Today's Manna

January 18, 2017
Helping God
by Lois McBride
Scripture Reading: Genesis 27

Our reading today brings us directly into Isaac and Rebekah’s family circle and in essence, into our own family circles as God’s Word pulls back the veil for us to see individual motives and schemes.

Isaac was well aware of God’s declaration of intended blessing as was Rebecca. During the very difficult pregnancy she was driven to ask the LORD, “If all is well, why am I like this?” as the twins within her struggled with each other incessantly. God kindly entertained her concerns and revealed to her (and Isaac) that there were two nations in the making. And then in a departure from the custom of the time, He declared that “the older shall serve the younger.” It was unlikely that such a dramatic revelation would be easily forgotten.

As time passed, Esau and Jacob would continue to struggle with each other over many things, not the least of which would involve a birthright. Esau moved further away from God as is evidenced by his contempt for anything spiritual. He had taken wives of the Hittite women and sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. None of this had escaped Isaac’s attention, yet Isaac was determined to give the blessing to his favorite son, Esau.

Isaac’s impatience to deliver God’s blessing to Esau mirrors our own attempts to circumvent God’s direct instruction in our lives. We begin to panic when we think that time, money or opportunity is running out and we deceive ourselves into thinking that we can force God’s hand - unlike the person who is confident in the Lord and at peace with His timetable and methods!

As Rebekah overhears Isaac’s request of Esau, she is driven by the same panic in relation to Jacob. Remembering full well that God promised His blessing to Jacob, she now justified helping God out by craftily arranging for Jacob to receive Isaac’s blessing. By the same token, our rushing to take God’s matters in our own hands gains nothing for us but causes us to lose a great deal. A mother lost her son as Jacob fled for his life. Jacob lost all the comforts of home and all the possessions accumulated by his father. Esau lost the birthright, the primary blessing from his father, and his brother.

God is sovereign and forever faithful in His purposes and promises for our lives. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27.

But even when our lives seem to be irreparably ruined by our interference, there remains a hope that God will not be deterred in His purposes by our meddling. We will be able to endure our losses if do not become bitter and hateful like Esau, but realize instead that we are the real source of our undoing.

“The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)

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