Lesson #1: God Uses Imperfect People
Like Jacob, we’ve all failed God and we’re all stained with sin. If God only used perfect people there wouldn’t be anyone serving him today. Isn’t that encouraging!
Jacob’s faith in the Lord was still immature when he had his first Devine experience with God and he would continue to scheme, lie, and manipulate for a number of years, but God was still working on him and Jacob did eventually mature into a godly man. At the end of his life, he was known as a man of faith, “It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.” Heb. 11:21
Never think that God won’t forgive and remake you into the man or woman he’s always wanted you to be.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Rom. 3:23-24 NLT
Lesson #2: God’s Purpose and Plan Is Always Better than Ours
Early in his life, Jacob trusted his own plans rather than relying on God’s plans. Even after his prophetic dream, he went on to lie and cheat his uncle Laban, who he worked for, to get what he wanted when he wanted it. But then he had another encounter with God in a dream when he was traveling back to the land God had promised him.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” Gen 32:26-30
Jacob finally got it. He was a changed man with a limp that would always remind him that God was in charge. Sometimes we figuratively wrestle with God because we’re sure we know what’s best for us. But God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29: 11 NLT
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