Have you ever wished you could make a fresh start?
Have you ever made really poor choices because you wanted something so badly that you went to all extremes to get it?
Too often the mistakes we make in our life involve those closest to us. The motives hiding in our heart turn into sinful actions that make enemies of siblings, spouses, parents, children and friends.
When you’ve messed up your life, don’t you wish you could make a fresh start?
Those of us who have been reading through Genesis 27 through 33 this past week with Good Morning Girls have experienced a twenty year span of Jacob’s life as if we were right there with him. It has been an amazing story of living out consequences and grace.
It actually all started back in Genesis 27!
Jacob stole the blessing from his brother.
He deceived his blind father.
In walks sin!
Bitterness and hatred resulted between the brothers which in turn caused Jacob to end up living with his Uncle Laban.
Jacob made a fresh start!
The only thing is that Jacob’s ‘fresh start’ turned into one big mess but God pursued him and used all the consequences in his life for good.
“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28~
Jacob had done wrong.
He hadn’t made the right choice.
God didn’t send a lightening bolt crashing down on him for punishment.
Instead, He gave Jacob an awesome dream of angels going up and down a ladder with Jesus standing at the top, giving him this blessing:
“I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest . . . for I will not leave thee.” ~Genesis 28:15~
As Jacob’s consequences start to unfold, he meets Rachel (Chapter 29) and is totally smitten.
But this isn’t a ‘live happily ever after story’ as the drama has only just begun!
God is a refining fire and teaches Jacob many lessons through Laban tricking him into marrying Leah instead of his true love, Rachel. God taught Jacob a lifelong lesson in how deceit feels when it is turned on you.
The tangled mess continues to unravel as Jacob is now married to rivaling sisters. They end up with envy and strife between each other over babies. They give their servants to Jacob in order to add babies to their competition.
Does this ring a bell with you?
It seems like Sarah gave Abraham her servant too! It didn’t work for Abraham and Sarah, and we see how much it complicated Jacob’s marriage situation too.
You’d think they’d learn!
We don’t learn either!
God is so amazing because he continues to mold Jacob into His image through the circumstances that this difficult and strange marriage produces.
God blesses Jacob with the wealth of a huge flock of sheep and cattle even though Laban continued tricking him out of proper wages for his work.
It got to the point that it was so bad working for Laban that God tells Jacob to return home.
But Jacob didn’t forget what he had done to Esau.
Can you still remember the sins of your youth? I can. The feelings of regret can be so intense.
How many times do you worry unnecessarily only to find everything works out just fine after all? I have done this more times than I care to count!
Jacob and Esau had both changed during the twenty years they were separated. Esau was so excited that Jacob was coming back that he went to meet him.
I love how their conversation goes:
Esau: “I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.”
Jacob: “Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.” ~Genesis 33:9,10,15~
Jacob was greedy and obtained the blessing from his older brother through deception. He wanted something to the extreme and got it. After God’s dealings with him over the years, he turns around and shares his blessings with the brother he stole it from.
I have circumstances in my life that have caused deep pain; yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s grace is working in me.
This story gives me courage because I can see how God keeps giving grace to Jacob as the consequences play out in his life.
God promised Jacob that He would not leave him. God will not leave me and He will not leave you.
We must trust God in the darkness, telling God that we will not let Him go unless He blesses us.
What are you facing? You might have consequences in your life but God’s grace is bigger than your circumstances.