Text: Matthew 15; Genesis 29-30
These stories in Genesis are astonishing. There is a curious theme in these chapters, reminiscent of jokes about unscrupulous lawyers and crooked politicians. Jacob’s name in Hebrew means “cheater.” Jacob cheated his brother, Esau, and his dad, Isaac. His mom, Rebekah put him up to it. Rebekah had a brother, Laban. Laban cheated Jacob in the whole deal over working seven years for the hand of Rachel in marriage. In earlier readings we saw Abraham and Isaac both put their wives at great risk with the “she’s just my sister” scam. What a bunch of disreputable, no-goods!
And, yet, God chose them and blessed them and used them to establish a nation – His chosen people. These people are used by God as the object of His love – and discipline – to show us all how He works in history. From them come all the prophets through whom God reveals His Word, and ultimately they are the source of a savior, God’s one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
These bums deserved to be skipped over in God’s plan. So do we. But that’s not how He works. It is a delightful truth that God does not choose the good people to be His own. Instead, He calls and forgives and redeems ordinary, even wicked people and calls them His own. What a wonderful God – of mercy and grace and love!
in Him, Mike