podcast

#279 – Sovereign Mystery (Genesis 27:24)

Pray The Word
Genesis
27
24
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“He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”
(Genesis 27:24)

Now I need to give a little bit of context behind this verse, because this is when Isaac had promised to bless his sons and he calls Esau, his older son and says, “I want you to go prepare a meal for me, bring it in to me so that I may bless you.” The picture is, give you the superior blessing so to speak, but then Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, who loved Jacob more than Esau, pulled Jacob aside and said, “Hey, we gotta prepare a meal and fix it for your dad before Esau gets back so that you can receive the superior blessing.” So that’s what Rebekah and Jacob conspired to do. Jacob goes in there, Isaac is basically wondering, is this really Esau? Jacob outright lies and says, “I am.” As a result of his lying, he ends up receiving the superior blessing that actually belonged to Esau according to what Isaac had planned.

There is great comfort knowing that sin cannot thwart God’s purposes. God is plotting for the joy of His people and the glory of His name.

Now you put all that together and it’s one of many stories yet to come here in the Book of Genesis where we see sin at the center of the story. Just outright deception, lying, and yet, even in the midst of sin, God is sovereignly working. Now there’s mystery here. I don’t understand how all of this works and we can spend hours talking about this story and similar stories where we see even God’s sovereign purposes and plans being accomplished by sinners, and there’s mystery to how that works but really the most mysterious picture there is goes all the way to the New Testament where we see the cross. Like this is sin, people are murdering Jesus. They falsely accuse him, they try him, they beat him, they scourge him, they spit in his face and then nail him to a cross and kill him on that cross. I mean, this is sin and yet with sin at the center of that story, God is sovereignly working to bring about salvation for all people, for you and me.

I don’t understand all of how this works but I want to encourage us to pray in two ways in a lot of this verse. One, to pray for purity and holiness. Like we never need to sin in order to accomplish God’s purposes. Like we have been called to walk in holiness. As we’ve seen at different points in the word to speak truthfully, to reflect the character and the goodness of Christ. We must never sin and use that as an excuse in some way for accomplishing God’s purposes. His will is for us to obey his word, and yet, knowing that, it should bring great comfort to us in a world of sin all around us to know that nothing, not even sin, can stop the ultimate accomplishment of God’s purposes, that God’s purposes will be accomplished for the good of his people and the glory of his name.

So we pray, Oh God, we don’t understand. We cannot comprehend the mystery of how you sovereignly work through sinners and how even sin ultimately leads to the accomplishment of your purposes. Oh God, our minds are baffled by this and yet our hearts are humbled before you and we say to you, we trust in you. We trust that you are good. God, we are prone to sin. We’re prone to lie, we’re prone to deceive, we’re prone to sin in so many ways. God, keep us from sin today. God, we pray that you help us to walk in holiness today and yet even when we see other sin around us, even when we fall prey to sin in our lives, we praise you, that your sovereignty supersedes even that, and that we can trust your purposes will ultimately be accomplished in the midst of a sinful world. God, you are our hope. You’re our only hope for living lives of holiness and you’re our only hope for confidence in a world of sin around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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