Have you ever been in a place of despair where only the Lord can help?
Jacob receives Isaac’s blessing with the help of his mother (Genesis 27:5-17).
Jacob dreams of the ladder to heaven (Genesis 28:12).
Jacob wrestles with the angel at Jabbok ford (Genesis 32:22).
Jacob and Esau meet again (Genesis 33:1-10).
Jacob has just received a report that Esau is near—and now Jacob is running for his life. He is guilty, desperate, alone. How- ever, this is not a bad place to be with the Lord.
Have you ever been in that place? Have you ever been in a place of despair where only the Lord can help? Are you there today? I’ve been there; I know how that feels. Don’t lose hope—it’s not a bad place to be. It is oſten in the place of de- spair that we turn to God and He delivers us, and we receive a miracle.
Tat’s where Jacob is now. He is in a place of despair—about to lose his life. He sends his family away so they can survive, and he’s alone—alone with God. Tis is critically important. People can encourage and counsel you, they can pray for you, and they can teach you. While there is wisdom in much counsel, the real growth is one on one with God. And that’s the place that Jacob is now.
Jacob is finally in the place he needs to be to meet with God, and the text says that a man wrestled with him until day- break. Obviously this is not a man—this is someone beyond a man—and also beyond an angel. In fact, as we read on in the text, Jacob, whose name is then changed to Israel, makes this statement, “I have seen God face to face.” Now it is clear that this is no ordinary man. I
believe this is a pre-incarnate visitation of Yeshua. Jacob, our forefather, is actually encountering the pre-incarnate Jesus face to face.
Tis statement illustrates Jacob’s tenac-
This is not only Jacob’s story—nor is it Israel’s alone. This is a story for every one of us.
ity, his desperation to grab hold of the blessings of God. In his brokenness, he encountered the only source of true deliverance and blessing he knew, and his dependence on God gave him the strength to struggle throughout an entire night with “a man” until he gained the blessing.
TRANSFORMED BY PERSEVERANCE Jacob’s perseverance won him more than deliverance and blessing—he received a new name—Israel, which means “he struggles with God.”
Jacob was transformed from “deceiver” to the father of the tribes of Israel.
Tis has become Israel’s story as well— the Land and the People. Israel has risen
and fallen, has been made glorious, and leſt in ruin. Trough Israel, however, the ancient promise has come—salvation to the world—and is yet to come with greater glory in the return of Yeshua to the Mount of Olives to rule and reign from Jerusalem.
JACOB’S STORY IS YOUR STORY Tis is not only Jacob’s story—nor is it Israel’s alone. Tis is a story for every one of us.
Te truth is, the Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God—we each have character flaws, just like the great men and woman of faith found in Scripture. Tey too, were imper- fect, yet God chose to use them. How- ever, it’s more than imperfection that God looks for in a vessel He can use to change the course of history, as we have just seen in the life of Jacob.
Learn from our father Jacob, who clung to God in his crisis and was transformed. Don’t let go of God. If you are at the place of desperation, don’t despair. Fight the good fight of faith, hold fast to that which is good, persevere, and lay hold of the hope that is set before you, and you will receive the blessing of God. I tell you today that your name is Israel, one who strives with God as a prince. So keep pressing on and don’t give up!
Jewish Voice Today 11
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