Jacob the hustler

Gregory Bishop
(Audio: English)

SUMMARY: The story of Jacob in Genesis 25 is about a person who needed to be smacked up tight on the head a few times by God. Jacob was a supplanter, always trying to take someone else's place, and he even tried to steal his brother's birthright blessing. However, Jacob valued the things of God, and God loved Jacob despite his flaws. The story of Jacob is like a soap opera, filled with human garbage, sin, lying, conflicts, and messiness. But God is able and willing to work with our messes and problems, and He has a purpose for each of us.

The story of Jacob in the Bible is like a soap opera filled with lies, cheating, and conflicts. Jacob tricks his father Isaac into giving him the blessing meant for his brother Esau. He then has to run away and sleeps on a rock where he has a dream where God shows him the spiritual reality going on behind the messiness of his life. God makes big promises to Jacob of blessing and saving the world through him, but Jacob is just thinking about surviving day to day. He eventually gets to the house of his uncle Laban, who is just as sneaky as Jacob.

The story of Jacob in the Bible shows how God can use our messes to do something amazing. Jacob's life was full of deception and conflict, but through it all, God was building a family that would become the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob had to learn that God could bless him in spite of his flaws and that he needed to be broken before he could be used for God's purpose. Moses and Peter are other examples of how God often breaks us before using us for his work. Being docile and obedient to God is what makes us strong in the world, and rebellion only makes us useless.

The story of Jacob wrestling with God teaches us the importance of submission to God. Even in our best moments, we need to learn to submit to God's will. The greatest men and women of God are those who have been broken by him and have learned to submit to him. We need to be willing to be defeated by the Lord and allow him to break our self-will. When we submit to God, he can use us for his glory. Let us pray for God to raise up humble and meek people who can roar like lions for him.

I ask you to turn with me to the Book of Genesis, chapter 25. Genesis 25 and just a quick question, anyone remember who we talked about last week? Anyone who remembers, I just want to see, does anyone remember we talked about somebody last week? I’ll give you a hand: it was a female, last week. What? We…. Rachel and who?, and Lea. Ok, we talked about the sisters thing. I talked now about a dysfunctional family, we talked about how Lea had the privilege of being snuck into a wedding bed by her dad, when Jacob thought he was marrying Rachel. It was a mess and we talked last week of how God reached out to her in the way that she needed to be reached out to, ok?

Can you remember who we talked about the week before that? Anyone remember? Now we’re going way back, two weeks ago. I know, some of us were doing much more important things than being here. Those of you who were here or who remember last week: Gideon. All right, all right. I like the voice from above. All right. We talked about Gideon, we talked about how God found him hiding in a little cave, threshing wheat which you’re not supposed to do in a cave. And how he was afraid of his enemies and God said, you are not a scared man, you are a mighty warrior and I have a purpose for you. And God raised up Gideon and used him to do some of the most amazing victories in the whole history of Israel.

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