Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Read Genesis 31–32

     Then Jacob prayed, "O God …“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.” Genesis 32:9a, 10a NIV
* * *
     After years of hardship and deception by Laban, God miraculously increased Jacob’s wealth, and caused Laban to allow him to leave. Then, alone at night, after sending his family on ahead, God once again spoke to Jacob…
     A man approached him and they began to fight. Jacob wrestled all night long–evidently realizing this was a heavenly visitor.  Jacob said to him, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."(Genesis 32:26b–30)
     This strange encounter with the Lord left Jacob with an outward limp that would always remind him and his descendants that his blessings came from God.
* * *
     Lord, I can see in this story of Jacob how much You value humility. If we are to be blessed, that blessing will come from You, not from our own struggles. You are Jehovah Jirah, our provider, and like Jacob I will say God has been gracious to me, and I have all I need. (Genesis 33:11)
* * *
     The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.   Genesis 32:31–32 NIV

Sunday, May 20, 2012



     Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”    Genesis 29:25b NIV
* * *
     No one can read this account of Laban’s blatant deception without feeling sorry for Jacob and Rachel, and especially for Leah. Some would say Jacob deserved to be tricked, since he had done the same to Esau.
     But through it all, in spite of the actions of sinful men, God’s plan moved forward: Jesus came from the tribe of Leah’s son Judah, and God used Rachel’s son Joseph to save his people from extinction.
     Looking at this whole story in hindsight we can say with the apostle Paul, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose... His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began–" (Romans 8:28;   2 Timothy 1:9)
* * *
     Lord, help me to think in terms of the big picture, even when I can’t understand why things happen the way they do. Grant me the faith to believe that You have a much larger purpose in it all, which will work for our good and Your glory, even for generations to come.
* * *
… and when she (Leah) gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah … Then God remembered Rachel … She gave birth to a son and named him Joseph … Genesis 29:35; 30:22‑24a NIV

Wednesday, May 9, 2012



Read Genesis 28:10–28:22

     Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.   Genesis 28:10–11 NIV
* * *
     After cheating Esau out of his birthright, Jacob was forced to run for his life. Stopping to rest for the night, Jacob had a dream in which he met God personally…he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above the ladder stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying." (28:12–13)
     Up to this time, Jacob had no idea that God had a personal plan for his life, or that he would become the ancestor of the promised Messiah. When he awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."( 28:16)
* * *
     Dear Father, I thank You that You have a plan for my life, and even when I am not aware of it –You are with me. I know that You also have plans for our children and grandchildren. Help us to train them in godly principles and lead them to a personal relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah.
* * *
     "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."   Genesis 28:14–15 NIV

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



Read Genesis 25:19–28:9
     Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.   Genesis 25:28 NIV
* * *
     Isaac, as an old man, was tricked by his son Jacob into giving him the firstborn blessing. His older son, Esau threatened to kill Jacob after Isaac died; so Rebekah told Jacob to flee until Esau's temper cooled. To her husband Isaac she said,
     "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, my life will not be worth living." (Genesis 27:46)
     So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother." (28:2)
* * *
     It is interesting to note that Isaac had never indicated his disapproval of his oldest son's marriages, or suggested that God might have a Hebrew bride for Esau. Then Esau, who wanted to please his father, married the daughter of his uncle Ishmael, in addition to the wives he already had.
     How sad that Isaac, whose wife had been chosen by God, did not instruct his son in how to choose a godly wife. Today, this story could read: “Isaac who loved sports, favored his athletic son, but neglected to teach him how to make godly choices.”
     Lord, help us to faithfully teach our children to seek Your will in making important decisions.
* * *

     Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac…so he married Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael…In addition to the wives he already had.   Genesis 28:8-9 NIV