Jacob’s Beautiful Picture Of Sanctification
Jacob was the rascal of Genesis. He was the schemer, the man who thought he could live by his own wits and his own efforts. He went out trying to deceive everybody and ended up being deceived. He troubled his own household by playing favorites, indulging one of his sons over the rest, creating bitterness and resentment among his sons.
Yet, despite all his faults, Jacob is a beautiful picture of sanctification, that marvelous work of God in which we in our folly, attempting to live life in the energy of the flesh, are led into very situations that drive us to God.
Sometimes we give God no choice but to corner us and contend with us until we discover His speaking to us, and we surrender. With our surrender, God is able to take over, and we are able to truly live.
That is what Jacob did at the brook of Peniel. There, knowing Esau was waiting with a band of armed men ready to take his life, Jacob waited alone. There, an angel in the form of a man met him and began to wrestle with him through the long night.
As the day broke the angel sought to disengage himself, but Jacob clung with stubborn persistence. The angel touched Jacob’s thigh and threw it out of joint, but still Jacob clung in helplessness to the divine messenger, refusing to let go until he was blessed of God. Then the divine being changed the name of Jacob to Israel, which means “he who prevails with God.”
As the sun rose, Jacob limped off to meet Esau with a totally different attitude in his heart. He no longer feared people but was confident that God would fight his battles for him. Jacob learned the great principle of sanctification: that God was his strength and his refuge and is fully capable of working out all the problems of which he may be confronted.
Jacob’s life can be seen in three distinct stages:
- His early years at home when he was basically a deceiver of others, epitomized by his theft of Esau’s birthright.
- The middle period of his life, when Jacob learns what it is like to be deceived, as illustrated in the story where Jacob labors for seven years to win Rachel as his wife only to be tricked into marrying Rachel’s sister Leah first.
- Finally, Jacob learns to live as a man devoted to the word and will of God, when he wrestles with – and is blessed by – the angel of God.
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If you’ve ever led a small group (or tried to study the Bible on your own), you’ll appreciate this comprehensive overview of the Bible. In this new, enhanced, full-color edition, Stedman uses non-technical language to explain events and characters in the Bible, illustrate and chart important movements, and offer insights into religious and social customs of Bible times. This one-stop resource for studying and understanding God’s Word is an excellent tool for pastors, laypeople, and small groups. Hardcover.