Sunday, April 27, 2014

limping into heaven

The Word for today: 
Genesis 49
mark this: Genesis 47:9 --
And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning."
Jacob was a person whose faults are catalogued for chapter after chapter in God’s book. But by the end of his life, as he is blessing his children, we sense the great change that has come over him. When we get to the New Testament, we'll even find him in Faith's Hall of Fame! (1)
Jacob wrestled with life, and with God. He would not let go, and so was blessed in the holding on. It wasn’t within him to yield, so God blessed him with an injury which taught him to yield.
In Hebrews 11:21 we'll see a touching scene—Jacob leaning on the top of his staff. God had crippled him to bless him; bad for good. (2)
Jacob was his Mom's favorite. But because of their conspiracy to deceive Isaac, Jacob was forced to leave under threat from Esau. She never saw him again:
Upon me be thy curse, my son. (3)
There followed for a while some sunny days. Jacob worked seven years that he might marry Rachel. But the years seemed only days to him, because he loved her so. Then it grew dark again.
He watched Rachel die giving birth to little Benjamin. She died on the way to Bethlehem, when she delivered the son of her sorrow--who was the son of his strength. He was so attached to this little one that his life was said to be bound up in the life of the lad.
He had another favorite—Joseph, Rachel’s other son. But he'd lost the boy long ago. He'd often wondered, over the years, about him. But he tucked his sorrow away, as people do.
Can you imagine his sons, watching him grieve while not telling him how they'd dipped Joseph’s coat in goat’s blood to deceive him—just as he’d deceived his own father with the skins of a goat.
Behind this story with all its sin and sorrow stands God, calling out to wayward Jacobs everywhere, going to great lengths to show that He Who saved Jacob—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—can save your soul as well, even if he must break your leg to do it.
Better to limp into heaven than never to enter at all.
(1) see Hebrews 11; (2) see Genesis 50:20; (3) Genesis 27:13

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