Genesis: Surprises

Genesis 28:10–29:14

Jacob is probably my favorite character in Genesis.

He’s precisely the kind of person I would hate, if I knew him personally. He’s a compulsive liar, a cheat, and a scoundrel. And a coward. He looks out for himself and nobody else.

When we find him here in chapter 28, he’s on the run for his life. He’s cheated his twin brother out of birthright and blessing—a crime for which Esau is willing to kill over. So he’s homeless, sleeping on a rock.

This is when God shows up.

I think I like Jacob because he’s the last person to whom I expect God to show up. Sometimes I expect these characters in the Bible to be really churchy people. You know what I mean? They’re nice people, who do all the right things, say all the right things. They have perfect manners and dress in slacks and a tie.

That’s not Jacob. What has Jacob every done to deserve the attention of the Almighty? Absolutely nothing.

I’m the God of your daddy. And I’m the God of your grandaddy. And now I’m your God.

And God makes the same promise to Jacob given to Isaac and Abraham.

Land. Blessing. Blessing the nations. I am with you. I won’t ever leave you.

This is not about who Jacob is. This is about who God is. And Jacob is awestruck, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”

And isn’t this the way life and God are? We’re not even paying attention and then… BAM! Like a sprung jack-in-the-box, there’s God.

The world needs more Jacobs. People who find God when they least expect it.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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