Lessons From Jacob’s Life journey (Part 2)

Posted on June 16, 2021

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Lessons From Jacob’s Life journey (Part 2)

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Genesis 32:28

How did Jacob get here, a prince with God? The journey from Genesis 28:16-21 to Genesis 32. In Jacob’s going forth as recorded in the Genesis 28:16-21, of the three covenant based declarations made by God to this man viz:

  1. Verse 13 – the land gift being passed on to Jacob;
  2. Verse 14 – the multiplication of seed and seed through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed; and
  3. Verse 15 – the promise of abiding presence

None was in his focus but that of protection and provision as recorded in verse 20. He fell short of the things that counted with God as we are told in Matthew 6:25-33, and Romans 14:17.

Returning after 20 years and with provisions and welcomed by angels he still had to face his fear. Jacob realized that when faced with the consequence of past misdeed, only by being alone with God in the place of prayer can deliverance come. From Genesis 32:24-32, we see emerging the acts of a great God in the transforming work done in the life of a difficult man. What is thy name?” God reminds him of his former self, Jacob, the:

  1. supplanter,
  2. self-reliant, and
  3. self-seeking.

And now he is disabled, dependent on another, and seeking a blessing from another, and for all others as well as himself. No more Jacob shall thy name be called, but Israel – a prince of God, in God, with God. In a personal conflict, depending on yourself, you are no match for God, but in prayer, depending on another, you have prevailed with God and with men. The new name is indicative of the new nature which has now come to its perfection of development in Jacob. Unlike Abraham, who received his new name once for all, and was never afterward called by the former one, Jacob will hence, be called now by the one and now by the other, as the occasion may serve. For he was called from the womb Genesis 25:23, and both names have a spiritual significance for two different aspects of the child of God, according to the apostle’s paradox expressed in Philippians 2:12-13.

Disclose to me thy nature the angel asked to let Jacob acknowledge his twisted self-seeking and self-dependent nature. And he blessed him there. He had the power of disabling the self-sufficient creature, of upholding that creature when unable to stand, of answering prayer, of conferring a new name, with a new phase of spiritual life, and of blessing with a physical renovation, and with spiritual capacity for being a blessing to mankind. There were then, three acts in this dramatic scene:

  1. first, Jacob wrestling with the Omnipresent in the form of a man, in which he is signally defeated;
  2. second, Jacob importunately supplicating Yahweh, in which he prevails as a prince of God; and
  3. third, Jacob receiving the blessing of a new name, a new development of spiritual life, and a new capacity for bodily action

So dear child of God, where are you in this journey, still playing upon your own strength? You cannot get far that way. Only by being absolutely dependent on His ability to operate His word in you can you truly be a king and a priest. This is the day of deliverance if you will trust Him to keep His word and cease from your works. Selah.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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