Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Remarkable Purposes of God

Reading Genesis 27 one wonders how in the world God could ever use such a family as Isaac's. I mean, talk about dysfunctional - this bunch would make a great reality television show. Here we have the wife/mother conspiring with one of her sons against her husband (father) and another son, and we have the conspiring son deceitfully arranging a situation whereby he can steal the firstborn son's blessing. Add to that the so-call "great" firstborn son is really a hair-brain: impulsive, shallow, undisciplined, and willing to trade his future for immediate gratification (What a great leader in the making! Can you feel the sarcasm dripping from my statement?). Esau, the firstborn, would have been voted by his class to be the most likely to succeed in the soup business (Ha! Sorry, couldn't help myself). On top of this we have the husband/father (Isaac) who seems to be the doofus in all of this.

The burning questions one must asked in all of this is...Can God use this family? Can God bring about His sovereign plans in the midst of this mess? One might assert that surely such sinners as these would be disqualified for God's use. But, if we think like this, then we would be mistaken.

In fact, Romans 9:10-12 says, "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according his choice would stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger.' Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." Wow! There is more going on in Genesis 27 than first meets the eye. That is usually the case in life. Don't look at the surface of things; learn to look deeper, and learn to trust God.

I take from all of this the following:
1. God's plans are bigger, more complicated, and more involved than any of us can determine. We must learn to trust God's plan and choices.

2. God picks folks for His own reasons; we must learn to accept that.

3. Sin does not stop God's plan. God is so transcendently great that sin (evil though it may be) can only serve to enhance the grace and glory of God. God's purposes will be established.

4. Folks are saved by God's grace without contributing anything to their salvation. Even the faith we exercise to trust Jesus as Savior and Lord is a gift from God.

5. Don't analyze a situation too quickly; wait till God is done with it. In the end, God will be shown to be the sovereign and good God in charge of all things accomplishing His will.

When I read passages like Genesis 27 informed by Romans 9, I have only two things to say: (1) Praise God for His all-powerful sovereign grace and plan, and (2) I'm glad God uses sinners; that gives me hope.

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