The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by Watchman Nee


Let us begin with the first section of Jacob’s history. What was Jacob’s nature? What kind of person was he? We can learn about Jacob’s nature from Genesis 25 through 27.

Struggling within His Mother’s Womb

How was Jacob born? "And the children struggled together within her" (Gen. 25:22). This was Jacob. This was his nature. God’s Word shows us that Jacob was totally different from Isaac. Isaac was an ordinary man. Everything with him came in the way of enjoyment; he inherited everything. But Jacob was a wicked and crafty person. He was calculating and clever; he could and would do anything. He had both shrewdness and ability. This was Jacob. But God was able to make Jacob His vessel to fulfill His goal. Isaac shows how one enjoys God’s grace, while Jacob shows how one suffers under God’s carving work.

God’s Word shows that Jacob was not only wrong in the things he did; he was wrong in the kind of person he was. Not only did he dishonor God’s name in the things that he did, but as a person he brought dishonor to God’s name. He was a problem even when he was still in his mother’s womb. He became a problem before his eyes saw the first glimpse of daylight. His wickedness began from his mother’s womb. Rebekah prayed and asked God what was happening in her womb, and God said to her, "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" (v. 23). When Rebekah delivered, she indeed had twins. The first one to come out was Esau, and his brother came after him, holding Esau’s heel. His name was therefore called Jacob, which means supplanter. Jacob did not want Esau to be great; he wished that Esau would have waited a little. Therefore, he took hold of Esau’s heel. This was the kind of person Jacob was from the beginning.

In the eyes of man, Esau was an honest man. It was too much for Jacob to supplant his brother the way that he did. What can such a man be good for? This is Jacob from the natural point of view. However, from Romans 9, we find that the real issue between Esau and Jacob was God’s selection. God said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (v. 13). God had chosen Jacob to be His vessel.

Therefore, we have to learn to trust in God’s selection. We have to learn to believe that God can bring us to perfection. God never gives up on anything halfway through. He is the Alpha, and He is the Omega; He is the beginning and the end. Since He has chosen and initiated, will He not complete His work? If God has chosen us, we have to learn to trust and commit ourselves into His hand. In God’s good time, He will bring us to perfection. This was Jacob’s case. God chose such a one as Jacob.

Many brothers and sisters have said, "I am a hard person to deal with!" Those who speak in this way need the God of Jacob. We may be hard to deal with, but if God could deal with Jacob, He can deal with us. Moreover, we have to realize that Jacob did not seek God; rather, God sought Jacob. While Jacob was still in his mother’s womb, God selected him. Hence, if we know God’s selection, we can put ourselves in God’s bosom; we can cast ourselves upon Him and trust that He will bring us to the point where we will be pleasing to Him.

(The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)