July 11: Sibling Rivalry

Read Genesis 28:1-22

What did Jacob feel as he parted ways with his homeland, unsure of when he’d return? Did remorse stir in his intestines as he escaped his brother’s wrath? The wrath he’d brought upon himself.

Walking alone through the land he knew and into the land he did not, did Jacob recount the early years with his brother? Did he wish things had been different between them? Did he blame his parents for their extreme sibling rivalry or did he take responsibility?

I wonder if Jacob suspected that Esau would rebel as he did, marrying the woman his parents had forbidden. Did Jacob believe he had done the right thing, deceiving his brother out of what was customarily his? When Jacob set out on his journey to the land of approved mates, did he savor his father’s blessing, or did it stir up feelings of guilt and remorse over his deception?

He had stolen a blessing. And now he was blessed.

Jacob did not deserve that blessing. Nothing about who he was entitled him to any part of the gift he received. The promise he inherited through the blessing he procured. Still, he was blessed like his father and his father’s father had been. Yes, Jacob was blessed because of a promise.

As he walked the road to Haran, I wonder if he thought he had nullified the blessing. Does stealing render it meaningless? I wonder if that’s why God showed up so clearly to him in a dream that night as Jacob lay sleeping, a rock for a pillow.

We don’t know what he thought about as Jacob journeyed those many miles. But we know what he dreamed — affirmation from God.

“I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (Gen. 28:13).

“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” (v14).

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land” (v15).

“I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (v15).

When Jacob awoke, his calling was clear. The One who gave the promise of the blessing will ensure its fulfillment. Even when the one who held the blessing did not deserve it at all.

You and I have the same kind of promise, the same kind of blessing. The promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Completely undeserved yet sure to be fulfilled because of the One who gave the Promise.

brw

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