Today I Read: Genesis 28
I’ve heard the story of Jacob many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever realized or appreciated how much of a redemption story it is.
As I’ve said before, Jacob was a scoundrel. He tricked his brother out of a birthright and blessing. He’s the kind of person that makes non-Christians want to steer clear of Christians. But here’s something I never really considered: I’m not sure if ol’ Jake really cared much for God in his early years.
18 He went to his father and said, “My father.”
“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”
“The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied.
Ouch. Jacob knew dad was the religious type, so he just used God to explain everything away… As one commentary I read says, this was clearly using the Lord’s name in vain.
Jacob gets the blessing, but is then forced to flee from an angry Esau. He sets off for his uncle’s and has to travel through a desert. When it becomes night he stops for a rest. He puts a stone under his head and lays down to sleep.
I wonder if, as Jacob looked up at the stars that night, he had one of those “How did I get here?” moments. All his tricks had finally caught up to him. He got what he wanted, but his future was now looking bleak.
It was in that moment that God tenderly came to him. Not with a punishment, but with a promise. God was still with him. God still chose Jacob, even when Jacob didn’t choose God. God was still with him.
Jacob woke up a changed man. He knew something he never knew before. “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it,” he says.
I wonder how many people are not aware that God is with them.
I wonder how many people forget that God is with them. I know I do.
My heart breaks for people who are in the desert and are about to give up. Please don’t.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you find yourself, or how bleak things may seem. The Lord is in this place.
Song of The Day: Seasons Of Love.