“Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel . . .” Exodus 19:3 NIV
Notice the frame.
They were from the house of Jacob – The Supplanter.
Not from Abraham, or Isaac. God pulled the least savory of the three forefathers to the front and labeled them as descendants of THAT one.
But in the next breath, God called them the people of Israel – God Prevails.
God was the one who initiated the change in Jacob’s name. The culture seems to have been ambivalent about it. Both Jacob and Israel are used in the later portion of Genesis to describe the man in a broad cross section of situations.
God is seemingly acknowledging both sides of Jacob. He was, by nature, a shyster. He was, by calling, blessed with a stupendous heritage.
Both were still reality. And both were passed on to his children. God was fully aware that they were marinated in the spirit of slavery and would be a royal pain to both Him and Moses. That was reality. But it was also reality that they were handpicked by Him to be the carriers of a stupendous blessing for the whole world.
In God’s pivotal dialog to the whole nation about themselves, He communicated to them that He was walking in absolute reality about them. He was not intimidated by their guaranteed propensity to be knuckleheads, nor was He seeing them through rose colored glasses just because they were called to big things.
So what do we learn about worship here? There is so much, but let’s just focus on God’s capacity to see us perfectly. We can’t possibly do that for ourselves.
Some of us are mired in our Jacob perspective. We have a keen sense of how badly we have messed up from birth on. Others are full of themselves because of their Israel perspective, impressed with their calling and unaware of how badly they stink up earth and heaven with their hubris.
It would be an extraordinary thing for any one man to see himself perfectly. But God sees each of us that way every day.
And doesn’t flinch.
Copyright May 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub