In Genesis, it seems that almost every person and family mentioned is dysfunctional. The text is filled with accounts of jealousy, anger, violence, and deception that leave a trail of damaged relationships. Even Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—lauded as heroes of faith in Hebrews 11—display flawed character and spiritual lapses. But God never leaves them that way.
Jacob defrauded his older twin Esau, who swore to kill him (Gen. 27:41). Then, before the estranged brothers would face each other after 20 years, Jacob wrestled with God. When asked his name, the conniving younger brother finally admitted who he was: Jacob—the deceiver (Gen. 32:24-27). That marked a spiritual turning point.
Noted preacher Carlyle Marney said that because God doesn’t give up on us, we should not give up on ourselves. “The last person on earth you will forgive a weakness is yourself,” Dr. Marney wrote. “Only in the gospel can men go on loving themselves. Wait on God! See what His strong hands will fashion out of your defection.”
When we have turned back, God can turn us around. When we have destroyed, God can rebuild. “Christ in the strong hands of God conquering my defection. This is the gospel.”
Though weak and helpless in life’s fray
God’s mighty power shall be our stay;
Without, within, He’ll set us free—
His strength will give us victory. —D. De Haan
There is victory in surrender when we are conquered by Christ.