Scripture: 18 I trust in you for salvation, O Lord! [Genesis 49:18 NLT]
Have you ever been stranded? Some of us have had the experience of a car breaking down as we are traveling. Perhaps you have been left behind when a group you were with headed off and didn’t realize you weren’t with them. When I was a teenager I was stranded in the middle of a lake on a capsized catamaran. My uncle took me out on the lake to do some sailing. I was completely inexperienced and was relying on his expertise. He had done quite a bit of sailing and I truly was in good hands. When we set out on our voyage it was a very windy day. We were having all kinds of fun going back and forth across the lake. On a catamaran the sail catches the wind and often times you end up speeding across the water with one hull in the water and the other in the air. It was an amazing time out on the water.
We were having a lot of fun until something changed. On the last full run we were racing along the water with the sail billowed by a huge wind. Then a gust came across the lake and too much wind entered the sail. The sail caught too much wind and the catamaran capsized. This isn’t uncommon for the size catamaran we were on. Ultimately, you work to pull the catamaran over and right it in the water. However, this time it took a long time to right the boat. When we finally got it flipped over, the wind had completely died. We were on the complete other side of the lake and we had no wind to get back. We also had no paddles. We were stranded. We jumped in the lake and started pushing the catamaran VERY slowly through the water.
It seemed like we had pushed that boat forever when something amazing happened. Seemingly out of nowhere, a boat showed up. The operator of the boat offered to tow us home. In essence he saved us. Not from certain death, or even hypothermia, he saved us from a much longer swim of shame. He saved us from being stranded. He was our salvation from poor planning.
Our Scripture verse for today is the first time that the word salvation appears in the bible. It is Jacob’s declaration to his sons concerning their future and his. Jacob tells his sons, “I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!” Jacob, the father of Joseph, trusts the Lord for his salvation. If you remember the story, Joseph was Jacob’s favored son whom he had given a coat of many colors. Joseph’s brothers despised him for this and sold him into slavery, telling their father he had been killed. Jacob lost his beloved son and truly was never the same. At his death bed he is able to say he trusts the Lord for salvation because he saw how God used Joseph to not only save him, but a whole nation from death from a famine. God was faithful to save him from death in order to see his son again and live to an old, old age.
How much more does it mean for us to trust the Lord for our salvation. Jacob did not know the full story yet. God would send His only Son to be the Savior of ALL humanity. God used Joseph to save a nation … He used Jesus to save all creation. Today spend some time meditating on what salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ has done for you. How has trusting the Lord for your salvation changed your life? What are you doing to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling? What will you do today to make the salvation Jesus gave you known to the people in your life?
Prayer: Saving God, you gave your only Son for me so that I would know your salvation. Empower me through your Holy Spirit dwelling within me to make your salvation known. Keep my heart, mind, eyes, and ears open to the opportunities you give me today to share your love. May you be honored and glorified through my life. Amen.