He's got his work cut out right?!

11th October 2016 / Laura Gallacher

So, we’re in the thick of Genesis. Sometimes, it’s not what you’d expect from the opening book of the Bible hey? I’ve definitely found myself thinking, “Wow. These are meant to be the people of God? ….He’s got his work cut out.” Deceit, sex scandal, arrogance, jealousy: it’s like an ancient Near-Eastern soap opera. How is this the word of God? How are we meant to read it? And how are we meant to read it devotionally?  

With these questions in mind, I found myself thinking of the church today- sometimes it seems like God has got his work cut out doesn’t it? And I found myself drawn to the moments of love and grace in the Book of Genesis. They’re definitely there, sprinkled throughout the text like light poking through, like a breath of fresh air. There’s God’s compassion (16:7; 18:32; 29:31), His miraculous provision (21:1; 24:15; 30:23), Jacob’s deep love (29:20) and Esau’s surprising forgiveness (33:4). And whilst Abraham and his descendants mess up again and again, God is committed to His people. He is gracious: he continues to reveal himself by showing up, speaking, and doing what only He can do.

Again, I find myself thinking of the church. Despite our mess ups, God graciously continues to show up, speak to us and do what only He could do in our lives. His purposes, his mercy, his power and love are a breath of fresh air. 

And in this way, this somewhat alarming book (!) is very much God’s word to us. It causes us to see again God’s grace and our ridiculous need of it. It tells us the very beginnings of God’s commitment to the people He calls “His own”. 

And, we have the rest of that story in the pages that follow. We’re able to fix our eyes on Jesus, the anticipated Messiah where at Calvary “on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14). We delight in the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost meaning that now God’s people have all the resources for love, forgiveness, self-control and kindness, not only to be moments that just occasionally poke through, but to become consistently the very essence of our lives.