Skip to main content

Genesis 28: Through the Whole Bible

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 28 (link) takes a look at Jacob’s journey from Canaan back to Paddan-Aram. Paddan-Aram, for those who are interested, is mostly in the upper stretches of the Euphrates River, between two branches of the river. It’s where the rest of Abraham’s extended family have continued to live since he went to Canaan.

In the aftermath of deceiving both his brother and his father, Jacob finds himself needing to live elsewhere. That’s what happens when you build your fame and fortune without integrity. Life ends up heavily disrupted.

So, Jacob flees. This is a mixture of good and bad for Jacob. He goes where he needs to be so that he can find a wife (next chapter) from among his own people. That’s been one of the sources of contention between Esau and Rebekah: Esau married from the local population and that bothered his mother.

Let’s take a quick look at Esau in this situation: Genesis 28:8-9 addresses some issues of Esau’s character. He finds out that his parents prefer Jacob to marry someone not from the region. So, he goes out and marries another wife, intentionally to aggravate his family. That’s not good. Neither for your parents or your wife.

Not to mention the whole polygamy issue which is not good.

Consider the chaos that you bring on your family with your decisions. There ought never be a decision we make with the intention of afflicting others.

Second in this chapter is the story of Jacob’s dream of a staircase or ladder between heaven and earth. Seems like a good story. The ending, though, is questionable:

Jacob in Genesis 28:20-22 makes one of those “bargain with God” promises: if God will do this, then I will do that. He misses an important point in this deal-making, and it’s a point that we tend to miss as well.

God had made a statement concerning Abraham and his offspring. That statement was that this family would hold the land and through them, and further their possession of the land, all the earth, all peoples would be blessed.

Jacob, for some reason, thinks it’s necessary to make a deal with God: if Jacob can return safely, then Jacob will worship God. Does Jacob think that God really needs a deal made?

When do we do the same? Make those “God, if you will…then, I will…”? Perhaps: “If I get this job, I will…” “If I get this girlfriend, I will…”

Try to keep something in mind: you have nothing God needs and are in no position to bargain. He does make some conditional promises in Scripture about obedience and blessing, but those are claimed and embraced by action not bargaining.

Instead, we need to view ourselves in this way: God does not need us. However, in His sovereignty, His grace, He desires and wills that we follow Him. Quite simply, we have nothing to offer except ourselves, completely and totally.

From there, we learn to trust His grace and His promises. Not because we want to play trade-off but because He will fulfill what He has said.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!