Genesis 29-30:24

Genesis 30:1-2

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“When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I shall die!’ Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, ‘Am I in the place of God who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?'”

Rachel envies her sister for giving Jacob sons. This envy stirs up strife between Jacob and Rachel, causing him to blame God for her barrenness.

In the midst of sinful thoughts, it is imperative that we call on the LORD for help. Rachel fails to do this. The result is further issues, namely marital discord and subsequent sin when Rachel offers her slave to Jacob in order to produce a son her her. When we don’t call on the LORD for help, our troubles escalate and we often put ourselves in even worse circumstances.

LORD, help me to recognize my need for You and Your willingness to help me. Rather than letting pains fester, help me to learn to call on You in times of weakness and uncertainty.

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/30: Genesis 27-28

1/31: Genesis29-30:24

2/1: Genesis 31-32

2/2: Genesis 33 & 35

2/3: Genesis 37

Genesis 27-28

Genesis 28:20-21

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“If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God.”
Though the LORD has appeared to Jacob in a dream, Jacob vows to serve Him after he returns home. He fears that the LORD won’t follow through on His promises.

Even though the LORD has promised us the presence of His Holy Spirit and guidance, we continue to make deals with Him. If You do this for me, I will serve You. How foolish we are to make demands of the most High God as if He owes us proof of His goodness and His very existence. Our lives are proof of His provision. If we seek Him, we will see so many instances of His protection, guidance, and love.

LORD, You deserve my complete devotion and utter submission. You don’t have to prove anything to deserve it. Help me to trust You more and to remember Your faithfulness.

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/30: Genesis 27-28

1/31: Genesis29-30:24

2/1: Genesis 31-32

2/2: Genesis 33 & 35

2/3: Genesis 37

Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 25:31

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“Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?'”

Though Esau knows of God’s covenant with Abraham to bless the family line, he focuses on his more immediate needs.

We can lose sight of long-term goals to satisfy short-term needs. Esau knew God’s blessing was on the family line-which transferred to him as the eldest-but he dismissed the promise for a bowl of soup. It sounds ridiculous, but we do that too. We know that God promises us joy in a covenant marriage, but we are prey to fleshly desires. We know that He promises we will find Him if we seek Him, but we get lazy and turn to social media for distraction instead.

Lord, give me perspective and patience to hold out for Your promises. They are so much greater than the whims my flesh desires. Only You satisfy.

What grabbed your attention in today’s reading? Can you relate with Esau, or more with Jacob? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Next Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/30: Genesis 27-28

1/31: Genesis29-30:24

2/1: Genesis 31-32

2/2: Genesis 33 & 35

2/3: Genesis 37

Genesis 24

Genesis 24:7

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“The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angels before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.”

When Abraham’s servant questions his instructions to get a wife for Isaac, Abraham shares his experience with God to encourage his servant.

Our experiences in life are meant to be a testimony of God’s power in action. There is hardly anything more encouraging than when someone comes alongside us and says, ‘You can trust God with what He is doing in your life; let me tell you how faithful He has been to me.’ This doesn’t mean that we should always talk about our own lives when communing with the suffering; sometimes we are called to listen and pray, but our testimonies are powerful tools to strengthen our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Lord, thank You for the work You’ve done (and are doing) in my life and for showing me Your love and provision time after time. Help me to seek opportunities to share my testimony for Your glory.

What stories from your life could you use to encourage a friend or family member? What holds you back from sharing them?

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 22

Genesis 22:12

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“He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.'”

God intervenes when Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac, saying that the episode was meant to prove Abraham’s fear for Him. But God, being all-seeing and all-knowing, must have already seen the result of His request. Part of His intent must have been to illustrate to Abraham the extent of his faith in order to bolster it.

When we are put through trials or challenging circumstances, we often see them as hindrances to our goals. God uses these times and trials not only to test our faith, but also to prove to us that our faith is still in Him and to encourage our spirits. When we recognize where our hope and trust is, we garner new perspective and are more apt to give God due praise through our current experiences and in the future.

Lord, You aren’t testing me simply to make me struggle; these struggles make me more resolute in my aim to glorify You. They remind me where my allegiance is, and also that  my trust is well-founded.

What else can we learn about the Lord from Abraham’s sacrifice? Has God ever asked you to give something up only to show you that His goal was gaining Your trust? Please share your thoughts below!

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 20-21

Genesis 21:11-12

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“And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, ‘Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.'”

When Sarah wishes to expel Hagar and Ishmael from their presence (because they mocked Isaac as the chosen son), Abraham struggles with his feelings. Because of his sin, he is in a difficult situation- loving his illegitimate son and caring for his slave/wife, while respecting Sarah’s wishes. God tells him to honor is wife, however difficult the consequences.

Sin complicates our circumstances. If Sarah and Abraham hadn’t tried to produce an heir their own way, they could have celebrated Isaac’s life even more. God never rescinded His promise to fill the land with Abraham’s offspring, yet Abraham and Sarah weren’t content to wait on Him. As a result, Abraham suffers from guilt and remorse. So often, we muddy the spring of blessing trying to fulfill our own happiness.

Lord, help me to trust Your Word and Your timing. Help me, by Your Holy Spirit, not ot take matters into my own hands but to rest in Your sovereign plan.

It’s easy to be hard on Abraham, but can you see ways that you have made matters worse by failing to wait on God?

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26

Genesis 18-19

Genesis 18:2-4

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“When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.'”

Though Abram does not have much to give, when the messengers of the Lord arrive, he offers every accommodation in order to honor the Lord.

Our tendency is often to think that we have nothing to give- no extra time, no talents, no resources. Rather than focusing on what is lacking, Abram’s example teaches us to give everything to the Lord and to spare no expense. We don’t need to find time to give to the Lord; every moment is already His, and we should be living them all for Him. Everything we do should ultimately be about serving the Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for the manifold blessings You’ve given to me. Create in me a servant’s heart that desires to bless You with the best of all I have. Help me to recognize all that You’ve blessed me with and share it all liberally.

What struck you in these chapters? Which qualities of Abram’s would you like to replicate in your life? Please share your ideas in the comments!

This Week’s Reading Schedule:

1/23: Genesis 18-19

1/24: Genesis 20-21

1/25: Genesis 22

1/26: Genesis 24

1/27: Genesis 25:19-34; 26