Epic fail is when your daughter decides to change her earrings three minutes before the bus comes. Thinking she has time you say “ok hurry up” but then freak out when you see it coming around the corner. So with all the finesse a mom in yoga pants with bed head can muster you scream “THE BUS IS COMING.” Which causes her to drop one of the earrings she just got for her birthday less than 12 hours before. Tears streaming down her face she comes running and you put her on the bus a complete mess, while passionately promising “Don’t worry I’ll find it. Listen to me. I promise I’ll find it.”
Devotional Scripture: Genesis 27
Key Verse: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
Problem is….you can’t find it. Not anywhere! And let me tell you, you’ve crawled all over creation looking for that thing. And. it. is. not. here. So unless a miracle happens and that shiny little thing made its way to her earlobe today, you’re in big trouble. Nevermind the fact she shouldn’t have waited til it was time to go before changing her earrings…you yelled at her and you made a promise. (Ugh…why didn’t I just take her to school!)
Ever regret making a promise you couldn’t keep? Well um…me too. But God never does. He never regrets anything He says. Neither does He think “Oh stink I shouldn’t have said that.” Everything He says is truth. Everything. All that He says comes to be just as He says it will. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:10-11).
So there’s no sense trying to fight against, manipulate, or ignore it because it’s not going anywhere. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Is. 40:8). But just in case we needed an example of what NOT to do, the LORD gave us Genesis 27. In which Isaac decides to give favorite son Esau the blessing, completely ignoring the Word of the LORD spoken by God when Rebekah was pregnant (i.e. “the older shall serve the younger” Gen. 25:23).
Why was this a problem? Because in this case the blessing included the passing of the divine promises given to Abraham and then to Isaac (Including God’s favor, land, protection, and a nation. As well as the promise of the Seed, Jesus Christ, who would bring blessing to all the families of the earth.) Just to distinguish, the birthright was a double portion of inheritance from the man’s physical father. While the blessing was an inheritance from the LORD, his spiritual Father (At least that’s how I like to think of it.)
But Esau had already excluded himself by marrying not just one but two foreign women. And cared little for spiritual matters, including his birthright which he’d already sold to Jacob for a bowl of stew (see Gen. 25:29-34).
Problem is, we can’t ignore God’s Word. Neither can we manipulate it. Not one. little. bit. All things God say come to pass, in his perfect timing. We simply need to trust him. (Easier said than done huh?). But what a different story this could have been if Rebekah had done just that. “Don’t worry Jacob. God has spoken and what He says He will do.” But instead she took action. (Note to self: God doesn’t need my help.)
Commanding Jacob, she sent him off to kill two young goats, so she could prepare some fantastic fare to trick her husband. And it worked. Dressed in Esau’s clothes, with goat skins on his hands and neck, Jacob took the food to his father and got the blessing. Yes you read that right – goat skins. For real? Was Esau really that hairy? Isaac even confirmed it when Jacob came near so he could feel him, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” (v. 22). I just…well…all I can say is wow. Are you with me?
Secondly we aren’t talking about boys in their twenties. We know for sure they’re in their 40’s because Esau’s already married at this point (cf. Gen. 26:34 with 27:46). But if you compare the verses and work backwards it’s likely they’re in their 70s! I know right? Granted they lived longer back then (Isaac lived to be 180) but still! Funny thing is Isaac thought he was close to death in this story, yet if his boys were in their 70s,he still had another 40ish years to go!
Sadly, Jacob did get the blessing that day (though he would have gotten it anyway), but it cost him dearly and Rebekah too. Esau was so enraged he let word slip he might kill Jacob. When Rebekah got wind of it she set to work again and made plans for Jacob to go to her brother’s for a bit. Which turned into a very long bit. And Rebekah never saw him again. She died before he returned. Had she trusted the LORD to deliver on his Word she likely would have enjoyed her son much longer and probably some grandbabies too.
And Jacob. Well God dealt with Jacob, as we will see in the weeks to come. He got a taste of his own medicine on more than one occasion. Sweet friend, it’s just simply not worth manipulating God’s Word! As Isaac also found out. He trembled at the realization he’d been tricked. Not because he was mad the blessing had gone to Jacob, but because He got a healthy taste of God’s sovereignty (not just goat chops).
Nothing good will ever come from fighting against God’s Word. In fact the most exciting, rewarding, joy filled life we could possibly live, will happen when we center our lives on His every word. Because in His presence “there is fullness of joy” and at his “right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11). Embrace God’s Word. All of it! And live the abundant life you’ve been desperately seeking.
Contemplate and Evaluate:
Are you fighting against God’s Word, or ignoring it? If so, it’s not worth it! What area of your life do you need to give to God today?
Have you been guilty of taking matters into your own hands to manipulate God’s perfect timing? If so, what was the result?