Week 3

Genesis 31:17-43:34

Gen 31:24: God appeared to Laban in a dream and told him to leave Jacob alone. So reassuring…my God defends me, protects me, goes before me…I just have to trust Him and follow Him!

Vs 32: As far as the idols themselves go…I’m not sure Rachel was actually worshiping them?? I’m seeing more of a possible stealing for value (most idols were made from precious materials)…although this could’ve been a hesitancy to leave the gods of her father (Laban obviously didn’t worship the true God…he always referred to Him as other people’s God). And Jacob didn’t know Rachel took them…I mean he said hey, if you can find them go ahead and kill whoever has them!! How do I see me in this? How many times have I done exactly what Rachel did? Done things that my husband had no idea about but could’ve caused problems for him? Maybe even destroyed our life? I also see, if she did take them for worship purposes and following idols, well then I’ve done that too! I’ve set up things in the place where God should’ve been in my life. It’s so easy for me to read through and be like “what’s wrong with them? Haven’t they seen how God has provided? Or heard of the things He has done?” But, haven’t I?? And still time and again I “worshiped” other things. I think this particular situation with Rachel just really helped me to see…every decision I make does indeed effect those closest to me (husband and kids). I’m not sure how I feel about Rachel at this point…she’s being deceitful and it’s easy to see she’s in the wrong but I see me. I think she’s at a point where God is Jacob’s God but not her own. Difference between knowing/religion and actual relationship, maybe?! Oh, how I know that road!

Vs 47: Laban says “Jegar-sahadutha” meaning “witness pile” in Aramaic. Jacob says “Galeed” meaning “witness pile” in Hebrew…did they each speak both language fluently or was there a language barrier between them?

Vs 54: I love how Jacob worships (sacrifice and feast) after God provides. Mahanaim: “God’s Camp”

Gen 32:4 (Jacob sends a servant to Esau) “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob…'” I see the growth and maturity of Jacob here. He is NOT Esau’s servant (he has both the birthright and the blessing) but he humbles himself to make amends. He knows he was in the wrong. Being the “bigger man” by lowering himself…humility can be a beautiful thing.

Vs 8: when Jacob separated his family and belongings into two groups…how did that play out? My thinking automatically jumps to Leah and kids in first group (one that may get slaughtered) and Rachel (who he loved) and kids in the second group (in hopes they would escape if things went wrong).

Vs 9: “THEN JACOB PRAYED” fear, action then prayer…help me to be prayer then action, Lord!

Vs 10: “I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant.” HUMILITY

Vs 18: “they are a gift for his master, Esau.” Once again, Jacob is humbling himself in an act of apology. He knows he was in the wrong. He’s attempting to reconcile with repayment.

Vs 28: name changed from Jacob to Israel…God gave him a new name!! He gave me a new name also…Rev. 2:17 “…and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” Is. 62:2 “…And you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate.”

Gen 33:2 Jacob did indeed separate his family: servants with wives and kids first, Leah and her children next and Rachel last.

Vs 4: “Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.” This is such a beautiful picture of forgiveness and redemption to me. I see Jesus and me (Esau/Jacob). I messed up, I was deceitful, I had sinned…I ran from the presence of God. I knew Jesus was coming towards me…pursuing me (like Esau to Jacob) and I was scared. I didn’t want to come face to face because I knew what I had done and what I deserved. But thank God, He doesn’t give us what we deserve!!! He ran to me and embraced me when I came back to Him. So deeply thankful!

Vs 20: “And there he built an altar.” …worship as soon as delivered…I LOVE THIS!!

Gen 34:23 “But if we do this, all their livestock and possessions will eventually be ours.” So after the rape of Dinah, Jacob’s sons were deceitful in their plan…”oh just get circumcised then you can marry her!”…knowing they intended to kill them in their weakened state BUT the men of the city were deceitful in their agreement…they were after their wealth!

Gen 35:2 I find it interesting that Jacob told people in his household to get rid of their pagan idols. I guess this goes to show that worshiping God is a personal choice BUT as a head of household, (mom) I have the power to say in my house we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15)

Vs 3:  “I will build an altar to God who ANSWERED MY PRAYERS WHEN I WAS IN DISTRESS. HE HAS BEEN WITH ME WHEREVER I HAVE GONE.” Yes!!! So thankful He answers our prayers. And He has always been with me (which is cause for praise but also heartbreak when I consider some of the places I have dragged Him into).

Vs 9: El Shaddai: “God Almighty”

Vs 19: Rachel died on the way to Ephrath, after giving birth to Benjamin.

Vs 29: Jacob returned to Isaac…at his death, Jacob and Esau buried him.

Gen 36:1 Esau was Edom (the Edomites)

Gen 37:3 “Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age.” Did Jacob not learn anything from Isaac and Rebekah?! But lesson for me: we see behavior repeating in generations again that leads to conflict and heartbreak. I don’t want that for my children! I don’t want them having to walk the same road I have and making the same decisions in their life that I have. Lord, help us to break the cycle! Help us to claim our families in Your holy name and allow You to break the chains of repetitive sin in our families!

Vs 14: Jacob made Joseph his little spy…no wonder the brothers despised him!!

Vs 29: Reuben was distraught…he wasn’t with the brothers when they sold Joseph. He returned to release him and found him gone!

