God has the ability to turn our lives around completely, often in ways and at times when we least expect it.
There is an interesting bit of US military history that is illustrative of this point. General “Black Jack” Pershing only became so through the intervention of President Roosevelt. He was a very competent officer in the Army back in the late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds but the Army promotional system was such that his abilities and services were not adequately acknowledged promotionally. He had performed well in garrison and on deployment to places like the Philippines, but it seemed that there was no way for him to get promoted. He spent nine years as a second lieutenant, six years as a first lieutenant, and at the age of 42, (he did get a late start on his commissioning), was still stuck faltering at the rank of captain.
Fortunately, his case had gained the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt who had been impressed by his service and performance. So the President, frustrated by the way the military’s promotion system was functioning, went ahead and promoted Pershing himself. But the President does not have the power to promote captains to major. He can only promote generals. So that’s what he did. Consequently, overnight, Captain Pershing became Brigadier General Pershing – skipping over the ranks of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel. He then went on to eventually become the second highest-ranking military officer in US History; second only to George Washington.
This Sunday evening we will see how the life of Jacob, also known as Israel, was suddenly and radically changed as God led him out of the Promised Land and down into Egypt where his family would eventually grow into a nation. The takeaway point for us all is to remember that our God is the God of transformation – he takes bad situations and makes them good.
This passage has an application to our lives – God can transform any facet and aspect of our lives! It also serves as an illustration of what God is yet to do in fulfilment of His promises to the nation of Israel.
Please join us this Sunday the 12th of February from 6 p.m. to study God’s Word as we consider this passage of Genesis.