not less in your mess

Here is my latest entry for Our Daily Journey:

read > Genesis 29:16-30:24

Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.”

God’s royal family, the most important family in the history of the world, was a bit trashy. Consider Abraham’s family. He slept with his slave, then banished her and their son into the wilderness (Genesis 21). What family could be worse than that?

Isaac’s family. They were divided down the middle as each parent picked a favorite son, then one son plotted to kill the other for ripping him off (Genesis 27). What family could be worse than that?

Jacob’s family. One man slept with two wives and two slaves, each desperately trying to produce sons for Team Leah or Team Rachel. The teams were so divided that Leah’s sons sold their half brother to slave traders and let their father believe that “a wild animal must have eaten him” (Genesis 37:33).

We can’t excuse what any of these people did, but it’s comforting to know that God was not less in their mess. His sovereign plan was not threatened by their sin, but He used their repeated failures to accomplish His mission to save the world.

We all have done things we regret. Some of us have messed up our lives pretty good. How we long for a do-over! I don’t know what you have done, but I urge you to remember two things:

1. You have not messed up your life more than these families.

2. God remained in complete control of these families, and He is not threatened by your sin.

When David sinned by counting his fighting men, he stopped the ensuing plague by erecting an altar “on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite” (2 Samuel 24:18). It was on this land that Solomon, David’s son with Bathsheba, later built the temple. As one preacher said, only God can take a man’s two biggest sins and make a temple out of them. Don’t despair over your sin. God is best at cleaning up a mess.

3 Comments

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  1. I love the approach you take in this devotional. Very culturally relevant and filled with hope!

    *Edit: add “slept”?

  2. Doug: what do you mean by add slept?

  3. I thought of this post when I encountered the following blog post on FB http://beliefsoftheheart.com/2013/07/23/i-wonder-if-sunday-school-is-destroying-our-kids-2/

    The connection is that the author says we tend to portray David, Samson, etc. as perfect figures in Sunday school material for the children to emulate, essentially glossing over their “mess”, and in doing so, missing the chance to present God’s grace, mercy and redemption.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this article.

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