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Showing posts from January 13, 2013

Reflecting

Jacob arrives in Laban's land and meets and marries his daughters Leah and Rachel. He begins to grow a family and develop the wealth of his father-in-law, Laban who changes his wages many times over twenty years..
He has seen another vision while developing the herds of Laban and that was one in which God gave Jacob a lesson in genetics and presence. In Genesis 31:10-13, Jacob explains to his wives that God showed him a vision of all the male goats being streaked, speckled or spotted in coloring mating with the flock. This provided two messages: one, that most newborns carry the dominant genes of their parents and the more that dominant gene (seen in the coloring of the animal) mates the stronger that gene becomes; and second and more important was that God was doing the work of developing the herds and creating wealth for Jacob.
In his discussion with his wives, he relates that God said, "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me."…

Awareness

Esau's pledge to kill Jacob had required Jacob's hasty departure from his mother and father, Rebekah and Isaac, directed by them to travel to Laban her brother in Paddan Aram and stay there for a while. He traveled north from Beersheba (Gen 26:23) about 52 miles and found himself near the city of Luz. There he stopped to sleep for the night. He saw a vision during his rest that has been called Jacob's ladder; a portal into heaven from which angels were ascending and descending to the earth. There above the ladder stood the Lord who extended to Jacob the promise He had made to Abraham.
When he awoke he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." (Genesis 28:16) He further exclaimed "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." That word "awesome" is something we would say today, yet he was not saying it as a catch phrase but as a deeply experienced truth. This place he…

Disappointment

The story of Jacob obtaining the blessing of his father Isaac also has another story within it of the disappointment of Esau. These twins were unique men, Jacob being a plain man working the herds and gardens and Esau being a wild man hunting and living off the land.
Twice Jacob got the upper hand on his brother Esau. In Genesis 27:36 Esau complains, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now He's taken my blessing!" We see here Esau's prejudiced view of the circumstances. He acts as if he had no say in the taking of his birthright, yet he willingly gave it up for a pot of stew. He saw no need of it then but would regret it later.
Yes, Jacob did also obtain the blessing from his father and when Esau came in to gain it also was denied it by Isaac but that was the result of their mother Rebekah's plan. Isaac was physically shaken by this whole incident for verse 33 says he "trembled violently."But i…

Decisions

What lesson can we learn from the life of Lot? He is Abraham's nephew who journeyed with him from Haran (Gen. 12:4) to Canaan when Abraham was seventy-five years old. Abraham's blessing spilled over onto Lot and both men grew large flocks, herds, tents and families (Gen. 13:5). So large that they began to fight for water and pasture, so they separated, Lot choosing the plain of the Jordan River.
This was the beginning of Lot's downfall. He pitched his tent toward Sodom, spent much time in the city and was captured along with its people when their army was defeated (Gen. 14:11). Abraham had to rescue Lot and his wealth with a small but skilled force. But when Lot is brought back, he remains in the city of Sodom and is raised to Elder status, sitting in the gate. That is where the angels found him when they approached the city (Gen. 19:1).
Lot knows the wickedness of the city because he "insisted so strongly" with the two angles not to remain in the city square but c…

Reconciling

We have spent several Today's Words discussing the life of Job, his family, his loss, his friends but our time with Job would not be complete unless we saw the end of Job's story.
Job humbled himself before the Lord and acknowledged His power and justice in executing His plans concerning him (Job 42:2). Job admitted that his words had been wrong and that he had spoken about things he didn't understand (vs. 3). Job confessed that his accusations against God were unjust and that he had not treated Him fairly. He realized that whatever God does is right and man must accept it by faith.
But, that is not the end of Job's tale. In verse 10 it states, "After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." The word "after" is a powerful word here that emphasizes not only Job's repentance for his attitude toward God but also his forgiveness of his friends for their attitudes toward him. God speci…