10 Lessons From The Life of Jacob

And the Lord said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger - Genesis 25:23

Going back to study the life of Jacob, I became more interested on finding out why we include God of Jacob whenever we worship God despite Jacob taking the birth right of his brother. Before now, I always think of Jacob as not really deserving to be included, we should include Esau’s name instead because he was a man of the field who eats from his own sweat and was loved by their father Isaac. But how would the Prophecy made in Genesis 25:23 become fulfilled if Esau’s birthright wasn’t despised for Jacob to take over the lead.

Jacob was a son to Rebekah and Isaac whom God has blessed ever before his conception. Jacob was a mama’s boy, so loved by his mother and he was just a plain man that dwells in the tent (Genesis25:27). His brother, as I have said was a very cunning hunter.  However, it happened that when Isaac was very old and his eyes were dim, he was willing to give his last but powerful blessings to his beloved son, Esau but somehow, Rebekah heard and made Jacob receive all the powerful blessings. This made me wonder if Rebekah was even the mother of Esau judging from my personal perspective of how a mother would have responded to that kind of situation thereby making both sons enjoy the blessings together. But how then will we have the opportunity to be talking about Jacob today? Although Esau became exceedingly bitter, (who wouldn’t?) and was determined to kill his brother, Jacob but Jacob was someone chosen by God as he chose Abraham and Isaac.

Jacob is one Bible character who many people have a love-hate relationship with. Many who have read about him have loved his tenacious nature while hating him for his seemingly greedy nature at the same time.

5 Lessons From The Life of Jacob
For what reason then, do we have to study this controversial man? Why do we need to learn from the man who was practically the main character from Genesis 25 to Genesis 50? In this article, we share a few lessons to learn from the life of Jacob.

1. Jacob held the blessing in high Esteem

Jacob was a trickster but this nature only proves his desire to be a blessed man so much so that he could go to any extent to get the blessing. As a believer, we should learn of this character of placing premium honour on the blessing above all else. The Bible in Genesis 25:33-34 says, "And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob." However, as believers, we should never try to get things by trickery because there will definitely be a consequence.

2. He followed the footsteps of Abraham

One thing that made Jacob stand out while following the footsteps of Abraham was his act of emphasising on the importance of naming encounters of the God-kind. In Genesis 28:16-18, we see how Jacob woke from his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. Then he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on it.

In these days and times where different Christian programs happen everywhere, most believers have forgotten about the importance of naming encounters. We should realise that spiritual encounters could be slippery and had to be named in order for you to keep remembering. Otherwise, a believer will keep going from program to program without getting a hold on the essence of the encounters he had experienced. Jacob emphasised the importance of this seemingly subtle activity.

3. Jacob was not lazy

Though he had the blessing, he was not a lazy man. He worked and Genesis 30:26 confirms that where he asked Laban to release his wives and children, for whom he had served. He was conscious of the fact that he was a blessed man, yet, he took opportunities to work actively. Today, it's saddening to see some believers claim that they are blessed, yet refusing to take opportunities and work. The truth is that opportunities come dressed in an overall called work and it is what you have that will be breathed upon by God to bloom. So why won't you work?

4. Jacob Remained Conscious of the Blessing

If you have One Hundred Million Naira in your account today, you will walk with the consciousness that you are a rich man. In Genesis 33:9 showed us Esau who was talking to Jacob and said, " I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have for yourself. Jacob, who had the blessing replied in Genesis 33:11 "Accept, I beg of you, my blessing and gift that I have brought to you; for God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything. And he kept urging him and he accepted it."

The blessing can give everything money can buy and all that money cannot buy which equates to everything. Esau solely inherited all of Abraham's wealth since Jacob left home earlier with only a staff, yet, Jacob was able to say "I have everything!" The blessing is able to make you walk in divine health, abundance of wealth, productivity in all you do and honour among men. Jacob enjoyed all of this; we should learn and apply.

