God’s faithfulness to keep His promises in spite of our messy, human lives remains constant. Jacob, in trouble and fearing for his life, made a promise to God at Bethel that if he returned safely he would make Bethel a place of worship. Years passed and God kept His part of the promise. Jacob prospered and saw the favor of God, but he seemed to have forgotten his promise.
Aren’t we the same way at times? Life’s circumstances squeeze us and that’s when we cry out to God for protection and provision. It seems when we’re comfortable again, the memory of our distress fades quickly and we return to self-sufficiency.
We also see God’s purpose working out through time. We know now that God’s purpose in blessing Jacob’s descendants, centuries later, birthed the Messiah, our Savior, Jesus Christ. God had a purpose for Joseph, who seemed lost to his father. And, God has a purpose for you also.
Men and women, who were part of God’s plan for humanity from since time began, were far from perfect, but had messy, sinful lives, just as we do. I’m grateful that, just as God took their sin, their sorrows, their broken relationships, their jealousies and cruelty, and wove them into His tapestry, He takes our messy lives, covers them with His amazing grace, and fulfills His purpose through us.
What messy situation are you struggling with in your life today? Are you willing to trust that God is bringing about His plan and purpose through that situation?
Jesus in Me: Father, God of Israel and now my life, thank you for your grace that rescues us from our messes and fulfills your purpose for our lives. I trust in your Word that tells us you work all things together for the good of those who love you (Romans 8:28). May we respond with obedience when you call us and be careful to do what you tell us. Amen.
Today’s Tasting: Genesis 35-37: God tells Jacob to return to Bethel, the place where He had appeared to Jacob when he fled from his brother Esau (read Genesis 28). He build an altar there as he had promised to do if God protected him. Jacob and his household put away their idols and ceremonially purified themselves before traveling to Bethel, where Jacob built an altar to God. Then, God again appeared to Jacob. He repeated the promise he’d first made to Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather: “A nation … shall proceed from you and kings shall come from your body.” We know now that Messiah is a descendant of this promise.
As they traveled from Bethel, Jacob’s beloved wife Rebekah died giving birth to his youngest son, who he called Benjamin. Jacob also visited his father Isaac, who died.
Jacob then, settled in Canaan. As his sons grew, Jacob stirred jealousy among them by showing favoritism to Joseph, Rebekah’s son. He gave Joseph a beautiful coat that was the envy of his brothers. Young Joseph didn’t help matters by telling his brothers of two dreams he’d had, which seemed to suggest that he would rule over them.
One day, while they were out tending their father’s livestock, they hatched a plot to get rid of Joseph. They took away his coat and sold him to a passing group of merchants, who took Joseph to Egypt and sold him into slavery. The brothers dipped Joseph’s coat in sheep’s blood and took it to Jacob, making him believe that a wild animal killed Joseph.
Tomorrow’s Tasting: Genesis 38-40