North Pointe family,
Can you believe it? Husker football starts on Saturday! For the sake of example only, allow me to paint an awful scenario. What if the Huskers lose their opener to South Alabama? Then they follow that with a heart breaker in Colorado? Then, they come back flat and Northern Illinois shocks them? And then in their despair lose the Big Ten opener to Illinois, a bottom feeder? They follow that loss by getting crushed by Ohio State. How many losses could you take before you give up on the team?
In Sunday’s passage in Genesis 35-36, Jacob suffered a string of losses. But he didn’t lose games, He lost people:
The nurse who raised him (Genesis 35:8)
His beloved wife. (Genesis 35:16-21)
His father. (Genesis 35:27-29)
On top of these losses, Jacob's oldest son, Reuben, had relations with one of his concubines. (Genesis 35:22). Finally, Jacob’s brother, Esau, moved away. (Genesi 36:6-8) So in effect, Jacob lost these people.
Jacob was hemorrhaging relationships What kept him from giving up on life? God did.
He was present in Jacob’s life.
Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-Aram, and He blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. Genesis 35:9-10
And He promised to bless Jacob.
God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you.” Genesis 35:11-12
Whether it is death or moves or busyness, life has a way of taking relationships from us. When our relational losses mount, we don’t have to give up. Like Jacob, God’s presence and His promises will sustain us.