February 18, 2019
DAY 51: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Focus Verses For Today: Genesis 28:15
Take a some time to pray. Ask God to give you His understanding of our journey through Genesis 28-31. While you are praying, share whatever is on your mind: God’s interested. Very interested. Have a friend that needs prayer? Share that need with God right now - He is listening. Read Genesis 28-31. Ready? Let’s get on our journey!
Genesis 28 begins with Issac giving Jacob his blessing before Jacob leaves. Jacob was leaving to seek a proper, Jewish wife, from Laban, Rebekah’s brother. Esau now realizes that his parents did not approve of his Canaanite wives, so he marries one of Ishmael’s daughters. Remember, Ismael was Abraham’s son by Hagar, who was not a Jew by birth. (Genesis 28:1-9) You may know the song We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder. It is undoubted a Sunday school and vacation Bible school staple (classic). If you have’t heard the song, you can check it out on youtube. Jacob dreams of a ladder ascending to heaven. Angels were ascending and descending the ladder. God announces Himself to Jacob and confirms His covenant with Issac passes to Jacob, provided Jacob follows the Lord’s ways. (Genesis 28:10-22)
Genesis 29 tells of Jacob arriving at Paddan Aram and his meeting with Laban. It tells of Jacob’s promise to work for Laban for seven years for Laban’s daughter, Rachel, to become Jacob’s wife. It tells of Laban’s deception in providing Leah as the bride. Jacob works another 7 years for Laban to acquire Rachel as his wife. Family discontent shows itself in this chapter. Leah and Rachel are at odds. Leah feels unloved by Jacob. Rachel desires children for Jacob, like Leah has provided him. (Genesis 29:1-35)
Chapter 30 is a continuation of the struggle between Leah and Rachel for the attention and affection of Jacob. (Genesis 30:1-24) Strife is developing between Jacob and Laban. Jacob sees the wealth that Laban has accumulated through Jacob’s efforts without just compensation. Jacob brokers a deal with Laban regarding the sheep which results in Jacob becoming wealthier than Laban. (Genesis 30:25-43)
Genesis 31 begins with Jacob learning that Laban’s sons are unhappy that Jacob’s wealth greatly exceeds their father’s. In verse 3, God tells Jacob to go home and God will protect him. Jacob needed protection from Laban and from his brother Esau. (You remember Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of red lentil stew. Don’t overlook that Jacob deceived Issac to get Esau’s blessing. Esau also threatened to kill Jacob. Jacob definitely needed God’s protection. See day 44 for details) So Jacob packed up and left in the middle of the night with his wives, children and all his earthly possessions. Notice verses 14 through 16, and verse 19. Leah and Rachel were not concerned about leaving their family. They were concerned about losing their inheritance. Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Why? The person who possessed them was the person entitled to the family inheritance. Laban discovers his household idols are missing and pursues Jacob. God warns Laban not to harm Jacob. Laban catches Jacob. Sadly, this encounter ends with no real love shown for his family. The loss of his daughters or his grandchildren: it appears Laban’s true intention was to recover his flocks, claiming them to be his (verse 43). A pack is made to never cross onto each others territory again. Laban returns home. (Genesis 31:1-55)
Today’s focus verse is Genesis 28:15:
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 28:15, NIV)
It is reassuring to know that God is with us and is watching over us wherever we go. God’s promise to Jacob is still an active promise for us today. Serving God in daily life is our mission and ministry today. One part of Jacob’s mission was to go to Laban, marry, and prepare to return to land of his father, Issac. Jacob prepared himself, in a very dysfunctional family environment, while waiting on God’s direction to return. This is an incredible story. Get our the journal! Warm up the thinker! Today’s Bible journey asks us a very important question: Do we approach every day of our life seeing it as a mission for God? Do we? It is time to write if you are journaling! It is time to contemplate if you are contemplating! Is your daily life a mission for and from God? Remember God has no blank spots in His calendar of your life, every minute is accounted for. If you haven’t, this moment is a good moment to start. Have you ever asked God for your purpose in serving Him? Now is a good time. He will show you. Godspeace!
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