"Jacob's Trouble" study notes, 2/20/11, Pastor Dan

STUDY NOTES  from Sunday February 20, 2011


“Jacob’s Trouble”

SCRIPTURE TEXT:  Jeremiah 30:7


God made a covenant with Abraham.  He continued that covenant through Isaac and through Jacob.  Jacob was the Grandson of Abraham.  Abraham’s life was a journey of faith.  So were Isaac’s and Jacob’s.  They all had their challenges.  But Jacob had a lot of trouble in his life:


  1. His brother Esau wanted to kill him for stealing his father Isaac’s Blessing even though it was his from birth.
  2. His uncle Laban cheated him and made him work 14 years for his two wives.
  3. Laban changed his wages ten times.
  4. On his way back to Canaan after twenty years, two wives and 11 children, he learns his brother Esau is coming with 400 men.  He is afraid Esau will kill him, so he prepares a present for Esau ahead of time of cattle and gifts.
  5. On his entering into the land, his daughter Dinah is defiled and his sons to get revenge kill the Schechemites not leaving one man alive and taking the women and children as captives.  Jacob fears this will bring repercussions from the surrounding peoples, but God allows the terror of God to be upon them and they don’t harm Jacob.
  6. On the way to Bethlehem his beloved wife Rachel dies in childbirth giving birth to Benjamin.
  7. Of course, the greatest of Jacob’s trouble was in the alleged loss of his second youngest son, Joseph whom his brothers had thrown into a pit.  Joseph was carried away into Egypt, falsely accused and thrown into prison, until it was God’s time to interpret Pharoah’s dream, become second in command in Egypt and be in charge of storing grain during seven good years in preparation for the seven years of famine soon to follow.




The Answer:  God was with him.  Jacob was in covenant agreement with God.  He was destined to be a carrier of the covenants and promises God made to Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed.


Upon fleeing from home and going to Laban he lay down and slept and had a dream of a ladder reaching to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it with the Lord above the ladder.  God speaks to him saying He has promised this land to him and to Abraham.  God would cause him to return to the land.  Jacob was in line for blessing.  He calls the place Bethel, the House of God, saying God was in this place.  He then makes a tithe covenant with God.


Secondly, on his return from Laban back to Canaan, he is all alone.  That night he wrestled with an angel of the Lord and prevails over him and asks for a blessing.  The angel; gives him a name change. He changes his name from Jacob, supplanter, cheater, to Israel, a prince of God. 


Jeremiah 30:7 describes Jacob’s life and journey one of trouble, trials, complexities and challenges, but says, He shall be saved out of it.  Because Jacob had trouble it did not mean he was out of the will of God.  Near the end of Jacob’s life, his heart is revived upon learning his son Joseph is alive and a prince in Egypt.  He finds himself standing before King Pharoah of Egypt and giving him a blessing.


One thing that can be said of Jacob is that he learned God in his lifetime.  Jacob had distinct encounters with God.  His revelation of God was not an imaginary idea.  It was real.  It was personal.  It affected his life, his perspective and his decisions.  We should expect encounters with the Lord, seek Him with all our heart and revel in his goodness, His greatness and His Divine Plan for our lives.


Jacob’s life is a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  When God is with us, we can face anything.  The challenge is to trust him always.  If Jesus is “in your boat” you are safe!  With Jesus in your life with you, he is the Fourth Man in the Fire.  As with Jacob, He will deliver you out of all your troubles.