Trial of Jacob

The first trial of David is how he toiled for 14 years just to have the wife of his dreams.

(Gen 29:18-30 NIV)  Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” {19} Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” {20} So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. {21} Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.” {22} So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. {23} But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. {24} And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant. {25} When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” {26} Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. {27} Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” {28} And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. {29} Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant. {30} Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Jacob could go through this trial because he had perseverance. If he had given up after seven years, he would never have gotten what he wanted. Likewise a farmer toils for a long time before he sees a harvest. We cannot expect to sow and reap in the same day. We need to have the perseverance that Jacob had to strive for our dreams.

(Heb 12:1 NIV)  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

The next trial of Jacob also concerns perseverance. All night Jacob wrestles with a divine man. This was probably one of Jesus’ physical appearances on earth before His incarnation. Will Jacob give up or will he persist until he receives what he wants?

(Gen 32:24-28 NIV)  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. {25} When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. {26} Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” {27} The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. {28} Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

Jacob would not let go until the man he was wrestling with had blessed him. When we encounter struggles in our life, do we give up easily or do we strive until we see results?

Just as Jacob struggled with God through wrestling with the man, we also “struggle” with God when we continue to bring our requests to Him despite not seeing immediate results.

(Luke 18:1 NIV)  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Another thing we can learn from Jacob is that in his trial, he seeks for a blessing. Many of our trials are blessings in disguise. We will not know that until we look back and see how the Lord has indeed blessed us and prepared us for greater things. Let’s look at our trials through the eyes of faith. Have faith that this trial was allowed by God for our good.