So far in our journey, Jacob has manipulated his brother for the birth right, deceived his dad into getting the blessing, and it hits him. His brother is going to kill him. So he runs away. He runs to his uncles territory, where he meets Rachel his cousin. He kisses her and makes an agreement to marry her. Clearly he is from Arkansas. The agreement is he works 7 years to pay a bride price to which he agrees. 7 years later it comes time for the wedding and he celebrates… a little too much. He starts talking cursive and he accidentally marries Rachel’s older sister Leah. However he does not recognize it until the next morning. Rachel’s dad deceives Jacob. Then makes a new agreement, if Jacob works another 7 years he can marry Rachel too. He agrees.
Then the sisters start competing through having kids. To increase their chances they marry their maid servants to Jacob. Now Jacob is married to four different women and over time has 12 sons, not including daughters. Could you imagine the family tension. Jacob’s father in law feels like he has been deceived by some strange business deals and Jacob decides it is time to go. He leaves only to find out his brother is on the way with an army. Jacob has no where to go and his past has finally caught up with him.
I am sure all of us have had the moment where our past seems to label us and determine our future. They change the way we see ourselves in the mirror. So what do we do with the labels of our past? Jacob has a defining moment in his most desperate hour.
Genesis 32:24 This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 “What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
29 “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30 Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”
Jacob wrestled with God in his labels. He was covered in labels from other people, labels he pursued that did not work out, and labels of his past that seem to follow him around. So God shows up and rewrites the labels. That is what he wants to do with you, to take the labels that follow you and rewrite them.
So go to Him now and let Jesus rewrite the labels.
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus