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You Have Everything!



Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

For Scripture references marked (LSB): “Scripture quotations taken from the (LSB®) Legacy Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2021 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Managed in partnership with Three Sixteen Publishing Inc. and” 

Dear Church,

You have everything! It’s a rather remarkable statement, I know, and yet it tells the truth. All things are yours! Of course, this stunning reality cannot be seen by the eyes in your head, but must be comprehended by the eyes of the heart, which is to say, by faith.

What got me thinking about this is Jacob’s surprising comment to Esau in Genesis 33. Whereas the English Standard Version flattens out the nuanced comments of Jacob and Esau, the Legacy Standard Bible gets it right. In turning down Jacob’s large gift, Esau said: “I have plenty, my brother; let what you have be your own.” (Genesis 33:9 LSB, italics added) Then in seeking to persuade Esau to take the gift anyway, Jacob said: “Please take my blessing which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have everything.” (Genesis 33:11 LSB, italics added) By virtue of the fact that Esau had a traveling band of 400 men and that Jacob was able to prepare a gift of 580 animals, it is safe to say that – to the outward eye – both Esau and Jacob had a lot. Esau says so: “I have plenty”. But Jacob doesn’t say, ‘I have plenty also’. Instead he says, “I have everything”.

I admit to having some uncertainty as to Jacob’s precise mindset when he uttered those words. It is possible, of course, that Jacob intends for those who heard him to fill out the meaning with very simple unspoken words, as in: ‘I have everything (I need)’ or ‘I have everything (I desire)’. Possible, but less likely than the much richer textual connections mentioned below.

So, an even better suggestion along this line is that Jacob is echoing the vow he had made to God at Bethel twenty years earlier: “And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” (Genesis 28:22) The “everything/all” of Genesis 33:11 is the same Hebrew word for the “everything/all” in Genesis 28:22. So in Genesis 33:11 Jacob might be saying: ‘I have everything (that God promised to give me).’ If this be so, then Jacob’s large gift to Esau, in whom Jacob saw a resemblance of God’s face, might actually be the tithe that he had vowed to give.

Viewed from yet another angle, we might recognize that in a very real covenantal sense, Jacob did have everything. Isaac had “but one blessing” (Genesis 27:38) to give, and it went to Jacob (Genesis 27:27-29). All of the covenantal blessing was invested in Jacob. Jacob’s possession of the covenant blessing was reinforced by Isaac in Genesis 28:1-4 and was subsequently set forth by God Himself in Genesis 28:13-15. Over the years, Jacob had been the beneficiary of numerous divine mercies: “I am not worthy of the least of all (same “everything/all” Hebrew word group!) the deeds of steadfast love and all (ditto!) the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant” (Genesis 32:10). Perhaps the “everything/all” of Genesis 33:11 echoes the twofold use of “all” in Genesis 32:10. Finally, just prior to meeting Esau, Jacob was brought into a climactic encounter with God, and God blessed Jacob (Genesis 32:24-29). All of this – not the simple fact of having received Isaac’s covenantal blessing, but the greater reality of hearing promises declared by God Himself, of receiving blessing conferred by God Himself, and of receiving God’s specific acts of steadfast love and faithfulness for his good – all of this would have left Jacob feeling quite full: “I have everything”. The point is not that Jacob has everything in the sense that there is therefore nothing for anyone else. The point, rather, is that there is a covenantal fullness – a God-given fullness – which requires a statement such as “I have everything” in order to do justice to the fullness. After all, if a man has God’s favor, God’s blessing, God’s steadfast love, God’s abundant provision, and God’s faithful protection, then in the most fundamental sense, what more could he want? There is a comprehensiveness and completeness to God’s care for His children. Jacob testifies in Genesis 35 that God “has been with me wherever I have gone” (Genesis 35:3). Jacob testifies of God’s faithfulness in Genesis 48: “the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil” (Genesis 48:15-16). We also know that while God was continuing to show Jacob such steadfast love in his latter years, God was at the very same time showing that same kind of steadfast love to Joseph (Genesis 37-50). More than one person can rightly say, “I have everything”.

Turning to the New Testament, the abundance that God has invested in the church is truly remarkable. And when I say ‘church’, I mean the people that God has redeemed through the blood of Christ. Just consider this sampling of generosities that our Father has shown us – read them aloud to yourself or to your family, read them slowly and deliberately, and let the force of God’s words sink in:

• “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

• “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.... If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:28, 31-32) [Just think of it: God will see to it that all things contribute to your everlasting joy!]

• “So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

• “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).

• “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

• “We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10)

• “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

• “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, 5, 10)

The bottom line reality is that since we have Christ – “in whom the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9) and who is “the heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2) – since we have Christ, we have everything. As Charles Wesley put it: “No condemnation now I dread: Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!” (from “And Can It Be?”)

Brothers and sisters, encourage one another with this truth. Don’t be fooled by the way things appear to outward eyes. Let the Esaus of the world have their plenteous resources. For in Christ, we have everything. We have everything that truly matters. We have everything that He has seen fit to already give us. We have a blood-bought title to the new heaven and new earth, and in due course we will actually possess everything that He has ever promised to give us. He is looking after us even now, “[supplying] every need of [ours] according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) We have advantages that Jacob never had, for we have tasted God’s favor, God’s blessing, God’s steadfast love, God’s abundant provision, and God’s faithful protection as these have been demonstrated more fully through the sacrificial love of Jesus our Lord. We have the bright-shining light of the whole Bible, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit renewing and strengthening us in our hearts, and we have the sweet bond of spiritual fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters who care for us and encourage us.

Dear church – the beloved of God – you truly do have everything! Live in the good thereof, and don’t let anyone steal your joy in the fullness of His great love for you.

The Lord's grace be with you all!