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In our series ‘The Wells of Salvation’, we’ve reached the story of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah and grandson of Abraham and Sarah. Jacob is a reminder to us that God’s promises are for all generations and that these promises are not dependent on our goodness. Jacob was a schemer, one who plotted to get his father’s blessing and the birthright despite being the younger son; yet we see that God’s promises remain steadfast throughout (see Gen 28:13-15). This encourages us to hold on to God’s promises as we not only reap the benefit of all that has gone before but can be active in sowing for future generations through our lives and prayers now (see Ps 102:18); we can be ‘agents of blessing’!
Providence is defined as ‘the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe.’ In Gen 29:1-14, we see God’s providence at work as Jacob, fleeing his brother’s anger, is led by God to Harran, where he meets servants of Laban, his uncle, at a well. There, he meets Rachel, who will later become his wife. He is overwhelmed by the awareness that God is in every situation of his life, working for his good, and we too can be confident that God ‘works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will’ (Eph 1:11) and is working for our good in every circumstance of life. (Rom 8:28) As Michael W. Smith sings,
‘Oh, the Hand of Providence
Is guiding us through choices that we make.
Oh, the Hand of Providence
Is reaching out to help us on our way.’ (‘The Hand of Providence’, Michael W. Smith & Wayne Kirkpatrick)
God’s providence is closely connected to His provision, for He works in the everyday details of our lives to care for us and provide for us. He provided for Jacob (without Jacob having to plot and scheme) and He will provide for us too.