""All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work"" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In his remarkably perceptive book entitled The Life and Times of the Patriarchs, William H. Thomson, MD, LLD (son of William M. Thomson, author of The Land and the Book) draws our attention to the fact that the ""story of the life of Jacob and of his family occupies more than half of the book of Genesis."" He continued, ""This is no more than it should, considering how full that story is of instruction. Thus Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are repeatedly named together, but Jacob differed more from his father and grandfather than men usually differ from each other. ""Every human being grows up in an environment which inevitably reacts upon his personality. So true is this that the experience of each life has its own lesson. In Jacob's case we see how one experience after another was needed for Jacob to become the prevailing Prince with God."" ""Isaac's unreasoning partiality toward Esau was no justification for the wicked imposition practiced on him by his wife, whereby Jacob secured the birthright. This resulted in Jacob being sent to his mother's brother in order to escape the wrath of Esau. But instead of departing on his long journey laden with gifts, his going had to be in secret."" He returned many years later to face new challenges, and one by one God took pains to remove from his life the things that were impediments to his spiritual growth. How the Lord did this is the subject of this book. ""O how happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. O how happy are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart"" (Psalm 119:1-2). Cyril J. Barber is pastor emeritus of Plymouth Church, Whittier, California. He lives with his wife of more than fifty years in Hacienda Heights. Their family consists of two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.