Friday, February 17, 2017
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"Just handle them by the edges, Dad!" That was my son's repeated instruction whenever I picked up some of his valuable baseball cards to look at. Valuable as in helping to eventually help pay his way through college! He didn't want to risk me reducing the mint condition value of a card with my grubby fingerprints. Of course, our son-in-law, who was also a photographer, felt that same way about the photos that he brought back from some of our ministry events. Of course, I wanted to see them, but again I was warned, "Just be careful. Don't get your fingerprints on them." OK, I get it! I guess if you're in law enforcement, fingerprints are your friend. But there are some things you just mess up if you get your prints on them.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Fingerprints On your Future."
Rebekah's story: She has two sons-Esau the oldest, the one who, according to Jewish tradition, will receive the family blessing from his father, Isaac. But God has promised that the younger brother, Jacob, will receive the blessing. Problem: Isaac appears to be on his deathbed, and he's asked Esau, the older son, to bring him a dinner of fresh game. Isaac is going to give Esau the family blessing before he dies, or so he thinks.
Enter Rebekah and her fingerprints all over what God wanted to do. Our word for today from the Word of God begins in Genesis 27:15, "Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, and put them on her younger son Jacob."
With her husband Isaac nearly blind, she did everything she could to make Jacob feel and even smell like he was his older brother, and it worked. Isaac thinks Jacob is Esau and gives him the family blessing. Esau returns and as you would expect is enraged. Problem is, this giving of the blessing is irreversible.
Now Rebekah had the right idea. Jacob was to get the blessing, but she panicked. It's too late; isn't going to happen. And she started handling it herself. And, by the way, Isaac lived 20 more years. If only she had left it for God to do His way and in His time.
Verse 41 and following: "Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given" him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob." Rebekah is forced to make Jacob flee the country for his life. What she doesn't know is that she will not see her beloved son for 14 years. And she has alienated her other son by handling the processes of God her way in her time. By getting her fingerprints all over her future, she has broken what she was trying to fix. Wow!
But then we're all Rebekah sometimes, aren't we? It's so tempting to try to help God out, to speed things up, to make happen what should happen, right? But we inevitably mess it up. I've spent my whole life talking with people who they had to be in love, they had to get married, they had to get some money somehow, they had to have their way, or they had to make their child in their image. Whatever it was, they had to force it. They had to make it happen. They had to rush it. They ruined it, and I saw them in the sadness of their future.
One thing you want to be sure of when you get to your future is that God did it, not you. You need to know that there will be only one set of prints on your future-God's. That assurance is all that will get you through the dark times. "This is what God did." So let God give you what He wants you to have, don't try to take it. Don't try to make it happen.
For me, the journey is to go from being a make-it-happen person to a let-it-happen person, watch-it-happen follower of Jesus. Your interference? You're only going to complicate and delay the processes of God. Rebekah and Jacob learned it the hard way. Your fingerprints on your life will only mess it up.