In a futile attempt to become that Proverbs 31 woman, I would launch out into a side profession in an effort to add cash to the struggling finances that defined our early marriage years. After a few classes, I embarked on a new stay-at-home-with-the-kiddos-but-still-make-some-money adventure, aka…cake decorating. After selling a few cakes, I was sailing down the river of confidence, feeling rather accomplished, but of course, there was that pride before destruction warning that went unheeded. It’s the tragic story of an over-eager, distracted-by-toddlers baker, who forgot to check the cake for doneness before removing it from the oven, only to later find a gloppy mess sinking in the middle of my creation. But my culinary misstep does come with a useful moral: finish a project, go all the way to perfection, don’t stop short of completion.
Upon fleeing the land of Canaan due to his brother Esau’s wrath, Jacob stops along the way for rest and “tarried there all night,” dreaming of a ladder that “reached to heaven.” It is here that God reveals to Jacob the blessed promise that in “thy seed…shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Jacob names that sacred spot “Bethel,” for “surely the LORD is in this place,” and vows to return to “God’s house” again.
Decades later this same Jacob, armed with his family, “oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants,” returns to the land…ALMOST. Jacob settles in Shechem, short of his ultimate destination, where he purchases property and pitches “his tent.” But the cake is NOT done, he is NOT home, and disaster ensues! While pitched in Shechem, Jacob daughter, Dinah, is “defiled by the prince of the country.” Her brothers, in an act of hasty retaliation, mastermind the tragic massacre of the inhabitants of the city. What an unnecessary mess!
And the Lord said unto Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel.” This time Jacob will fulfill his vow and return to the place of promise. He “put away the strange gods that were among” them, gathered up his entourage, and headed home…to Bethel, the place where God first revealed Himself to Jacob. And here He would reassure His servant, once again reminding Jacob of the Abrahamic covenant. Here God would rename this supplanter: “Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called Jacob but Israel shall be thy name.” Israel, the one who wrestled with God and prevailed! Jacob, you have completed your act of obedience fully. Well done!
Let’s bake the cake fully, following God’s leading completely, resting in His perfect will for us.
II Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
Lord, incomplete obedience is par with disobedience; it does not please You. Help me to follow Your will completely in all areas of my life.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2495-62b68cc989e7a' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2495&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2495-62b68cc989e7a' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2495-62b68cc989e7a' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>