Do We Make Bargains With God?

January 10 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 28-30 and Psalms 10

When Jacob ran to uncle Laban, he was desperately in need of a real and living relationship with God – Jacob didn’t realize this of course but God certainly knew it. Here we find The Lord reaching out to Jacob by appearing to him in a dream and giving him the same promise he had made to Abraham his grandfather and Isaac his father. – “There above it stood the LORD, and he said: ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” [Genesis 28:13-15]

God didn’t put any conditions on His promise to Jacob. He simply told him what He was going to do for him. In the following verses however, Jacob turns all of this upside down and proclaims that IF the Lord provides for him and blesses him, THEN the Lord will be his God. Imagine the insolence of this man!

Here is a profound truth – God provides everything for us – salvation – blessing beyond measure – righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It’s all free and it’s ours without conditions. We have a “Jacob” tendency of making some weird religion out of it – making it seem as though we somehow have contracted with God for this unmerited favor in our lives. When we do this, we are just as pitiful as Jacob – thinking that God is just like any other man-made god of this world or that God is just like any other human – putting a $ value on every “deal” He makes.

God wanted nothing out of the deal except Jacob’s heart! He’s the same today – Jesus came and freely gave. Those of us who woke up one day and received this great blessing got way more than we could ever have bargained for.

Take one last look at Genesis to see what God promised Jacob compared to what Jacob bargained for. Ultimately God’s family is made up of people who “see” God as a Heavenly Father. We are adopted into His family just because – just because we were willing to take Him at His Word – just because when He asked us to follow Him, we were willing to exchange our “dung hill” for His glory.


1. What part did you have in “getting saved” if everything was up to God?
2. What has God promised to do for you – just because you are His child?