Choosing Greater Value

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Genesis 31:25-50; 1 John 2:12-17; John 10:1-18

From the Reformer

But I prefer to follow the opinion of Burgensis, who is both versed in the Hebrew language and scholarly in interpreting the meaning of Scripture. He thinks that one should read: “On the mount the Lord will see,” and as his reason for this opinion he states that above Abraham had answered his son’s question about the sheep: “The Lord will see”; that is, “He will provide.” It is as though he meant to say: “Even if we do not know, He knows where we shall get the sheep for the burnt offering. Let Him see to it.”

I cannot condemn this explanation. For the Lord did see; that is, He took care that those words of Abraham to his son—“The Lord will provide”—were fulfilled.

—Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis

Pulling It Together

The wrath of a father—or uncle, in this case—is a fearsome thing. The threat of, “Just wait until your father gets home,” comes to mind. Even when we try hard to do good, we might worry, for even our friends can get us into trouble. In Jacob’s case, it was one of his wives; Rachel had stolen her father’s valuable household gods. Though her husband’s blessing from God was great, like a prodigal daughter, she insisted on an inheritance that she desired immediately. Both daughters listened to the wrong voice, justifying Rachel’s theft by reasoning that they deserved an inheritance, and choosing something of lowest value: idols of false gods.

We need not worry for what might be ours, for “in him we have obtained an inheritance,” of whom the Holy Spirit “is the guarantee.” (Eph 1:11-13) It is enough to live by the word of the Lord, listening for the good shepherd’s voice and trusting in his care. We already have life through him, “and have it abundantly.” We choose our own desires at the peril of robbing ourselves of what is of greater value: our heavenly Father’s blessing.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me live in the contented peace that is given in your Son. Amen.

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