Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A "Morsel" for People Who Aren't Perfect

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
This daily morsel of gospel "bread" is intended for people who are not perfect, who have sins to confess, who struggle with temptations, who know what it is to kneel before the Lord in shame, in humble, tearful repentance, day after day.

Well, if you fit the category, here's an encouraging story: here's a man who has just told seven despicable lies in his efforts to climb over somebody else in order to get himself to the top. The man's name? Jacob. He has deceived his poor old blind father and assumed a deceptive identity in order to secure a fabulous inheritance that by law should have gone to his brother Esau, and which his sincere old father had fully intended to give to Esau. But now Jacob has succeeded in place of Esau; but the joy and exhilaration he should have experienced at having reached the top is dissipated by an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. Forced to flee into exile, Jacob is so loaded with self-condemnation that he lies down to sleep without being able to say a good-night prayer. Exhausted by guilt, he finds relief only by sleep so deep that a stone pillow gives comfort.

Then in a dream, the Lord God gives him a message: there's a ladder reaching from where he is up to the top of heaven and there above it stands God. (Note: Jacob doesn't "climb" that ladder! Angels do, up and down.) And what does God say to poor Jacob who feels like he's nothing? "You rascal, you liar, you thief! How do you think I could ever bless YOU??!!" No, a thousand times no! God repeats the seven fantastic promises He had previously made to Abraham, renews them all to Oustanding Sinner Jacob, and DOESN'T ASK JACOB TO PROMISE ONE BLESSED THING IN RETURN. Read it in Genesis 28:11-22.

Does that mean that God OK's telling lies? Also, a thousand times no! But the gratitude Jacob experiences at knowing he is forgiven, cleansed, redeemed, accepted in Christ, chosen by God to salvation, changes his heart and saves his soul from ruin and despair.

And who are you? By grace, a child of Jacob. Identify with him, please.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 30, 1998.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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