by Christopher Harbin

That Others Might Live
Christopher B. Harbin
Genesis 32:22-31; Isaiah 55:1-5; Mat 14:13-21; Rom 9:1-5

Jesus gave his life that others might live. Are we willing to do the same?

So many of our Biblical heroes are messed up characters. Jacob’s is a colorful history, and that very history brings him to the quandary in today’s story. We read of Jacob’s wrestling match with God, but there is much more to it. His struggle was first of all with his own history and doings. Having begun life as a deceiver, he had left home with his brother ready to repay his actions with revenge. Now on his return, he is responsible for more than his own life. He returns with an entourage of servants, flocks, wives, and children. He must think of more than himself as he makes contact once again with his estranged brother.

On one level, Jacob wrestles with God, on another level, he wrestles with his brother and others. On quite another level, Jacob wrestles with himself. The struggle with his brother is of his own doing. His struggle with God begins with his own response, as well. His struggle with others has much to do with his own character.

Jacob’s history with his brother takes the forefront of the scene in Genesis 32. He had tricked his brother and manipulated him such that he had earlier fled home for his life. His deeds had caught up with him and he could expect to receive a welcome fitting the character of his own actions in the past. I dealing with this history come back to haunt his present, he must determine how he will live and operate for the future. He has the opportunity to continue living life for his own benefit at the expense of others. He has the opportunity to trust God as he lives for others, putting their needs ahead of his own.

Jacob has no control over Esau’s response. There is little reason for God to intervene to help him in this encounter. There in only God’s promise to his grandfather Abraham and himself. Trickery and underhand ...

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