Futility of Presuming
Isaac presumed he was going to die. He sent his son Esau out to get game for him. Rebekah overheard and set up Jacob’s deceit. Jacob stole the blessing intended for Esau the firstborn.
Esau threatened to kill Jacob. Therefore, Rebekah sent Jacob away to her family to find a wife. Jacob worked for deceitful Laban for 20 years. When he fled Laban, he sent word to Esau that he was coming back.
Jacob’s servants told him that Esau was coming with 400 men. Jacob presumed the worst. Yet here is the reunion. Genesis 33:4 says, “But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”
Not only did the brothers unite, but after Jacob got back he went to his father. Some twenty years had passed and Isaac was still alive! His original presumption of his impending death did not take place. Genesis 35:29 says, “Isaac breath his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.”
Jacob’s name means supplanter or deceitful. As Esau was coming out of the womb, Jacob grabbed his heel. The literal meaning of his name is One Who Takes the Heel.
Fast forward. Jacob was on his way to meet Esau. He had sent everyone ahead of him and spent the night alone. An angel came and wrestled with him. Genesis 32:27 says, “What is your name? He said, Jacob.”
I recently heard a speaker who said that the angel was not asking for information but confession. He wanted Jacob to acknowledge what he had been. In essence, Jacob said, ‘my name is supplanter and deceitful.’
Verse 28 says, “And He said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means Prince with God. God commended Jacob and gave him a new name to reflect his character transformation.
Israel became the father of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. The Lord used his trials to change his character. He does the same in our lives. He uses our trials to prepare us for His purposes. We have to grow in character in proportion to the assignment.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope.” The Amplified uses the words proven character.