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Godís chosen examples.
When God calls you must answer, my Baptist preacher bellows from his pulpit. Everyone has a purpose on this earth, but God has chosen a special few to help him carry out his divine plan, he continues. Countless Sunday mornings I spent listening to my pastor preaching about manís encounters with God. He explains the significance of the encounters to the people of antiquity and he even relates the encounters to our every day lives. If one has met with God and seen His glory he is truly blessed. My pastor is correct no man has walked away from an encounter with God without being blessed, or the experience altering his life. Each divine experience occurs under very different circumstances, but all of them end with man having a better understanding of his purpose on this earth. The character could wrestle with the Lord and demand a blessing, like Jacob, or like Moses he could have been drawn to God by his own curiosity. The Lord came to Elijah when he was at the lowest point of his life and he wanted nothing more than to die, and He blessed him. Isaiah volunteered to help God to teach to the people of Israel, and the Lord blessed Isaiah for his enthusiasm. Jobís encounter with God is a combination of each of the above experiences. His experience exemplifies the individual relationship with God. The encounters with God may appear to be similar and indeed they do have common elements, but there is an important difference in the way God selects each character to fulfill his mission. In the early encounters, God selects the individuals. He calls and they answer. Towards the end the accounts however, the characters go in search for Godís blessing, unlike their early counterparts they demand or challenge God and their enthusiasm is rewarded. The different episodes show the gradual change between God and humanity. Throughout the accounts in the Bible God has loses favor with man, and this loss of favor is due chiefly to manís failure to obey Godís laws. Godís selection of His chosen people reflects clearly Godís love for the early patriarchs. God did love the later characters, but towards the end of the accounts God loses a tremendous amount of faith in humanity. Nonetheless the God does bless all whom He encounters, and His presence to each character helps to clarify the characterís purpose in life. Therefore, no matter how one is selected each character will receive a mission, promise and of course a blessing.
First was Jacob; he was a descendent of a long line of pious men. He was the son of Isaac and the bearer of a covenant between God and his people. Jacob, like the angel of the Lord predicted, was the ruler over his brother Essauís tribe; Jacobís sons would later make up the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob fled his homeland, in fear of percussion because he allegedly tricked his brother out of his birthright. He went to Haran back to his motherís tribe to seek asylum, and he met his wives Rachel and Leah. Jacob built a great clan with the help of God and defeated Laban and became the head of the family. Many years passed and God smiled upon Jacob, a man of great standing, but he was yet to receive his true blessing. On Jacobís way home before he met his brother Essau, Jacob encountered a man and fought with Him. ď ÖSomeone wrestled with him until day break and he could not master him, struck him in the hip socketÖ (Genesis 32). Although Jacob was clearly hurt he never relinquished his fight, ď I will not let you go until you bless me,Ē Jacob repliedÖ (Genesis 32).Ē Jacob had the first physical encounter with God, and he wrestled with Him and refused to let go until he was blessed. God did bless Jacob at dawn on the riverbank . He renamed him Israel because, ď[He has] shown his strength against God and men and have prevailedÖ (Genesis 32).Ē Jacob was a good example of what my Pastor called wanting Godís blessing so much that you will even fight for it. Jacob fought for his true blessing
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Book of Genesis, Jacob, God in Judaism, Angels in Judaism, God, Vayetze, Toledot
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