August 19th 2010

God’s Ahead Of Us, Partner

“That night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and said,
‘Be careful! Do not say anything to Jacob, good or bad.’”
Genesis 31:24 (NCV, 2005 version)

If you don’t know the story, do read Genesis 31. In summary Jacob, always a timorous man and more so as he grew older, was fearful of his irascible father-in-law, Laban. Jacob was good at manipulating people but he met his match in Laban.

So when Laban turned up with all his relatives, hostile and indignant, Jacob had cause to be fearful as to the outcome. Only, God had gone before him and prepared the way.

You see, many years before, Jacob, setting out from home into the unknown, made a compact with God (Genesis 28:20-21). He made God his partner. And in a very real sense the Christian of today is in a similar position – only it’s God who makes the Christian his partner. And God goes before us when necessary.

Does that mean we don’t suffer problems? Oh no, again, the story of Jacob shows that Life, with all of its ups and downs, happens to everyone–today’s Christians as well as non-Christians. Nor will God condone our own stupidnesses. He’s not going to excuse our foolish behaviour and back that up for us. No, when we agreed to accept Jesus as our Saviour we agreed to his terms, not he to ours.

And that’s why we spend our lives searching out how Jesus acted when he, as a human being as well as God, walked this earth. How did he act? What did he say? How did he handle this situation, or that situation?  It is a comfort to know when things apparently get out of hand, that God can, and does, go before us. The only thing is, did you notice? God didn’t tell Jacob. Jacob didn’t know that God had curbed Laban, refrained him from manipulating him one more time. That’s a valuable lesson for us – we need to learn to trust our Senior Partner.

Most merciful Father, thank you for your care for us. Not only have you provided for our salvation, but you use the events of this life to help shape us for life to come in your kingdom. Help us to learn to trust you, that you really are in charge, and especially help us to be content to leave our lives in trust with you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford 

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