Daily Reflections January 26, 2018
The narratives in Genesis are more than just interesting stories told to give us material for bed-time. These are stories that highlight the nature of God and man. If we neglect to see ourselves and God within them, then we have missed their purpose.
This chapter shows us the sovereignty of God to accomplish his divine will. Jacob’s deception in this chapter should not be commended. But it is noteworthy that his sinful act only served to accomplish the will of God. This may not be immediately evident but if you remember, the birth of Jacob and Esau indicated that this would happen. Chapter 25 told us,
“And the Lord said to her [Rebekah], ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.’” (Genesis 25:13).
Jacob did not prevail and thwart what should have been. God knew and sovereignly worked out what he had already revealed, even through the agency of evil persons. Another obvious example of God working through the agency of evil human agents is in the death of his son, Jesus. (Acts 2:23).
This should encourage us. God is in control. There is nothing that evil men can do to thwart what God has already determined to do. That means that all of God’s promises for us will come true. They may not come through the means that we’d like it to but we can be assured they will be fulfilled.
This chapter also shows us the danger of our affections. In verse 5, Esau is called ‘his’ son and. in verse 6, Jacob is called ‘her’ son. There is clear divisiveness in the family. Issac displayed an eagerness to bless the son that his soul loved. Rebekah was willing to manipulate so that the son that she cherished was blessed. It is a dangerous thing to love something so much that we don’t consider what God desires.
I think this is a warning to us. Children are a wonderful gift from God. But they can also be idols. They can be tools by the enemy to distract us and even tempt us to sin against God. Our affections should always be first and foremost directed to our holy God. Then, directed by God’s kind hand, we can have a healthy relationship with our children that will keep us and them in alignment with God’s will.
Yours in Christ,
Associate Pastor Evan Webster
In chapter 26 of Matthew’s Gospel we find that Jesus’ crucifixion is imminent and all the main characters are preparing for it. Jesus is acutely aware that his death is close at hand and he prepares His disciples by telling them of this news. Also preparing for the death of Jesus were the chief priests and the elders. They were actively scheming how they might kill Jesus and at the same time avoid upsetting the people. Not to be missed is the setting in which all of this is taking place, the Passover.
The Passover is unquestionably the Jewish Feast which Christians are most familiar with. This is good news because the events of Passover are directly related to the death of Christ. You will remember that Passover was first enacted back in Exodus when the Israelites were preparing their escape from Egypt. We read the following in Exodus 12:12-13,
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements; I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
In this story the blood of the Passover Lamb was spread over the doorposts of the people in order to save them from the judgement of God. The blood was a sign both of obedience and of a sacrifice already paid. So now in Matthew 26 we see Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God whose blood will cover the saints and spare them from the wrath and judgement of God. As if this were not good news in and of itself, the blood of Christ accomplishes even more than this. Listen to what Jesus says in verse 28:
“For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
From this we must first notice that the blood of Christ opens up for us a new and better covenant. In Exodus 24:8 the Mosaic Covenant was confirmed through the blood of oxen, and so here the New Covenant is confirmed through the blood of Christ. Just as the blood of Christ is greater than that of oxen, so too is the New Covenant greater than the Old. Having just read Matthew 26, turn now to Hebrews 9:11-28 and rejoice in the author’s exposition of what was being accomplished.
We must also note that here in Matthew’s Gospel we very clearly see Jesus relating his blood and death to the forgiveness of sins. In modern academia many scholars have tried to insist that Jesus’ own preaching of the Gospel did not place significance on his death or on the forgiveness of sins. It is apparent, however, that Matthew would beg to differ. We see here at the climax of this Gospel narrative the proclamation of a New Covenant built around the death of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
This is the Biblical attestation of the Gospel made not only by Christ, but also by His apostles, and all faithful men and women throughout the history of the church.
Director of Youth Ministries Ryan Shevalier