We must come to terms with the fact that our bodies, our dreams, and our goals are all in decline. With this in mind, what temporary things are you tempted to put your hope in? What are a couple examples of how you know that you are finding false hope in these dreams, people, material things, or goals? How can we practically shift our hope to God, the one who is eternal and can be trusted with both our earthly and eternal future?
Jacob’s faith was steady yet unclear; he had a vague understanding of eternity on this side of the cross. We are the ones with more concrete knowledge and understanding of God, yet we still doubt. What are some of the examples of knowledge and understanding that Matt listed out? How do these hold up against your doubts and unbelief?
At the end of your life, there will be unfinished business with your marriage, children, grandchildren, friendships, money, relationships, ministry, work, and even in your own soul. It will take faith to leave things unfinished and undone like Jacob did—not even able to see God's promises come to fruition. Is this concept hard for you to grasp? How does it change the way you see your current day-to-day life? Where might you feel a false sense of control over something that will be left unfinished and in the hands of God?
Looking back on the Jacob series, what has God taught you? What ways can you apply this story to your own life in the days and weeks to come?
Sin never trends in a positive direction.
Jacob reminds Joseph that there were times in his life when God was his strength and Jacob couldn’t be; while Jacob’s strength is temporary, the transcendent strength of God outlives parents and will be with their children always.
In his final moments on this earth, Jacob had a solid understanding that our hope has to be in something else beyond this life—”reaching to the heights of the eternal hills” (Genesis 49:26).
We all want peace, but for peace, there must first be justice. Ultimately, the Lion of Judah will bring forced submission to the nations who have rejected him, bringing justice and resolving abuse, racism, violence, and every other injustice we endure, and then there will be peace.