Luther on Jacob’s Faith

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Learn from Jacob’s experience

Why did Jacob not wait for the manna to fall from the sky when there was a famine, but let his sons go to Egypt to buy food?

Martin Luther’s answer is that since God has given you an opportunity, you must seize the opportunity and do not try to test God

Why did Jacob tell his sons, “Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die”? Why didn’t he trust God’s promise to protect and take care of him? Why was Jacob afraid of dying when , up to now, he had experienced God’s help and guidance throughout his life? God had protected him, his entire family, and all his servants in the foreign country of Canaan. Why did he stop trusting God’s promise when it was still fresh in his mind? He had always taught his children about God’s promise. Where is your faith now, Jacob? Where is the promise? Here is how I reply to these questions: God orders us to believe and trust in his goodness, but at the same time , we should never test him. We must take advantage of opportunities that God gives us. If we don’t, we aren’t living according to his plan. But we must continue to maintain our faith and hope in God. That’s why Jacob didn’t say, “Stay here and wait. The Lord is powerful enough to make food fall right out of the sky. Maybe that’ s the way he will choose to feed us.” No, that’s not what God’s promise means. There’s no doubt that God can take care of you in a miraculous way. But you must not pass up opportunities that could provide the help you need. If you don’t use what is readily available to you, then you are testing God. Jacob was careful not to test God. He didn’t sit idly at home, hoping to get food some other way.

Luther also cited the example of the Lord Jesus being tempted by Satan to jump from a high place.

Luther said that since there are steps to climb up this building, that is the method God gave you. You must seize it, not test the Lord, and let the Lord use miracles.

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