Summary: Jacob though he was very worldly and started his life as a selfish and deceptive man, learned quickly to become a very diligent man.
Theme: Jacob turned Israel
Text: Gen 33:1-11
Joke: A man was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well-preserved he appeared. "Gentlemen, I will tell you the secret of my success," he cackled. "I have been in the open-air day after day for some 75 years now."
The celebrants were impressed and asked how he managed to keep up his rigorous fitness regime.
"Well, you see my wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night, we made a solemn pledge. Whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go outside and take a walk."(source: Christian Jokes)
Jacob was born as one of the twins and became a blessed man to have the privilege of becoming the chosen race of God after the manner of Abraham and Isaac. Though he was trying to foul play but the plan of eternal God was fulfilled through his life. This sermon explains on Jacob who was a deceptive, diligent and devoted. And on the changes, he had in his life which made him an ancestor of faith series.
Jacob was a Deceptive man
Jacob is featured as real brother. The brothers and sisters at one point of time are loving, caring and sacrificial siblings turned into selfish, crafty and deceptive (Gen.25:29-34).
Jacob was very deceptive in his youthful days and he was very cunning and selfish. He wanted to earn for his future. He was dared enough to cheat his brother, cheat his father and cheat his father-in-law for sometimes. But bible tells how Jacob’s family was shattered and terribly affected more than the family of Esau.
We can list out few things:
Why Esau was looking for his father’s death day instead of long life for his father?
Why Rueben was sex-mania and became unholy fellow (Gen.35:22)?
Why Judah was playing harlotry and bringing abomination to the Lord (Gen.38:15-16)?
Why Dinah brought disgrace to God’s chosen (Gen.34:1-2)?
Why Simeon and Levi were trouble makers to Jacob (Gen.34:25, 30)?
Why these siblings were fighting and became bad day by day (Gen37:2)?
Why Rachel and Leah hated each other?
All because Jacob was deceptive man and that brought great dishonour to the family. In our own lives the situations and circumstances lead many at times to prove our real love for one another, real grace to share with one another, and real opportunities to strengthen our family ties.
God can’t be fooled. God of Justice will not tolerate all these abominable activities in the lives of his followers. He is holy and calls us to be holy in all our deeds.
The initiation can be taken by any of the family members. In a family anybody can become a leader, not necessarily the first born, even like Joseph.
The deceptive activities can’t make any man for a long time to enjoy the life and earn a lot. Man must be diligent to be saved and useful for God.
Jacob was a diligent man
Jacob was very diligent man. He was a hard worker. He was faithfully carrying out the assigned job by his father-in-law. He never intended evil for his father-in-law. He was cheated and badly treated by his own uncle. But he was very diligent and faithful to carry out the work. Bible says the diligent man will be blessed - Pr.21:5, 1 Tim 4:15 show a progress in diligence. Heb. 6:11.
Diligent hands bring wealth (Pr.10:4). The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied (Pr.13:4).
The diligent men will serve before kings because they are skilled in their works (Pr.22:29). The diligent Jacob argued with Laban and defended his hard work and successful life in the work (Gen.31:38ff).
He was very diligent in taking care of the flocks’ day and night. Whether it was shining or raining. Every day he was with full concentration working in the field.
Jacob was a devoted man
Jacob believed in God like Abraham and Isaac. He responded to the call of God and made a covenant and vow with God to Tithe and to worship him throughout his life journey (Gen.28:16-22).
Because of his devotion and right relationship with God, God honoured the covenant he made with Jacob to be present wherever he was going (Gen.31:5). Jacob had a second Theophany (appearance of God - Gen.31:11).
Jacob wrestled with God at Peniel, on the river bank of Jabbok, that glorious experience led him to real conversion. God changed his name from Jacob to Israel (Gen.32:24).
God appeared third time to Jacob and spoke to him to go to Bethel. God advised Jacob to settle there and build an altar for God (Gen.35:1).
Once again God met Jacob and recalls him as Israel for the Second time. Change of name twice conveys that we are called to rededicate ourselves again and again to the Lord (Gen.35:9-12). He spent time with his family members to become God fearing and continue in faith.