Today is traditionally the day that the patriarch, Jacob, died. It is recorded in Genesis 49:29 & 33:
“Then he charged them and said to them: ‘I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,’ …And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.”
Jacob endured many hardships during his lifetime and, with the help of God, overcame many obstacles and adversaries. His struggle began in his mother’s womb, having to contend with the one who proved to be a life-long foe, Esau. His brother’s anger eventually forced him to flee his home and go into exile, simply because he respected the covenant God had made with his family through his grandfather, Abraham.
While in exile, in order to marry the woman he loved, he was subjected to abuse and baseless accusation by his relatives. Eventually, their hostility toward him forced Jacob to flee from them. As he was making his way back to his father’s house, he had to stop and bury the love of his life along a roadside. For two decades, he lived separated from his beloved son thinking he had been savagely killed and destroyed by a wild animal and finally, at the end of his life, he died in a strange land.
If there was ever anyone could say, “I’ve had a rough life and had to endure many hardships,” that person was Jacob. Yet, notice what he says of his life after all of that:
“The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” (Genesis 49:26).
At the end of his life, his final words were not about hardships or defeats but a testimony of blessings and victories. We should all take a lesson from this man; hardships are going to come our way – there is no way around that. Messiah said:
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Because He has already gone before us and overcome everything this world can throw at a person, we can, with His help, overcome every hardship. If we remain committed to our Father’s purpose for our life and His kingdom, we can see all of our disappointments turned into victory.