The narrative of Jacob receiving the blessing from his father is a very interesting portion of scripture and it’s found in Genesis 28. Here we see that through guile and trickery he obtained the invocation of blessing upon his life which would set him to prosper for his lifetime and his generations beyond. But how could God allow him to get away with such deception, one may wonder? What about Esau? How would he feel about being short changed? The fact is Jacob was predestined to be blessed. That’s right, in fact God said before the twins, Jacob and Esau were born he had already chosen, the younger one, Jacob. Does this mean Esau would not be blessed? Not at all. But it meant the continuity of the Abrahamic blessing, their grandfather would flow through Jacob and not Esau, despite Esau being the “rightful” conduit for the father’s blessing to pass. Thus, Jacob would have received the larger share, with or without his illicit actions because God had already decreed it. However, he tried to do it all on his own, as opposed to letting God make it happen in his own divine time.
Jacob reminds me of Moses, who while in Egypt awakened to his destiny to be a freedom fighter. Clearly God had awakened in him a consciousness of justice for his fellow Hebrews and simply sitting in the palace observing at a distance wasn’t enough. It was time for action, and Moses did what many young people do, use their might and their ability to force the way. It ended badly for Moses though, as striking the oppressor of his fellow Hebrew meant he would become a fugitive and leave his royal home to become a wanderer. Similarly, Jacob also, completely unaware of the sovereign working of God tried to manufacture his own future. Have you ever been in his shoes, where you tried to bend the system just a little bit? A little white lie, a stretch of the truth, a questionable business venture, and the list goes on. The fact is we drop the ball all the time, however when we place ourselves in God’s hand then his hand will guide us to the place of flourishing that he has called us. Or maybe like Moses, you explicitly made some major mistake that you have had to bear the consequences, and even still today the effects can be felt.
Aren’t you glad that your future is not based on your performance? If it were many of us would have no standing in God because we fall short all the time. Instead, your place of harvest in God is based on God’s desire to bless you, and that desire has been sealed in his son Christ, who we are told, while we were haters of God he died for us. Thus though Jacob stole the blessing, and found himself a fugitive, he stumbled upon the grace of God that first night on the run where he had an encounter from heaven, and it completely changed him.
That’s right, a visitation from God can re-orient any wandering believer. An affirmation from God can encourage even the faintest of heart. That first night on the run, Jacob stopped at Bethel to gain some respite and wait till morning to continue his journey. As he slept he had a life altering dream. He met with God.
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
He knew that he didn’t deserve to meet with God, which is what made the encounter so transformative. He saw angels descending from heaven to earth and then back again over and over at the place he was resting. It was then he realized that this place was a special place, for there God had chosen to provide the greatest blessing – his presence. Upon seeing that God had chosen not to leave him Jacob decided to reaffirm his commitment
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Jacob decided to be a better person. We see this transpire over the next few chapters, but that day he made a commitment to follow God fully. I believe many don’t reach that place of flourishing because they are not following God fully. They may think they do, and even in many respects follow him, but it’s not till they are really tested through trials and temptations that
like Jacob, their true nature comes out. We know Jacob was transformed because ultimately he committed to tithing. See tithing in itself is not for God, it’s for you, because it is a test of your love for him. Because Jesus said, where you invest your treasure is truly where your love is.
That morning as Jacob made his way to his destiny, he was changed, and though the challenges were not over, he had come to that place of blessing, which began with a secure, and robust relationship in the God of heaven and earth.
Pastor Olu Jegede