July 8, 2019
In you, my God, I place my trust. Ps 91 Response
Jacob had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: “I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.” Gn_28:10-22a
. . . and His Name is Jesus!
An official came forward, knelt down before him (Jesus) , and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” . . . Jesus turned around and saw (the hemorrhaging woman), and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. Mt_9:18-26
“In You, my God, I place my trust.”
In today’s Scriptures we can see three different forms of that Trust in God. We can see how it looks in the face of the urgent, the immediate care of a loved one. That almost panicked, but desperate hope for salvation – not for himself, but for someone else. That willingness to sacrifice reputation, pride, and maybe even his own job to grovel at the feet of One, who, he believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, had the power to do the impossible.
THIS was exactly the Faith that Jesus was searching for in His followers. And, whether the man was a Jewish or Roman official, He put it ALL on the line, by placing his Trust in Jesus, in God. As we heard, he was amply rewarded! It was a nuclear blast of Love, beyond our deepest understanding.
The second form of Trust we see today is that of one who sought her own personal healing after 12-years of personal suffering. Not only was she in physical pain, but she was ostracized and isolated from her community, because of her uncleanliness.
For this woman, it took a huge leap of Faith to place herself in the midst of a crowd, at the risk of being hauled away, while the odds of ever actually getting close enough to touch the cloak of Jesus were pretty slim.
Ever make contact with live electricity, or place your fingers in a moving fan, beloved? I think those are just a shadow of the JOLT that this woman received in her touch with Jesus, in her healing! And yet, Jesus knew exactly why the lights had flickered. Of the hundreds of onlookers, clamoring about Him, touching, and pushing, and bumping – only ONE had the Faith to place her Trust, FULLY in her God. And in her sacrificial Trust in Jesus, she was saved with a whole new lease on life!
Our third example, with Isaac’s son, Jacob, was a little different. And we have to look at his situation here, with a little perspective. First off, he was living in a land where people worshiped many different pagan gods.
Sure, his mom and dad constantly spoke of THE God of his grandfather, Abraham. And they touted all His mighty deeds. But Jacob never actually experienced a mighty deed in his whole life. As a matter of fact, life for Jacob was actually pretty tough. His dad doted over his older, twin brother, which was only by a few minutes between them.
And the only way that Jacob and his mom Rebekah could conjure him out of that situation of fraternal poverty, was to take matters into their own hands. It was the classic example of the domino effect of deceit.
Having broken bonds with his brother, Esau, and his father, Isaac; Jacob was sent back, or exiled, to Abraham’s homeland of Haran. It was the one place that Abraham vehemently insisted, that neither Isaac, nor his descendants – should EVER go back to.
And yet, there was Jacob heading off, right into the viper’s pit. No Trust, no Faith, just pure, stubborn, independence. Can we see the ties to our own lives, brothers and sisters?
And then, out of the blue, something, so totally – out of our control – happens: a death, an illness, a dream. And all of a sudden, maybe all of that stuff about God, that mom and dad spoke about for so long, really did have some merit to it. “Maybe I need to think about some of this stuff a little deeper.
So, let’s make a deal.
IF I get a good grade on that next test; IF my foot starts to feel a little better, IF my 90-year old father lives another 20-years or so, THEN, maybe, I’ll make You my God. But see, in the meantime, here’s a memorial, that I built just for You. And, here’s the place that I named Beth-El, “House of God,” after You. Aren’t I generous!”
You see, brothers and sisters, this third example of Faith really had very little to do with Jacob himself, who was still lost in the “I” of life. And yet, it had everything to do with God’s faith in Jacob. Sure, God knew that Jacob had a long way to go, just as He does with most of us. But it’s IN His Faith, and in HIS protection, and IN His blessing that we can take one little step at a time, up that Stairway . . . The Stairway that leads us straight to HIM!
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