Short daily devotionals for the socially distanced. These are thoughts from my daily time in the word. I use a bible reading plan that will have me in a different section of Scripture every day.
I hope they serve to give you courage and hope. You can subscribe to receive them as a daily email at the bottom of the page.
Monday, April 13th
Reading: Genesis 29-31
I didn’t write yesterday, and the reason for that is that I didn’t actually have any formalized devotional time yesterday. I am at peace with that. I know that I desperately need time in God’s Word every day, or I go astray in my thinking, but yesterday was the first Easter Sunday morning that I had spent at home with my family in a decade and a half, and it was full of God’s presence. We enjoyed online church, had a lesson on the significance of the resurrection with the kids, got to see some friend’s faces (from a safe distance) and a took a grace saturated nap. Then we ate roast leg of lamb, laughed at the dinner table, read silly books together and fell into bed having experienced a wonderful family day together. God was everywhere in that glorious day.
Today, though, I am jumping back in to my reading plan. My approach to all things discipline related in life is that it is okay to miss one day, but don’t let one missed day lead to two.
The story of God’s pursuit of Jacob is incredible. When I think of Jacob, all I can think of is God’s covenantal grace. God pursues Him because of who God is, not because of who Jacob is. God keeps His promises even when His people abandon theirs.
In Genesis 29-31 we see the growing of Jacob’s family through the treacherous actions of a man called Laban and the incessant competition for Jacob’s love and affection from Leah and Rachel. This leads to the birth of twelve sons, and the forming of twelve family lines that will go on to be the twelve tribes of Israel. We would expect that the twelve tribes of God’s covenant people would come from a mighty backstory of valor, morality and dignity. That isn’t the case though. The twelve tribes of Israel are conceived in sin, competition, oppression (Bilhah and Zilpah are victims of some very peculiar sexual sins here), fornication and desperation. Everywhere you look in this storyline there is human weakness and wickedness and yet it is all bound together in the gracious faithfulness of a covenant keeping God. Only God could bring something beautiful out of all of this, and He does! It is amazing to consider that for future generations, God was happy to be named as the God of Jacob! That isn’t a testament to the faithfulness of Jacob, but it is God showing His people that He stays faithful to even the most wayward of sons.
What is incredible in Genesis 31, is that God still speaks with Jacob, still directs him, still loves him. Apparently, the grace of God is more powerful than the rebellion of His people and that is great news for a rebel like me. The Bible is a long tale of promise breaking people who are loved by a promise keeping God.
Friends, your rebellion doesn’t overpower God’s grace. We, like Jacob, are weak and foolish, even on our best days, but if we are caught up in the great covenant of God’s grace we are safe and secure in His mercy. Enjoy that! God is working a bigger story than any that we can currently see. He turns disastrous families into mighty tribes. He turns rebellious deceivers into patriarchs of faith.
Rest in His grace.
Courage, dear friends.