Happy New Year. Welcome to 2018.
I am so glad you have been graced to see this New Year. Glory to Jesus. I pray that the excelling peace of Christ shall light every day of this year for you. Amen. If you’ve been an ardent follower of our blog, you would have discovered it has a new theme. We have rebranded it (very 2018, lol) to give you the best reading experience and comfort. Kindly reach out to us if you have any suggestions to make this blog better. Thanks.
Today, we would be considering this topic coming at a very strategic time “A New Beginning” with a deep exposition into the life of Jacob.
It is usually said that Bible never flatter its heroes. It records the good, the bad and the ugly part of their lives. The records of the life of Abraham, David etc. rightly stamps this fact. Man tries to make himself look better than he actually is, but God knows what every man is and he is privy to every intent of man. Jacob was another example of such heroes filled with imperfections and flaws. He wasn’t anything close to a perfect man. His name even means “Supplanter” which means “Deceiver, Uprooter, and Cheater.” However, God gave him a new beginning. God can give you a new beginning too.
We cannot discuss about Jacob’s new beginning without making mention of his past. So let’s read a brief of his history. When Jacob was born, he was not given birth to alone. He was the twin of his brother Esau. Esau came out of their mother’s womb first and the Bible recorded that during birth, Jacob gripped the heel of his brother. Esau grew up to become a hunter and he was preferred by their father Isaac. Jacob on the other hand was his mother’s delight. His mother even plotted with him in deceiving their father.
In the process of time, Jacob deceived his brother and stole his birth right and blessing. He was living up to his scandalous nickname, a world class deceiver. For fear of his brother’s wrath, he ran away from home and on his way he had a vision of the gates of heaven. In his deceitful way he gave God a condition. Let us see from the Bible,
“Gen 28:20 – And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 – So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God….”
Although God still brought this promise to pass, what Jacob was trying to do here was that he was dictating to God. What a man!
He was more concerned with physical blessings and he nursed an ulterior motive. See, in this New Year, we have to stop giving God conditions, we have to put our trust in him completely and follow his instructions because it is then that he will fulfil His promises over our lives. Also, our ulterior motive should not be money and riches when we pray. We have to purge our motives with the word of God.
When Jacob left this place in Genesis 28, he went to his uncle – Laban, a man who was as cunning as he was. He finally met his match. His uncle tricked him into serving him for over 14 years instead of the 7 years he was supposed to use. After his years of service, he and his family secretly left his uncle and embarked on a journey to the land of his father – Isaac. On his journey, he had a life changing encounter. He came in contact with God and God gave him a new beginning. Let us see this from the bible,
“Gen 32:24 – And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25 – And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Gen 32:26 – And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Gen 32:27 – And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Gen 32:28 – And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”
An important phrase I want us to note in this Bible passage is “He was left alone.” That means he had run out of his schemes, he had no cunning strategy to use, he was totally helpless and he was finally broken. He had to come to a point of absolute dependence on God. It is funny how we choose to rely on our wisdom and understanding instead of God, we think we can do things on our own, we often times forget that in him we live and have our being. God is calling onto us this New Year, he is saying to us, “Trust in me, depend on me, I will help you.”
Verses 27 and 28 also presents a noteworthy lesson. When God changes the life of a man, he changes his name. God transformed Jacob and changed his name from Jacob meaning “deceiver” to Israel meaning “may God prevail.” God still does this in our time, when He transforms the life of a sinner, He changes his name from “Sinner” to “Righteous”, from “slave” to “Son.” God is ready to change your name today. He is ready to give you a new beginning. You just have to accept his Lordship over your life. After God changed the name of Jacob, he brought him to the place of fulfilment – his promised land. God also wants to take you to your promised land. Don’t venture on the journey of 2018 yourself, place your trust in him. Wait for his word. The Bible says,
“Isa 26:3 – Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Do you want perfect peace today? Do you want to start the journey of 2018 with Christ? Say this prayer with me:
Father, I come to you today. I ask that you forgive me all my sins. I am sorry for living my life the way I want in the past years. Forgive me of all my sins. I want you to be the Lord and Saviour of my life. I want you to lead me in 2018. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Welcome to your New Beginning. Proceed into 2018 with God-confidence, trust in him every day. You are blessed.
Thanks for joining us today. Kindly share this post with all your family and friends. And see you again on Thursday. Bye.