Read Genesis 32:1-21
Chipping Away At Self-Sufficiency
Did you notice anything in Genesis 32 that is out-of-character for Jacob? A man who has trusted in his own power for so long, even after meeting God in a vision (Genesis 28:10-22). A man who relied on cunning and deception to get what he wanted (or what he thought he needed). But now, he prays to God. Facing what he expected would be the wrath of his brother Esau, Jacob turns to the One whose power had blessed him time after time.
Observe what Jacob says about himself in this prayer. “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown” (Genesis 32:10). Is that a hint of humility we see?
“I am not worthy”—words that all of us should utter to the Lord every morning when we wake up, and every night as we lay down!
“I am not worthy”—words that we should remember before we approach the throne of God in prayer!
“I am not worthy”—words that should stifle every complaint before such vibrates the vocal cords and leaves our lips!
Finally, Jacob acknowledges the grace and mercy of God. Finally, Jacob concedes his own weakness. Perhaps he has not yet reached the final destination in his journey of faith (who among us has?), but finally he is on his way.
Jacob confesses to God that he is afraid. “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children” (Genesis 32:11). What a blessing it is to be able to give God our concerns, even when those concerns show a lack of trust and faith. Jacob had already rehearsed God’s promise (Genesis 32:9), but he still feared for his life.
Jacob follows the exact pattern of prayer that Peter suggests: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). Do you follow this pattern in your prayers?