Foes may hate and friends disown me

If you think you’re the first to have a problem with in-laws, take a look at Genesis 28-31.  Neither Laban nor Jacob had really been straight-shooting men, and it was all coming to a head.  Genesis 31:2 says, “And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before.”  Later in verse 5, Jacob said to his wives (Laban’s daughters–it’s a long story), “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before.  But the God of my father has been with me.

Reading this, it immediately brought to mind a verse from that beautiful hymn, Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.  It says,

Let the world despise and leave me.  

They have left my Savior, too.  

Human hearts and looks deceive me;  

Thou art not, like them, untrue.  

Oh, while Thou dost smile upon me,

God of wisdom, love, and might,

Foes may hate and friends disown me.  

Show Thy face and all is bright.

Surely, Jacob was not innocent in his situation.  But despite his sin, God was gracious toward His chosen one, and He remained faithful to him.  In sharp contrast, Laban removed his favor from Jacob.

In an even sharper contrast, the Savior was perfectly innocent.  He had done nothing wrong, and yet everyone abandoned Him.  Some of the same crowd who shouted “Hosanna!”, just several days later shouted, “Crucify Him!”  Man’s favor is fickle, unlike God’s.

Now that Christ has been crucified and resurrected, all who believe in Him are saved by His grace.  And Paul writes about we who believe, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).  Unlike Laban’s favor for Jacob, God’s favor for Christians is unwavering and unending.

Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).  2 Timothy 3:12 says, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted“.  When man’s favor for you wavers, sheep, cling to the fact that God’s never will.

Today’s readings:
Psalm 34
Genesis 31
2 Chronicles 8
Luke 24

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