This week, a verse from the story of Jacob and Esau caught my attention. To give context, Jacob and his mother had just connived to steal Esau’s firstborn blessing by dressing Jacob up in sheep skin so that he felt like and smelled like Esau. So Isaac his father thinking it was Esau asks how come he has returned from hunting so quickly and this was Jacob’s response:
Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied. Gen 27: 20 NIV
Note that Jacob responds by saying, “The lord your God…” now fast forward a few days after. Jacob is running away for his life because his twin brother Esau has figured out that he has stolen his firstborn blessing. As he is journeying it gets dark and so he settles down to sleep and God visits him in a dream. In the dream God introduces himself as such: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac…” Gen 28:13.
Jacob has a personal encounter with God and that changes his view of God. When he wakes up he says: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God…” God was no longer just your God to Jacob but was now taking on a new identity as my God. What a difference a personal encounter with God made!
Dear readers, there is so much value in a personal relationship with God and in knowing him for yourself. It is such a blessed experience that no one can take away from you. This week my sister posted something which I leave with you as a parting thought:
A philosopher once said “Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship-a relationship..Moved to Greece and became a philosophy-a way of thinking…Moved to Rome and became an institution-a place to go…Moved to Europe and became a culture-a way of life…Moved to the rest of the world and became an enterprise-a business…Now it’s just “what we do.” What if we went back to what Christianity really is- a relationship with Jesus, the High and Lifted One who yearns for our friendship? S.T.
Have you had a personal encounter with God or are your experiences of God based on the stories of others? Is he your God or the God of your pastor or some other great man of God? We know that Jacob indeed made God his God because going forward God has been known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Is he your God too? Think about it.