Scripture teaches us that life as we know it is grounded in promises -- God's promises to humankind and our promises to each other. History teaches us that, when we don't keep our promises to one another, cracks develop in the fabric of life. Promises, contracts and pacts are necessary to make society work. Marriage vows, oaths of office, pledges of support, codes of ethics, parenting promises, product warranties -- these things and many similar assurances are crucial to communal life.
Meet Jacob... a spoiled son who let no one -- including his own family -- stand in the way of getting what he wanted... A shrewd and sometimes unethical business man... the patriarch of a very large dysfunctional family... And, the only man who ever wrestled with God and lived to tell about it.
Despite his flaws and challenges, in the end Jacob was blessed by God and managed to redeem himself and his broken relationships. If you've ever wrestled with God, struggled with relationships or done things you're not proud of, you'll see yourself in Jacob's story.
In the end, we live and die with promise, as did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, too, God's promise lets us live in hope, short of fulfillment, trusting that, whatever comes, God's intent will succeed.
September 17 Sibling Rivalries Genesis 25:19-28
September 24 The Dating Game Genesis 29:15-30
October 1 Wrestling with God Genesis 32:22-32
October 8 Family Reunion Genesis 33:1-17
October 15 Sacred Places Genesis 35:1-15