18th August 2020

Grace in Time of Need

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 (NIVUK)

As a young man, Jacob (whose name means supplanter or deceiver), was what today could be called a ‘wheeler dealer’ who was not above carrying out deception. Jacob did a deal with his elder twin Esau, who agreed to sell him his birthright for food (Genesis 25:31-34). Subsequently Jacob deceived his aged and blind father into giving him the blessing meant for Esau. Consequently, Esau held a grudge against Jacob and said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob” (Genesis 27:41).

Jacob had to flee from home to go far away to live with his uncle Laban. On the journey, fearful, inexperienced and not knowing what lay ahead, Jacob tried to do a deal with God and prayed what could be called a contractual “If…then” type prayer. If you do something for me God, then I will do something for you. Genesis 28:20-22 records his prayer: “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God…”

Despite his imperfections, God was with Jacob as he went through and learned from the trials and tribulations of life. In Laban, Jacob experienced a bigger ‘wheeler dealer’ and deceiver than he was. Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah instead of Rachel and had his wages changed 10 times (Genesis 31:41). Relations with Laban deteriorated to such an extent that Jacob realised he had to go back to his native land. This entailed meeting up with his brother who, some 20yrs earlier, had threatened to kill him.

Whilst returning from exile, anxious, afraid and not knowing how events would turn out, Jacob again prayed to God, but this time it is a very different, humble (but successful) prayer based on trust in God and his faithfulness, grace and mercy: “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant…Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children” (Genesis 32:10-11).

As we travel to the ‘new normal’ with its uncertainties and insecurities, we have access to God’s throne of grace for help in time of need and, like Jacob, we can rely on God’s faithfulness to see us through our troubles.

Prayer
Father, we thank you for your faithfulness and that in Jesus we have freedom to come in confidence to your throne of grace for help in time of need.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
Regus Meeting Rooms (Management Suite)
1 The Oasis
Meadowhall Centre
SHEFFIELD
S9 1EP

Meeting Time:
Church Services will take place twice a month on a at Saturday 10:30am
Please email to confirm dates.

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.church

 

 

 

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