God Uses Broken People
The interpretive key to understanding Jacob’s story is found in the promises God made to his mother before he was born: “Your two sons will become two nations. They will be separated. One will be stronger. The older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23).God chooses to work through Jacob because Esau was careless about his future, and for the sake of his stomach, sold his birthright to his brother. The text tells us that he “despised his birthright” Genesis 25:34). What is at stake in selling his birthright? God has given Abraham a new way to live in the world—full of promise! Esau despises the new covenant ways and marries foreign wives. This is a great grief to Isaac and Rebekah (26:34-35).
Many years later, and coached by his mother, Jacob will lie to his father Isaac and steal Esau’s blessing (Genesis 27). We should wonder why God allows this. There is no explanation other than God couldn’t use Esau because he “despised his birthright” and the covenant promises. His mother hopes for the best, and convinces Isaac to bless Jacob again and send him to find a wife from her own family.
On the way to Harran, God bless Jacob in a dream. Jacob will suffer 20 years of his own medicine in Harran as his father-in-law cheats him again and again. Finally, as Jacob is fleeing Harran, God blesses him a second time. This second blessing includes a name change–Jacob becomes Israel!
What is our take away?
God uses broken humans (and broken nations!) to accomplish his plans. Believe that God will use even YOU and US and value the path of discipleship set before you. Let me get personal: The devil lies to you and wants to convince you that since you continue to sin, God thinks you are wasted. The devil wants to take you out of the game and make you a bench warmer. Don’t believe the accusations! Claim God’s forgiveness and get back in the game!