My wife, Wives??? Genesis 29 part 2

What a curve ball—Jacob worked for 7 years to marry the love of his life.  At the last minute, his uncle out-slicked him. The amazing thing was that he then married the love of his life and it made the next 7 years pass in no time.  Jacob was in a journey that was not one he expected.  But in  the process he was about to learn how dependent he would have to be on God.  Then God allowed his plan to unfold in his time, and the result would forever change the world.  I am sure  Jacob could not see that his 2 wives would save Israel in the short term and save the world forever.  But, what he could see is that God delivered him from his brother and to his family in Haran.  He showed Jacob his dream and promised his covenant.  Jacob knew God was God and He was not. 

When we face life, it is often a curve ball.  We do not receive what we expect, and often we feel out-slicked, overwhelmed and confused.  But, in the end, God meets our needs and executes his plan for the long term.  We forever look back and see his provision and plan unfolded.  We then cling to the history as a reminder he controls our future.  Then the years pass like a week. In the meanwhile, we continue to trust him and allow him to work in our lives.  Help me, Lord to cling to you and walk in your plan and not mine.

God Bless You

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her. ”22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So 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? ”26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work. ”28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Well, Well–Whom do we have here? Genesis 29 part 1

It is great to realize your dream.  Jacob was running away from his past and running to a new future.  Both seemed impossible.  His past was filled with a brother that wanted his life—his future was filled with the dread of entering a strange new world with no one to care about him.  There, at a well God met Jacob and relieved both issues.  As Rachel approached, God reminded Jacob that he was the God of his past, present and future.  He immediately went from being a stranger in a strange land to being home with family.  God’s timing was perfect.  His ambassador was beautiful and his plan executed flawlessly. 

In our lives, so many days we awaken with a feeling of dread.  We wonder if the past will ever be overcome and if the future will ever be as bright as we hoped.  In that, out of nowhere, God appears and we are instantly swept into a flawless and indescribable plan for his glory.  The sledding is often difficult, the timing is usually different than we would choose, but God remains God and we remain astonished at the beauty of his execution.  We can never lose hope.  We must always trust he has our interest in mind.  The more willing we are to submit to his leadership, the more willing he is to allow us to see his handiwork. 

Help me, Lord to look to you for your plan and not mine.

God Bless You

9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”

 

Right Back at You, Lord–Genesis 28 Final

Giving back—It is a great challenge as we encounter trials and push through the journey to remember to give back.  When we are blessed, we often times forget that as we are blessed, we have to bless others.  Each gift looks a little different.  The over involved person, may need to give time, the wealthy person, money, the listener, prayer  and the talented people their talents.  What we really need to give back is our submission.  Until we can agree to give up our lives to God—our time, talent and money are secondary.  The question is—what is controlling us, whatever it is, we need to give it back to the Lord.  As for tithing, God will absolutely bless those that tithe.  He longs to bless us.  So give him a chance.  Malachi 3:12—Trust me , Try me, Prove me says the Lord of Hosts and see if a blessing, unmeasured blessing will not fall back on you!

 God Bless You

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth. ”

 

The Most Awesome Place on Earth–Genesis 28 part 2

When Jacob awoke—he realized How awesome is a place where God is. He saw that it is about the most awesome place on earth.  We see so many amazing things.  We see his beauty in Nature, we see his mercy in our lives and we see his salvation in the midst of our sin.  God is awesome.  We cannot replace his glory with any earthly thing.  It became clear to Jacob that even a bed on the ground with a rock for a pillow becomes a glimpse of Heaven when God showed up. 

We need to see things from the same eternal perspective.  We can be in God’s very presence and be oblivious to it if we fail to pay attention.  The best way to get that is to simply seek him in the word and in prayer. The more in touch we are with him, the more aware we become of his presence.  Our prayer needs to be, Father help me to seek you and you only—then like Jacob we can wake up in the most amazing place on earth.

God Bless You

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 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. 12 He had a dream in which 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. 13 There above it 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. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 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. ”

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

It Is not just What You Do–Genesis 28 part 1

Esau just did not get it.  When Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob on his way, they blessed him and gave him direction how to stay separate from the culture.  Jacob left with the blessing and direction in mind.  Esau was angry, but did not understand so in response he married a woman from Ishmael’s clan as steeped in local culture as the other Canaanites he married.  Esau thought this was a problem of marrying outside the family line—when it was really an issue of keeping separate from the culture. 

We do the same.  In our culture, we surround ourselves with trappings and meetings thinking that is what God wants. We go to the right church, say the right things and distance ourselves from the right issues.  But, what God wants is complete surrender.  He wants us to separate from the world’s culture. He wants us to think and be different than the rest of the world.  It is not what we do, it is simply who we are.  If we live a life like Christ, our actions will stand out without even a conscious effort.  We will also experience peace that we never thought possible.  Help me Lord, to walk and live separate from the world culture.

God Bless You

 

So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.

6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.

Backlash–Genesis 27 final

Backlash—Isaac and Rebekah’s attempts to circumvent each other ultimately ended in God’s plan being executed.  Since there was so much deception, however, Esau became bitter and planned the death of His Brother.  Esau was not a Godly man and did not care to follow God’s plan to build the nation of Israel.  Had his father, been honest with himself and his son, Esau would have been unhappy but, would have accepted the truth.  Instead he was bitter and wanted his brother’s life.

God does not make the journey easy.  When we attempt to circumvent him, there is backlash.  Time and again we see the backlash, in his word and in our lives. Time and again we need to seek his way.  If we will wait upon him, the reward will be great.  He wants his best for us—we simply need to wait on his best and not try to form our own plan.  Help me Lord to patiently await YOUR PLAN.

God Bless You

41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”

Whose Blessing Was it Anyway? Genesis 27 part 3

So Jacob received a blessing intended for Esau.  When you read the body of the blessing, it is clear Isaac was not happy with God’s plan for Jacob.  He attempted to reverse all that God had already promised.  In spite of his efforts, God still made his plan prevail.  God allowed Isaac to be deceived.  Isaac then blessed Jacob as he was supposed to.  The fall out was tremendous, but God’s plan was done.

When we try to intercede and undermine God’s plan, we also find that our best efforts will be thwarted so that his plan can prevail. The more we are willing to listen and follow him, the less difficult it will be for him to do what he needs to do.  In addition, we will be able to point to what he has accomplished and give him the glory.  We simply need to listen to him and follow his direction for our lives.  When we do, he will bless us.  Help me Father to follow you and not try to undermine your plan.

God Bless You

14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. 17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.

18 He went to his father and said, “My father.”

“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”

20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”

“The Lord your God gave me success, ” he replied.

21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”

22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him. 24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.

“I am,” he replied.

25 Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”

Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”

27 So he went to him and kissed him . When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,

“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew
and earth’s richness —
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed. ”