Jacob the Deceiver

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The Old Testament is full of people - real people; whose lives are messy, their families dysfunctional and their obedience not always full or immediate, yet God used them.  Our study of their lives is to bring perspective, hope and instruction to ours - to recognise that at times we are tempted to sanitise or selectively interact with their stories and in that way make them heroes.  The reality is that their stories are powerful because they are human like us and face the same temptations and frailty that we do - yet God used them.

Murray breaks down the story of Jacobs life into six episodes of an interesting saga :

  1. The Birth (Genesis 25:19-26)
  2. The Birthright (Genesis 25:27-34)
  3. The Blessing (Genesis 26:34-27:4, 27:19-29, 36-41)
  4. The Dream (Genesis 28:1-5, 10-17)
  5. The Marriage (Genesis 29:16-27)
  6. The Encounter (Genesis 32:3-8, 22-31)

God had this great purpose for Jacob, he'd spoken to Rebekah about it... Jacob's great problem in life was that he was impatient, He wasn't prepared for God to work out His purpose in His way. Jacob was always grasping for something he didn't have.

Although God's promise was eventually fulfilled, the tragedy of Jacob's story is we will never know how the story would have gone if Jacob had the patience to trust God and wait for God to work his plan out in His way.

Jacob has to be humbled and broken. When he looks back on his life he describes it as short and troubling. it didn't need to be like that. God had this wonderful purpose for Jacob, but due to his impatience he couldn't wait for God to work out his purpose for him.

This can happen to anyone who is a believer. you can know that God got good things for you but so often people can't wait, not have the patience, to trust God to work things out in His way and His time. It's one thing to know God's purpose but it's another thing to trust his timing. But it's worth doing, because if you don't you end up like Jacob, trying to make things happen and it always goes wrong. Far better to trust God, so when you come to the end of your days you don't look back on your life as see them as few and difficult.