“No man can prevent God from blessing you”: meditation on Genesis 25:23

June 19, 2019

Genesis 25:23And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

The story arc that begins with this verse and continues through chapter 33 describes many unlikely ways in which God blesses and prospers Jacob—often in spite of himself! For instance, according to the ancient law of primogeniture, Esau, Jacob’s firstborn twin brother, should receive the birthright and blessing of his father, Isaac. But God has another plan, which the wily Jacob is more than eager to implement, however unwittingly.

Since God chose Jacob rather than Esau to carry forward his covenant promises through Abraham (see Genesis 12:2-3), why doesn’t God simply enable Jacob to be born first? Wouldn’t that have been far less trouble for everyone involved? Yes, but since when does our Father seem interested in sparing us, his chosen ones, from trouble? Moreover, how often do we look back on this trouble and think, “While I hated it at the time, I now see that it was good for me”?

One of the most harmful sins I commit is comparing myself with others—in my case often fellow ordained clergy, including district superintendents and bishops—and believing that I’m not getting what I need from them. Or, indeed, that they are standing in the way of something I need. Success is a zero sum game, I fear, and there’s only so much of it to go around. (Again, I’m not proud of this; it’s a sin to feel this way!)

To say the least, this scripture says otherwise. If God wants me to have something, he will ensure that I have it. No one and nothing—not the will of man or even powerful institutions—can impede God’s sovereign choices. And because I am in Christ, I can be sure that what God chooses for me will always be in my best interest.

So God is saying to me, through today’s scripture, “Trust me, Brent! Don’t be afraid that I’m giving you anything other than what is best for you at this and every other moment! No one and nothing can stand in the way of the blessing with which I want to bless you. No one and nothing can prevent you from receiving my very best for you!”

One Response to ““No man can prevent God from blessing you”: meditation on Genesis 25:23”

  1. Tom Harkins Says:

    I think this has a lot of merit, but I am concerned to the extent that I, at least, may be able to “stand in the way” of God’s best for me. As a biblical example, I think of Solomon, who “had it all,” but his heart was turned away by his pagan wives. God spoke to him twice about this, but he did not change his ways. As a result, his kingdom began to be chipped away, and his son lost 10 tribes of Israel. I am certain, of course, that God had a plan which reflected all this, but as for Solomon, I am not sure he received God’s “best” in the sense that, had he responded to God’s rebuke, maybe his kingdom could have stayed intact. Similarly with me, I believe God is looking out for me, and that “third parties” or forces are not going to be able to “separate me” from God’s love (as Paul says in Romans 8). I think, though, Ihat I might have had a “better” life had I been less sinful. Samuel tells Saul that his kingdom would have endured had he not been disobedient, but instead God would find a new kingly lineage.


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