‘Just happened to’ visit some friends of my parents, which led to my becoming of follower of Jesus.
‘Just happened to’ see a job advert for nursing assistant, which led to a life-long career in nursing.
‘Just happened to’ attend a Christian w/e at which I was introduced to the young woman who was to become my wife.
Here, we find that ‘minor’ occurrences can have far-reaching effects.
1) The ‘problem’ of answered prayer
God answered Isaac’s prayer (after 20 years!), but a bitter rivalry begins even before the twins are born!
- You get the child you prayed for, but as a teenager she goes completely off the rails;
- You get the job you prayed for, but your boss proves to be an impossible tyrant;
- You get the life-partner you prayed for, but after a few short years he abandons you, leaving a mortgage, two children, and a broken heart.
No easy answers. But so often God works by bringing good out of evil.
Gen 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Acts 2:23f – Jesus was put to death by wicked men, according to “God’s set purpose and foreknowledge…But God raised him from the dead.”
2) The ripple-effects of everyday decisions
It was just a bowl of soup. But what far-reaching consequences!
Just like the prophecy said, the two sons would give birth to two nations (Israel and Edom). They would be at each other’s throats for centuries.
In our everyday decisions we are sowing the seeds of our eternal destiny. ‘Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’
Mt 12:36 – We will have to give an account…for every careless word we have spoken.
Don’t sell your inheritance for a bowl of soup!
3) The puzzle of God’s selection process
Jacob was no more deserving than Esau.
God’s choice of unlikely people extends to Jesus’ disciples, and to us! 1 Cor 1:26-31 – ‘God chose the lowly things.’
Mt 19:30 – “Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
4) The faithfulness of Abraham’s God
God has spoken, v23. And though he is not seen or heard thereafter for the rest of this chapter, his has not gone missing.
He has not forgotten his promise to Abraham. Gen 28 – “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac…All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”
Genealogy of Jesus – Isaac – Jacob – Judah.
Pentecost. Acts 2:39 “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”