by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Genesis 31:17- 32:12, Proverbs 2:6-15
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked you last night.
At this point of Jacob’s life, God is still not his God. It would take a while more before Jacob would fully embrace the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Scholars have discussed why God was called the “Fear” of Isaac. While there is no consensus on this, my take is that it has something to do with Genesis 22, when Isaac was almost sacrificed on the altar. One can only imagine the fear or dread that came upon the young boy – bound and laid on the wood – the father’s knife raised high.
The last sentence of the above Bible verse brings me great comfort. Our God is one who sees our afflictions and the labour of our hands. He takes into account our human efforts, and seeks justice for those who are oppressed. Even though Jacob had not embraced God fully, and perhaps knew Him primarily as one to be dreaded – God acted on his behalf, and rebuked Laban. This is a good reminder for me that I do not have to try too hard, or fear human foes – but to entrust my life into the hands of the God who has been with me thus far.
Lord, You have always been faithful. I place my life in your Hands, and trust You for my future. In my Saviour’s Name. Amen.