Leaning on your own staff
“He…[died]…leaning on…his staff.” Heb 11:21 NKJV
The Bible says, “By faith Jacob, when he was dying…worshiped, leaning on…his staff.” Picture this: Each time Jacob had an experience with God, he took a knife and cut a ring around his staff as a reminder of what happened. The rings started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. One would surely have symbolized the night he wrestled with God and his name was changed to “Israel…a prince…with God” (Ge 32:28). Another would have represented the night God showed him a vision of a ladder extending into heaven with angels on it. In short, Jacob’s staff represented a lifetime of experiences with God. So, it’s not surprising that he died worshiping God—and leaning on his staff! Now consider the story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. Her son suddenly became ill and died, so Elisha sent his servant Gehazi ahead with his staff to let the woman know he was coming. But when Gehazi placed the prophet’s staff on the dead boy, nothing happened. Only when Elisha himself came was the child restored (See 2Ki 4:32-35). The fact is, you can’t lean on anyone’s staff but your own! You can’t stand on anyone else’s experience with God but yours. When it’s time to face life’s challenges—including death—you can only lean on the faith you have developed during your personal walk with God. That’s why it’s essential to be faithful and consistent in your spiritual journey. By leaning on his staff when he was dying, Jacob, in essence, declared, “The God who preserved, protected, and prospered me thus far will take me the rest of the way.” What blessed assurance!