Scripture for today: Read Gen. 32:22-32
Perhaps none of the biblical patriarchs needed a life transformation more than Jacob. Born with an innate ability to gain an advantage over others through scheming, Jacob left a trail of damaged relationships in his wake.
He conned his brother Esau out of his birthright, stole his father’s blessing by deception, and successfully matched wits with his unscrupulous Uncle Laban. It seemed that no situation was too big for Jacob to somehow gain an advantage over. However, all that changed when Jacob and his family left his Uncle Laban and headed back toward the land of his birth, Canaan.
Ahead of him was a brother who had vowed to kill him twenty years earlier. As he journeyed, Jacob received word that Esau was on his way with four hundred men. Terrified, Jacob prepared for an imminent attack. Jacob’s past had finally caught up with him. His day of reckoning had arrived.
The night before Esau arrived, Jacob wrestled with a mysterious Presence. The encounter lasted all night. Realizing that his opponent was more than a mere man, Jacob refused to let go until he received a blessing. Before Jacob could receive the blessing, he had to say his name.
The last time Jacob had to identify himself to receive a blessing, he lied and told his blind father that he was his brother Esau (Gen. 27:18-19). This time, however, Jacob correctly identified himself and received the blessing God’s way. All of the scheming that Jacob had done was totally unnecessary. Before he was born God had chosen him to receive the blessing (Gen, 25:23). After this encounter, Jacob was changed. He learned to live by faith and not by scheming.
Are you living by faith? Are you using people to get the blessing that you think you deserve? What would it take for you to learn to walk by faith?
This devotion is based on Marty McLain’s book “The crown has fallen: A study of the kings of Judah.”