As we come to the close of the book of Genesis, we see all of the natural outworking of just about any family reunion: some descendants are blessed, others are rebuked, some family members meet for the very first time, and others confront one another under the weight of great interpersonal conflict.
That is all part of natural family interactions, but before leaving Canaan, Jacob/Israel received a visitation and blessing from the Lord. “Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession,” God told him. This is the same promise God made to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Isaac – all of whom were sinners.
There are a few things you should remember when you evaluate all that takes place in the book of Genesis: First, God shaped the people He chose, He didn’t choose well-shaped people. Second, He did it this way to show how utterly broken we humans are without the constant care and kingship of God. And, finally, God is not defeated by the sins and failures of His people. We don’t stain or tarnish God’s character or reputation in the same way you cannot stain a ray of light by flinging mud right at it. God overcomes all of the evil this world spews forth. In fact, it’s His very presence that allows us to recognize evil for the filth it is.
If this is the first time (or the first time in a long time) that you have read (and thought and fought) through Genesis, I hope you didn’t miss that God does not change or follow along with current trends. His wants to see people blessed as they work purposefully and spread out to share that blessing with all the people of the earth. God is the beginning, middle, and end of that mission. All imaginings of a Utopia can’t hold a candle to God’s great and original command to “be fruitful and multiply.”
The God of Life is not outdated, cruel, or chauvinistic. He is the only good God. He is worthy today of all glory, honor, and praise. He will come again as Judge. My friend, I encourage you to turn yourself in and seek mercy now. He is merciful, but He is not blind. If you cling to evil, He will overcome you on that day, too.
The text referenced in this entry can be found in Genesis chapters 48-50.