|Jacob had asked his brother Esau for the first born birthright. This blessing was not to be bought or sold. It was for the first child born. When Esau was very hungry, he was willing to sell his birthright to his brother for all he could eat of the lentil stew that smelled so good to him.|
When Isaac called his sons to give out the birthright blessing, while Esau was hunting for the venison his father wanted him to feed him, Jacob, at his mother's urging went in with his arms all hairy with animal fur to trick his dad that he was Esau. He had trouble lying to his dad that he was Esau. His voice gave him away. Since his father was blind, he finally succeeded in convincing him with his lies.
Esau was so angry when he found what Jacob had done. Rebecka his mother was afraid Esau might kill him. She got permission for Jacob to go to a relatives to live and find a wife.
Jacob was very sorry for what he had done and during his time running to his relatives home, he had prayed for forgiveness. One night, while sleeping under the stars he was encouraged by a dream where he saw angels going up and down a ladder.
Jacob found his relative and fell in love with his pretty daughter Rachael. He worked for seven years to pay for her. At the wedding he was tricked when they gave him Rachael's older sister for a wife instead. He was so angry. Yet he wanted Rachael still so he agreed to work more years for her.
Finally after his two wives and their helpers had provided him with many children, he wanted to go home and see his parents. God told him it was time.
He waited till his father-in-law was away and they they all hurried off. Laban found out and came after them but were prevented from harming him.
Then Jacob heard that his brother was after him with a large band of soldiers. He knew of the anger and hate his brother could deliver. He was afraid.
He placed his loved ones in different groups, and gathered a group of gifts of animals and foods to give to his brother. He did all he could to bring forgiveness. Then he spent the night in prayer. A hand was laid on his shoulder and he thought it might be Esau. All night he wrestled with this person. Finally as it began to get light, his hip went out of joint and really hurt. He discovered he had been wrestling with God. He begged God to bless him. He wanted God's blessing more than anything else. He did not want to let go of Him till he got this blessing. If Jacob had not asked forgiveness years before for his sins of hurting his brother, he would not have gotten the blessing.
Like Jacob, we must all do all we can to get forgiveness then go to God asking for His forgiveness and blessing. We can trust that no matter what, all that we asked forgiveness for is taken care of. We can have peace. We can know He has written "forgiven" beside that sin in the record book. Satan may try to remind us of all the wrong things we have done, but we can say, "yes, I sinned, but Jesus took care of it. I asked Him to."
This story is important because there is soon coming a time that is like Jacob's trouble. We will be in danger. We will be spending nights in prayer like Jacob. We can be sure that we will be blessed by God if we ask Him. You can get in a wrestling match with God. Would you like that?
|Some of us are already going through this. Our faces gather paleness as stated on page 630 of Great Controversy. As like Jacob we are accused falsely accompanied by threats. The main test will be over the Sabbath and issues between brothers.. We cry to Lord for deliverance. The very delay is an answer to our prayers because our faith grows. That growth of faith is what we are asking for. We give God permission to do whatever it takes to make that faith grow.|
For the next forgiveness story look at how Joseph reacted when hated, robbed of family life, and sold as a slave. Joseph