Genesis 30-31, Psalm 11, Mark 12
Why do you read the Bible? Your answer to that question is essential. There may even be more than one. I answer it with to be a better person and to know God. Both of those are fine answers. But I question, how can either be true when we are reading about a bunch of idiots?
Let’s start with Jacob. He was the 2nd born son, but he wanted to be first, so he stole his brother’s birthright. Then, with the help of his mother – who is no better – tricks his father into giving him the family blessing. Trickery is something Jacob was especially good at. He even tricks his wife’s father into a greater share of the family assets. Seriously, Jacob is no prize.
Jacob leads us to Laban. His tricks start with his daughters. He swaps the ugly one for the pretty one, so Jacob ends up marrying both. Then, he convinces Jacob to keep working his farm, even after Jacob has paid off his debts.
It’s not just the men. Jacob’s wife Rachel is just as deceitful. She can’t get pregnant so she offers Jacob her servant. Then, hates her for it. She is a thief too. On her way out of town, she steals idols from her father.
What a mess! As I read through this cast of characters, I consider them as who I do not want to be. But, I am perplexed. They live twisted lives and God blesses them anyway. He gives them wealth and prosperity, family, and babies. This is my quandary. What in the world did they do to earn God’s favor?
Nothing. That is the answer. They did nothing to earn God’s favor. They were undeserving jerks. All of them. He loved them anyway. God loved them with the love of a lover, giving gifts and staying close by. He loved them in their lying, deceit, trickery, and theft.
Truth is, if someone reads about my life 3,000 years from now, they will see me as an undeserving jerk too. I am not proud of that. But, prayerfully, they are a diligent student. If they are, they will see the unconditional love of our great God. When they see it, I hope that they realize it is for them too. He will take you too. Just as you are.