Skip to comments.The Rev. William Klock: "Seeing God's Gracious Hand at Work"
Posted on 09/19/2006 5:46:11 PM PDT by sionnsar
We are blessed this week with another in the series of sermons from the Book of Genesis by the Rev. William Klock of Christ Church REC in Oregon. This one is titled Seeing God's Gracious Hand at Work and is based on Genesis 31:1-55, the account of Jacob's ending of what we today would call a "business relationship" with Laban. And Jacob did indeed have good reason for doing so, for Laban and his sons had begun to turn against him due to their inability to cheat him. But the Lord used this, as Fr. Klock points out:
As I said earlier, I think we tend to look for lessons about grace in some places and not in others when it comes to Holy Scripture, but even here God shows us some practical lessons. Jacob really does show us the will of God in daily life. The story shows us something about how God gives us his guidance. The will of God isnt something to be divined, its really something to be followed. Hes already given it to us, we just need to follow it as he leads. Jacob had a desire to go home at the end of his first fourteen years, but he couldnt go home then. But his circumstances changed and it became impossible for him to stay with Laban. We can see Gods hand behind the scenes, even in the jealousy, the strife, and all the injustice. But still Jacob didnt leave. The final piece was Gods divine message of command. The way forward only became clear when Jacobs desire, his circumstances, and Gods divine Word all came together. This is the way Gods guidance works: the Spirit convicts us inwardly, the Word confirms, and circumstances make it possible. When these three things agree, we can know how God wants us to follow him. When one or two are missing, we know that we need to wait on God. Sometimes the Spirit moves and the Word confirms, but circumstances wont allow and so we know that the timing isnt quite right.There is a great deal to be learned from the life of Jacob! And my thanks to Fr. Klock for bringing some of these truths closer to us.
We need to be alert at all times and we also need to spend time with God so that he can shape and mould our hearts so that our desires become his desires. We cant expect to hear God speaking to us in our daily lives if we arent close to him. This is what we asked in the collect this morning: that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command. All through this particular story we Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Laban talking about God either working on their behalf or doing something to prevent them from taking part in some action or accomplishing their purpose. It all peaks at the end of the story as Jacob and Laban make their covenantal agreement and do so by invoking Gods presence and power. We might not always be able fully to see Gods hand at work or to know exactly what hes done, but one of the real secrets of the Christian life is just to be able to acknowledge Gods presence and power, and to realise that Gods at work in our lives and wants to bring about what he knows is best for us. In Proverbs, Solomon wrote, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. This is how God wants us to live.
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