Struggling and Prevailing (Part 2)

Please read part one before continuing… Jacob named the place he wrestled with God, “Face of God,” adding that he saw God’s face and was delivered (Gen. 32:30).  In a sense, seeing God’s face and dislocating his hip were of a piece.  Said another way, Jacob’s hip was dislocated because he saw God’s face. We…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 1)

In fear of meeting his brother, Esau, Jacob sent his family away.  That night, alone, he wrestled with a man until daybreak (Gen. 32:24-32).  The man touched Jacob’s thigh at the hip and put it out of joint.  He told Jacob to release him but Jacob refused, saying he wanted a blessing.  The man told…

Parting Ways

As Jacob increased in wealth, he came into conflict with Laban (Gen. 31:1-2). We’ve seen that Jacob’s increase was the increase of what is spiritual and that this leads to escalating conflict with what is fallen and fleshly. God doesn’t let this conflict go on indefinitely.  God told Jacob to leave Laban.  He brought separation…

Where Sword Edges Crash

Joseph’s name means “He adds” or “Add to” and was a prayer of Rachel’s: “May the LORD add another son to me” (Gen. 30:24). Jacob agreed to work seven years in exchange for Rachel.  Joseph’s birth coincided with the completion of that seven years. The timing of these things is significant. Jacob asked Laban to…

The Son—Come Hell or High Water

Genesis 29:14 through 30:24 tells how Jacob came to have wives and children. Jacob first works seven years to marry Rachel but his father-in-law, Laban, sneaks his older daughter, Leah, into Jacob’s tent on the wedding night. Jacob is furious but receives Rachel also after celebrating his wedding to Leah for a week. Then there’s…

One Flock, One Bride, One Man

After Bethel, Jacob resumes his journey to find a bride. He travels to the east, a land associated with man’s fall, Cain, and Babel. Abraham left the east by faith. Spiritually, it is the land away from the Son (Gen. 25:1-6). When Jacob arrives in Haran, shepherds are gathering sheep near a well covered by…

House of God (Reprise)

Art by Patrick Murphy “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16). As we said before, the Lord revealed to Jacob that God was in His house. Bethel means, “House of God.” It shows Christ and His people as God’s dwelling, God’s house. The Lord is in us!…

House of God, Gate of Heaven

On his way to Haran, Jacob stops for the night. He puts a stone beneath his head and sleeps.  He dreams of a staircase that goes from earth to heaven with angels traveling up and down. Echoing His promise to Abraham, the Lord tells Jacob He will give him the land and bless all peoples…

Eavesdropping

“Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, so Esau went to Ishmael and married, in addition to his other wives, Mahalath daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son” (Gen. 28:8-9). Isaac sends Jacob to Laban in Paddan-Aram to find a wife. He sends Jacob off with a command: “Do not marry a Canaanite…

Flee and Stay

So now, my son, listen to me. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, and stay with him for a few days until your brother’s anger subsides–until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him” (Gen. 27:43-45). After Isaac blessed Jacob, there was no blessing…