Text: Genesis 30-32; Psalm 11
The story of Jacob is most curious. He connives, cheats, maneuvers and manipulates. But he also has God’s promise and favor upon him. I am so glad God’s promises to you and to me are not contingent upon our good behavior! The scene where Jacob wrestles with God and receives a new name has always puzzled me:
Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
How does this speak to us? Part of the message is that Jacob’s character, even when flawed, is of God’s making. Jacob certainly strives to accomplish what he has set out to do. He works all those years for Rachel’s hand in marriage. He seeks and executes his varied plans, often by unscrupulous means.. He is tenacious.
You and I have character traits from God. Each one, when untouched by God, can be pretty awful. But, when God gets a hold of us, He can redirect our nature for great good. The stubborn, obstinate and strong-willed child becomes the great and steadfast warrior for God’s good will. So… what about your character troubles you? Maybe your prayers that God might take that bothersome trait away is the wrong prayer. Maybe He just wants it surrendered to God that He might harness it.
in Him, Mike