Harry and the Heel Grabber

By now you must be wondering how Jacob get's so much space in the first book of the Bible.

His biography stretches from Genesis 25 all the way to chapter 49. We follow him from before the cradle to the grave. Why do you suppose Jacob’s life get’s so much attention?

He sure lived up to his name. His brother had to be nicknamed Harry......don't you think? Jacob means.....Heel grabber or one who deceives. One name had to do with the appearance of Esau. One name had to do with the character of Jacob. It is always curious what parents name their newborns but these names take the cake. Here comes little Heel Grabber.......let's sing Happy Birthday to the cute little deceiver and the hairy, red one.

The biography traces Jacob's roller coaster ride through 11 different locations and 147 years. He summarizes the first part of his life in a desperate prayer. 

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

Did you notice another of the big buts in the Bible? Through all the failures and disappointments Jacob held on to the promise. A few paragraphs later he was commended because "You struggled with God and men and have overcome."

Walking with God is not easy. There are hostile family members, overbearing bosses, unwise decisions, disappointing outcomes. There are some really good days and some really hard days. Like Jacob we have all struggled with God and struggled with men. The key is that he stuck with it. The star of the story is the gracious God who blesses flawed people but remember Jacob was an overcomer.

I will now jump ahead to the end of the book. Look at what Revelation says about those who overcome:

To him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7

He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. Rev. 2:11

To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on it. Rev. 2:17

To him who overcomes I will give authority over the nations. I will also give him the morning star. Rev. 2:26-28

He who overcomes will be dressed in white. I will never erase his name from the book of life. Rev. 3:5

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Rev. 3:12.

To him who overcomes I will give the right to sit with me on my throne. Rev. 3:21

Jacob's story is our story. Flawed characters pursued by a gracious God. Eternity is riding on this. Whatever your circumstances, grab hold of God, don't let go. Join the ranks of the overcomers.