Jan 26, 2022

(Genesis 27, Matthew 26; Optional Psalm 22:1-11, Proverbs 6:1-5)

Click the following link to see every day’s through-the-Bible readings and reflections. Once there, you can sign up on my “FREE daily email” page and get daily reminders in your inbox: www.2Tim3v16.wordpress.com

GENESIS 27 – In the time when these events happened, the firstborn son received the birthright (Gen 25:29-34, Heb 12:16-17) and basically everything. But, while the twins were still in her womb (Gen 25:21-23), God tells Rebekah that (as He often does) He will flip that revered tradition and elevate the younger son Jacob over the eldest Esau. If Rebekah told her husband, Isaac, then he is sinning in Gen 27 when he tries to stick with the custom and give the blessing / birthright to Esau. But there is so much sinful family dysfunction evident in Gen 27, we can’t be positive that Rebekah ever told Isaac. This chapter is sobering in how much sin is here (and this is the promised line that knows Yahweh). Isaac and Rebekah have chosen different favorite children and attempt to ensure their favorite gets everything. Rebekah and Jacob repeatedly trick Isaac and Esau (rather than Rebekah trusting God’s promise from Gen 25:21-23). Esau acts the victim, ignoring how he gave up the long-term birthright for short-term desires (Gen 25:29-34, Heb 12:16-17). Then plots murder of his brother. What a painful, sinful mess – NOBODY is happy in this chapter, as they sinfully attempt to make their own way succeed. And yet, God’s sovereign plan (Gen 25:21-23) is going to happen! 

I love how the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible summarizes this chapter: [“Through it all we see God working out his purposes that “the older shall serve the younger” (25:23). Isaac is deceived and blesses Jacob with a variation of the Abrahamic promises (27:27–29; cf. 12:3; see Heb. 11:20). God providentially uses all kinds of human actions—good, bad, and mixed—to carry out his promised purposes.

The supreme instance of God working through the mixed actions of various people to bring about his promised purposes is the cross of Christ. Jesus is wrongly condemned and killed. Yet note Peter’s commentary on this event: “there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27–28; cf. 2:23). All that takes place in our world is under the wise and fatherly hand of God.”]

Gen 27:13 – “Let your curse be on me…” – And it was, sadly. As a consequence of their deception (and, mysteriously, also as part of God’s sovereign plan), Jacob must leave the promised land for years, and Rachel will never again see her favorite son in this life (Gen 27:42-46).

Gen 27:35-36 – We saw that even in birth Jacob was being tricky (Gen 25:24-28), grabbing the heel of the older twin, trying to claw his way out first. “Jacob” means “heel-grabber,” and has the idea of being cunning / tricky. And that IS his sinful tendency. But God is about to graciously train Jacob and let him feel how painful it is to BE tricked, as Jacob will soon be outmaneuvered by his even trickier father-in-law. And God changes his name in Gen 32:28 to Israel.

MATTHEW 26 – This long chapter, only hours from Jesus’ sacrificial death, needs little explanation. But it does call for worship as we see Jesus exalted as the fulfillment of prophecy. He is 100% human (fulfilling Gen 3:15) and demonstrates how we should cry out to our heavenly Father in our suffering (Matt 26:39). Being also 100% God (Isaiah 9:6), Jesus is directing every detail of His own death (Matt 26:2, victorious over human plotting in Matt 26:4-5; also Matt 26:2, 18, 24, 31, 45-46, 50, 53-56). Jesus is God’s perfect Passover Lamb, and He is also the Good Shepherd, tenderly guiding His people through this valley of the shadow of death. He is the Lamb being led to the slaughter (Isa 53:7, Matt 26:63), and also our great High Priest arranging every detail of His own sacrifice (Matt 26:2, 18, 26-29; Heb 9:11-14). He is the victorious Lion of the tribe of Judah, predicting His own resurrection (Rev 5:5, Matt 26:32). And He is the Lamb giving His life to be slain (Rev 5:6, Matt 26:45-55). He is the triumphant Son of Man (Dan 713-14, Matt 26:64) and the Suffering Servant (Isa 53).

Optional Psalm 22:1-11 – David crying out to God when he feels utterly forsaken in an incredibly painful time. Compare Jesus pouring out His heart in Matt 26:39 and quoting Ps 22:1 from the cross (Matt 27:46). Although Psalm 22 was inspired by God in response to pain in David’s life, David is also speaking prophetically about details of the Messiah’s death on the cross that would happen 1,000 years after he wrote Psalm 22.  Jesus took upon Him the sins of all who would believe in Him and took the righteous wrath of God on our behalf. So that even when we honestly FEEL forsaken by God like David expressed in Psalm 22, we know the reality is that God does NOT leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5-6).

Optional Proverbs 6:1-5 – After the other momentous Scripture readings today, this one feels much less important to me right now. But daily life details matter to God, too. This section shows how urgent it is to get out of a deal (if we righteously can) where we’ve co-signed for a neighbor’s debt. Of course, we should also take the hint and not GET in such a situation in the first place.