Day #51: Daily Bible Reading Plan - February 17th
Scripture Reading: Genesis 28 - 31 ...
There will be things that happen in your life that make no sense. There will be times when you make choices that are contrary to God's commands. There will be times when you think things are going well and the bottom falls out, and there will be times when you think there is no hope and things will turn around in your favor. But if you are a child of God, He will get you where He wants you to be. Paul puts it this way in Philippians 1:6: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Jacob had a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do. His mother had encouraged him to deceive his father to get his blessing, and then his brother, Esau, had threatened to kill him, so he ran far away, to the land where Abraham had come from. On his way, he met God ... or perhaps we should say, God revealed Himself to Jacob in an unmistakeable way. Jacob had a dream and God spoke to Jacob. It was not something Jacob had not heard before. These were words that had been spoken by God to his grandfather, Abraham, and to his father, Isaac.
God promised to be with him, to be his God. God promised to give to his descendants the land God had promised to Abraham and Isaac ... the land where Jacob was lying on his way to his grandfather's homeland - where Abraham had come from. God promised to multiply his descendants and gave him the promise first spoken to Abraham in Genesis 12:3: "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring" (28:14). These are the promises of God's covenant of grace, now passed on to Jacob ... promises that would be fulfilled in Jesus centuries later.
Chapters 29 - 31 reveal two things: the sinfulness of human nature and the providence of God. Jacob's journey to being an instrument of God to bring about the coming of the Savior was traveled along a path of sinful choices and behaviors, on his part and on the part of his cousin, Laban. One could get lost in the back-and-forth of their relationship, each trying to get the better of the other.
Then there the actions of what ends up being his FOUR wives: Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah. Their rivalry displays again the emotions and sinful will of people trying to take life into their own hands and not trusting in God. Yet again, God overcomes the sin of mankind and uses even their wrong choices to bring about the next step in His plan: the establishment of the nation of Israel - the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Some will ask: "If our sin ends up being turned for God's ultimate purpose, then how can God hold us accountable to our sin?" The answer to that question is actually quite simple if you know who God is ... if you accept that He is wiser than you and I and all mankind put together ... if you trust the character and power of God to allow mankind to stray, to wander, and yet to accomplish His purpose IN and THROUGH people like you and me ... all for HIS glory!
When you come to know the God of grace, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who gave His own Son so that you might know His love and forgiveness, then you can know that God will get you where He wants you to be. Know Him, love Him, trust Him and serve Him ... and see what He will do in YOUR life!
"Thank you, Father, for Your amazing plan to accomplish Your purpose, even when by our sin and ignorance, we try to get in the way and have our own way. Help us to walk with humility and faith as we seek to live in obedience to Your Word, resting in Your grace, one day at a time. In Jesus' name, Amen"