Monday, October 25, 2010

Facing Your Past

"And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok." Gen 32:22

Have you ever met someone who was just so much trouble that whenever they were around you kept one hand on your wallet, and the other on your car keys? Afraid that they might feel free to help themselves to whatever belonged to you, without concern or concience? You never let them alone in any room of your house, afraid that they'll leave with everything but the kitchen sink?

Well, Jacob was "that guy". Nobody was safe from his deceit and dishonesty. Not his brother, his father, or his father-in-law. No one was off limits when it came to Jacob getting what he wanted. By hook or crook, he took what he wanted.

The thing about time is that sometimes it has an unforgiving memory, just like the peole we harm. Jacob had to find this out the hard way.

Several years had passed since Jacob had tricked his brother Esau out of his inheritance, and took his birthrite. He was now an old man with several wives, eleven sons, and a household all his own. However, this didn't change Esau's feelings about the wrongs Jacob did to him, and he was out for revenge.

Jacob was camped along the River Jabbok when his brother Esau sent word that he was coming for him. This had to have struck fear into Jacob's heart. After all, he thought he had put plenty of distance and time between the two of them. And now he's coming up behind him? With his bigger, stronger brother Esau on one side, the riverbank on the other and his mind racing 100MPH, Jacob did the only thing he could do...

The 'ford Jabbok' that verse 22 speaks of is translated as ford=overwhelming, Jabbok=wrestle. In other words, it was Jacobs 'overwhelming wrestle'. What an appropriate name for a place where Jacob was forced to confront his past.

You see, no matter how much you change you must pay the consequences for your actions. Whether it's immediate, ten years, or a lifetime down the road a price must be paid in order to right a wrong. For every action there's a reaction. It just may not always be immediate.

The good news for Christians though is that we don't have to face the consequences of our past. We don't have to pay a price. It's already been paid for us. We have a mediator in Christ. Because of his intercession, we don't have to fear the sins of our past that are sneaking up on us.

There's a saying that says that people either smile everywhere you go, or they only smile whenever you go. The choice is going to be yours. Are you like Jacob and be filled with deceit, lies, and trickery or are you going to be like Christ, who is love, respect, and worthy of admiration?

The choice is yours. Will we smile when you come, or when you go?

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