BETTER THAN I DESERVE
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Better Than I Deserve
I have swiped a quote from financial wizard and advisor Dave Ramsey. Whenever a call-in guest on his syndicated radio program asks Dave how he is doing, he often quips, “Better than I deserve!” I often use the same one because I know, as does Dave, the only one deserving of good things is Jesus Christ. And we know that Jesus surrendered all of the best when he died on the cross in our place. He took our sins upon himself so we could receive grace.
When we look at the life of Rebecca and Isaac’s second born twin son, Jacob, we find a tremendous example of one who could give that answer, “Better than I deserve.”
Jacob came out of the womb hanging on to his brother Esau’s heel. Perhaps, he was trying to climb up his brother’s back to take the lead. After all, that is ultimately what he did. He used his brother’s weakness of hunger to con him into selling his birthright over a bowl of stew. With the assistance and even insistence of his conniving mother, He tricked his father into giving him the family blessing intended for big brother Esau, taking advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight and old age.
Even the meaning name, Jacob, “heel grabber” or “sneak thief,” tells us of his deceitful nature. If anyone ever deserved God’s blessing and the role of “Patriarch” to God’s people, ancestor to the Savior of the world, it was not Jacob.
But, God had placed him in his plans. God’s prophecy to Jacob’s mother in Genesis 25 proclaimed that he had chosen the younger of the twins to be the one he would use, but it would not be without struggle. After Jacob’s deception to take Esau’s blessing, the older brother threatened the life of Jacob so he was sent to stay with his mother’s relatives. According to Genesis 28, on the way to his destination, God met the guilt-ridden young man in a dream. In this amazing dream through which he assured Jacob that he would be blessed and used by God in keeping with the covenant plan he had given to Jacob’s Grandfather, Abraham. Then Jacob pledged his loyalty to God and to serve him even with his tithes.
I think it is interesting that frequently David in the Psalms refers to “the God of Jacob.” That tells us that our God is a merciful God. He does amazing things for and through the most undeserving people. I’m glad he does because, like Jacob, I am among the most undeserving people. Yet God can use me and he can use you just as he used Jacob to bless the world, to carry his message of God’s love to the world. He can use us, even in our checkered pasts to be the light of the world. Why, because he is a just and merciful God who loves his children warts and all.
Don’t ever give up on yourself because God never will. He will always give me Better than I deserve.
This Sunday we will continue our series of messages from the series theme; Any Nobody Can Become Somebody The transformative power of God in people with the message “Stairway to Heaven” based on Jacob’s encounter with God in Genesis 28. I hope you will join us for this encouraging and challenging message from God’s Word.
Undeserving, but grateful,