Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” (Genesis 31:11-13)
“20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.” (Genesis 31:20-21)
“7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.” (Genesis 32:7-8)
In our passage today, we continue looking into the life of Jacob who has his named changed to Israel (Genesis 28). Jacob certainly had his share of troubles in the past. He had deceived his brother and father back in chapter twenty-seven, which caused his brother to threaten to kill him. Jacob then flees from his brother to his uncle’s home in Padanaram. There he is deceived by his uncle Laban, and is tricked into serving an extra seven years for the woman he loved. Eventually, God blesses Jacob and his family so much in Padanaram that they become wealthier than Uncle Laban, which causes a lot of resentment and bitterness from Laban and his sons. God tells Jacob that it is time for him to go back to Canaan, the place that he had fled from twenty years earlier.
Jacob was afraid. He is escaping from Uncle Laban and is afraid of what will happen if Laban catches him. He is also afraid of his brother, the one who threatened to kill him, which was awaiting him back in the land of Canaan. As we read through this passage we can almost smell Jacob’s fear. He is scared to death. But he still obeys the Lord and follows His plan by going back to Canaan. Jacob faced his fears. Someone once said that courage was not the absence of fear, but it is being willing to do what is necessary even when you may be terrified. I don’t like writing these devotions. I am always scared when my husband asks me to do it, but I plow through it, knowing that it is something that God wants me to do, and if God wants it done, He will enable me to do it.
Another thought that God showed me from this passage is that though Jacob would have preferred to avoid facing either Laban or Esau, God arranged that he had to face both, to get things right with each of them. We probably all have friends or family members who have wronged us in the past. Or, perhaps, we may have wronged them. God will make sure that one day we will have the opportunity to face them and make things right with them. It is always scary to face someone who we were once at odds with, but rarely are our fears ever realized. Usually, we end up feeling much better because the relationship rift has been repaired.
Fear will cause us to avoid doing the hard things, but if God is calling us to do them, we can move forward, even though we are scared, because we trust that God will get us through it.Maybe, God will change our name (reputation) as well.
Posted in Guest Posts by cindyerickson with 6 comments.