Today’s Passage – Genesis 29 – 30
(Second Milers also read –Matthew 21 – 22; Proverbs 11; Psalms 51 – 55)
“And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.” – (Genesis 30:43)
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 3:13-14)
Our passage today reveals the blessing of God upon the life of Jacob. Jacob was a man who was certainly not always deserving of the abundant favor of God upon his work and his family, yet God always took good care of him. In chapter 30, we see God increasing the livestock of Jacob. Notice in vv. 37 – 42 that Jacob devises a peculiar and rather devious plan in order to make sure that his cattle prosper. However, I do not believe that Jacob’s “scientific” methods were the reason for the increase. It was God that had His hand upon Jacob’s life. I believe that God blessed Jacob the way He did because God saw the big picture. He was not blessing Jacob because of the things that Jacob had done in the past to deserve the blessing, because Jacob really hadn’t done anything yet. Up until this point, Jacob is mostly a deceptive person who takes matters into his own hands rather than place his trust in God. However, God saw what Jacob would become. God will change his name from Jacob (which means trickster or deceiver) to Israel, which means a prince with God. God was going to do something someday with Jacob. He saw what Jacob would become.
When we look at people, we also need to look past what they have been in the past, and even what they may be right now, and we need instead to try to see what they could be in the future. God has a wonderful tendency to make something marvelous out of ordinary, sinful people like us. In order to do this God has chosen to forget about the sins that we have committed in the past, and He even chooses not to “impute”, or record the sins of today and tomorrow. God had a plan for Jacob in the future that was not yet apparent at this point in Jacob’s life. I bet God has a plan for us too. If God chooses to see what we can and will be tomorrow, why don’t we do the same thing. Let’s not let the past bog us down, and cause to stay where we are. Let’s move forward into that abundant life of God’s blessing.
There is a passage of Scripture regarding Abraham that supports this thought:
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” – (Genesis 18:19)
Notice in this verse that God knows some good things about Abraham, yet the things that He knows are all in Abraham’s future. God reveals His plan to Abraham, not based upon what He remembers about Abraham’s past, but what He sees in Abraham’s future. God saw what Abraham would be, and He did’t choose to remember any of the failures in Abraham’s past. We need to develop our spiritual eyesight so that we can see the possibilities of someone’s future rather than dwelling on what they were in the past. We have to learn to see people as God sees them.
Posted in Thoughts from Genesis by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.