I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. (Genesis 32:10)
I have a tendency to dislike Jacob. I always think of him as the liar, deceiver and crook. Indeed a man who was unworthy of God's kindness and faithfulness. And yet that is exactly what the Lord did show to Jacob. Instead of looking at Jacob's failures, let us look at God's goodness and realize that we, who are no better than Jacob, may experience the same goodness of our loving Father.
When Jacob was running away from home, after lying to his old, blind father, and after deceiving his brother, he stopped "because the sun had set" (Genesis 28:11). "Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and He said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac ... I am with you, and will watch over you wherever you go.'"
What an experience. Jacob felt alone (and we would add, rightly so!) but he was still accompanied by angels and in the presence of God himself. That's why he testified, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it" (Genesis 28:12).
It strikes me when I read, "The angels of the Lord were ascending and descending" (Genesis 28:12). We would have figured that they were descending (from God to Jacob) first. But no, they were already with Jacob, the deceiver, the liar, the crook. Not to approve his actions, but because the Lord said, "I will not leave you..."
Great is His faithfulness.
Gustavo Figueroa from Cuba. An itinerant evangelist, he writes using a pseudonym.
Copyright [C] 1995 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
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Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
compiled by Jan Pit with a forward by Brother Andrew (paperback, revised 2000)
Compelling wisdom from the pen of actual believers living amidst persecution, you'll be connected to the suffering, courage, and depth of life that exists in the harshest places in the world. Each of these 365 thought-provoking devotions will deepen your understanding of Christian persecution and provoke you to pray for our brothers and sisters with a new found depth.