Genesis 32 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“Then Jacob said, ‘G_d of my father Abraham, and G_d of my father Isaac, the L_rd who said to me, “Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,” I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps.” Genesis 32: 9-10

There are many instances, throughout the Tanakh, involving “staff” imagery. Perhaps, the three major instances are: Moses, Jacob, and Judah.

In the days of the patriarchs, the staff was essential. It was both a sign of prominence and a defense in the wilderness. A man could lean on it when traveling on a long journey. In Biblical imagery, the staff represented a man’s “support system”, how he got through life.

Take the story of Moses. G_d told him to throw his staff on the ground. Once it hit the ground, Moses’ staff became a snake. The snake represented that Moses’ way of getting through life was sin. G_d then asked Moses to pick up the snake, which represented Moses’ fear of trusting the L_rd. When Moses took hold of the snake, it became a staff again…but now it was God’s staff.

There is power in that kind of staff! Anyone who’s seen the “10 Commandments” movie knows G_d’s staff beats the best of man-made staffs, any day!

When Jacob crossed over the Jordan “with his own staff”, he became “two camps”: both spiritually and literally. He was double minded. He wanted to follow the L_rd, but in his own way. Of course, that’s not following the L_rd! And G_d was about to teach him that very lesson.

Elijah gave us a good definition of double-mindedness.

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the L_rd be G_d, follow him: but if Baal [Lucifer], then follow him.’” 1 Kings 18:2

We must realize the battle is not over following the L_rd’s way or ours. It is over heeding G_d’s voice or Satan’s.

Later that evening, Jacob wrestled with G_d. When the Bible says Jacob “overcame”, it doesn’t mean he defeated the L_rd. That is impossible. The L_rd was trying to shake Jacob loose, to see if Jacob would let go…forcing Jacob to choose Him through adversity. And Jacob OULD NOT LET GO! Nor, should we. Jacob decided to become single-minded and fully follow the L_rd. Have you?

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, February 11, 2014