Genesis 27:46-28:22; Matthew 9:18-26; Psalms 11:7; Proverbs 5:7-14
OT: “So Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite girl. Go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you become an assembly of peoples. May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” …Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He reached a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took one of the stones from the place, put it there at his head, and lay down in that place… The Lord was standing there beside him, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land on which you are lying. Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” …Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the Lord will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to you a tenth of all that you give me.”” (Genesis 28:1-4, 10-11, 13-15, 20-22 CSB)
The name Jacob means “grasps the heel.” Basically it means you grab and pull people down so you can get ahead – and that became Jacob’s nature. He manipulated his brother out of his birthright and conned his way into getting his brother’s blessing. He was used to taking for himself and because he wasn’t trustworthy, he couldn’t trust others – especially a God he couldn’t see. So even after his father Isaac blessed him… and God Himself promised to bless him – Jacob doubted. He didn’t believe God. Basically, Jacob told God, if you prove yourself to me, then I will make you my God – but only after you have proven Your word. Jacob ended up spending more than 14 years away suffering as the victim of his conniving Uncle. I wonder how much better it would have gone for Jacob if he had believed God at His word instead of demanding proof. Are there areas of my life where I refuse to place my faith in God until He proves Himself to me? Are there areas where I am afraid to go because I don’t believe His word and His promise to be with me and watch over me wherever I go?
NT: “As he was telling them these things, suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before him, saying, “My daughter just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” So Jesus and his disciples got up and followed him. Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe… Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.” And the woman was made well from that moment. When Jesus came to the leader’s house, he saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly. “Leave,” he said, “because the girl is not dead but asleep.” And they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.” (Matthew 9:18-20, 22-25 CSB)
Notice the difference between the woman with the issue of blood and the crowd at the girls wake. The woman placed her faith in Jesus without having to see the evidence – and she was immediately healed. The people at the little girls wake had no faith in Jesus. Instead they laughed and ridiculed Jesus. Who ended up being the fools? The woman who placed all her faith of Jesus or the people who had to have Jesus’ claims proven to them. Are there times when we refuse to do what the Lord is calling us to do because we don’t want to be made a fool? Apparently trusting Jesus is never foolish, while not trusting Him is.