Genesis 31 & 32: Have You Seen God Face To Face?
Verse of the Day: (32:30) And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
1. Fathers (31:1-35)
And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. (31:3)
Though Jacob was deceived by Laban, his father-in-law, many times, yet he was respectful to him, and continued to serve him, because he feared Isaac, his father, and he truly loved Rachel, his wife. However, when God commanded Jacob to return to the land of his fathers, he finally led his family, servants and flocks back to Canaan. Laban discovered the escape, and he and his brothers pursued and caught them at mount Gilead.
2. Fear (31:36-55)
Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. (31:42)
Laban was angry with Jacob because Jacob did not bid him with a proper settlement and farewell, and he also discovered that his images were stolen from him. (It was Rachel, his daughter, who stole them). Jacob was also angry with Laban as he had served him for 20 years (14 years for his 2 wives, and 6 years for his cattle), yet Laban had not been giving him a fair remuneration. This was why he secretly brought his family and flocks back to Canaan. However, God spoke to Laban in his dream, that he must make a covenant with Jacob (with God as their witness at the heap of stones that they would gather) that Jacob shall only return with his own family, servants and the multitude of flocks, if he would remain faithful to Laban’s 2 daughters. Jacob fully agreed to the covenant, as he was very thankful that God and his fear of Isaac had kept him serving Laban for the last 20 years.
3. Face (32:1-32)
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. (32:28)
Jacob was fearful of Esau, his brother, who sought after his life after Jacob had deceived him of his birth-right and blessings. While Jacob was on his way to make amends for his deceit by presenting Esau with great gifts through his servants, God sent a “man” to wrestle with him one night, that completely changed his life. Jacob was persistent in his struggle, and would not let the “man” go, until his thigh was out of joint, and the “man” told him that God had given him a new name “Israel”, and God shall bless him and his descendants (one of them was none other than the “man”, Jesus, the Saviour). Jacob called the place, Peniel, meaning “I have seen God face to face” as God preserved his life.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I see You face to face as Your Holy Spirit is in me.