Daily Word

Genesis 35

Read Genesis 35 – Back to Bethel. 

The Lord first called Jacob back to Bethel in Genesis 31:13, but on the way, Jacob set up camp near Shechem with disastrous results.  Casual obedience is a sure pathway to chaos.  We saw this played out in the last chapter with Dinah, Simeon, Levi, and the rest of Jacob’s sons.  Beloved, what is God calling you to?  If you are not sure, go to the last place he led you to and do what he told you then… Ephesians 5 in the New Testament has very clear instructions. 

Jacob tells his family to prepare for the journey by getting rid of all pagan idols, purifying themselves and putting on clean clothing. 

Beloved, do these things as well for a fresh start.  Is there anything in your house/life you would not want to share with Jesus? 

Jacob’s household gave him all the foul things and he buried them under a great tree near Shechem.  Scripture says:  “As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.” :5  Now that Jacob was living in obedience, the LORD guarded his path.  And with his obedience, God reminded Jacob that his new name was Israel (it was first given to him when he wrestled with God in 32:28), and that all the blessings of his forefathers were now his.  Jacob marked the place where God had spoken to him. 

The timeline is unclear, but Jacob leaves Bethel for Ephrath (which is Bethlehem).  Rachel gives birth to her second son along the way, and with her last breath, names him Ben-oni… son of my sorrow.  Jacob calls him Benjamin… son of my right hand. 

Jacob’s first born son, Reuben, shows his father utmost disrespect by sleeping with his concubine, Bilhah.  These are the disqualifiers in Jacobs children: Reuben had sex with Bilhah, Simeon and Levi let the massacre at Shechem… the future is now up to Judah, and from him will come our messiah, Jesus Christ. 

Our chapter ends with the death of Isaac. Esau and Jacob buried him, coming together in unity one last time.

Beloved, may your take-away be, “A man resisting God will see the same effect in his family.  A man who gets right with God will see the effect in his family also.” (from David Guzik commentary on Genesis 35).

Daily Word

Genesis 28

Read Genesis 28 – Where to start?  There is so much at play in our chapter. 

We begin where Rebekah’s complaint in 27:46 began, and Isaac summoned Jacob, instructing him to not marry a Canaanite woman, but to go to Uncle Laban’s house and marry one of his daughters.  Isaac gave Jacob one more blessing and sent him away. 

Esau knew his parents did not like the local women so he made an outward gesture to please them by traveling to Uncle Ishmael’s house and marrying his daughter, Mahalath.  She is his 3rd wife, Judith and Basemath are his Hittite wives who made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah (26;34-35).

Beloved, this is partial obedience.  This is what it looks like to God when a person decides for themselves what would please Him, without actually submitting to the LORD in prayer nor having any true repentance.  This is like the spouse who is faithful most of the time, or the addict who is sometimes sober.

Jacob set up camp for the night, resting his head on a stone, and has a vivid dream. In it, the LORD confirms the blessing of Abraham and promises:  “What’s more, I am with you , and I will protect you wherever you go.  One day I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” :15  WOW!  Jacob woke up, memorialized the stone, pouring olive oil over it, and renamed the place Bethel (house of God). 

Beloved, pour over Jacob’s dream in verses :12-15.  Ask God to grow your faith; stand before Him in your hard places and meditate on what He has to say to you.🙇‍♀️🙏🪜🙌🙇

Daily Word

Genesis 27

Read Genesis 27 – See the providence of God.  You’ll need this lens for Chapter 27 or things will be confusing. 

God told Rebekah in Chapter 25:23 exactly how things would turn out for the twins she was carrying… ‘and the older shall serve the younger’.  Of course God did not need lies, deception and favoritism to accomplish His will, but when dealing with mere humans, like us, free-will is a factor He must contend with.

Beloved, this is somewhat good news for us.  You and I are bound to make less-than-godly choices over the course of our lives due to our sin nature. (Paul captures the battle well in Romans 7:15-17)  God’s providence will still prevail.  And what God desires from us is a repentant heart. 

