By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. Hebrews 11:20-21
Jacob and his mother tricked Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau, the firstborn and rightful heir to his father’s blessing. After Isaac learned what he had done, though betrayed, he trusted the providence of God that the 2nd born was to be the chosen all along to carry on the promised line. Soon after this momentary faith however, angst, strife, deceit, and a lack of spiritual rest in the eternal purposes of God ruled his life.
So why is he in the hall of faith? Because he finally matured and ended well. Though much of his life was messy, he acted out in faith as an old man. When he met Joseph’s sons, his grandchildren whom he’d never seen, he blessed the 2nd born instead of the 1st born. When asked about it, he said he trusted in God’s revealed intentions with regard to birth order. I love the picture this scripture paints of Jacob leaning on his staff; resting and trusting the promises of God that had finally settled in his heart.
Jacob never saw the promises of God fulfilled on earth. Nor did his father and grandfather. Their faith is counted to them as righteousness because they lived with an eye on eternity. Their faith went beyond the comforts of here and now. Their trust wasn’t short sighted – counting on God to deliver in their lifetime.
This is where I get tripped up. I’m often asked, “Do you have the faith to believe that God can answer this or that prayer?” I say yes, but with my ‘yes’ comes the assumption that it will happen here on earth and I will live to see it in the next 5 years. I’m realizing that I’m simply wrong. The majority of our biblical heroes lived with their eyes on the hereafter, rarely assuming that the promises of Yahweh would come to fruition in their lifetime. I place too few of my hopes in the eternal realm. I want perfection now and find it difficult to live contentedly while waiting for everything to be in godly order.
I examine myself today and ask some needed questions. Do I trust God with the timetable of my life? Do I believe His promises are real if I don’t see them happen here? Is my joy and confidence really mature or am I childlike in wanting it now? I must seek first the kingdom of God and keep my eyes fixed on eternity. Deferred hope. Faith that reaches with long arms.
On this day, I relinquish all of my short-sighted expectations. Amen