Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Loved though imperfect

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 146:1-10

TO CHEW ON: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,

Whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Psalm 146:5

As I read this psalm the first time this morning, the phrase “the God of Jacob” popped out at me. I know “Jacob” here can be taken as a figure of speech where the example signifies the whole (‘Jacob’ is a stand-in for all the patriarchs). But today I’m going to take it as an intentional mention of Jacob the man.

Of all the patriarchs, Jacob appears one of the most flawed and human in his good and bad qualities.
- He was deceptive and sneaky
- He was sensitive to God’s voice.
- He was a hard worker.
- He preferred one wife over the other. This led to jealousy and dissension in his family.
- He tolerated idol worship.
- He showed favoritism to Joseph = more domestic strife.
- He had a pessimistic outlook on life.
- Despite all the above, he was a conduit of God’s prophetic blessing.

God loved Jacob and was loyal to him despite his faults. Of course God worked on his faults too. He came to him in crisis experiences like the night before he was reunited with his brother Esau.  God also dealt with him in the daily grind when, for example, he had to relinquish his darling Benjamin so that Ben could accompany his other sons to Egypt for more food.

Happy are we, says the psalmist, when the God of Jacob – this God who sticks with us despite faults, but also loves us enough to deal with them – is our help (ezer from azar = help, succor, ally).

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your steadfast love, loyalty and the promise of Your help despite my imperfect humanity. Through good times and bad I put my hope in You.

MORE: “Never Been Unloved” by Michael W. Smith

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