Scripture Read: Genesis 31 -32
Title: Run For Your Life
(H) Highlight verse:: "But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'" Genesis 32:26b
(E) Explain: Jacob is a stubborn and troubled man. He has a victim mentality, as he feels he has been treated unfairly since he has worked for his father-in-law for 20 years and in return Laban has been unfair to him. It is interesting that in these 20 years Jacob has gained much wealth as a result of his father-in-law, so much so that this has become a real point of contention among Laban's family. It seems that Jacob forgets his deceitful actions from the previous years with his own family. Regardless, Jacob hears that Laban's family is not really happy with him, so he decides that he needs to leave his father-in-laws home and God tells him to go back to Canaan where his family is from. Laban does not hear about Jacob leaving until three days later and eventually pursues and catches up with Jacob's clan. As Laban pursues Jacob, God tells him not to harm Jacob in any way. When the two men meet, they have a tense reunion that ends with the two making a covenant.
Now that Jacob is free from the pursuit of his father-in-law, he must now face his brother Esau. 20 years prior Esau determined to kill his brother, so Jacob was not necessarily looking forward to this reunion. In the evening a man (who we later find is God in human flesh... Most likely Jesus) appears to Jacob and has a wrestling match with him. As the conflict continues God touches Jacob's hip and dislocates it. Jacob stubbornly clings to God and demands to be blessed before he will let go. God concedes and blesses Jacob by giving him a new name. He is no longer Jacob (deceiver), he is now Israel (God fights).
(A) Application: What is the take away from this passage?
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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