9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
What a sincere and vulnerable prayer Jacob utters here. Right in verse ten he states that he isn’t “worthy of the least of the mercies” of God. He’s had his flaws and he’s made his mistakes, and he’s already been more cared for than he had any right to be. And yet, Jacob still has reason to hope that even more goodness awaits him, because God made a promise He would deal well with Jacob, and God is one who follows through on his promises.
And this is a very far cry from what most of the philosophies of the world tells us. The world tells us that we will prevail so far as we, ourselves, are great and worthy. The world tells us that karma only recompenses us for what we have earned. The world tells us that we get just what we deserve.
But Jacob sees something different. In these verses he is expressing a sentiment that has been echoing throughout Christendom for millennia since, an incredibly bold notion that we do not receive because we are worthy, but because He is. We do not prevail because of our own strength, but because of His. We are not blessed based on what we have earned, but on what our Savior has earned for us. The true believer knows that life isn’t fair…it is far, far better.