Daily Word

Genesis 32

Read Genesis 32 – Let’s learn to view life “from now on”.

Jacob can’t get back home without passing through Esau’s region.  Remember, Esau was set on killing Jacob before he fled (Genesis 27:41), and now Jacob forms a plan to heap gifts of livestock on his brother in waves to soften his heart before they are face to face. 

Jacob wisely spent the evening in prayer, reminding the LORD of His promises, showing gratitude for all that he had and asking for rescue from Esau’s hand (:9-12). 

Jacob took his people across the river, then returned to camp.  He was alone when “a man” came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. :24  The man had to go, but Jacob would not let him go unless he blessed Jacob.  “The Man” told him, “Your name will no longer be Jacob.  From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” :28 

Beloved, Jacob had a shady start, but from there he worked hard and remained close to God.  After one final night of wrestling with God he was ready to become Israel – as God intended all along.  As you consider these events, ask yourself, “Do I hold on to the past so tight that I am delaying the future God has for me?” 

May you live with a FROM NOW ON attitude, no longer wrestling with the past, and confidently stepping forward with your new identity in Christ Jesus! 🙌🦸‍♀️❤☝️❤🦸‍♂️🙌

Daily Word

Genesis 31

Read Genesis 31 – Breaking free.

Jacob saw that his in-law side of the family were starting to resent him, so when the LORD met him in a dream, telling him to return to the land of his father and grandfather, he did not hesitate.  Jacob saw the ways Laban cheated him, changing his wages 10 times but he also saw how God more than redeemed what Laban took(:7-12). 

He called Leah and Rachel in from the fields and explained the situation to them.  They were fine with it.  Their father was not fair with them either, reducing their rights to that of foreign women, and wasting all the money Jacob paid him (:15).  Laban made it so that Leah and Rachel and their children would not inherit anything. 

As they were packing up, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. :19  Beloved, who can say why?  A heart betrayed and abused can make strange choices to retaliate.

It would be 10 days before Laban would learn that Jacob had fled and catch up with them.  And the night before he did, the LORD appeared to him (Laban) in a dream, telling him, “I’m warning you – leave Jacob alone!” :24 

Laban peppers Jacob with questions over why he left in such a hurry, as though he were a good and noble father, before he gets to the thing that matters most to him, “But why have you stolen my gods?” :30  We have the term, gaslight, for Laban’s behavior, when a person psychologically manipulates another to question their own sanity in order to gain control. 

Jacob permits him to search everyone stating:  “But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die!”  Jacob did not know it was Rachel, and she is shrewd to hide them under her saddle. 

Now Jacob is mad, and he points out Laban’s abuses :36-42.  Laban does not own up to it, but changes the subject – again, a standard gaslighting move.  He proposes a covenant between them. Jacob agrees, and the next morning each goes in peace. 

Beloved, what does the LORD want you to see in this passage?  Is it time to move on from something?  Is He asking you to persevere in a hard situation?  Is He wanting you to make peace?

Daily Word

Genesis 30

Read Genesis 30 – “EGAD!”

My grandmother’s voice rings in my head as Jacob is passed from sister to servant and back again in Leah and Rachel’s competition for sons. And Gad is the name of Leah’s son, by her servant Zilpah in verse :11. Gad means “How fortunate I am!” I’m not sure if my grandmother saw the correlation.

I found verse :16 to be the most shocking. I almost feel sorry for Jacob.

At last, Rachel is remembered by God and blessed with a son named Joseph. The meaning of his name is “May the LORD add yet another son to my family.” :24 I found that such a strange name, it is like telling God, this one is not enough.

Meanwhile, they are still living on Laban’s estate and Jacob is still laboring for him without wage. Jacob has made him a wealthy man. He asks Laban for his wages in the form of all the speckled, spotted and black sheep and goats. I admire how this form of payment is indisputable. Laban agrees, but in :35 we see him playing dirty once again!

Jacob does not mention the injustice, he simply continues tending the flock, and imparts a technique to ensure the strongest females would give birth to spotted, speckled or black animals. “As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.” :43

Beloved, may these verses remind you that small and corrupt people will come and go throughout your life. Keep your eyes on Jesus, walk closely with Him and watch what happens… que in my grandmother singing, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus… Look full in his wonderful face… And the things of earth will grow strangely dim… In the light of his glory and grace.”🎶

Daily Word

Genesis 29

Read Genesis 29 – Oh what a tangled web we weave… or so the saying goes. 

Jacob, the trickster, arrives in Paddan-Aram, aka, Uncle Laban’s neighborhood.  He waits beside the well, chatting with the local shepherds… they were the news source of the day.  He inquired about Laban, they said, yes, this was his land, and his daughter Rachel was the woman approaching with her flocks (she was a shepherd, she worked). 

Notice the build up of vs :10.  Jacob’s heart must have been racing!  And vs :11, “Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud.”  That must have made for some fun stories to tell the grandkids. 

Laban takes Jacob in and they make a dowry deal that Jacob will work for him for 7 years, then marry Rachel.  Notice the symbolism… Jacob came from a wealthy household, yet now he was essentially a servant to Laban.  Jesus is LORD, yet He came from heaven to earth to serve. (Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.) 

But on the wedding night, Laban tricks Jacob by giving him Leah and not Rachel, saying it was the custom that the older daughter be married first.  Laban presents a new deal that he will give him Rachel next week, provided Jacob agrees to another 7 years of service.  Remember in Chapter 27 when I said Jacob would face a refining period because of his trickery?  Well, here is 14 years of it. 

Now poor Leah, she is unloved by her husband, but the LORD sees her sorrow and blesses her with 4 sons… one of which would be the priestly line of Levi, another of which would bring forth Jesus Christ, our Messiah, from the line of Judah!

Beloved, the LORD sees you too.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  The LORD lifts up the humble.  The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:3,6,11).

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.)