I recently had a chance to revisit Jacob’s story in Genesis 27-28 as part of my attempt to read the Bible in a year. I knew Jacob was not one of my favorite people in the Bible but my dislike for him grew even stronger as I read his story for the umpteenth time. Conniving, deceitful, self-promoting…these are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of Jacob. He not only took Esau’s birthright but tricked Isaac into blessing him instead of his brother. Even when God revealed Himself to Jacob in a mighty way thru a dream, he dared to put a condition on his relationship with God! He declares that God will be his God if He watches over him on his journey and provides for all his needs. And yet in Malachi 1:2-3, God says that “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated. But why??? It doesn’t seem fair!
As I wrestled with this question of why would God choose Jacob over Esau, I unwittingly found myself going down the predestination rabbit hole. I sought wisdom from notable theologians and preachers and read whatever I could google on the subject. I was relieved to find that many of them also struggled with the Jacob and Esau quandary that I found myself in. But even their articulate and carefully outlined exegesis could not settle the matter in my heart and mind.
It wasn’t until I read Romans 11 as part of my BSF bible study that God started to open my eyes and work in my heart, and drive home the message He wanted me to receive from the story of Jacob. My question of Why Jacob? became the realization of Why me? Am I not just like Jacob, an undeserving sinner, full of faults and shortcomings? And yet, God has chosen me as one of His children. As it says in Romans 3, no one is righteous, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” If anything, I should be grateful for Jacob because his example gives hope to sinners like me who, by God’s grace alone, are justified and brought into His redemption. God wanted to remove anything in me that even hinted at the idea of justification by merit, or any kind of initiative on my part. He knew that my prideful human nature would rear its ugly head whenever it got a chance so He had to hammer down the nail in that coffin. It was like He was playing whack-a-mole with my human pride.As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Gal 6:14… Click To Tweet
It was the doxology in Romans 11 that finally settled the unrest in my mind and heart. It says:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The idea that God’s infinite wisdom is beyond my human comprehension is not new to me. It’s something that I’ve always adhered to in my mind, but it was the Holy Spirit that convicted my heart, thru this passage, to rest in God’s infinite wisdom and unchanging character when it comes to matters that don’t make sense in my limited understanding. I believe that God is sovereign in everything, and I trust in His divine judgment, His justice, His righteousness, His omniscience, and most of all, His love for His creation. As I submit to His will, my only hope is that, “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14, NLT)
Have a blessed rest of the week!
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