and probably half deaf) father to steal the blessing.

When he runs away, Jacob cuts up wooden limbs into stripes and spots to again try to assure his future when he’s going to be paid wages of striped and spotty animals. (Jacob does this because he’s a master geneticist.)

At every point along the way, the grandson of the father of the faith has none himself. As a result, he misses his mother’s funeral, never has a good relationship with his brother and reaps what he says. His uncle Laban swindles him like he swindled others.

Not until he’s a wit’s end does he start to trust God. Not until there’s nothing left that he can do to save himself. Esau, his brother, corners with 400 Special Forces in the desert. Jacob can’t fight, can’t run, can’t hide.

Then and only then, he prays a real prayer, and God shows Jacob why he should have trusted Him from the beginning.

How much pain and suffer would he have avoided if he simply would have trusted God from the beginning? You too, maybe?

God wrestles with Jacob

Jacob wrestles God

from blog.adw.org. I don’t own the rights to this image, and I’m not making any money on it.

For God to get Jacob into right relationship with Him, He literally fights against the mortal.

Jacob was a acute and chronic bad boy. He took advantage of this brother, Esau, in a moment of weakness. He deceives his dad and steals his brother’s blessing. He’s the most unscrupulous conniver of the Old Testament.

God works on him. First, he sends him away from his family for 20 years. He can’t attend his mom’s funeral. Then he’s tricked by his uncle, for whom he worked seven years to marry Rachel. When he wakes up the morning after the wedding (lighting was bad in those days), it’s Leah, the ugly older sister. He must work another seven years for Rachel.

Then he’s cheated on wages. When he flees, his uncle comes after him and very nearly kills him.

Still, Jacob is unrepentant.

Then Jacob’s brother comes out with a small army to kill the defenseless Jacob. That night, it finally occurs to Jacob to pray. He literally wrestles with God, a symbol of how his relationship with God has been. God, obviously, wins, but not without some stubborn resistance from the stubborn man.

The next day, Esau’s 400-man army comes upon him — and God miraculously intervenes. Instead of killing him in short order, Esau breaks down and kisses him. It wasn’t the bonds of family that beat the bonds of bitterness. It was God.

How far will God have to go to get your attention?