We’re halfway home from a blessed, restful respite on the island of Maui. There are about twenty people on a plane that normally transports a couple hundred and we’re all wearing masks. I expect the turbulence from without on this January day at 27,000 feet. It’s cloudy and the plane is bouncing a little. But what about the turbulence inside? It’s seems patently attributed to the weird times in which we live. We’re cloudy and we’re bouncing a little.
But 2021 doesn’t really have the corner on the turbulence market as evidenced our daily reading in Genesis. I may have been chasing whales for the last week, but I was reading right along with you as we met some expected characters with some unexpected behaviors.
I mean, what was up with Rebecca encouraging Jacob to deceive his father and thus stealing his first-born brother’s blessing? Seriously? Did Isaac really believe the patches of goat skin plastered on Jacob was Esau? But isn’t that just like us humans? God had already promised Jacob the birthright, but…better weave a tangled web of deceit just in case.
Not hard to connect Rebekah and Laban as sibs…
Laban: “Sure, work for me for seven years and you can have my daughter in marriage.”
Laban: “Oh, you wanted Rachel? I thought you knew we had to betroth Leah first. That’ll be another seven years, please.”
But in retrospect, we see God’s hand all over that too. He had a plan for twelve tribes of Israel and that apparently required two sisters and their handmaids.
All of my mom-scolding boils up when I read about Joseph’s brothers treating him so hatefully. Talk about a web of deceit! They s-o-l-d him and then told their father he must have been torn apart by a wild animal. I don’t know which part is more cruel! But God knows hearts. And Psalm 139:13 says that He knitted each us together in our mothers’ wombs. He knows us…He made us just the way we are for His glory. And He must have given Joseph as extra measure of faith…that there-must-be-a-pony-under-all-this-pooh kind of optimism that helped him to just put one foot in front of the other.
We All Need A Savior
Joseph needed to keep moving forward. God could see the seven years of famine coming. Had it not been for Him sending Joseph ahead, the Jewish line would have died of starvation in the land of Canaan. And if you will recall, in the Abrahamic Covenant, God promised that Abraham’s descendants would be more numerous that the sand on the seashore and the stars in the sky. And don’t forget that the Jewish nation needed to lead to a Savior for this world.
As you know, these examples only scratch the surface of what we’ve read in the last week. Again, I hope you obtained a good study Bible or regularly check in at Bible Hub. Both offer lots of great commentary by people way smarter than me.
As for me, I still marvel at remembering there was a time when I thought everybody in the Bible was perfect and righteous. That was, of course, before I read it. No, God’s story is a story of redemption about people who needed to be redeemed from their sinful choices. People who needed to be saved from God’s judgement of sin by a Savior who could do what they couldn’t. That still goes for us today.
I would love to know your thoughts and impressions. Doesn’t matter which story or stories. I know that God speaks to each of us through His Word and would love it if you shared how He is speaking to you in the comments below. You can also DM me on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to listen to the podcast!