Inflection points – junctures

By Dave Henning / December 2, 2023

“Life comes with inflection points, junctures in which we know our world is about to change.  Events that time-stamp life.  Crossroads that demand a decision. . . .  Everyone has them.  You do.  I do.  Jacob did.  Jacob’s came with a name: Jabbok.”- Max Lucado

“And Jacob went on his way.  Angels of God met him.  When Jacob saw them he said, ‘Oh, God’s camp!’  And he named the place Mahanaim (Campground).”- Genesis 32:1-2 (THE MESSAGE)

In Chapter 8 (“Face-to-face with Yourself”) of God Never Gives Up on You, Max Lucado asserts that Jacob needed Esau’s favor to survive in Canaan.  Yet, while in exile, Jacob must have feared Esau’s rage.  A rage Jacob assumed awaited him upon his return.  As a result, God assured Jacob as He revealed the army of angels surrounding him.

However, even though an army of angels hovered over him, Jacob panicked when messengers told him Esau was on his way to meet him.  With four hundred me!  Hence, Pastor Lucado observes:

“Oh, how Jacob could vacillate.  Communing with angels in one instance, frightened by soldiers the next.  Our hero had more waffles in him than IHOP.  Yet, lest we be too hard on Jacob, . . for the first time that we know of in twenty years, [Jacob] offered a prayer.  And a wonderful prayer it is!”

So, Max notes, Jacob prayed like a man who depends on God’s goodness.  Perhaps he’s learned the Laban lesson.  Because Jacob:

  • reminded God of the promises He made.
  • acknowledged his unworthiness of God’s unfailing grace and faithfulness.
  • gave God credit for his abundant wealth.
  • said, in so many words, If you don’t help me, I’m burnt toast.

Consequently, Jacob kicked into high gear.  In a desperate attempt to avoid a bloodbath, he sent droves of gifts to Esau.  Then Jacob sent everyone else across the river and stayed back to spend the night alone.  At Jabbok.

Today’s question: What inflection points demand(ed) a decision in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The mud of Jabbok – know it?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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