Saturday, February 6, 2010


Saturday after Epiphany 4
February 6, 2010

The Lord be with you

Yesterday, on the Liturgical Calendar used in the LCMS, was the Commemoration of Jacob (Israel), Patriarch. As I didn’t get around to posting something about it yesterday, I thought I’d do so today.

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 means “deceiver,” 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 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.

The picture is of Jacob wrestling with the Angle of the Lord by Rembrandt.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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