SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
GOD OF JACOB
(Psalm 46:7) The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Have you ever wondered why God loves you when you have fallen short so many times in your life? That is the mystery of the ages isn’t it? God is so merciful and we know we are covered by the blood of Christ. But it never ceases to amaze us how the Lord just doesn’t cast us off to the side and work with someone else who is more faithful and honorable. Maybe it will help to review the life of Jacob.
Jacob. He was Abrahams’ grandson and Isaac’s son. He had a twin brother named Esau. He pulled his brother’s heel at birth and so won the name Jacob which means “heal catcher”. When they grew up the twins became rivals. Jacob first stole his brother’s birthright (Gen 25) and then his blessing (Gen 27). This is what his brother Esau said of him: (Gen 27:36) And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!”… So the name of Jacob not only means heal catcher (from the cute birth story) but also deceiver (from the adult stories).
Jacob had to flee the wrath of his brother. On his way north he stopped in Bethel and slept with his head on a rock for a pillow. He had an amazing dream of a ladder that reached to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. God then spoke to him in that dream and said his descendants would be plentiful and that He would be with him and bring him back safely to his land. (Gen 28:16-17) Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
How merciful is our God! He didn’t ball Jacob out. He offered him grace and it was just what Jacob needed. For the next twenty years God refined him and purged that tendency of his flesh from his life. On the way back he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord. From the incident Jacob had a limp the rest of his life (Gen 32).
Now would you believe it that the phrase “God of Jacob” is found twenty three times in the Bible? How cool is that ? It sends a strong message. And that message is this: God loves you no matter what kind of traits you have or how much you have fallen from His will. It’s a message of grace that we all need. We all have things in our lives that trip us up. But God is so patient with us. As long as we keep going to His mercy seat we will be alright (Heb 4:16). That’s what Jacob did. He never ran from the Lord. He knew who he was but He also knew who God was in His mercy and forgiveness. And that is what changed his life!
God of Jacob. God of Louie. God of you. It all fits, doesn’t it? Hallelujah to our merciful God!