“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:”
It is no wonder that the majority of Jacob’s life was filled with disappointment. Jacob looked at his life and said in Genesis 47:9, “few and evil have the days of the years of my life been.” The reason he looked at his life in this manner is because of his outlook on how he chose to serve the LORD. In the verse above, Jacob vowed to serve the LORD as long as the LORD gave him bread, clothing, and the promise to bring him back to his father’s house. Jacob said that if God would do this for him, “then shall the LORD be my God:”
My question for Jacob is this; what happens if the LORD chose not to give him what he wanted, would the LORD still be his God? Jacob chose to let circumstances and blessings to be his resolve as to whether or not he would serve the LORD. This mentality that Jacob had is a shallow way to determine whether or not you will serve the LORD. Jacob’s “bless me now, or else” mentality is shallow and very selfish.
Contrast Jacob’s “bless me now or else” mentality to Job. After everything Job went through in losing his job, wealth, transportation, children, health, wife, and friends, he still chose to serve the LORD. In fact, he said in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” This verse is quite the contrast from Jacob’s “bless me now, or else” mentality. The biggest reason Job enjoyed God’s tremendous blessings on his life in spite of all that he went through is because he chose to serve God no matter what life brought his way. Let me share a few thoughts concerning the “bless me now, or else” mentality.
First, the “bless me now, or else” mentality is merely you trying to threaten God. You never obtain God’s blessings by threatening Him to “bless me now, or else I will quit serving you” mentality. To think that you can threaten God into blessing you or else you will stop serving Him has never gotten one person to be blessed by God. To threaten God with the “bless me now, or else” mentality is to think that you are bigger than God. You may think that this is the way to get God’s blessings, but all you have to do is look at Jacob’s life and realize it got him nowhere.
Second, the “bless me now, or else” mentality is a sure way to quit on God. If the only way you are going to serve the LORD is if He blesses you, you might as well get ready to quit because life won’t always be good. You are going to have hard times in life, and you will never obtain God’s blessings through those hard times by quitting on God. You will find many reasons to quit on God with the “bless me now, or else” mentality. God is not going to always give you what you want because what you want may not be what is best for you. The “bless me now, or else” mentality will cause you to quit on God when your plan for your life and His plan for your life go two separate directions.
Instead of living a shallow Christian life with the “bless me now, or else” mentality, you should embrace Job’s mentality that you will serve God no matter what happens in life. You will find a long life of service to God which results in His blessings if you choose to serve God through every circumstance you face. You will do yourself a favor to stop threatening God and instead start trusting Him.