Aug 25, 2021, 12:22 PM
“God is not a man that He should lie; nor the son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?” [Numbers 23:19]
Trust is becoming increasingly a rare commodity in everyday life. Most times, we may search for it in our communities but would not find it. It is not because it is being hoarded - nothing of the kind. Trust has become a rarity. Every opportunity at deceiving someone is associated with smartness. In our day, in certain quarters, people are celebrated for displaying acute deception skills.
A random survey will reveal that fewer and fewer people can be trusted nowadays. And so, for every transaction you will have to be on the alert or you will be sorry. Out there, someone skilled in dishonesty is looking for an opportunity to make you a victim. Many have come peddling different wares and the poor unsuspecting soul would be the one who will receive the raw part of the deal. Such an experience can be so devastating that sometimes recovery for many who have been duped in such a manner proves practically impossible. If the damage is immense, it would have to take a whole lifetime for one to be able to emerge from the ashes, let alone being able to pick up the pieces. The bigger the blow, the harder the chances of recovery.
Accounts in the Bible are not exempt of such instances of betrayal of trust even from within one’s own family. The primary example that comes to mind is that of twin brothers – Esau and Jacob. Right from the womb Jacob had shown tendencies of a deceiver – by holding fast to his brother’s leg at birth so that they would make their entrance into the world the same time. In those days, the name you are given determines your character – that is who you are. You and your name are inseparable.
Down the line, we see Jacob tricking his senior twin brother into forfeiting his birth-right, as the eldest son, just for a bowl of porridge. The opportunity was made possible when Esau returned one day from hunting, famished. As if that was not enough, Jacob upgrades his trickery – with the tacit complicity of his mother - to the level of deceiving his father Isaac into conferring on him the blessings of the firstborn. To this end, he successfully disguised himself as the rightful recipient of the blessing. The senior brother only got leftovers. Unfortunately, when Esau found out, Jacob was obliged to flee for his life by taking refuge at his uncle’s home in Haran - a two-day journey through very difficult terrain. Esau had threatened to kill him.
A common adage goes like this: ‘Do to others as you would like them to do to you.’ Uncle Laban maltreated Jacob who wanted his daughter, Rachel’s hand in marriage. The agreement was that he would work for him seven years to qualify. But on the night of the wedding, Jacob found Rachel’s twin sister, Leah, in his bed and when Laban was quizzed about this happening, the answer he got was that according to tradition, the eldest daughter is given in marriage first before the second.
Jacob therefore had to work another seven years before he could marry the woman of his choice - Rachel. Jacob had on a number of occasions received the short end of the stick from his uncle that one night he decided to flee with his family unbeknown to his uncle. When the latter finally caught up with him, this was Jacob’s complaint. “What is my crime? What sin have I committed that you hunt me down? …. I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts …. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times…”(Genesis 31:36,38,41) Dealt the same blow he had meted to his elder brother, Jacob was unable to stomach the same medicine from his uncle.
The world operates by deception. But there is a God who can be trusted amidst our worst nightmares and challenges. He continually promised His people: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The Bible is full of promises made by God the Almighty to His people. Promises of encouragement in times of trouble, promises to lift up those who are enduring hard circumstances. All He demands of us is to believe that He is a God who can deliver. Our God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing and Present Everywhere, nothing can take Him by surprise.
The hand of flesh – that is man or woman - would fail you. But we serve a God who never fails, who never comes late and who never gives up on us. Jesus says if you “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7)
Throughout the Bible, God keeps His covenants that He has made with His people through His prophets. “…but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:2)
Today, those promises still stand. “He who is the glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” (1 Samuel 15:29) “God is not man that He should lie or the son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?” (Numbers 23:19)
God’s promises are ‘yes and amen.’ His promises to men borne out of His unending love are extended to all who accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Bask in His LOVE, because He never fails!