When Jacob is coming back to his own land and knows he will encounter Esau, he becomes afraid and understandably so. Jacob tricked his brother out of both his birthright and blessing. For all he knows, the skilled hunter, will kill him and his family. And that is why Jacob prays. But he doesn’t just pray, he also reminds God of His promise.
It is not that God is forgetful or needs reminding. It is for our benefit, to strengthen our faith in God. This is one of the main reasons that God gives us His prophetic word. So that when everything is screaming, “It’ll never happen!” you can rely on God’s word. Jacob could say, “Okay…it looks like my big bro is going to take me out for what I did, but Lord God Almighty, You told me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you.’So, I am going to choose to trust you.”
Reminding God of His word is biblical. I think of one of the most powerful passages in Scripture where the Lord tells us to remind him of His promise.
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Is. 62:6-7)
The Hebrew would be better translated “they will never be silent day or night, those whoREMIND the Lord.” The word that the NIV translates as “call” is “Mazkir” which means to remind. And in this case, just like with Jacob, Jerusalem is not living up to her calling, which is to be a “praise in the earth.” Jerusalem has an anointing, a calling to bring blessing to the world. But presently she is the source of great controversy. She is not the City of Peace or “praise in all the earth” and, in the natural, it doesn’t look like it will come to pass any time soon.
So, believers from around the world serve as “watchmen on the walls”. The Lord says to these watchmen:
- Remind me of my promise to Jerusalem.
- Give me no rest until I do it.
Okay, that is Jerusalem…but let’s return to the personal—to Jacob’s experience. Jacob was being tested. God was sending him in a very scary direction. In the natural, it was a direction that could bankrupt him in every way. His wives could be abused. His children could be enslaved. So in this insecurity, he reminds Yahweh— “You told me to do this and it would end up good, so I am trusting you.” And in so doing, Jacob’s faith is strengthen. In the end, Esau greets Jacob as a brother, not an enemy. The Lord gives Jacob great favor with his brother.
So, what are you facing today? Is the Lord leading you into uncharted territory? Is it scary? Remind the Lord of what He promises—both His personal prophetic word to your heart and the plethora of promises in His word.
For me, just this morning, I was with a friend. God has a great call on his life and opened a mighty door. But there are few Esau encounters before him. We were able to find courage and strength in the Lord, by remembering the incredible prophetic confirmation that led him down this road. We recounted some of them to remind us, “God is with us, there is nothing to fear, the battle is the Lord’s.” No, the Lord had not forgotten, we needed reminding!
So let me encourage you not to give up. God has a plan. Remind Him of His promise to you.
by RON CANTOR