To me, one of the most interesting people in the Old Testament is Jacob, a deceiving, manipulating man. Yet God loved this man dearly.
Jacob had tricked his twin brother Esau out of his birthright and stolen the blessing from his father, Isaac — a blessing that belonged to Esau. When Esau learned what Jacob had done, he was determined to kill his brother and that set off a long war between them. But in spite of that, the Lord brought Jacob into the covenant blessing of his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac (see Genesis 28:14). Then God added these wonderful blessings: “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” (28:15).
God actually told him, “I’ll never leave you, Jacob, and you can never make a move that I won’t be involved in. My purposes will be accomplished in you, no matter what!”
What a promise! It is hard for me to find any faith, goodness or grace in Jacob, so how could he possibly be the covenant patriarch of God’s eternal purpose? Actually, I’d want to ask the Lord, “What did you see in this man? You are holy and just, and you don’t wink at the kinds of things he did. So why didn’t you correct him instead of blessing him after he had stolen and deceived?”
God saw something in Jacob’s heart that brought forth his great love and a desire to bless him. We read, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit” (Isaiah 57:15), and God knew that Jacob had a repentant, broken spirit.
We have heard that humans consider the outward appearance, but God always looks at the heart. He knew that something in Jacob’s heart was willing to be changed.
And that is exactly what God is looking for in us!