Gen 38:7 “But Er was a wicked man in the Lord’s sight so the Lord took his life.” How heartbreaking!! To be so wicked that God just takes you?! But…all sin is wickedness to God…my sin is wicked to a holy God! Have mercy, Lord!

Vs 10: “so the Lord took Onan’s life too.” !!! Judah had two of his sons taken by God! Consequences to his part in how Joseph was treated?!

Gen 38:24 After all of the Tamar stuff (2 brothers died while with her, 3rd brother promised to her not given out of fear he would die, then acted as a prostitute and pregnant by her father-in-law, Judah)… “Bring her out and let her be burned!” Judah demanded.  Wow!! Did he have no part in this?! First, he lied to her and said he’d give her his 3rd son, knowing he had no intention of doing that. Then, he had sex with her…willingly…he paid for it!! So how is she the only one in the wrong here?!

Gen 39:2-3 “The Lord was with Joseph…” “Potiphar noticed this.” I love how many times non-believers see God at work in the lives of His people. What a testimony! It boggles my mind, though, that they didn’t then turn to God! I mean, Potiphar sees Jacob as blessed so he “hooks his cart to him” but never makes the leap to serve God himself.

Vs 9: (to Potiphar’s wife) “It would be a great sin against God.” I love how he didn’t just say Oh I can’t do this to Potiphar because he’s my boss. He knew it would be a sin. So thankful I came to that place…not just a well who it is situation but a because I know it’s wrong situation. It is a sin and would be wrong to God!

Vs 12: “he ran” !!! Joseph ran from temptation! Sometimes just saying no but sticking around isn’t enough. Get out of the situation/environment!

Vs 21: “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison.” I love how many times it says the Lord was with Joseph!

Gen 41:38 “So Pharaoh asked his officials, ‘Can we find anyone else like this man, so obviously filled with the spirit of God?'” What a testimony!! To have the world see the spirit of God in us! How amazing! Lord, help me to be so full of Your Spirit that people see You. That even if they’re unsure what’s different about me they still clearly see a difference. Overtake every part of me until Your Spirit flows from me in every encounter!!

Matthew 10:24-14:12

Matt 10:27 “…What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” Show me, Lord! Should I blog?! (typing this now…so glad to see this!)

Vs 30: I love it!! “And the very hairs on your head are numbered.” This just speaks to my heart! My hair??!! I don’t know about you, ladies, but my hair falls out left and right…like I shed like an Alaskan husky stuck in an Arizona summer!! lol Seriously, I could never commit a crime because I leave a ton of DNA everywhere I go!! BUT HE KNOWS THE NUMBER OF HAIRS ON MY HEAD…and my shirt, stuck in my purse strap, lodged in my brush…!!! My God is a personal God. He’s in even the smallest details of my life and He cares about every aspect of me! That makes me wanna shout a bit!!!

Vs 37: the if you love your father/mother/daughter…more than Me you aren’t worthy of being mine. To me this speaks beyond family but also friendships. Do I care more what this friend or that friend thinks of me than Jesus?! Sadly, I have. I’ve been there…so focused on what they think rather than what He thinks.

Matt 11:20 it amazes me how many could physically encounter/see Jesus and His miracles and still not believe!

Matt 12:6 “I tell you there is one here who is even greater than the temple.” (to the Pharisees) I would’ve loved to see this! Jesus is with His disciples here so were the Pharisees looking around like, “what?! Who’s He talking about?!” Or did they know He was referring to Himself?

Vs 9-14: I love how the Pharisees always try to trap Jesus by asking Him questions that will “get him in trouble”!! lol Vs 12: “…Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”

Vs 31: (Jesus speaking) “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven- except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” THANK GOD!! EVERY SIN!! Not some…not a few…not a select list…but every sin!

Vs 36: “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak.” Oh Lord, help me! Help me to only say/think things that I wouldn’t be ashamed to account for. Forgive me for idle things (gossip, hatred, cursing,…) that have gone out of my mouth. Help me to truly take every word into captivity. To truly think before I speak and to allow my words to only speak Your truth and love.

Matt 13:12 “To those who LISTEN to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.” So thankful God will give us wisdom and understanding as we trust and LISTEN to Him and His teachings!

Vs 57: “And they were deeply offended and refused to believe him.” Those from Jesus’ hometown…the ones who knew His family…refused to accept that He had this power. Lesson for me? Those who think they know me may be harsh critics about the way God has changed me!

Psalms 13:1-18:36

Ps 13:5 “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.” !!! His “unfailing love”…nothing I did…it’s all what He does!! True, unconditional love!

Vs 6: “I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.” HE DESERVES MY PRAISE!!!!

Ps 14:5 “…for God is with those who obey him.”

Ps 16:8 “I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

Ps 18:16a-19b “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;…he rescued me because he delights in me.” HE DELIGHTS IN ME!!!! That amazes me, humbles me and overwhelms me! Remembering this as I go through my day…”He delights in me”

Vs 28: “You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.”

Proverbs 3:16-4:10

Prov 3:18 “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.” HAPPY…something we so often are missing. How many times have we heard others say, “I’m just not happy“…or said it ourselves?! It’s here!!! Happiness for the taking! Embrace wisdom…GOD WISDOM…cling to it, trust in it!!

Vs 24: “You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.” PRAISE GOD!!

Prov 4:1-6 All good…so much about getting wisdom and LISTENing to God’s leading for our protection. “Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her and she will guard you.”