Call Upon the Lord
We have seen that Jacob underhandedly obtained the birthright and the blessing that God intended for him to have all along. But then he had to skedaddle out of town in fear of his life. God appeared to him in a certain place and identified Himself in this way:
Genesis 28:13 … I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.
Jacob was impressed and said, “Since you are the One who will be with me, and who will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and sustain me, and clothes to wear, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then you are the LORD my God, I’ll tithe on all that you give me.”
That was a good start of having a relationship with God, but it was a little bit like a protestant conversion. Godly conversion is believing God and following God. Only God is able to bring about a true conversion in a person – and that is what He did with Jacob.
Jacob was anything but converted as a young man who set out to bless himself. God was working with Jacob way before he was aware of God’s involvement.
There is a difference between God working with a person, and God being in a converted person by way of His Spirit. Jesus Christ explained this concept to His disciples just prior to their conversion on Pentecost:
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; which the world cannot receive, because it perceives it not, neither knows it: but ye know it; for it dwells with you, and shall be in you.
What this is telling us is that for a long time God is intimately involved in a person’s life, being instrumental in bringing a person to Himself. Had God not interacted on numerous occasions in Jacob’s life, he would not have come to the point of believing and recognizing that it was none other than God Himself who had been directing his steps all along.
Jacob was indeed as carnal as the day is long, but God had long determined that He would carry out His covenant by way of Abraham, Isaac and then Jacob—even down to our day.
Jacob knew “God” by way of Abraham and Isaac, but Jacob did not yet know God. God knew that Jacob would make some bad mistakes, and yet, God knew how to use those mistakes to humble and convert Jacob.
God worked with Jacob and began to whittle him down to size. Jacob was a know-it-all with a pride and ego that would not quit. That changed when Jacob feared for his life dreading Esau’s retaliation in response to his loss of both the birthright and the blessing. We saw what a changed man Jacob was near the end of his life when he met Pharaoh in Egypt.
What we want to look at today is, how did that remarkable change come about? Jacob ultimately became a man that God could use exceedingly. He’s the father of the nations of Israel today. In the same way that God worked in Jacob’s life, God is working in our lives today. It does not yet appear what we will be, but it will be so much more than we could ever imagine.
1Corinthians 2:9 … Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.
Even though God promised Jacob that his children would number more than the dust of the earth, and that he would spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in Jacob and in his children would all the families of the earth be blessed. And God promised to be with Jacob and to protect him on every side no matter where he traveled, and bring him again into that land; saying, I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to you of—Jacob still had a hard time believing it, but one thing Jacob did do was—he gave God the credit for every blessing – and that made all the difference. (Genesis 28:14-15)
Brethren, these things are written and preserved for our admonition (1Corinthians 10:6). Let’s ask ourselves this question: Do we not only give God the thanks for all that He has given us, but do we also give Him the full credit for everything that has taken place to bring us to where we are today?
In today’s sermon we will be searching out those places in the Scriptures where God directly intervened in Jacob’s life in order to bring him to full conversion and a place in the first resurrection.
When we see those interventions in Jacob’s life, we may more readily recognize God’s involvement in our own lives, and give Him the praise and credit He alone deserves.
||"Call Upon the Lord"