Today’s reading depicts alot of deceit, jealousy and bitterness. We start off reading about Esau and Isaac. Isaac told Esau to go out and hunt for game, then prepare his favorite meal for him, so that he could give him his blessing. Rebekah overheard, and told Jacob how to deceive his father. Isaac mistakenly gave Jacob the blessing. Esau was very angered and vowed to take Jacob’s life, so Rebekah and Isaac sent Jacob away. Now if you remember, God had already told Isaac that the older child Esau would serve the younger, Jacob. So Isaac was taking action to bless Esau, and going against God. Also, Jacob deceived his family twice to get what he wanted, and what he was going to rightfully get in good time. In the end, he had to leave his home, and he would never see his mother again. He would also never obtain spiritual success. It makes me really want to be patient, and wait for God’s timing. Jacob got what he wanted, but it turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing without God on his side.
When Jacob left Beersheba to travel to Haran, he stopped to rest at night. The angels of God came to him in a dream, and after them came the Lord. God promised to be with him as his guide and to protect him always. Jacob found his uncle Laban, and eventually married his 2 daughters. Between his wives and their maidservants, Jacob had 12 sons, whose descendants would later become the 12 tribes of Israel. Jacob and his family fled from Laban, and he traveled home to meet Esau. Esau greeted him with a hug and tears, so after many years of separation, God’s grace brought them back together. Jacob again lies to his brother about where he is going, and travels to Shechem. God had told Jacob to go to the home of his father Isaac, but he didn’t listen. Now I struggle with God sometimes, with things like forgiveness and anger, and try to take things into my own hands, but I don’t think if God came to me as a manifestation that I could do that. I guess that he’s always with me though, and sees how ugly I can be with built up unforgiveness, and that should be my motivation. But I think about what it will be like in Heaven, to be able to have a face to face conversation with God! How Awesome that will be!!
As I now type, it is a new day…stay with me.
Jacob failed to listen to God and live where He told him to, and instead chose to live by a pagan city. His daughter Dinah was violated from Shechem. This immorality reminds me of Lot and his daughters. Makes me want to move somewhere very very rural with my kids and shelter them. I pray that they get what they need from me, and not wander away from God seeking something else.
Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, killed the men of the city. Jacob’s sons did not bring him glory from their actions. God told Jacob to go build an altar at Bethel, and this time he listened. He found a renewed faith in God, and instructed his family to giet rid of the foreign gods they had and to purify themselves. Because of this, God again gave him protection, blessing, and the land gave to Abraham and Isaac, and changed his name from Jacob to Israel. Jacob singles out Joseph by giving him an ornate robe, thus causing great jealousy to the other brothers. They sold him as a slave, and told Jacob that animals must have attacked him. God used this to work out his plan for Joseph’s life. Joseph was faithful to God, even in trials, and God remained with him, showing him such love and mercy. Joseph was different from his brothers, and I think that’s why God chose him to protect.
Judah, Jacob’s 4th son from Leah, also possessed loose morals. He slept with his daughter in law, thinking she was a prostitute, and she bore twins, Perez and Zerah.
Joseph’s master saw that he was blessed to have him as a servant, and trusted him with everything he owned. His masters wife tried to seduce Joseph on occasions, but he refused her. One day she kept his cloak and claimed that he had tried to seduce her, so Joseph was thrown into prison. Even then, God was with him. Does it strike you in any way, how completely faithful Joseph was? He struggled and had a difficult life, but did not quit believing that God would bring him through. Joseph faced 3 tests for God while in Egypt. He faced the test of sexual sin, or purity, and he did not fail. He faced an opportunity for revenge, and he did not fail. Lastly, he faced death. Why did Joseph overcome? Because he had a deep trust in God, and he ran from sin. He claimed victory over sin, and was obedient to God, therefore he was blessed abundantly. I want to profess that kind of FAITH!!! Thank You God, for giving me many second chances, and allowing me to confess and repent of my sins to You, to ask You for forgiveness, and know that you will grant it. Bless me with wisdom and discernment, just like Joseph had, so that I may be victorious in this battle too. Thank You for Your infinite love, and the gift of Jesus.
The Reading for Sunday is Genesis 40 – Exodus 2