Lessons from the life of Jacob – 3

I hope readers will forgive my continued references to my new book, Torn, Jacob’s Story. Writing it occupied parts of several years, and its imminent publication keeps it on my mind.

And, it’s a very complex and intriguing story, one of the foundational stories of our faith, that reveals much about the way God works with us.

One thing that I find fascinating to consider, when entering into Jacob’s world, is just how little-known was the God we worship today. We read the phrase, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” today and it resonates with centuries of devotion. But in Jacob’s day– it was one family of three sheep and goat herders! Now, that is mind-blowing for me.

Today, more than a billion people consider themselves Christians, worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Millions of Jews worship Him, too. But there was a time when His followers consisted of a very, very few.

This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings from Mother Theresa. “Our goal is not success, but faithfulness.” Given the tens of thousands who worshiped other gods, the strife within his own family, and that he left them in a land where they would become slaves, Jacob does not seem very successful. But–despite failing and falling–he remained faithful. and because he did, we have his example, all of the history that followed–even the Bible was preserved by his descendants.

We will not all be successful, as the world counts success, but if we are faithful–one day we’ll get to discuss it with Jacob himself!

IF you’d like to read an excerpt from Torn, where Rachel discusses this with Jacob, here.


Lessons from the life of Jacob – 3 — 3 Comments

  1. Maybe a tad off-track, but it’s worth noting that Israel of the OT focused on God’s attributes when they thought of Him. They had personal knowledge of Who He was. God was not synonymous with Sir or Mister, as it seems to be today. One way they kept alive this understanding was to frequently address Him by His attributes: Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rophe, etc. They were not just praying, “Dear God/Sir…”, they were praying, “Dear God our Provider…our Healer….our Shepherd…” When being so personally addressed, I can see why El Shaddai was able to make Himself so personally known!

    • Thanks. While sales would be nice, I write to be read. I hope that Torn helps people more fully appreciate the richness, depth, and subtlety of the biblical narrative.

      That’s what hit me as I wrote it.

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