Peter Woods

Jacob series

Jacob Series

I started a series on Jacob, the Old Testament patriarch, in 2003 and have added to it from time to time – it is far from complete. There are more works I thought I had ‘finished’ but I want to revisit them in the studio before they appear on the website.  Jacob seems in many ways to be an every-man. Deeply flawed, distant from his father, tied to his mother’s ambitions, rival to his brother, lonely, attracted to women, of strong emotions, hard-working, struggles in his relationship with God and in choosing the right path, Jacob is a man who makes some bad decisions in significant relationships. His foundational  offence is cheating his brother Esau out of the blessing from their father, and this dogs him throughout his life. Yet there is progress in his journey. He reveals development, acceptance, spiritual encounter, reconciliation, connection with destiny, family pain and family forgiveness. Jacob’s life has all the drama of being a fallen human in search of God and a yearning for a right path when many wrong turns have been taken. Jacob has many supernatural experiences, but the wrestle described in Genesis 32 is the strangest, and one of the most enigmatic stories in the Bible. After finally escaping from his father-in-law Laban’s control, Jacob’s only choice is to return home and to meet his brother Esau. But has he gone from the frying pan into the fire? And then, alone, Jacob wrestles all night with a mysterious being.   Is the moral that God meets us at a point of repentance, returning with candour to ‘the scene of  the crime’? And is it after all a wrestle not of condemnation but of grace?