Lessons from Jacob’s life history #3- His faithful promises are the armor and protection.
Where do we find perfect protection and guidance? God’s faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Frustrated and fury Esau and fear-filled Jacob and Rebekah.
Now Jacob had to flee from his house to Paddan-Aram because of the fear of Esau. Esau had decided in his heart that he will kill Jacob. Rebekah said to Jacob your bother is planning to kill him and she advised him to flee to her brother Laban’s house and stay with him until Esau’s anger subsides. She also said after the fury of Jacob is gone, she will send and get Jacob from Laban’s house. She also said this is a better solution than she losing both of her children on one day.
Another reasoning behind sending Jacob to Laban’s house was expressed by Rebekah. She said to Isaac she was tired by the wives of Esau because they are from the daughters of Heth. She was worried if Jacob also takes wives from the daughters of Heth, what good to continue living. You see Esau already engaged in ungodly alliances in marriage with the idol-worshipping people of the land. Rebekah was so tired by his decisions to engage in ungodly yoke and alliances with these ungodly idol worshiping wives. Both Isaac and Rebekah agreed in this matter. They want Jacob to get his wife from their own people and not from the people of the land who were immersed in ungodly and idol-worshipping lifestyles.
Chapter 27 ends with a frustrated and angry Esau. It also ends with a fearful Jacob, Rebekah, and Isaac. Sometimes, when God’s plan unfolds in our lives it could result in an immediate frustration, fear, and anxieties. However, keep in mind God is behind it and He is in control and He is going to keep His words and promises no matter what or who stands against it.
Isaac called Jacob, blessed him and gave him the commandment that he would not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. He advised him to go to his mother’s father’s house and take a wife from there. He gave two major blessings as he was sending Jacob away. Isaac said may God almighty bless Jacob, make him fruitful and multiply that he becomes a company of peoples. Secondly, He also said may God gave the blessings of Abraham to him and his descendants that Abrahamic blessings of the land of the promised land would come upon him and descendants.
You see the land and seed blessings God gave to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, 15:2-21 had intended to continue not through Ishmael but through His son Isaac (Genesis 17:19; 26:2-4) and then not through Esau but through Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15).
Isaac sent Jacob away and he started traveling to Paddan-Aram to Laban his uncle’s house. When Esau heard Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to take a wife from his own people and charged him not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan and Jacob obeyed his father and mother in this matter, he went and married the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son through Hagar in addition to his other Canaanite wives. The intention of his heart could be to make things good. However, the promised offspring and line of the Abrahamic covenant was already pre-determined by God and not by human wills or actions. The promises and covenants that God made to Abraham had to funnel through the line of Jacob and not in the line of Esau.
Flight to Paddan-Aram.
Jacob departed his father’s house to an unknown future. One this was sure he could not continue living there because of the fury of his brother Esau. He obeyed the advice of his parents and now on the way to Laban’s house. This was a long journey and on the way, he came to a place and because it was the night he was going to sleep in an open place with two stones as his pillows. There the God of Abraham appeared to him in a dream. There was a ladder that was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven. The angels of God were ascending and descending on it. The LORD stood above and said this to Jacob, ‘“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
The LORD was reiterating His promise given to his grandfather Abraham to Jacob acknowledging the promised line through Him.
What an experience Jacob had. A doubt filled, fearful, anxious heart getting the consolation, comfort, assurance, guidance, and the promise of God. This was a turning point in Jacob’s life. He knew God would be with him in his journey and that was huge for him. Jacob awoke from his sleep and said the Lord was in this place and he acknowledged he was not aware of it. He said this is the place of God and that was the gate of heaven. Next morning, he took the stone that he used as his pillow and poured oil on it and called the place Bethel. The name of the city prior to this incident was Luz.
Beloved, if you are a child of God in and through Jesus Christ, His Son, then God’s divine presence, protection, guidance, and blessings are with you wherever you go. The promise of the LORD, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” became the inspiration and guiding torch and light for Jacob’s life from here on. A fearful man with worried of unknown future found solace and comfort in the promise of God. What we also need is the same assurance as we face an unknown future. The Bible gives many promises and assurances to His children. Just a few of them are listed below:
“The LORD says , “So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).
