Commemoration of Jacob (Israel), Patriarch
The Lord be with you
February 5 has been set aside to remember Jacob (Israel) on our liturgical calendar.
Jacob, the third of the three Hebrew patriarchs, was the younger of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. After wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, Jacob, whose name has variously been translated to mean “deceiver,” “heeler,” and “usurper,” was renamed Israel, which means “he strives with God” (Genesis 25:26; 32:28). His family life was filled with trouble, caused by his acts of deception toward his father and his brother, Esau, and his parental favoritism toward his son Joseph. Much of his adult life was spent grieving over the death of his beloved wife Rachel and the presumed death of Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and later appointed by the Egyptian pharaoh to be in charge of food distribution during a time of famine in the land. Prior to Jacob’s death, through the blessing of his sons, God gave the promise that the Messiah would come through the line of Jacob’s fourth son, Judah (Genesis 49).
One lesson we can learn from the story of Jacob/Israel is that, no matter how badly we might mess up, God can work through our blunders to bring a blessing. In Jacob’s case the greatest blessing of all time, for God preserves the promise of the Messiah through Jacob. It is because of Jacob’s descendant, Jesus, that Jacob, and all who trust in Jesus, receive forgiveness and a right relationship with God.
Another lesson from Jacob that comes through loud and clear in his story it is that, while we may not be faithful, God always is. God keeps his promises.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, scepter that rises out of Jacob, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, rule our hearts through Your suffering cross and forgive us our sins, that we may become partakers of Your divine life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Blessings in Christ,
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