February 6 – Remember Former Blessings in Hard Times

Just because we are blessed does not mean we will live life free of hard times.  We see in the life of Jacob that some of his young adult children made some bad choices that led to bad consequences and challenging times, yet God did not leave Jacob.  God faithfully led Jacob.  He was told by God to move once more to Bethel and to build an altar where he had lived back in the day of the blessing from his father Isaac.  When they arrived, God appeared to him again and blessed him. Restating what was told to Jacob during the all-night wrestling match, he was told by God, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.”   Another pillar was set up, like the time after Jacob’s dream of the stairway, and with wine poured over it, Israel worshipped God. The recording of God’s Story goes back and forth sometimes calling Jacob, “Jacob” and at other times “Israel”.  I wonder what name his wives used to call him by?

After God described the promise of a great nation with great land, Israel and his family moved on toward Bethlehem.  On the way there, Benjamin was born but he lost Rachel, the wife he loved most, as she gave birth to his twelfth and last son.  Israel held a brand new baby instead of the love of his life.  This unexpected death must have been devastating.  Even though we are blessed we will not be exempt from times of suffering.  The world is a fallen, broken one, but remember, God is over this world and He gives us hope.

Genesis 35:9b-10 NIV