But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. The the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:26-28
Pretty stubborn guy that Jacob.
We studied the story of Esau and Jacob in church this past week. It’s a fascinating story filled trickery and treachery and family dysfunction like you wouldn’t believe. And for the first time I viewed this story through eyes I’ve never used. I saw function in the dysfunctional and sanity amid craziness.
This is what I gleaned.
Esau and Jacob were the twin sons of Isaac, Abraham’s son.
Even though Esau was Isaac’s first-born, God chose Isaac’s second born, Jacob (which was unheard of) to be the leader of His people and renamed Him Israel.
Genesis 25: 23 says, The Lord said to her (Rebekah, Esau and Jacob’s mother) “Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the other.”
So why did God choose Jacob to lead his people over Esau, Isaac’s first-born?
Jacob proved himself stronger than his brother. Stronger willed. He proved he had staying power. Endurance. The kind that it takes to be leader.
Even though as a young lad he was more of a cunning trickster, tricking his brother Esau out of his birthright and later the blessing that belonged to an older sibling, he later proved himself to be a hard worker who went after what he wanted and didn’t give up. He recognized God’s presence in his life and turned to follow Him
God’s final test for Jacob’s endurance came during the night God wrestled with him. Genesis 32:24-30 describes the scene of Jacob wrestling til daybreak with what he thought was a man but in fact it was the Lord. Jacob was not going to give up until he was blessed. That’s the kind of man God needed to lead the nation of Israel.
Through his struggles in life Jacob persevered. He didn’t give up, give in, back up or bail out.
Instead he stuck it out.
He pressed on and he was blessed on.
God calls us to do the same. Stick it out. Press on.
That means when we serve, we serve until the job is done.
When we’re in a hard season, we see it through until the end.
And when we pray, we pray as long as it takes.
I want to be the kind of person that presses on like Jacob. Don’t you?
To get the full bodied version of Jacob’s story I invite you to read Genesis 25:19-35:29
Looking forward. Pressing on. I’m joying in the journey.