A Stew of Consequences
It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.
For most of Jacob’s story, he lives the consequences of his mother’s plotting. We say all the time: Who knows what God would have done without human interference? Maybe he would’ve not had to flee from home, maybe he’d never get ripped off by his uncle (they could have sent for a wife like his father’s parents had done), and maybe he would’ve ended up with just one wife. AND still, all God’s promises would have happened in his life because they happened anyway. He did, in fact, become the father of a whole new nation, but God’s promises without human consequences is way better.
Proverbs 10:22 says it this way:
The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
The sorrows we live with are not a result of God’s blessings.
We learn from Hebrews 11 that in Jacob’s old age he worships leaning on his staff, a staff he probably earned after a literal wrestling match with God.
How many of us look back and wish we could’ve gotten a message to our younger selves before we make really bad decisions? We see Jacob’s mistakes over the years, but he most certainly died a godly man. How so? Because God doesn’t hold our sins against us like he could. God is kind. God knows we are weak. He deals with us like a Father not a mean boss. (See Psalm 103)
Knowing these truths about God’s character and the default setting of my own character should impact the way I live today. Just because I am like Rebekah and Jacob, doesn’t mean I have to do what they did.
Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. (Hebrews 13:7) Leaders are human and make mistakes too, but scripture doesn’t say to copy those.
I hope whatever shape I’m in when I’m Jacob’s age, that I am found worshiping God and acknowledging his goodness, even if it’s while leaning on a staff, lying in a bed, or rolling around in a wheelchair–and not wallowing in my own stew of consequences.
Look what you do! In spite of our best efforts to thwart your plans, you still blessed this man and his whole family for generations. They mess things up just like I do, but you never tell us to sleep in the bed we’ve made. You get us out of the bed and help us make it. You are indeed kind and good, and I love you with all my heart, and thank you, and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.