You know, sometimes things happen in life because we live in a fallen world and sometimes we have consequences of sin and sometimes things happen because it's LIFE. I don't know why our human nature assumes the things that are "bad" are always consequences of sin, but for some reason we do.
First off, let me say, that I believe ALL children are gifts from God.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
Offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one's youth.
I have yet to find in the Bible where God uses children as consequences for sin. All you see in the Bible is that Children are a blessing. So, to answer the question "Is Jacob a punishment for my sin?" I believe the answer is clearly "no."
So, let me move on to why I do believe God gave Jacob to me. The typical answers that make me want to vomit are "because he knew you could handle it" or "God picked you because he knew no one else could love him as much as you do." I know these things are nice things to say, but that's the thing, they are just nice things to say. However, it makes my journey feel pointless and it cheapens the perfect design that God has for us and His ultimate glory.
I believe the real reason that God gave Jacob to be is because he knew I COULDN"T handle it! He knew I couldn't handle it without Him. The other reason that I believe God gave Jacob to me is not because I will love Jacob more than anyone else but it's the fact that God wanted to be glorified.
See, before Jacob, I subconsciously boasted about all that I had done right. My salvation was based on all my knowledge about the Bible and all the "rules" I had followed. Which in reality isn't' salvation at all, it's legalism. Now, through my hardships and difficult times, He has proven to me just how sovereign He really is. I can boast only in Christ.
"The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away,
blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21
It's so ironic to me that one of my favorite passages of scripture growing up is one that I identify with the most today. (well, except for the being circumcised part)
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh,
I have more: circumcised on the eighth day,
of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal,
persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because
of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage,
that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ -
the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection
and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
and so, somehow, attaining to the Resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and
straining towards what is ahead. I press on toward the
goal to win the prize for which
God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.