Saturday, July 15, 2023

July 15, 2023

Dinah was Jacob's only daughter. Being the only girl among boys was probably difficult, so she set out to find some friends among the Canaanites and got into trouble. Things like that happen to young people all the time, but in this case, a young man got carried away and let his desire take over, defiling her. He fell in love with Dinah. Jacob found out about it and responded reasonably; however, her brothers were not as understanding. The two families tried to make a deal to join together, but that would require all the males in Shechem's family to become circumcised, and they agreed, not only for the sake of their son and Dinah but Shechem saw Jacob's wealth and thought it could benefit him. Unfortunately, Jacob's sons were hotheads and didn't see it the same way, and while all the men were recovering from their surgery, they came in and slaughtered all of them, took the women and children captive, and kept their belongings and cattle. Jacob was none too happy about what they had done and chastised them because now the land's inhabitants would see them as an enemy and cause problems for them in the future. 

Children can sometimes be an embarrassment and shame their families, especially when they don't follow their parents' steps and take the proper path. Jacob was humble and tried to settle things reasonably, as we saw with how he handled things with Esau, but his children sought revenge, causing trouble for their future. All we can do is raise our children the best we know how, pray, and hope for God's mercy. 

And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. Genesis 34:30

Friday, July 14, 2023

July 14, 2023

When Jacob and Esau finally met again, Jacob came bearing gifts with his family in tow, but Esau brought his army. Esau saw his brother's submissive stance, which lowered his expectations of a battle to that of a homecoming. He embraced Jacob and welcomed him. That day, they went from being enemies back to being brothers. Jacob wrestled with God and won! Maybe that gave him confidence that God didn't put him in a precarious position by moving him away from Laban and would protect him from his brother as he drove his herds through the land near him.

I couldn't help but notice that they didn't get cozy. It doesn't say that they lingered or feasted together, but they were cordial with one another and could move on with their lives, having let go of the painful hurt of the past. Some people cause us pain and raw emotions, many of which are family. Jacob and Esau are excellent examples of how we should react to those who've hurt us; be polite but approach cautiously. We don't need to rehash old issues but should forgive and move on. God is faithful to help us heal from our past hurts. Ask him to show you how to mend broken relationships to help you move on with a healed heart. 

And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. Genesis 33:4

So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. Genesis 33:16-17

Thursday, July 13, 2023

July 13, 2023

Have you ever wondered how Jacob wrestled with God and won? Me too! Impossible! It was an angel of God that he wrestled with and was a more powerful being than Jacob and could have easily taken him out; it proved to be true since he simply touched him and put his hip out of joint. What I didn’t recognize, and what Matthew Henry’s Commentary brought to light, was that he prevailed because of the power of God through Jacob’s faith in him. Jacob wanted God’s blessing and did not stop until he got it; we must pursue God this same way, unrelenting until we get what God puts in our hearts to go after. If God has given you a dream, follow it! If God puts it in your heart, and it’s a righteous endeavor, don’t stop until you get what He intends for you to have. God gives you your heart’s desires, meaning he is the one who puts those desires there, so don’t ignore them, wrestle with Him until you get them. Anything that God puts in your heart may take some time to achieve, but every moment spent going after it will be worth the change that happens within you during the process. God is so good to his children, so don’t give up; keep going!

And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Genesis 32:25-26

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

July 12, 2023

God is aware of our government's hostility toward us and the flagrant taking of our money and using it to harm us or cover their misdeeds. The sooner everyone realizes they are against us, the sooner we can be re-compensated for everything they have taken from us. 

