God’s Love Letters #4   1 comment

Matthew 1:2 “And Isaac the father of Jacob”

No, that was not Isaac’s choice.  He wanted to be known as “Isaac the father of Esau.”  Esau was the first born, a macho man, and his favorite son.  For those familiar with the Bible stories, “Jacob and Esau” rolls easily off the tongue, but for Isaac it was “Esau and Jacob.”  Everyone knew Esau was heir apparent, standing in the wings for his call onto the stage as head of the family and forefather of the covenant people.  And I expect most folks approved.  Esau was clearly the one who commanded respect, the one with courage and boldness, the natural born leader.  Jacob was a mama’s boy, always running away, always cowering behind some trickery.  In the hard-scrabble land of the Middle East, Jacob was a Loser.

When Isaac was old and blind and felt death approaching, he prepared for Esau’s coronation, only to have Jacob filch the throne by deceit.  Oddly enough, Jacob was God’s pick from the beginning.  What did God see in him that made him the obvious choice?  Even children know who to pick for their team—the one with the most abilities—and through that lens we read Scripture.  We suppose that God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son because she was pure and good and obedient, so good as to be sinless according to some theologians.  But the angel of God in Luke clearly tells us why she was chosen—it was based on God’s grace he says twice over, not on Mary’s virtue.  The Greek word for grace, Charis (in KJV “highly favored”), is not a reference to how deserving Mary was.  She was picked by grace, not merit.  “How Lucky!” would be a closer rendering than “How worthy!” 

All through history God chooses those who don’t deserve him, who know they don’t deserve him, who are convinced they will never deserve him, and have at last opened to his welcoming embrace.  It is the strong, talented, and self-sufficent who find grace, full grace, undeserved grace, hard to swallow.  I am so grateful that our God is “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” yes, even Jacob…  especially Jacob.  God loves me with all the strength and intensity of his great heart.  How lucky am I?!


Posted April 12, 2012 by janathangrace in Bible Grace

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One response to “God’s Love Letters #4

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  1. nothing escapes God’s plan. neither our failure or disobedience can fail God’s plan

    look how Joseph wanted Manasseh to be laid hands, but Jacob “CROSS” his arms

    Genesis 48:13-14

    “Joseph took Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh
    on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him.”

    “But Jacob crossed his arms … He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim…”

    It speaks forth “Jesus at the Cross”.

    “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?
    And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
    – Isaiah 14:27

    @”We suppose that God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son because she was pure
    and good and obedient, so good as to be sinless according to some theologians”

    I totally agree with you.

    Grace is given to the SINNER. if Mary was not a sinner, then Grace would have not come to her

    Mary is a sinner.

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