I have been reading the book of Genesis since the new year began. I have been paying attention to how God directed Abraham’s, Isaac’s and Jacob’s lives amidst the choices they made. They made some right choices but also wrong ones, yet God provided a way out of their wrong choices and was faithful to the plan He promised in Gen 15:5. For example: Abraham didn’t wait for his promised son but had Ishmael with Hagar (Gen 16: 2) and yet God fulfilled his promise to Abraham and Sarah of having a son in God’s timing (Gen 21:1). Abraham lied about Sarah being a sister with King Abimelech to save his life, but God made a way for Sarah to not to be taken advantage of by King Abimelech (Gen 20). Similar situation happened later with Isaac and with his wife Rebekah (Gen 26:7-11) but God confirms his promise to Isaac later (Gen 26:23-25). Jacob deceitfully gets blessing from Isaac by pretending to be Esau (Gen 27) but God confirms His promise to Jacob again in Gen 28: 13-15. Being chosen in God’s eternal plan didn’t keep any of them from facing problems like famine or wars, and their wrong choices resulted in many family conflicts.
Sometimes when life doesn’t go as we hope, we question if God is still directing us. The stories reveal how God’s plan for our life prevails over man’s plans and mistakes. This is much like the saying in Prov 16:9. We can make our plans as humans but God directs our steps. God uses our mistakes to shape us. The path God may choose for us can involve tests and hardships. Even amidst failure and mistakes, we can be sure of the future God has for us in Christ. Even in my own life, I have seen how God has rescued me and helped me find the right way when I lost my way either out of ignorance or pride. So how do we plan our lives? I think we are to keep our motives pure before the Lord, leave room for God’s sovereignity and let him make changes to our plan, be willing to be shaped by the difficult people or circumstances in our path and continue moving forward in faith even during bleak times with confidence in God’s promises. God will show us the way when we need. All we need is trust in the Lord at all times.