Do We Think like Jacob?
Jacob is an interesting combination of smart, patient, strong-willed, cunning, deceiving, type of unbelieving hero. Somewhere in that line up we may find ourselves.
In Genesis 28 we find Jacob (after he cheated his brother Esau twice (first with stew and then with animal fur-great stories!), somewhere at night sleeping, using a rock for a pillow. Jacob has a dream. He knows it is from God because he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” After constructing a pillar and anointing it, he says, “IF God will be with me and watch over me…give me food…and clothes…so I return to my father’s house safely, THEN the Lord will be my God. Even though Jacob believed, he thought he needed to bargain with God.
If…then. Perhaps Jacob didn’t have enough history to rely on to really understand God’s promises are true. Always. When God says He loves us, He means it. When He says He will comfort us, He means it. When He says He will always be with us, He means it. No “if or then” about it. God’s promises are true.
Jacob finally got it. He wrestled with God and received God’s blessing (Genesis 32). Like us, Jacob wasn’t perfect; he was far from it. Yet, once he changed his thinking from the if…then, had a true encounter with God, and chose to follow Him, God renewed the covenant He made with Abraham, and it has remained to this day.
How many of us face an unknown future, tragedy, or loss and try to bargain with God like Jacob did? The truth is, God is who He says He is! He works in us and for us to bring about the best possible good whatever our circumstances. That is great news!
“We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him…” (Romans 8:28a CEV).