Lie and half-truths. Cheating and manipulation. Jealous, envy and fighting.
This family was so dysfunctional!
Set in 2014, we would never suppose that such a family would be chosen by God for great things. No, families marked for greatness in 2014 are families who have it all together.
They are accomplished and educated; free from vice and scandal. Their kids get along and go to the right schools. They certainly wouldn’t lie and cheat to get what they wanted.
Not if they want to be blessed by God!
And yet, when we look at scripture, we we are surprised to see that all of these negative traits are present in Abraham’s family.
Abraham withheld the truth that his half-sister was also his wife – which nearly resulted in her being taken as someone else’s wife!
In an attempt to help God out in fulfilling His promise to give him a son, he slept with his wife’s maid. That really messed things up – for generations! That sin pretty much registered 10 on the Richter scale
Esau despised his birthright, and Jacob took advantage of that. He manipulated Esau in giving up his birthright for a bowl of stew. And as if that wasn’t enough, he lied and cheated his way to stealing Esau’s blessing, too.
Super dysfunctional family!
I have read this story hundred’s of times, and heard it told more times than that. Yes, I pretty much know these stories by heart, and yet this time I read them with new eyes.
Eyes of grace
You see, today’s theology often teaches grace backwards.
It teaches that if you do all the right things, you’ll have the grace and blessing of God. And yet, in the Bible we see that despite human failings, God chose to extend grace and blessing.
Why would He do that??
Because He was in covenant!
God had made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He chose to honor that covenant!But beyond that, we see something underneath the layer of dysfunction that is so visible to human eye.
A layer of faith that surpasses anything I have ever seen of even the strongest believer today.
Abraham was a friend of God
Yes, Abraham’s failures were big, and yet he was still willing to sacrifice the son he’d waited for so long. And while Jacob sometimes makes you shake your head in wonder, the man physically wrestled with God for a blessing.
When is the last time you wanted the blessing of God on your life bad enough to fight to the point of a permanent physical limp?
There is something here that I think we’re missing in this modern age. A level of faith we know nothing about. Faith that takes us beyond our theology and beyond the temporal “stuff” we want to make our lives better to a covenant relationship that cannot be tarnished or corroded.
Covenant. That is what it’s all about.
And dear one, He is in covenant with you, too! Yes, I know that yesterday you lost your temper and gave your boss a piece of your mind you could ill afford to part with. I know that, like Jacob, you did made a right choice the wrong way.
I also know that you’re sitting here reading this thinking deep inside that you’ve missed the blessing of God now, and that He’ll judge and punish you.
And yet, while Abraham and his family had to carry the consequences for their bad choices (and they really did make some bad choices) God still chose to bless them.
And He will bless you, too.
Because He is in covenant with you! He will honor His covenant to you.