5. Jacob Spreads the Blessing

Have you ever wondered why Abraham's descendants were all named after Jacob (Israel) even till date? This was simply because Abraham was in partnership(covenant) with God which was transferred to Isaac, in turn being transferred to Israel because he had the blessing but this partnership was divided into twelve great nations, this partnership was spread solely because of Jacob. Jacob, called by God was able to call other men thereby spreading the blessings.

6. Jacob was strongly determined

When Jacob left for Padanaram, on his way he had a dream where God made the same promise God made with his grandfather (Abraham) and his father (Isaac) to make his seed as the dust of the earth and give him and his seeds, the  land whereon he liest ( Genesis 28). Jacob made a vow that even though he took the blessings of his brother which made his brother dislike him now, if God will be with him and make him go back to his father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be his God.

Judging by the promise God made with Jacob, it gave an assurance that Jacob was definitely the chosen one just like God chose Isaac instead of Ishmael. 

Jacob was determined to serve God if God will be with him and God, in return fulfilled His promises and was with him till the end. This is a determination a lot of people in our generation no longer wants to stick with. Despite all, Jacob kept that determination burning. People don’t want to face any trial at all. They just want to enjoy God. However, to get something from God, you must serve him whole heartedly too (Jacob taught us that).

2. Jacob was a man of great perseverance.

Working with Laban, Rebekah’s brother for twenty years with his wages being changed ten times( Genesis 31:41), he should have been discouraged, he should have wroth against Laban for cheating him and giving him Leah, his oldest daughter instead of Rachel whom he truly desire. But Jacob was patient, he patiently waited for the Lord’s next command. Assuming he had left furiously when Laban could not fulfill his promise at first, probably Jacob would not have been anything closer to being rich. But waiting and submitting to commands that looked like torture made Jacob prosper even more than his father-in-law.

3. Jacob always put God first

One would have thought that Jacob will just leave Laban’s house, go back to his brother and settle scores with him since he had everything and was rich. But, though Jacob is now successful and bold enough to meet his brother, he did not neglect God’s backing. Despite his possessions, he feared his brother and even after hearing the number of men with Esau (four hundred). he remembered the case he had with his brother before leaving his father’s house. 

Jacob knew God was with him and has commanded him to go back to his kindred still, he could not leave God out of his fear. He made his fear known unto God. No wonder he wrestled with the angel throughout the night until he was blessed. And the outcome of his journey indeed worth the wrestle. I mean, who will power with God and with men and not prevail? (Genesis 32:24-30)

4. Jacob was a great planner and had foresight

Have you ever noticed that successful people are good at planning? This is one of the lessons to learn from Jacob. When he left his in-law’s house and was to close meeting Esau, he divided all he had into two bands incase Esau will smite them, he will be left with something at least. He even sent each of his messengers to before him with presents to appease his brother so that before he gets there, at least his brother would have decided to accept him and his family.

However hilarious that might seem, it is a lesson everyone should learn from, for every aspect of life. Good planning births good success. If Jacob’s assumption of his brother turned out to be true, he still would have had enough to hold on to. Meanwhile Esau rejected his gifts, embraced him and they wept (Genesis 33), this good planning contributed to the quick acceptance and reunion of the brothers.

5. Jacob was a respecter of God’s movement.

Jacob was a man who moves whenever God is moving. Just like his fathers, he never questioned God’s movement plan. Whenever God says ‘arise’, Jacob is on his way to the destination God is leading him to. Our fore fathers were very obedient when it comes to God, but in our generation, a lot will grumble, question and question God. Sometimes, I wonder where we kept that word that God will not test us more than our faith can carry. However, God‘s promises still stands, the one he made with Abraham, passed on to Isaac and Jacob, still stands. There were more opportunity to be worthy of friendship with God in the days of Jacob than our time because they were respecters of God’s movement plan.

In conclusion, Jacob became worthy of been included as one of the fathers of faith because he walked with God without a biased mind. Therefore, in other to be a partaker and enjoy the promises God made with our fore fathers, it is expedient to also live our lives just like our fore fathers has laid the path.

As a blessed believer today, you're not to hoard the blessing you have attained through Christ, it is your duty to spread it to other men via evangelism. Jacob is your role model to do this. Just imagine if there were twelve men just like you, how wonderful would the world be?

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