Let’s look ahead; do we see a repentant heart in Esau?  “From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing.  And Esau began to scheme, ‘I will soon be mourning my father’s death.  Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.’ “ :41 

No, Esau comforted himself with murder fantasies, not godly sorrow.  God has foreknowledge of each person’s heart.  Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew (25:32-33); he was a godless man who was controlled by his flesh, he was not a man God would establish Israel through. 

And now, Jacob… his behavior is hardly admirable, and the LORD will have a lot of refining for him before he is useful and able to grow into the blessing Isaac pronounced over him. But, God knew Jacob’s heart and that His purpose would be fulfilled through Jacob.

Beloved, we are a messy bunch and Jesus knows that.  He died for us while we were still sinners! (Romans 5:8)  May each of us be quick to give thanks for our trials and the good things our LORD is accomplishing in and through us. (See James 1 for more on this.)

Daily Word

Genesis 26

Read Genesis 26 – Well, well, well…

Our chapter begins with a famine.  Water is life.  Famine was a serious condition that required action. 

Isaac moved to Gerar in Philistine country.  The LORD did not want Isaac in Egypt and gave him instructions and promises.  Isaac was to stay where he was, and the LORD promised His presence and blessing, land, and descendants as numerous as the stars through which all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Jesus!!!!) :3-4. 

Isaac was a foreigner in the land and feared he would be killed for his beautiful wife, Rebekah.  So he repeats his father’s mistake and makes Rebekah declare herself his sister.  Abimelech the king saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.  Other translations say:  sporting, fondling, laughing with and dallying… it was clear to the king they were married.  I love how serious the king takes this.  He calls Isaac immediately and asks, “How could you do this to us?  One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.” :10

Beloved, we live in a time where marriage is not honored by many, and sexual relations outside of marriage are considered a normal outlet…. Some of the consequences of our sin are broken homes, broken hearts, fatherless children everywhere, and a lost society that doesn’t understand why or how they got that way. 

Abimelech understood the gravity of the situation.  Even sin committed in ignorance is sin.  He issued a proclamation of protection over Isaac and Rebekah. 

Isaac goes on to plant crops and is so blessed by the LORD that the Philistine servants become jealous.  They fill up Isaac’s wells… remember, water is life. The king tells Isaac to move on. 

Isaac moves to the valley, reopening the wells his father had dug, and is met with strife from the herdsmen there.  He moved to Beersheba and the LORD met him there, repeating His promises to Abraham over Isaac.  Isaac built an altar there and worshipped the LORD. 

There’s more for you to discover, keep reading. 👫🥰🤦‍♀️🚰🤝☝️🙌

Daily Word

Genesis 25

Read Genesis 25 – What really matters? 

Abraham remarried Keturah after Sarah, and had 6 more sons.  We are given their names, but they are never mentioned again. 

Genesis is the story of Jesus Christ.  People will be mentioned then just fade away because they are not a part of the Jesus story.  Our lesson in this is that here and now, many will touch the story of Jesus.  They will know who he is and that he offers salvation to all, but they do not take the gift.  They too will fade out of the story.  It is immensely tragic. 

In verse :5 we read: “Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac.”  Isaac is the son of the promise.  After Abraham dies, his sons Isaac and Ishmael bury him with Sarah. 

In verses :12-18 we are given the descendants of Ishmael, but like the children born to Keturah, they are mentioned here then no more. 

Now, Rebekah was barren like her mother-in-law, Sarah.  Isaac pleaded with the LORD for her, and the LORD answered his prayer with twins.  The twins were at war even in the womb.  Rebekah asked God why and He responded with quite a pronouncement!  Her sons are two rival nations…. Meet Esau and Jacob. 

Esau was a manly man, a hunter and outdoorsman, and Isaac preferred him.  Jacob had a quiet temperament and was favored by Rebekah.  Before our chapter ends, the boys will have a childish encounter over some stew that will change everything! 

Beloved, what is the LORD telling you in these verses?  Where is Jesus in YOUR story?

