• Muyiwa Mepaiyeda

Jacob—Facts, Fears and Faith

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES, and consequences have victims.

He lived in the shadow of others—and facts, fears and faith filled his life.

The Narrative


IN THE WOMB, they jostled one another—but at birth, Jacob held unto Esau's heel.


One day, Esau was hungry and said to his brother—Give me some of that red stew—I'm starving!


"Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn," Jacob replied.


He wanted Esau's birthright—and on oath, Esau traded it for a bowl of stew.


And years later, Jacob swindled him out of his blessings. (Genesis 25 & 27)

Facts


JACOB HAD PROBLEMS with his masculinity—dominated by his mother; he tried to take over the leadership of his family.

He struggled to love his father, to obey his mother and not be killed by his brother.

To stay alive, he ran to his uncle, Laban.

However, Jacob and his uncle were like-minded. Laban deceived him into marrying Leah before Rachel. (Genesis 29:1-29)

Fears


AFTER YEARS OF SERVICE, Jacob heard what Laban's sons said about him—and Laban's attitude to him changed. (Genesis 31:1)

He had to flee to break the dominance of his father-in-law.

However, there was an issue in his past that he needed to resolve—previously, he stole his brother’s birthright.


To solve emotional problems, you need to address your issues too.


On his way home, Jacob sent servants to Esau because he wanted Esau's trust and favour.


His words were simple and bare, but a lot was riding on them.


The faith of a patriarch, the destiny of a people and the survival of a family—all rested on him.


When he heard that his brother was coming with four hundred men, he was afraid.


Even as he divided his family into two groups, he was breaking apart.


I want to make amends—all I have is yours, so he seemed to be saying.


He was trying to minimize his absence—like saying; I am still your brother, please, don't kill me. And he prayed to God to save him.

Jacob came to the end of himself.


Faith


JACOB UNDERSTOOD that he was full of frailties and failings.


He had to atone for his misdeed—and leave his deception behind.

You also need to own your mistakes and ask God for forgiveness.


Jacob wanted to protect the women and children, yet he sent them ahead.

However, that night, Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him till daybreak. (Genesis 32:24-25)


There was something about him that continued to hold him back—that's his nature.


And when he found the connection to God, he wouldn't let go. The man dislocated Jacob's hip. And he said, "What is your name.” (Genesis 32:27)

Jacob—he answered.


"Your name will no longer be Jacob (Usurper, trickster), but Israel (leader)," said the man.

BRINGING IT TOGETHER

FINALLY, he broke away from everyone's control and limped to victory. The sun rose upon both the wounded and the blessed.


And this is my prayer for you—God will call you by a new name—no longer will they call you Deserted or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. (Isaiah 62:4)

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