Genesis 28:10-15 and Revelation 21:6

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:10-15)

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Rev 21:6)

In Luke 7 a Jewish ex-prostitute cries and pours perfume on Jesus’ feet as he eats at the table of Simon the Pharisee, who says to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” But Jesus says of her, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.” And then he says of the Pharisee, “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Jacob was Abraham’s grandson. He was a cunning man, willing to deceive his father, his brother and then his father-in-law to get what he desired. Jacob’s story is not of an honourable grandson who keeps the contract/covenant God made with Abraham. It’s the story of God keeping the contract/covenant despite Jacob’s flawed character. From Jacob 12 sons are born, who become the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. From them King David will arise and eventually David’s greatest descendant Jesus would come and be the man Jacob could not be and so fulfil the promise to Jacob, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” Jesus is this blessing to the world and we become a part of that blessing as we follow him and live for him in the world. As we’re like the woman who cried at Jesus’ feet in thankfulness for his good news – to use Revelation’s metaphor- we are thirsty people telling other thirsty people where to get a drink of the water of life.

Head: What do you think when you realise God kept the contract/covenant despite Jacob’s flawed character?

Heart: Does your heart want to keep trusting in this contract/covenant keeping God?

Hands: How can my words and actions bring the good news of Jesus to my world today? How can I be a part of his blessing to the world?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am amazed as I realise how you kept the contract/covenant with Abraham despite Jacob’s flawed character, and you kept doing that in the centuries that followed. Thank you for Jacob’s greatest descendant Jesus, who was the man Jacob could not be and so fulfilled the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please enable my heart to be like that of the thankful woman who cried at Jesus’ feet – trusting in you, the contract/covenant keeping God. Please enable my words and actions bring the water of life, the good news of Jesus, to my world today and to be a part of Jesus’ blessing to the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A song to listen to: Jesus

Phil Strong