Duration: 365 days
GOD’S SOVEREIGN MESSINESS
The time is arriving for the mantle of God’s promises to be placed on the shoulders of the next generation. Isaac is an old man and doesn’t know how much longer he’ll live. But even though God told Rebekah that Jacob would be the recipient of the promises, Isaac intends to give them to Esau. So Rebekah devises a plan to disguise Jacob as Esau so he will receive the blessing instead. It works. Jacob gets the patriarchal blessing; and once words are spoken, they can’t be taken back.
Furious, Esau vows to murder his brother. To escape Esau’s anger, Jacob flees to his mother’s family, his Uncle Laban, leaving all he knows behind him. On the way there, God visits Jacob in a dream and reassures him, confirming that he will be with him like he has been with his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. God will protect his promise.
After Jacob has lived for a time at his Uncle Laban’s, he falls in love with Laban’s younger daughter Rachel. Because of Laban’s wedding-night trickery, Jacob ends up marrying both Rachel and her sister Leah. After 20 years, 12 sons and at least one daughter, God calls Jacob and his family back to the land he had promised Abraham—back home.
The King’s Heart
We have a messy spiritual family tree. A firstborn sells his promise-laden birthright for stew, a secondborn dresses deceptively to ensure blessings are transferred to him. Mothers and fathers and uncles barter and bargain, shoving their sons into costume and their daughters into wedding tents. All to write the story of life the way they want it to go.
But this story has only one Author. God had indicated that Jacob would be an heir to the promises (see Genesis 25:23). And he was. The all-sovereign One had chosen Leah to be the mother of Judah—and in the lineage of Jesus. And she was. Despite trickery, deception and possibly even good motives, God’s purposes prevailed—like they always do.
Over our good decisions and our not-so-good decisions, over our own fumbles and shoves and those of others, reigns a good, sovereign King. All of our dysfunction exists under the covering and authority of his goodness. He is good, good, good, and his plans will never be thwarted.
In ancient times, birthrights—which included a double portion of the inheritance—were usually given to the firstborn son, but they didn’t have to be. That’s why fathers often waited until later in life to have the formal ceremony where the blessing would seal the birthright. But once a father spoke the words of blessing, it was irreversible.
Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved