Psalm 68, Genesis 28:10-22, Hebrews 11:13-22
How often do we look at the world asking, “what’s wrong with the world today?” How often do we look around ourselves asking, “what’s wrong with everyone?” How often do we look at ourselves in the mirror asking, “what’s wrong with me?” Often this question comes when we feel as if we have no control, even over ourselves.
How do we then respond to the faithfulness of the psalmist? I have no doubts that the psalmist saw many things that were wrong in the world. Whether it was foreign nations, the powerful around him, the struggles within his family, or even the struggles inside himself. Despite all of this, the psalmist still trusted God. The concepts of good and evil, positive and negative, right and wrong, just or unjust are going through dramatic changes and challenges in our current culture. Many Christians are searching for solid ground to put their feet upon in the midst of this turmoil. All are seeking to be true to Jesus Christ, to their faith community, and to their framily.
Jacob was in disarray himself, at the time of his vision. Regardless of how you perceive of Jacob at this point, from a practical point of view, he was an exile from everything he knew. He was on his way to his uncle, who he didn’t know. In between the past and the future, Jacob had a vision. In this vision, Jacob received a promise that was the continuation of the promise God gave his grandfather.
While the psalmist may not have seen the Godly justice he anticipated, for sure Jacob (and his father and Grandfather) did not see the fulfillment of the promise. Yet, they held onto God. The author of Hebrews emphasizes their trust and faith. The author noted that they viewed themselves as foreigners and temporary residents. This should also be our perspective of things. When we have the long-seeing and long-reaching understanding that this is temporary, it gives us some relief from our human responses to everything around us, and to instead develop a Godly response to the world.
1) Why is it important to understand in your head and your heart that forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) didn’t see the fulfillment of the promise that God made to them?
2) Why might long-seeing and long-reaching be important to developing your Godly response to the world?
KD) Has someone made a promise to you that it took forever to be completed? How does that feel?