Of the many truths contained in today's text, one particularly stands out: on this earth we are pilgrims who are to be guided by an eternal, covenant perspective.
God's continuing mercies upon his covenant people persist in spite of our sins: the patriarch Jacob was in name and in deed a supplanter, one who grabs the heels of others in order to gain progress and priority over them. His sons did not fare much better: they formed an unholy union in order to convince their father that one of their own had died tragically; Joseph pridefully taunted his brothers; Simeon and Levi led a murderous vigilante squad to avenge the vicious rape of their sister; Judah was unfaithful to God's covenant instructions regarding the levirate law and later committed adultery with his daughter-in-law; and on and on.
Yet, for his great Name's sake, the Lord God did not forsake his people but continued to fulfill his purposes for cosmic redemption through them. He remains faithful even when we are unfaithful,
2 Tim 2:13. However, this does not give us the carte blanche to do as we please. We who have been born again have been given a predisposition to do the good works God prepared for us beforehand, Eph 2:10, and since we are already seated with Christ in heaven places, v. 6, we are to set our minds on things above, not on earthly matters, hidden with Christ in God, Col 3:2 (1-2).
In spite of their sins, the patriarchs did have faith in the eternal purposes of God and in his promises for their lives. Jacob, for example, old and infirm though he was, governed his life according to the covenant promise of God to give his people a new land, the promised land, and insisted that his bones be disinterred from Egypt and buried there. We too are to be like Jacob – eager to fulfill God's will for our lives. However, we do not have to wait until we reach Jacob's age for the record is that we who have the hope of seeing our Triune God will purify ourselves in preparation for being with him in heaven. At this time, we are transients, pilgrims on our way to and preparing ourselves for the ultimate promised land, heaven. We are a Preparation H people.
Let these great truths color, and control our activities as we apply ourselves to our various charges this week. We are on the move, on our way home. Let us prepare ourselves for our ultimate destination.