October 29, 2022
“Then Jacob said, ‘God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, “Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper...”
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“Then Jacob said, ‘God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, “Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,” I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps.” Genesis 32:9-10
There are many instances throughout the Tanakh (Old Testament) involving “staff” imagery. Perhaps, the three significant instances are Moses, Jacob, and Judah.
In the days of the patriarchs, the staff was essential. It was both a sign of prominence and a defense in the wilderness. A man could lean on it when traveling on a long journey. In Biblical imagery, the staff represented man’s “support system” and how he got through life.
Take the story of Moses. God told him to throw his staff on the ground. Once it hit the ground, Moses’ staff became a snake. The snake represented that Moses’ way of getting through life was sin. God then asked Moses to pick up the snake, which exposed Moses’ fear of trusting the Lord. When Moses took hold of the snake, it became a staff again…but now it was God’s staff.
There is power in that kind of staff! Anyone who’s seen the “10 Commandments” movie knows God’s staff beats the best man-made staff any day!
When Jacob crossed over the Jordan “with his own staff,” he became “two camps” spiritually and literally. He was double-minded. He wanted to follow the Lord but in his own way. Of course, that’s not following the Lord! And God was about to teach him that very lesson.
Elijah gave us a good definition of being double-minded.
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal [Lucifer], then follow him.’” 1 Kings 18:2
We must realize the battle is not over following the Lord’s way or ours. It is over heeding God’s voice or Satan’s.
Later that evening, Jacob wrestled with God. When the Bible says Jacob “overcame,” it doesn’t mean he defeated the Lord. That is impossible. The Lord was trying to shake Jacob loose, to see if Jacob would let go…forcing Jacob to choose Him through adversity. And Jacob WOULD NOT LET GO! Nor should we. Jacob decided to become single-minded and fully follow the Lord. Have you?