H – Highlight
Genesis 27:20 – But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.”
Genesis 28:13-15 – 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
E – Explain
In chapter 27 of Genesis, we see Jacob steal the blessing from Esau. Of course, God had already promised that Jacob should be the one to carry the blessing, but we see that this is worked out in a devious way. Jacob lied about his identity to his father, even claiming to have been aided by God in a hunt that he never went on.
In chapter 28, Jacob, in his flight from Esau, finds himself in the presence of God. And the Lord speaks to Jacob, clearly introducing himself and proclaiming that Jacob will indeed carry the promise of God, the same promise God made to Abraham. From the perspective of the New Testament, we know that this promise of God to bless the nations through a descendant of Jacob is the promise to bring the Christ into the world.
A – Apply
What catches my attention most in this reading is the fact that Jacob did nothing good or right to gain the blessing of God. The promise that God was to carry out, the promise to save people through someone from Jacob’s line, is a promise that God had taken upon himself to accomplish. An observer of simple circumstance would think that the will of God must have been thwarted by Jacob’s tactics. But, in truth, God used even the designs of Jacob and his mother to accomplish a plan that God was going to accomplish anyhow. God did not author Jacob’s sin. But God was nevertheless sovereign over Jacob’s actions, using Jacob’s desire and his sinful actions to bring about the perfect good that God always intended.
A proper application for me is to rejoice in the glory and sovereignty of God. His will is not defeated, even when evil-minded men do evil things. God is not defeated when the government does not do its job. God is not defeated when judges overreach. God is not thwarted when I fail in my own folly. While I do not desire to walk in sin, and while I would love to see our nation live in righteousness, I can know that God will never be defeated. He will accomplish his perfect plan to the end of the world and beyond.
R – Respond
Prayer: Lord, I see in this text that you are sovereign. I see that you use even sinful and scheming people to accomplish a perfect plan that they could never design. I understand that you are not the author of sin, but you can use all things to accomplish good for those who love you and who are called according to your purpose. I pray that you will give me confidence in your sovereign rule. I pray that you will remind me that you are not worried about the state of the nations. I pray that you will help me to be faithful to obey you regardless of the circumstance. God, take my life and use it to accomplish your will for your glory.