Genesis 33 & 35

Genesis 33:4

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“But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”

Jacob fears his reunion with Esau, but he is surprised to encounter Esau with such love and forgiveness.

When people wrong us or even suggest doing so, we have the tendency to think their actions are who they are and that they won’t change. But Jacob prayed to the LORD; he wrestled with God for a blessing, and in this passage we see his faith rewarded. Esau has changed and is eager to welcome his brother back after much discord- even though Jacob wronged him! People can change, but we have to give them opportunities to show us rather than writing them off.

LORD, help me to see people like You do. Help  me to truly love others and to believe in second chances and changed hearts.

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

 

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Genesis 31-32

Genesis 32:9-10

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“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness you have shown to your servant.”

In this passage, Jacob praises God for His provision and requests protection when he encounters Esau. He recognizes that he has done nothing to merit God’s favor, but he also remembers how God has been faithful to his ancestors.

In sharp contrast, entitlement is rife in our modern culture. We think that we deserve the best for no particular reason and that when something doesn’t go our way we’ve been wronged. We fail to recognize our dependence on God and all the blessings He has given us. Perhaps even worse than this, we are servants to our gratification rather than servants of God. Like Jacob, we must acknowledge that we don’t deserve God’s blessings and give Him praise

Lord, help me to stop to thank You for what You’ve done for me before asking for more. Help me to recognize that I don’t deserve anything, but that all I have is Yours.

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 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