Jacob had problems. And they were of his own making. He had deceived his father, Isaac, and stolen his brother Esau’s blessing.
This did not make Esau happy. In fact, he was murderously unhappy with Jacob. So, on his mother’s recommendation, Jacob decided that it was time to beat a hasty retreat from his home.
What follows shows us how merciful and gracious our God can be. On the very first night of Jacob’s escape, God came to him with a message. It was not a message of anger, though Jacob had sinfully and faithlessly taken matters into his own hands. It contained no warnings of a desire to punish Jacob, despite his refusal to simply trust God for his blessing.
No wrath-daggers would be thrown. Not by Esau. Not by God either. Instead, God gives Jacob promises of sheer grace. He will be present with Jacob. He will bring Jacob back home again. He will not fail to keep his promises.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:15, NIV).
Do you need a message like this? Maybe you suspect that God has every right to be angry with you, turn his back on you, and let you hang out there with no hope of rescue or return. You’re all set to dodge the wrath daggers.
After all, you are a sinner.
But God’s grace that he displayed to Jacob, is the same grace that he has displayed (and will display) to you.
He is with you, present every day in your life. He wants to bring you home to himself. He will not fail to keep his promises to you.
How do you know this? Because Jesus–God with us–is the most perfect evidence of the fact that God is present, longs to bring us home, and will not fail to keep his promises to us.
Lord Jesus, be merciful to me. Be present with me and demonstrate your grace to me. I do not deserve it. I deserve your wrath and anger. I deserve your punishment because I too, have been faithless. But treat me as you treated your servant Jacob.
Our reading for Tuesday, January 13, is Genesis 27:1 – 28:22, Matthew 10:32 – 11:15 and Psalm 9:1-6.
Header image based on "Knife" by Blume, CC by-SA 2.0