While the darkness of night still was present, light slowly overtook the sky and slowly penetrated the cover of the gray clouds. By the window and at the breakfast table, I read quickly through and re-read deliberately the life of Jacob.
His conception was an answer to prayer but even in his mother’s womb, he butted heads with his closest sibling. At birth, his name meant Heel. As the boys grew up, his brother became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. His mother was manipulative and his father was often swayed by her. The sibling rivalry continued at every turn in resentment and jealousy as the parents continued in their ways of favoritism.
His life was characterized by deception, scandal, and revenge on every side. Generational sins and habits repeated time and time again. He repeatedly was used by men and submitted to the insecurities of the women in his life. His life happened in contrast to the customs of his culture.
He ran in fear and journeyed alone. But in those times of aloneness and vulnerability, He encountered a God Who had been faithful to fulfill promises for generations. He had stones for pillows but had dreams of God and used those stones to raise pillars of praise to his God. He attained wives under the cover of darkness and then for the sake of love.
He vowed to return to the land of his birth and to tithe from all that he was given if God was faithful to provide and to protect him on his journey in life. Throughout his journey he met adversity and loneliness, blessing and favor, love and hatred. He was courted and sought and he was shunned and exiled out of reverent fear of the presence of God in his life.
He wrestled with God but refused to let go; he encountered God face-to-face. Through it all, God never took His Hand off him and indeed permanently made Jacob to limp in his physical gait of life. And then one day, God returned him to the land of his birth and changed his name to mean Overcomer for he had wrestled with God and with people and he had prevailed.
Jacob prevailed and overcame. His God caused him to prosper. He was thrust into life as a Heel but was known as a peaceful man, contented until the lies of life kept him running. His journey was charactered by struggles. He prevailed and overcame. He came to know the work of angels. He came face-to-face with his God. His God caused him to prosper.