The chronicles of the biblical heroes are clearly spelt out, whether good or bad. The bible is always honest in recording the faults and mistakes of the greatest men and women. These biographies are written to encourage us. The pathway of the Christian life is to see God taken the ashes of our life and turn them to something beautiful.
Jacob was a man like passion as we are, he was called of God, no doubt and eternally predestined to be a chosen vessel for the working out of the divine purposes. But he had a corrupt and deceitful heart, just like ours. God calls ordinary people to His service- not supermen and women. Very often he called the base and the despised and the weak of the world, to fulfill his purpose. He put no premium whatever on human cleverness and ability in his service.
In Genesis 13:16, we saw God covenant with Abraham and in our human thought God will not use Jacob to fulfil his promise. Jacob life is a perfect example of the pathway to the Christian life.
This morning we are going to consider two things in the life of Jacob, pick your bibles and turn with me to Genesis 25:26.
A. His life. His name means holding the heel or supplanter.
I. Grabber Gen. 25:26.
a. He was always grabbing something from someone else for himself.
b. He grabbed the birthright from his brother Gen 25:27-34.
c. He stole the blessing of his brother Gen 27:21-23.
d. He grabbed Rachael from her father Laban Gen31:26-27.
e. He grabbed Laban’s property Gen 30:25-43.
II. He was a bargainer
a. He bargained with Esau for his birthright Gen 25:29-33
b. He bargained with Laban for Rachael gen 29:18,26-28
c. He bargained with God in bethel gen 28:20-22
III. He was a deceiver. He deceived his father to get the blessing gen 27:21-24.
IV. He was lair gen 27:20; he told his father a lie when he asked him how he got his meet so quickly. He could even swear in the name of the God just to get his own earthly interest. Such was the life of Jacob.
B. His divine call. In 1cor. 1:26-31…1 Cor 1:26-31
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." NIV
At bethel, the sun set upon his life, he had a divine encounter with God and made a vow.Gen 28:20-22
Many Christians are just like Jacob, God calls them to something great and glorious, and they settle for something far, far inferior. God calls them to expend their energy in his work, but they waste their lives making money and seeking honor in the world.
God transformed the life of Jacob when he decided to focus on the things above. His name was changed from Jacob to Israel, grabber to prince of God.
Do you want a new down in your life? Focus on the things above and your name will be changed from failure to success.
God disciplined him.
He was away from his parents for 20years, became a stranger in a strange land. When he prayed, God assured him of the abundant blessing, but he was not ready for it, he was to wait for 20 years. He was satisfied with toys when God wanted him to have heavenly riches. The result of such a narrow vision was that, Gods purposes for Jacob’s life were delayed. God was willing to take his mind away from the things of the world and set it on things above.
How many Christians are trusting and delaying God’s glorious purposes for their lives, because of the narrowness of their vision, because they are taken up with things lesser than god’s highest.
I. God prepared a shrewd man like him (Laban). God know exactly who to place on our side to purged us from our crocked ways. God measure our discipline according to our needs. Jacob began to reap what he saw.
II. After 14 years of labour, only to discovered that Rachael was barren gen 30:1-2.
III. In attempt to run from laban, only to discover that his brother Esau was coming with a vast army.
IV. His children lied to him on Joseph.
We have seen the life of Jacob a typical of most of us today. The pathway of a Christian life is not bed of roses, but there are lessons to learn. He was an ordinary man like us only God could have seen any good in him. We are to be mindful and sensitive to the things of God and his purpose for our lives. God purpose for us extends beyond mere physical blessings.