by Rev Jason Phua
Readings: Genesis 35:1-36:43; Proverbs 2:16-22
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Genesis 35:12 “The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”
Despite Jacob’s past records of being a deceiver, opportunist, someone who cared for his own reputation more than the dignity of his daughter and a father who did not address the favouritism he had for Joseph, he was blessed to be given the land which God promised for Abraham, including many other possessions and children. Why is this so? Does this tell us that even the unrighteous shall be blessed with greatness by the Lord?
I think there are two levels of looking at this. At the very first level is that God blessed Jacob not because he was as righteous or unrighteous as his father and grandfather; but because of His covenant with Abraham. When God made the covenant with Abraham to bless him as the father of many nations, he did not strike a deal with him in the sense that Abraham must be righteous in order for God’s covenant to be fulfilled. No, the covenant was to be fulfilled because God willed it to be so and He alone shall take on all consequences if ever the covenant was broken (Genesis 15). The second level is that throughout the Bible, God chose to work with and through imperfect persons like Jacob. It is through the study of the journeys of such imperfect persons that we are reminded how God has chosen to work through us as well, imperfect and weak as we are.
There was a time when I was talking to my son about a challenging behaviour he had; which eventually led to the damage of an important piece of equipment. I got quite angry, scolded him and spoke to him about how he can move forward. However, at that time, I also felt impressed to add that despite of what happened, I still love him. Though he felt very guilty about the damage done, he brightened up quite a bit to know that he is cherished and loved in spite of what had transpired.
I wonder how many of us are moving through life without a full understanding that we are cherished and loved by our Abba Father in spite of our imperfections and sinfulness. That is why Christ comes into this world in the first place. Though we proclaim Christ, we might be behaving as if we need to please God in order to be loved. Yet, this is far away from the truth. God first loves us and can choose to use us through our imperfections. Of course, on such a journey with the Lord, there will be occasions when He would like us to deal with a particular issue before he can use us for a particular area of ministry. So let us not give up but cling on to His grace and truth; for we do serve an Almighty who knows us and can turn our imperfections for His glory sake.
Lord, help me to grow in understanding that even as You are the Almighty, you love to use imperfect people to fulfil Your plans on earth. May I not seek to abuse this love that You have for me, but to be grateful and be transformed in the light of Your grace and truth. Amen.