Throughout the book of Genesis God makes his covenantal relationship known to several men. He has plans to bless and prosper the families of Abraham, and his son Isaac, and then Isaac’s son, Jacob. God doesn’t bring out this plan due to their immense godliness, instead God only seems to ask that they would follow His leading.
Abraham is promised descendants that would be as many as the stars in the sky. The ironic piece of course is that Abraham had no children at the time of blessing and would do his best to take matters into his own hands rather than trusting God.
But maybe even more ironic is how Abraham gets only the smallest taste of God’s stated desire to bless him during his lifetime. The same could be said about Isaac who receives this blessing from God and ends up with a family in turmoil toward the end of his life. And then Jacob, well, Jacob is a bit of a mess, up until the sunset years of his life (I gave a message on Jacob a few weeks ago, listen here).
None of these men received a full taste of God’s blessing for them and their families.
I tend to view them all as flawed characters do to their lack of faith in God’s ability to provide, yet in examining my own life, I’ve often lacked the patience needed in waiting for God to provide. So I take matters into my own hands. I’m no different than the Patriarchs. People often say that God blesses so that those same people can bless others. But why are we so poor at having patience for this provision from God?
Imagine God leading you in a particular direction and you believe a place of immense place to be at the end of this road. Maybe not riches. Maybe not fame. But blessing. And as you head off in this direction, none of the blessing ever comes. Or maybe just the tiniest foretaste of the blessing. This is the reality Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived with everyday. God is good, but maybe not in everyway they had dreamed of.
Sure you could say that if they expected something in their lifetimes they misunderstood what God was promising. But they’re human too so I think it’s fair to assume that if God spoke to you in that way you’d expect the blessing to come tomorrow.
God’s covenantal blessing became a more vivid reality hundreds of years after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob time on earth had passed. Not days. Not weeks. Or months. Hundreds of years later.
But I can hear Christians saying to each other, “God intends to bless you like he did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” And while this may be true, consider what exactly is being said when we believe we’ve entered into the kind of relationship the Patriarchs had with God. It’s one of blessing, but maybe not in your lifetime.
Are you willing to engage this covenantal blessing God if the blessing never comes in your lifetime? Are you willing to rest in the present? Are you willing to sacrifice your God-given dreams?
This is the challenge of the book of Genesis: delayed blessing.
God has promised you many things, but have you ever stopped to consider whether the fullness of those blessings could come after your life has passed?