Daily Word

Genesis 24

Read Genesis 24 – Be ready to be swept off your feet!  This is one of the most romantic chapters in the Bible. 

Abraham is very old when he summons his head servant and requests he find a wife for Isaac from the homeland.  The servant (we are never given his name) is concerned that the bride and her family may not allow her to travel so far away.  Abraham sets the condition that his servant will be released of his oath if that happens, but that Isaac is NEVER to go there. 

Notice the servant’s reverence for the LORD and Abraham.  He prays when he arrives in town, he prays quite specifically, and before he finished praying in his heart, Rebekah appeared.  (This is one of the few silent prayers recorded in the Bible.) 

I’m not going to tell too much of the story. You simply must unwrap it for yourself!  As you read, consider the symbolism of Father in Abraham, Son in Isaac, and Holy Spirit in the unnamed servant. 

Our chapter ends with verse :67, “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife.  He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.” 

Beloved, ‘he loved her deeply’, it’s so precious.  This was an arranged marriage, but it was truly love at first sight.  And Rebekah immediately steps into the role with comfort, being exactly the right help-mate to Isaac.  May you also trust in the Lord completely.  May you ask for the desires of your heart and be open to the awesome ways Jesus will meet you there.  Commit everything you do to the LORD!

Daily Word

Genesis 22

Read Genesis 22 – Sometimes one’s faith is tested. 

If this is your first time reading this chapter, your faith may feel tested in the second verse. God tells Abraham to take his son, his only son up to the mountain and sacrifice him.  Wait, what?  Yes, but, keep reading mama bear… 

Our chapter is filled with symbolism about Jesus. Starting with verse :2; God says nearly the same words about Jesus (Matt 3:17, 17:5 / Mark 1:11).  And God does offer Jesus, His one and only Son, as a sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16).  

As you read, consider Isaac’s willingness.  He is not a small child, verse :6 tells us the wood for the burnt offering was laid upon his shoulders – as Jesus would carry his own cross up to Golgotha (John 19:7)… Both sons were willing to be obedient to their fathers, even to lay down their lives. 

Isaac asks Abraham where the sheep is for the burnt offering, Abraham answers in great faith, the Lord will provide (:8).  And at the last possible moment, an angel stops Abraham from killing Isaac.  He truly fears the Lord, and will not withhold anything from Him.  God provides a ram in the thicket for the burnt offering. 

Beloved, while these verses are unique to Abraham (Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and God will not ask anyone to sacrifice their child), one might wonder why God asked this of him.  God knows Abrahams heart, as He knows yours, but sometimes we don’t know our own and the Lord will bring circumstances to refine our faith.  “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”).  To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”  Genesis 22:14

Daily Word

Genesis 21

Read Genesis 21 – Let’s make a joyful noise!

Laughter fills Sarah’s heart when the Lord’s promise is fulfilled with the birth of Isaac. Isaac is the son of God’s promise, as Jesus will be centuries later, more commonalities between the two are both arrived by miracle, both arrived after a long wait, both were named before birth – names with deep meaning, and both arrived according to the Lord’s perfect timing and purpose.

When Isaac was weaned, Abraham threw a great celebration and Sarah saw Ishmael scoffing at Isaac. This symbolized the conflict that will remain between the son of promise, Isaac, and the son of the flesh, Ishmael. Sarah demanded they be sent away.

Hagar again finds herself alone in the wilderness, feeling hopeless and ready to die when an angel of the Lord shows up. He assures her Ishmael will be a great nation, and he does grow to be the father of the Arabic people.

Our chapter ends with Abraham’s covenant with Abimelech. He is approached by his neighbor, Abimelech, who observes God’s hand over Abraham: GOD IS OBVIOUSLY WITH YOU, HELPING YOU IN EVERYTHING YOU DO :23.

Beloved, may it be so for us all… that our walk with Jesus is apparent in the way we live. Keep reading, may you fall deeper in love with our Savior, as you get to know Him more and more with each page.📖📖📖🙏📖📖📖