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Posts Tagged ‘Jacob’

In the Pit

IMG_0001.JPGEver been in a pit?

Joseph was once in a pit … actually it was a well, but really, once you are in one what it is called does not matter anymore. It is dark, cold, full of creepy crawlies, and you’re alone.

Joseph had been thrown into the well by a band of angry thugs … his brothers.

Ever felt thrown into a well by someone you loved?

He was just a young man, the eldest of his mother, Rachel, the pride and joy of his father Jacob (Israel). Joseph had done nothing to deserve such a violent act of thoughtless sibling abandonment.

Ever felt that you were an innocent victim?

He was a good son, followed all the rules, even reported to his father when his older half-brothers were not. He had won his father’s favor, simply by being the firstborn of Jacob’s beloved Rachel.

Ever felt like you were being punished for the heartache of another?

He was a dreamer. Joseph dreamed of things to come, dreams that made the eyes of his brother roll, and confirm their ire for he and his superiority complex.

Ever feel like who you are created to be pushed you into the pit you are in?

Did Joseph’s rule following help him in the dampness of the pit?

Where were Joseph’s grand dreams when he looked up from the darkness he had been thrown into?

Where was Joseph’s protective and loving father, as he realized he was being hoisted out, not to end a cruel joke, but because his very own brothers sold him into slavery?

Sometimes, like Joseph, stuff happens in our life and we feel as though we have been thrown into a pit. Sometimes, having the best of intentions, the best of behaviors, the joy of being loved by family and friends, the greatest of gifts and abilities, are not the insurance of being able to live our lives in the light that we might have hoped that they would be.

Sometimes, we fall into the pit.

Sometimes, we are pushed.

Sometimes, the extended hand that lifts us out, is one that lands us in slavery.

That can all be rather dire.

But Joseph was never alone, not in that pit, not as a slave, not in an Egyptian prison.

God was there, and God’s stories are always centered around the theme of redemption, re-making, renewing.

After Joseph had provided opportunity for his brothers to prove that they had changed, after he was reunited with his father, Jacob, and after his father had died and was buried, redemption came for Joseph’s brothers.

Genesis 50:20 tells us that Joseph said to his brothers, “you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good …”

When we are in the pit we need to remember that we are not there alone, and we need to remember that God has a plan … for good to come from evil.

 

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“Although limping, Jacob walked away from the battle blessed.”

Jacob+wrestling+with+God+1I do not know where the words came from. I heard them, I wrote them, I saved them, and now I go back to where their story originates, in Genesis.

Israel, previously known as Jacob, was a wrestler from way back! The earliest recordings of his battles come from his months in his momma’s womb, where he wrestled his hairy brother Esau.

Jacob comes from a fine lineage, as his father was Isaac, and his grandfather was none other than Father Abraham, the father of many nations. Abraham had done his share of wrestling as well, although his wrestling was not so much physical as it was in his heart and soul.

There are many fascinating components to the life of Jacob … his mother, Rebekah, being childless (reminiscent of grandma Sarah), finally pregnant it is twins, and very active ones! The Lord speaks to her before they are born, giving a heads up to their future. Jacob is his momma’s favorite, but Esau is Isaac’s. Oh, there is so much to those early years of Jacob’s life! It is truly worth heading back into Genesis 25 to read of his earlier years! But, for now, I am concentrating on the wrestling match with God.

“So Jacob was left alone,and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” (Genesis 32:24)

Jacob is all alone, and it is night. The next thing we know is that that he is wrestling with a man.

“When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.” (Genesis 32:25)

Jacob was one good wrestler! He was winning, and his opponent was aware of the strength and determination within him. So his opponent, with just the touch of his hand, permanently injured Jacob’s hip.

“Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” (Genesis 32:26)

Jacob was a man with a mission. He was willing to wrestle until he got what he wanted … to be blessed.

“The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,”he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome … Then he blessed him there..” (Genesis 32:27-28)

The man asked his name … he asked his name? This was God! He knew his name, given to him by his father … but his heavenly Father had a new name for him, and Israel … strong, persevering, overcoming, with a goal to fight for was to be his name at his battle of christening.

“The sun rose above him … and he was limping because of his hip.” (Genesis 32:32)

Jacob was blessed … the sun was rising on a new day, he had what he was born to be blessed with, his very own blessing, not from an earthly father, but from the father of every nation.

And, although he was limping, he was blessed.

And, although we are all limping, we are blessed.

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