Once a concrete foundation is poured for a building, it must go through a process known as “curing” before it can be built on. Curing is the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling, drying, or crystallization. The longer concrete cures, the harder it becomes. To some extent, concrete will never stop curing—it becomes more and more solid with age.
- How has God been curing your faith since you entered into relationship with him?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 47:28-31 (ESV)
28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were 147 years.
29 And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Jacob’s father Isaac and grandfather Abraham were both buried in Canaan. What is the significance of Jacob’s request not to be buried in Egypt but instead with his fathers? How is this request an act of faith in God’s promise to Abraham on Jacob’s part?
- Jacob lived a long life, facing big challenges, yet his faith in God remained intact. What are some circumstances in your life that have challenged your faith and dependence on God? How did these things draw you closer or push you further from him?
- When we trust in Christ ,we become recipients of big promises—eternal rest and God’s Spirit with us always. Is there anything that is keeping you from resting in God’s promises today?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jacob, whom God renamed Israel, lived a life filled with struggles. Yet, it is not his struggles that he is remembered for, but his faith in God’s promise to make him a great nation. It was the same promise given to his father and grandfather. God used Jacob’s struggles as instruments for curing his faith in the God of promise. Life has a way of bending our assurance in God’s promises through various struggles. Having a rock-solid faith in God takes time to cure, like concrete. In the end, though, our maturity is not dictated by the number of years lived but by how we respond to God’s curing process along the way.
- Thank God for his faithfulness to the process that he uses to make us more like Christ.
- Ask God for grace to hold fast to his promises (Hebrews 12:1-2).