If you’ve listened to me for any amount of time, you know how much I love the story of Jacob, especially the account of him wrestling with God. However, there’s another part of his journey that intrigues me. As I’ve said before, Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, and since Esau came out first, he inherited the birthright from his father Isaac. Jacob, whose name literally means “the one who grabs the heel,” came out grasping his older brother’s foot, which was very much symbolic of the nature of their relationship. Esau was buff and brawny and Jacob loved to read books and dwell in tents (i.e. he was a nerd). Finding himself to be more fit for the job of leading the family, Jacob managed to trick his brother into selling him his inheritance for a bowl of soup, and from that point, the two were enemies. The matter only got worse when Jacob also conned his senile father into giving him the blessing that rightfully belonged to his brother. Thinking that he was Esau, Isaac showed favor to his son and told him to go to his mother’s family and find a wife there. Astonished that he had managed to deceive his dad, and with his blessing now secure, Jacob set out on a journey to Paddan Aram, where his mom’s relatives lived. Once the sun went down after a long day of travel, he found a rock on which to lay his head, drifted off to sleep, and woke up after having a vivid dream in which he saw angels ascending and descending on a huge ladder to Heaven. While watching them, he heard the Lord affirm out loud the promise that through Jacob, His people would one day inherit the Promised Land. Not just any dream, I believe this vision was significant in that it confirmed to Jacob that God really was with him. Having tricked his way into the birthright and his father’s blessing, he probably wondered if the Lord’s covenant would still stand, and this was confirmation that it would. In spite of his wrongdoing, his Heavenly Father was with him and for him.
My friend, though you’ve made mistakes and sometimes you wonder if you’ve pushed the limits of God’s love, the truth is that He is immovable! Even if you’ve been hurt and you feel like you’ve had to claw your way through life, the Lord’s faithfulness is unchanging. Because you received salvation through Jesus Christ, nothing you have done or could ever do can remove His presence from you, and He is always working in the Heavenly realms to fashion His perfect destiny for your life. Though the world around you wavers, legions of angels have been dispatched to carry out His good plan on the earth, and you are an important part of it. Don’t lose heart and don’t give up, for the One who promised is faithful, and He is going to use you to do great things in His Name!