“He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world did you find it so quickly, my son?” Genesis 27:18-20.
This is a topic that I have thought about for some time lately. As we know, Jacob had cheated his brother Esau out of the birthright which was supposed to be his.
Esau was a worker in the field, who was dressed in coarse clothes, with a rough and hairy appearance, as opposed to the smooth-skinned Jacob. But Rebekah had a plan to outwit Isaac; she loved Jacob more than Esau. She dressed up Jacob to look like Esau, so that he would appear “to the touch,” to be like the older brother.
Isaac wanted Jacob to come closer to him so that he knew who he truly was, since he had become blind, and his sight was failing.
“Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob replied. Isaac said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son. Then I will bless you.” So Jacob brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” So Jacob went over and kissed him,” Genesis 27:24-27.
And then Jacob received the blessing instead of Esau who was the rightful heir. Esau came back to offer his father the meal prepared for him but both had been deceived, and so Jacob left fearing for his life, even though he had received his father’s blessing.
Jacob went according to Isaac’s advice, to Paddan-aram to the house of iBethuel his mother’s father. There he went to find a wife to marry, but he found a man who was more deceitful than himself. For twenty years Jacob worked for Laban and ended up having two wives, rather than one.
“Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times,” Genesis 31:41.
Jacob ended up working a total of twenty years for Laban. Jacob therefore marries Rachel a week after marrying Leah, and then worked another 7 years to repay his debt to Laban.
After Joseph is born, Jacob asks Laban to send him back to his own country (Genesis 30:25-26), but Laban does not want Jacob to leave and therefore works out a deal with Jacob so that Jacob would be paid wages for continuing to serve him (Genesis 30:27-34). Jacob finally flees from Laban, and is told by the Lord to return to the place of his fathers.
Sometime after Jacob had left the household of Laban, he took his two wives and eleven children. He was left alone, and saw an angel during the evening hours. He fought with the angel for some time, and neither one of them won out.
“And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed,” Genesis 32:25-28.
My thought here is that Jacob had battled a life of trickery and deceit that began by stealing the birthright away from his brother Esau. Eventually God had to deal with these character flaws.
I believe that He used the angel to finally bring retribution to these things, and as a reminder, Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint, thus causing him to see this incident in light of God’s authority and control.
I am reminded of Paul’s thorn in the flesh as well, and how even with this “thorn” that was placed upon him, it was used to keep him humble and not filled with conceit.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited,” 2 Corinthians 12:7.
Jacob wanted to know who the man was that he battled with, and the angel wouldn’t tell him, but he gave him a new name…
“And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh,” Genesis 32:27-31.
The Father uses various people and circumstances in our lives at times to get our attention. Some try to side-step these occurrences, but in time, even an angel may be used to keep us in check, and to redirect our steps ahead.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?