God watched as Laban, Jacob's uncle and father-in-law, changed his wages repeatedly. God told Jacob in a dream how to handle the situation, and Jacob listened and followed his instructions. God helped him enrich his wealth before sending him back to the land of his father. God showing Jacob how to build his wealth confirms that He is as concerned about our financial well-being as He is about our spiritual connection to him; they go hand in hand. This chapter of Genesis doesn't point to some ridiculous prosperity gospel; name it and claim it garbage; it takes a commitment to God through Jesus! It is a sincere, heartfelt love for Him. If you are not there yet, pray and study God's word until you are. Reach out to him throughout your day; make Him the most significant part of your life. He is not unaware of your struggle and will appreciate your including Him in everything you do. 

As far as what the government is stealing from us, we will get it back, just like Jacob did! It's a matter of time, probably sooner than later, because it is going downhill rapidly. Ensure you are right with God before things shift in our favor.

For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do. Genesis 31:16

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

July 11, 2023

Rachael had trouble conceiving, and when Leah, her sister, Jacob’s other wife’s son, Ruben, came home with some Mandrake, a sweet-smelling plant, Rachael wanted them and offered that Jacob could sleep with her if she gave them to her. It reminds me of the television show, Sisterwives. As a plant person, I was curious to know why she wanted them so badly, so I looked them up. Come to find out, they have some medicinal purposes, as I have learned with many weeds growing in my own yard. This weed can cause hallucinations, but it is also an aphrodisiac that increases fertility. It’s probably outlawed in the United States because it can be used to treat cancer, among many other things. We are becoming wise to the plight of the pharmaceutical companies. I imagine that Rachael thought that it would help her conceive. There was a lot of rivalry between these two women; I can understand it because Jacob loved Rachael, but Leah produced sons. I found it surprising that Leah, rather than Rachael, is in the lineage of Jesus because Rachael seems to be the one that was favored in the stories. The remarkable thing I’m learning by going through these chapters one by one is that asking a few simple questions and using the internet to look them up can make the Bible come to life in an extraordinary way. Use your curiosity to drive your study of the scriptures; doing so will increase the depth of your research and help you retain it for future use.

By the way, the Bible is full of sex and intrigue. It’s not boring!

And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. Genesis 30:14-15


Monday, July 10, 2023

July 10, 2023

Jacob saw his deceitfulness come back to haunt him. After working seven years for the hand of Rachel, on the night of his wedding, Laban, her father, tricked him into marrying Leah, the older of the two girls. There were a lot of gullible men in biblical days. First, Lot didn’t know he was sleeping with his daughters; Abraham was tricked into blessing Jacob because he was disguised as his brother. Now Jacob receives compensation for his scheme by being deceived into marrying Leah. Laban caused a lot of heartache and tears that day. Leah was heartbroken because she wasn’t loved; Rachael because she was deprived of her wedding day, and Jacob was expecting his beautiful bride, only to find out that it was her sister. If these things happened back then, does it still happen today? I wonder if we are like Jacob and are so gullible that we don’t notice that we are receiving the consequence for past sins. Does the devil take his portion? Jesus covers a multitude of sins and spares us from hell, but we may have to suffer some repercussions. Think twice about your dealings with others; hurting people could haunt you as they did Jacob.

And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What isthis thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? Genesis 29:25 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

July 9, 2023

When Abraham sent Jacob away to stay with Laban and choose a wife from the family, it doesn’t say that he sent him with provisions; when it got dark, he had to sleep under the sky and lay his head on a rock. During that weak moment, God gave him a dream of an open heaven where the angels ascend and descend between heaven and earth. God confirmed with Jacob the promise made to Abraham, which became a promise to him. God also told him he wouldn’t leave him until that promise was complete. It was a significant revelation; fear overcame him because he realized how close God was to him, and he memorialized that place. He called that place God’s house and vowed to give him a tenth of all he gave him. What does that mean to us? It makes it real that God is near us at all times. God sees and understands your troubles but is also close enough to see you when you sin. We don’t fear God enough. Yes, he is loving, but he’s also just, which means you won’t get away with sinning; he sees your every move and hears your every complaint. Because He is always near, we need Jesus all the more. Stay conscience of his presence.

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. Genesis 28: 16-17