Consider the first 130 years of Jacob’s life before he stands before Pharoah and says these words “few and evil have been the years of my life”
- spends months fighting with twin brother before he’s born
- grew up as 2nd best compared to Esau, Esau was Isaac’s favorite son
- Hated- Brother wants to kill him – Jacob runs away from family in fear of his life
- Deceived – Tricked by uncle Laban – Works 7 years for Rachel, the one he loves, only to be tricked by uncle Laban and wakes up with her sister, Leah, instead
- Deceived – Forced to work another 7 years for uncle Laban for Rachel
- Deceived- Uncle Laban changes his wages 10x
- Not treated fairly -works 6 more years (20 in total) for uncle Laban for livestock
- Affliction: Jacobs reply: “There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes. Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
- Fighting -married to 2 sisters who are in constant competition, so much he gets angry with Rachel
- Hated- by Laban’s sons and Laban seems extremely jealous and angry with him when Jacob leaves
- Sorrow-Accidently curses his wife Rachel, the one he loves, to die
- Pain- Gets in an all night wrestling match with the Lord/Angel of the Lord
- Pain- Lord throws his hip out of joint, he walks the rest of his days with a limp
- Fear- confronts his brother Esau in great fear, but his life is spared
- Sorrow- Wife Rachel soon dies after the words spoken over her to die, as she gives birth to Benjamin
- Sorrow- His father , Isaac, dies soon after Rachel
- Disgrace/Humiliation-His first-born son, Reuben sleeps with his wife, who was Rachel’s servant. This was the ultimate disgrace to Rachel’s grave, an act by Leah’s family
- Disgrace – His 2nd and 3rd sons Levi and Simeon deceive a city and ruthlessly murder all the males which greatly upsets and disturbs Jacob
- Aggravation- His older sons bully his young son Joseph, by Rachel. You can imagine the constant fighting and upset between the 10 brothers against Joseph and the discord that Jacob had to endure.
- Deep Sorrow- Jacob’s beloved son, Joseph, is killed by a wild animal – or so he thinks..His very own sons wanted to kill Joseph but decide to sell him as a slave
- Jacob has lost the love of his life, his father and his beloved son-
- Famine- at age 128-130 a great famine comes upon the land and he and all his family are about to die.
- Deceived -at age 130 finds out that his sons lied to him and actually sold Joseph as a slave 23 years earlier
- Death at age 147
Let’s be clear – Jacob’s life and some of his decisions weren’t so great. ( he stole, lied, deceived, his wife Leah was unloved so…., he also fought with God and man) However, he was a man fully blessed by God even though, from our worldly view, he didn’t seem to be. God always protected him and was there along his walk of life.
“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”
His blessing from Isaac (stolen from Essau)
Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!”
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
4 And give you the blessing of Abraham,
To you and your descendants with you,
That you may inherit the land
In which you are a stranger,
Which God gave to Abraham.”
“I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth;
you shall spread abroad to the west and the east,
to the north and the south;
and in you and in your seed
all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,
and will bring you back to this land;
for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
God helps Jacob again:
Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.
So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim
God speaks to Jacob again:
Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.
Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.