Life and death is a major theme in Genesis. God breathed life into Adam and Eve and they chose death. Eve birthed the first child, Cain, and he murdered his brother Abel. Genesis chapter 5 catalogs thousands of years of life, followed by death. Mankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, but the effects of death continued to pervade humans such that “every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.” Mankind, with the exception of Noah, turned from God in their evil and so he destroyed most all of the life He created in the flood. And so the story continues through the chapters of Genesis and into our day. You and I live with the effects of life and death in a fallen, broken, corrupt world every day.
Our passage, this week, is part of a transition into the last section of the book, and it too highlights the effects of life and death on the covenant family of Abraham. Death, and its effects, rock the world of Jacob, just as it regularly rocks our world. It’s a not so subtle reminder that we live in bodies of death. We live in bodies that will perish, but we also live in bodies where the effects of death are at work in our sin, warring against God’s commands through our flesh. It is precisely these bodies of death that remind us of the preciousness of God’s promises. This Sunday we’ll take a look at the reality and consequences of God’s promises and the reality and consequences of our sin, and we’ll learn that God provides deliverance from our bodies of death, both now and for eternity.