“For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13).
“But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1).
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34).
“say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4).
Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20(b).
Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).
Beloved, are you a person like Jacob on the run to an unknown future? Are you worried and filled with anxieties because of your circumstances? The LORD tell you this,
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you”.
The LORD is with you and He will watch over you wherever you go. He will bring you back to the land. He will not leave you until He has done all that He promised on your life. Take heart, the LORD is going to be with you. protect you and guide you and fulfill all His purposes for your life.
The faithfulness of God – an armor and shield.
The LORD kept His promise in Jacob’s life. He will do the same in our lives as well. In fact, God specifically reminded him to do this when he returned from Paddan-Aram. Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” (Genesis 35:1).
About twenty years after, God made Jacob a multitude of people with wives, sons, daughters, servants, flocks, herds and camels and made him wealthy and powerful. The once timid and fearful Jacob went back to this same place called Bethel, where God appeared to Him in his fearful flight and granted the original promises and set up a stone pillar. He poured out a drink offering to the LORD on it and worshipped Him. What a beautiful remembrance of Almighty God’s unshaken and unbroken promises in his life.
Beloved, God is one hundred percent faithful. You will discover many people you deal with becomes unfaithful and untrustworthy as you progress your life’s journey. However, God will remain faithful no matter what happens to you. Bible says,
“if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13). If nothing else, God’s faithfulness to His promises and covenants are the lessons we learn from this week’s insight.
- When God’s purpose unfolds in our life, we could encounter confusion, frustration and even fear. However, God’s promise, protection, and guidance He provides. Remember what God says:
- I am with you.
- and will watch over you wherever you go.
- and I will bring you back to this land.
- I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
What is the lesson? Do not be afraid to step out in faith. Many of our forefathers stepped out in faith trusting in the Lord God and later testified how faithful the Lord was in their life. Hebrew chapter 12 says we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses (numerous witnesses) and it exhorts us to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith and run the race uniquely marked out for us with perseverance.
- Secondly, when God talks and reveals His plans, let us take it to our hearts. May His words inspire, energize and motivate us to face life’s challenges and goliaths.
God talks through the Bible. Bible is God’s love letter to us. It is the light to our path. Carefully read it, underline it and memorize it. God’s talks to our spirit when you pray to Him. Listen carefully in silence. God talks to us through the words of Jesus Christ in the Bible. God talks to us through God’s children and their Godly counsels. Finally God’s talks to us through the circumstances and crossroads of our lives. God can still talk to us through dreams although His main way of communications is through the other channels explained above.
- Most of all, if we obey the voice of God and come to Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and accept Him as our savior and Lord, we become the children of God. By believing in the Gospel which is the good news that God loves you and Jesus died and rose again for all your sins, God grants forgiveness of all your sins and eternal life. This is the first step for your successful spiritual life. God calls us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He has accomplished for us on the cross of Calvary. There is no other way to come to God. Do not be deceived by mere people’s ideas and opinions! There is no multiple paths to God of the heaven. There is only one lifeline that God dropped from heaven for our salvation and eternal life in heaven with Him. And one way is Christ Jesus. Bible says in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.
God loves you and has a beautiful and wonderful plan for your life. He calls you to come to His son, Jesus Christ and through Him receive forgiveness of your sins and connect with God and all His heavenly riches. Let us not be like Esau who despised his wonderful opportunities God granted. Instead, when God calls you today, come now and I will help you to get re-connected to God in a small prayer right now.
Prayer time: “Father in heaven, I come to you in prayer and I believe your Son, died in my place for all of my sins and rose again. I accept Him as my savior and Lord. Please forgive my sins and make me your child now. I want to spend the rest of my life for your purposes. Use me for your glory. Thank you for saving me and granting me eternal life in heaven with you. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”