SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- God tells Jacob to go out and worship him again. Jacob meets with God again. God tells Jacob his name is changed to Israel again.
- Next we read about a series of deaths in Jacob’s family. First, Deborah dies. She was Jacob’s mother’s nurse. She was someone who had been in Jacob’s life since he was born. Then Rachel, Jacob’s wife, dies giving birth to a son. Rachel was the woman Jacob was madly in love with so this must have been very difficult. Then lastly, Jacob’s father, Isaac, dies.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God protected Jacob and his household as he went so that none of the other cities residents would attack them.
- We don't know why Jacob hadn’t already been going by his “new” name. Perhaps he didn’t feel worthy of it.
- This is a really tough time in Jacob’s life. His nanny (for lack of a better term), his wife and his father die. Jacob may have been tempted to turn away from God during this time but he didn’t. Life isn’t promised to be free from pain for followers of Jesus. But Jesus does promise to always be there with us to comfort us in our painful times.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Life is full of bad times, but God is always there for us. When we suffer, we can choose to be disappointed with God, or we can turn away and be disappointed without God. God can handle our sadness and even our anger. But we don't want to have to handle doing life, and especially going through the painful times, without Him. Whatever you’re going through right now that feels more than you can bear; take it to God. He wants to be there for you. What do you need to trust God with in your life today?