Be Patient - God hasn't finished with me yet.
Lessons from the Life of Jacob
Ellsworth has to be one of my favourite authors for books to use in my quiet time. He has written a number of really helpful books: Strengthening Christ's Church, He is Altogether Lovely, and The Shepherd King, to name but a few.
I was really looking forward to studying Jacob; the title really does speak straight to the heart of any Christian - at least it should! It's easy to look down on Jacob because he was so obviously a flawed man; extremely blessed and extremely flawed. But then the mists clear and you realise that we have more of Jacob's problems than we would care to admit, and perhaps less of his admirable qualities than we would like.
Ellsworth does a good job of getting you into the life of Jacob and the circumstances he found himself in. I learned a lot of lessons from the life of Jacob that I hadn't seen before and started to appreciate him in a different light. But more, I started to appreciate my God in a different light. Jacob's continual backsliding is met with the persistence of God's grace in bringing him back. Without God Jacob would have been "a blot on the pages of history, but God had other plans". How true for all of us!
Incidents that had perplexed me in Jacob's life were made clearer, and Ellsworth applies the lessons well to Christian life today. One thing I liked was that he keeps bringing us to see Jesus and the blessings we have in Christ.
The only downside was that perhaps the book wasn't as in-depth as I would have liked. I didn't feel it was as good as some of Ellsworth's other books, but nevertheless it is a good introduction to the life of Jacob and the faithful persistent grace of God.