|@January 27, 2024
|M’Cheyne Plan 2024
Genesis 28:14–15 (ESV) 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
God continues His faithfulness of the Abrahamic line by blessing Isaac and that his offspring would be as the dust of the earth. However, the greatest blessing He could give, even beyond expanding their numbers, was His presence with them and keeping them wherever they went. It is certainly a good thing to have children and a continued descendency but far better that they be His children and co-heirs with Christ.
Matthew 27:11–12 (ESV) 11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.
Three times in Matthew, Jesus says, “You have said so.” to reply in the affirmative. First was His response to Judas when asked if he would be the one to betray Jesus (Matt. 26:25); the second was His response to the high priest, Caiaphas, when questioned if He was the Son of God (Matt. 26:64); and third in His response to the governor, Pilate, when asked if He was the King of the Jews (Matt. 27:11). Worth noting is that Jesus did not repeat His affirmation to the chief priests and elders after the governor. He had already told them that He was the Son of God and by this point it seems their aim was more to antagonize than to obtain understanding.
Esther 4:14 (ESV) 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Mordecai’s comment to Esther with regard to the decree to destroy all the Jews is incredible. Mordecai, with great faith, was certain that “relief and deliverance” would still come to the Jewish people even if Esther did not bring the matter to the king. However, if she did remain silent, she and her father’s house would perish. Faced with Ester’s options of 1) death from the king due to unauthorized entry into his inner court to plead for the reversal of the decree or 2) death by keeping silent, Modecai proposed that perhaps this was the reason why she had come to the kingdom. This admonition propelled Esther to take action, calling for a fast among the Jews, fast herself among her young women and going to the king even if it meant her death.
Acts 27:21–22 (ESV) 21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
The centurion who had charge over Paul and the prisoners had not listened to Paul because he paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship. Now, under the violent tempest with all hope of being saved abandoned, Paul rebukes them and also encourages them that there would be no loss of life. From here until the vessel runs aground, the men heed Paul’s instruction and everyone survives. However, it was not until they reached a point where all hope was lost that they began to listen. What a picture of the gospel, that God would bring us to despair, seeing the futility self-driven initiative that we would come to Him who alone has the power to save.
Carson on Genesis 28
Awakened from his dream, Jacob erects an altar and calls the place Bethel. But in large measure he is still the same wheeler-dealer. He utters a vow: If God will do this and that and the other, if I get all that I want and hope for out of this deal, “then the LORD will be my God” (28:20–21). And God does not strike him down! The story moves on: God does all that he promised, and more. All of Jacob’s conditions are met. One of the great themes of Scripture is how God meets us where we are: in our insecurities, in our conditional obedience, in our mixture of faith and doubt, in our fusion of awe and self-interest, in our understanding and foolishness.
God chose to keep His promise despite Jacob’s transactional, quid-pro-quo understanding. How often this is us, proceeding in like manner. Even if not overt, we can functionally operate by selfish motivation, doing what needs to be done out of expectation of what we will receive. And yet God is faithful, working with our brokenness and shining His grace upon us. What unending gratitude should be our response to be given all of what we do not deserve.
- J. I. Packer et. al, The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: Volumes 1 & 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006; hosted on thegospelcoalition.org)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)