Genesis Day 53: Hope for the Best… Plan for the Worst… Lead from the Front
“If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”—so goes the saying.
Not sure if you ascribe to that axiom.
There is another saying: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
Life does seem to require we make a conscious decision about whether we will press on towards the goal. Pressing on requires the opposite of foolishness—it requires wisdom.
Ever had those days when life keeps coming at you? When you feel the onslaught of life you need to think: do you take a rest, press on, or do some planning? Knowing whether to take a needed rest, or press on, or do some planning, is critical. God’s available; ask Him for wisdom.
Why bring this up? Imagine a night of wrestling with God. I am not sure I would jump up and press on.
Yet if you are in the middle of a journey, it may be that pressing on is what God is calling you to do. This is the position we find Jacob in, as we read Genesis 33.
This chapter of Genesis, like all of them, has so many dimensions. Many people read it through the lens that Jacob is still a liar. They do so because at the end of the chapter he tells his brother he will follow him to the place called Seir, when in reality he goes to Succoth and then onto Shechem.
However, Jacob is no fool. His actions are wise. He divides his family and tribe. If these 400 men are coming to kill all of them, then possibly only half will be destroyed. He also sends on ahead gifts—lots of gifts. Finally, he is not the last, but the first: he is leading from the front, with a limp.
Are these the actions of a conniver? Possibly. They could also be the actions of a human being who, while not perfect, is trying to submit himself to God.
And that is a description of all who have turned to Jesus—imperfect humans trying to submit to God!
Jacob is hopeful. He should be, for God is with him.
Jacob is wise. He should be, for we cannot know how God will accomplish His plans that we are in the middle of. Sometimes God’s plans include pain.
Jacob is shouldering his responsibility. He should be, for God has called him—and his family—to great things. He is leading from the front.
All of us find ourselves in leadership moments, not just people with the big titles. We are sisters and brothers—sometimes we are on point. We are daughters and sons—late in the lives of our parents, we assume leadership for their well-being. Some of us are parents. The list goes on.
Leading from the front, in reality is us trusting in God. Consider the following verses:
- “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
- “The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf...” Deuteronomy 1:30
- “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5 (NLT)
- “For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52:12
- “I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” Isaiah 45:2
All of those promises were made to specific people God was working through, imperfect people whom he called. But they are promises we can count on, too. As imperfect people, submitted to God, we know that He is leading us. The issue is that we often set out in our own direction. He is always there. We must ask, and at times wait, for His wisdom.