This week at Cornerstone Youth we dove into the story of Jacob. We got a bit of backstory on Jacob last week when we learned about him stealing Esau’s birthright and blessing. This led to Jacob having to flee from his family to Laban who would give him employment and Rachel and Leah to marry (not in that order). After years of being swindled by Laban, Jacob decides it is time to go back to his father. This leads to him reuniting with Esau and reestablishing himself in the land of Canaan.
In the senior high group, we focused in on two of Jacob’s prayers. One before he goes to Laban (Gen. 28:20-22) and after his time there (Gen. 32:9-12). These prayers show how Jacob’s faith changes over time. His first prayer is a conditional commitment to God, but his second prayer recognizes his own unworthiness and God being at the center of everything Jacob has accomplished.
In the passage that follows God renames Jacob, giving him a new identity. This new identity that follows a transition of faith is similar to what happens in our lives as believers today. When we recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ that we have any hope of relationship with God, he restores us and calls us his children. This changes the way we see and interact with everything in our lives. Everything, from our relationships with friends to the way we do our school work, it is all new in Christ, and, as God’s children, we also get to cry out to him in times of pain and in our struggles. This is an awesome opportunity that we could not have experienced unless Christ came and died for our sins.
In the same way that it took a recognition of faith for Jacob to experience this change in identity, we also have to recognize that the only way to God as our Father is through Christ, his son.
- Who does God say we are through Christ?
- What is encouraging about thinking of ourselves as God’s children?
- What areas of our lives do we tend to not trust God fully?