Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Certainly Not by Merit

The story in Sunday School this week was about Jacob and Esau. Jacob was not exactly a pillar of morality in his younger years. Pastor was talking about Jacob being

the son of the promise (this is key) by the free choice of God's grace, not because he was entitled to it. The birthright has certain rights associated with it, but Jacob was not the first-born. Furthermore, Jacob's sin does not nullify God's promise. God certainly does not condone sin, but neither does our sin make God renege on His promise. If His promise is "I will love you, and I will send My Son to die for you and to redeem you with His blood," your sin does not then cause Him to say, "You know, I changed My mind. I do not love you any longer, and I will not send My Son." Understand?

He is faithful for His sake. Before the twins were even born, He chose Jacob to be the son of the promise. His choice was made purely on the basis of His grace. When Jacob proved himself to be unworthy of the blessing, when he schemed, when he coveted and stole, God did not come up with Plan B. God did not ditch Jacob. His word is sure. His promise is certain. And the promise made to me in baptism is just as sure and certain.

Romans 11 -- The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.

Oh, then, rejoice that through His Son
God is with sinners now at one.
Made like yourselves of flesh and blood,
your Brother is the eternal God.

What harm can sin and death then do?
The true God now abides with you.
Let hell and Satan rage and chafe --
Christ is your Brother; you are safe!

1 comment:

  1. For readings at night, we're slowly making our way through Genesis. I know - it's not the lectionary or anything. But it can be difficult to do a reading every single night depending on the temperament of a certain young one. So we found it easier to pick a book and just work our way through it.

    In any case, we just finished up Jacob not too long ago, and what you wrote above struck me like a tire iron to the head. I just kept reading about him and thinking, "Geez, this guy was awful." He seems deceitful and manipulative and generally someone you just wouldn't even want to know! He actually reminded me of Christ's words "be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" or the parable of the shrewd manager.

    And he's a Patriarch! It really must have chafed them back then to know that God chose Jacob. What did he ever do to deserve being chosen? Nothin'. And that's the point.

    Man. It's been reading through the OT recently that I've realized, if you want to know about God's grace, it is ALL OVER the OT. I don't think I'd quite seen it so abundantly before. But the phrase "God is love" was never more applicable than the way God deals with those OT ingrates.

    Same as me...