When my kids were little, we didn’t have a lot of money. Often when my mum would come to visit, she’d notice they needed that most expensive of kids’ requirements – new shoes. So off we’d go into town, and they’d come back with their new footwear, courtesy of my mum. Good old mum!
My grandchildren were looking a little in need of new shoes themselves a few weeks ago, so guess where we went! Good old grandma!
My mum set the precedent, and I followed. I think that may have been the case for Jacob too (Genesis 28:18-22). No doubt he had heard the story of how his grandfather had performed a daring exploit when he rescued Uncle Lot (Genesis 14), then in recognition of God’s help he gave Melchizedek one tenth of everything. Jacob knew only too well, that he desperately needed God’s help himself, so followed Abram’s precedent in promising to give God one tenth of everything he might acquire. Like his grandfather before him, he submitted himself to God’s love, care and provision. And the best of all, it was totally a heart-response. At that moment, he really meant it.
There are two things I think we can take from this. Firstly, we need to get our lives in order, to be great examples of how to live in God’s Kingdom. Do you know who is watching you and following your example?
Secondly, God made the promise to Jacob regardless of his response. He would be with him, he would bring him back to the land fruitful, and give him possession of it. He would not leave him until it was all fulfilled – it was a promise. To this, Jacob responded, “If God will be with me… then the Lord will be my God.” The thing is, we love him because he first loved us. He has given us all we need for life and godliness, he has promised to be with us always and everywhere, he did not withhold even the sacrifice of his own son for us. How else can we respond to that sort of love?