We see God’s mercy in covenant as God makes His promises from father to son to grandson. God had made a covenant with Abraham. Genesis 12: 2 I (God) will make you (Abraham) into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
God renews this same covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac in Genesis 26:1-5. Then Isaac’s son, Jacob, stole a blessing from his older brother, Esau. The stolen blessing is Isaac’s desire for Esau. When Isaac realized it was God’s will for Jacob to be blessed, he blessed Jacob with the same covenantal items as Abraham. Then Jacob left home to escape his angry brother.
Jacob Meets God in a Dream
Jacob had some character issues that showed in the actions of deception. He could not borrow the faith of his father or grandfather; instead, he needed faith of his own. God, in His mercy, would renew the covenant with Jacob in a dream of a staircase to heaven.
Genesis 38: 13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
Jacob’s Response to God’s Mercy
One would think that Jacob would give heartfelt devotion to God after this fantastic dream. Not so. Jacob only declared a conditional promise to follow the Lord. Genesis 38:20b “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God.  God continued to work against Jacob’s rebellion and unbelief. It would take over twenty years of struggle, but Jacob would come to trust God. This covenantal blessing continued to Jacob’s sons.
How Do We Respond to God’s Call?
God continues to give promises to us today through Scripture. We have free will to respond. We can refuse God’s offer, be conditional as Jacob was, or choose to trust. How is God working in your life? Where does God want to deepen your relationship with Him?
To learn more about God’s mercy in covenant, listen here: