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Living Faith is a Christian blog that interacts with a variety of biblical, theological and practical topics written by Grand Canyon University's College of Theology faculty and specially invited guests of the college. Our content provides practical and biblical advice from a Christian worldview for living our faith in the midst of an increasingly secularized world. In addition, our content wrestles with cultural topics and issues that challenge how we live out our faith as believers. For this reason, contributors to our Christian blog strive to write with compassion and apologetic concern to honor Christ and edify the church in every way possible.
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Category: Jacob Journal
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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

A Dream Come True

Genesis 35:1-15

I was born after my grandfather, Abraham, passed away. I never saw his face. I never heard his voice or was able to speak with him.

But now, as I come to my more mature years, his image is impressed on my soul.

He was a man who lived by a promise. His life was motivated and guided by a deep sense that God had something good for him to do, something good for him to be.

Now I can see that my life has become the same kind of journey – a journey toward a destiny, a promise made by God that guides and motivates. That became clear to me when I returned to Bethel on my way back from Haran to our family home in Canaan.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

The Esau Encounter

Genesis 33:1-20

Pilgrimages are funny things. You set out to find something in life – something that will give you the peace of mind and inner strength you need to survive. Somewhere along the way, you realize that peace and security is found only in God, so your journey takes a new direction, a search for peace with God.

Then, you come to your Bethel, the crisis point, where God finds you and calls you out. You might think that you have finally arrived at the end of the journey, but then you meet your Labans and begin to wonder if there really is peace and security to be found.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

 The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

The All-Night Fight

Genesis 32:1-13, 21-32

As I sit down to write this journal entry, my hip has started hurting again. It’s not that I am getting old—the hip pain is a reminder of an all-night fight I was involved in.

You probably have a scar somewhere on your body that reminds you of a fight you were in or a close call with danger. Old injuries keep coming back in more ways than one. There’s the pain and then there’s the memory.

Fortunately, those two are not the same for me. The memory itself is not a part of the pain.

My all-night fight was the lowest point in my life and the highest point in my journey. Isn’t it odd how one single event can be the best and the worst experience you have ever had?

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

Back to Bethel

Genesis 31:1-13, 17, 18

God can play the name game, too.

This time it wasn’t a young couple naming their newborn sons—it was God Almighty giving himself a name: “I am El Bethel,” translated in the record as the God of Bethel.

He has never in my experience called Himself by that name since that first time in Haran. It is a unique name, one I believe He used just for me and just for that time in my life. It was a time in my life when I was looking for faith—for my own faith and my own relationship with God.

And, of course, God was there.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

The Deceived Deceiver

Genesis 29:1-6, 14-30

If Haran was anything, it was a time for growing up. Of course, like most young adults, I had assumed that leaving home and getting out on my own meant that I had already grown up.

But life has a way of handling deceivers, those who think they have it made, who think they can finagle their way into or out of anything.

One of my fellow shepherds, who moved into the area from another culture, would use the word hubris. “Hubris!” he would say. “You are young, and you think you know everything. You wait and see.”

I guess hubris means something like pride. But to a person like me, who had made the vow to get what he wanted and succeed despite the odds, hubris seemed absolutely essential. In reality, I was just “finagling” myself, fooling myself.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

Bargaining at Bethel

Genesis 28:10-22

Let’s review. I am Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah. You probably remember that part.

I was born in conflict – with my brother, with my parents, with myself. I am a deceiver, not just because my name says so, but because I have lived a life of deception, stealing from my family.

What has it all come to? My brother hates me and wants to kill me. My parents have decided to send me away.

The only good part is that I am now out on my own, although it is very sudden. I am out on the road by myself. Alone. I have no idea what is going to happen next.

That’s me so far in this story. Quite a story, isn’t it?

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

Genesis 27:30-28:5

The Freedom of the Blessed

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

Was it a coincidence that I left home for the first time only after I had received a blessing from my father? I had never been away from the tent more than a day at a time and then seldom had I ventured far.

Although I had stolen the blessing and had to leave in a hurry to try to escape the murderous wrath of my brother, Esau, I still felt a strange assurance. I was afraid of what Isaac might think, afraid of what might meet me on the journey, but still not afraid to leave, to be out on my own.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

Genesis 27:1-29

Stealing the Blessing

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

Have you heard the phrase, “The eternal child?”

To me, this means that a person never grows up completely. We may try to leave childhood behind, but childhood never leaves us. Even at 40 years old, my young adult years, I was still a child in many ways. (In our culture, young men seldom become independent and leave the family before the age of 40 or 45.)

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

Genesis 25:29-34

The Red Stew Incident

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

All the world for a sip of soup!

That’s exactly what I thought when one day, in our youthful years, Esau demanded that I give him some of the “red stuff,” as he called it. Please forgive the language, but I said to myself, “You jerk! You would give the world for this ‘stuff’ and you don’t even know what it is!”

Ah, I am a little ahead of myself. Perhaps I should back up and explain the whole affair.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

Genesis 25:24-28

When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. (Genesis 25:24-26)

Childhood—The Vow

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah. 

Have you ever wished you could scrap everything and start over?

This happens especially when you get wise enough to look back and see where you went wrong. You and I both know that can’t happen in a pure and simple way. God sure does have a way of correcting former mistakes though. Herein are my thoughts about what went wrong.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

And the Lord said unto 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. (Genesis 25:23)

The Conception: How Quickly Things Go Wrong

The Jacob Journal is a reflection on the life and times of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah. For background on this journal, please read The Jacob Journal: Introduction.

My name is Jacob. My father is Isaac, son of Abraham. My mother is Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean. I have a twin brother named Esau, who was born first. This is my family.

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By Mike Baird
Faculty, College of Theology

During the next few weeks, you will be introduced to the “Jacob Journal,” an imaginative investigation into the inner workings of the spiritual journey of the biblical character of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah.

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