Reading the Bible is a source of encouragement.
Really. And I don’t necessarily mean huge spiritual insights and an experience of the infinite. Yes, that can occur and it is wonderful if it does.
What I mean is this: Scripture paints pictures of people with really big flaws…and then shows us how God uses them. I am more and more convinced that if God can use Abraham, Jacob, and Adam, then He can use me. These men all had their strong points but they also had a sizable amount of flaws.
Today we continued to read through Genesis and sometimes I almost laugh when I think of these stories. Jacob tricks Isaac to get the blessing designated for the first born. Rebekah helps Jacob escape the murderous rage of Esau. Jacob goes to his uncle Laban’s and falls in love with Rachel. The seven years spent working for the privilege to marry Rachel pass in a flash. Jacob is secretly wed to Leah. Jacob, upset with the trickery, works another seven years for the chance to marry Rachel. God sees that Rachel is loved but Leah is not and so He blesses Leah’s womb. Rachel remains barren. The sisters start to fight, giving their maids to Jacob so they may have children through them. Then Jacob’s children fight because he has a favorite. The favorite ends up being taken and sold to passers-by and Jacob mourns him for dead. No worries, though, because Joseph can interpret dreams and is, after a couple missteps, second in command in Egypt. Then he saves the Egyptians and his entire family from starvation. After toying with them for a bit, Joseph forgives his brothers and they all live happily ever after….until a pharaoh decides to impose infanticide on the numerous Israelites.
Jacob definitely wasn’t perfect. God blessed him and God punished him. As one reads the story, it is almost impossible to not think of all of the difficulties they are creating for themselves. Two wives? And sisters? Of course there will be discord! Then a battle with childbearing?
The squabbles are almost laughable until you remember how you battle over such inanities as doing the dishes or taking out the trash.
Yes, if the Lord can bring about a Redeemer through the bumbling ways of Christ’s fore-bearers, then He can most certainly use you to do His will.
Never fear, we serve a God who can write straight with our crooked lines.