What I read today

Genesis 27-28; Psalm 14; Isaiah 14; Matthew 14; Romans 14

In Genesis, we’ve been watching the developments around Jacob and Esau.  Before they were born God had told Rebekah that Esau, the oldest, would serve Jacob, the youngest.

This wasn’t normal in old testament times.  Remember, it was the custom of the time that the oldest son always stood to inherit the entire estate of the father.

Earlier in Genesis, we heard that Esau had sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of soup.

Now Isaac wanted to give Esau the blessing of the oldest son before his death.  Oh, he knew what God told Rebekah, and he knew what Esau had done with his birthright.  But you see Esau was his favorite, and he was going to bless him in spite of all that.

Rebekah, on the other hand, favored Jacob.  She decided she was going to help God to make sure his promise to Jacob would come to pass.  Like God really needed her help.  Making things worse she decided to accomplish this by pulling a deception on her husband, and good old Jacob went right along with it.

In the end, the family is split forever.  After this event, there is no mention of Rebekah again in the Bible, and it appears that she might never have seen her favorite son after he left.  Jacob will live in fear of seeing his older brother for the next 20 years.  Esau will marry women outside the family line just to upset his parents. The family is now a divided mess.

And Jacob, well, he’s on the run.  He’s going hundreds of miles away to a place he’s never been.  He’s going to meet relatives he doesn’t know.  People who have no idea he’s coming.  He’s gone from living in tents and having plenty of food and clothes, to wandering through a desolate location, without even a pillow for his head.  He’s entering God’s school of character building, and he hasn’t got a clue how hard life is going to become.

I wonder if he now thinks that all this deception and trickery was worth it.  So much for God’s promise of him being the greater brother.  So much for the birthright he stole.  So much for the blessing Isaac just gave him.  There worth absolutely nothing to Jacob at this point in time.

He takes a rock and lays his head on it and tries to sleep.

Then something incredible happens.  God comes to Jacob and says that in spite of his failings, in spite of the lies, in spite of the deception, in spite of Jacob’s fears and doubts, God is still going to bless him and all the nations and peoples of the earth through him.  In spite of everything he’s done, God is always going to keep his promises.

It doesn’t make any sense, does it?

But then I don’t think that Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob or Esau really understood what God was promising.  God’s promise wasn’t about a country, or land, or riches, or fame.  Oh, they’d get all that in the end, but it was never really about that.

It was about the bloodline that would lead to the savior of mankind.  And it didn’t depend on any of their actions to make that happen.  God’s plan was always going to lead to Jesus.

God’s promises are the same today.  Like Jacob, Rebekah, Isaac, and Esau none of us genuinely measure up, and we know it.  But God’s promises stand firm.  Put your trust in Jesus and God will keep his promise of salvation.

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