Alumni Bible Study

A Bible study initially set up for alumni of the Senior Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas. It is our hope and our prayer that this study touches the hearts of those who participate and helps spread the love and grace of Our Lord and God. All who want to learn more about God are welcome

My Photo
Location: lufkin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian family man, Lay Pastor and writer from Deep East Texas. I love life, and I enjoy working with young people. I have published two books; "A Small Mind Among Tall Trees" and "God If You Are Not Too Busy, Can You Give Me a Hand". If you want to obtain a copy drop me an e-mail or go to or barnesand . I have been a salesman, cowman and athlete in my past. I still have a strong sense of humor and am not afraid to use it.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Genesis 31:43-55

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
43 Laban answered Jacob, "The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let's make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us."
45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, "Gather some stones." So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, [
a] and Jacob called it Galeed. [b]
48 Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah, [
c] because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me."
51 Laban also said to Jacob, "Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.
55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.
Genesis 31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha means witness heap .
Genesis 31:47 The Hebrew Galeed means witness heap .
Genesis 31:49 Mizpah means watchtower .
At least Jacob and Laban make up. They make a covenant before God to be family, and not try to kill each other. They build monuments, (stacks of stones,) shake hands, and go home. God expects all of us to love each other, especially our family. Aren’t we all part of the same family, the family of God?
Prayer- Thank you Lord for blessing each of us. Watch over us and protect us from harm. We love you, Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 32:1-21

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Genesis 31:33-42

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah's tent, he entered Rachel's tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.
35 Rachel said to her father, "Don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I'm having my period." So he searched but could not find the household gods.
36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. "What is my crime?" he asked Laban. "What sin have I committed that you hunt me down? 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.
38 "I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you."
Jacob can play the guilt game with the best. He tells Laban that he is being rebuked by God for treating Jacob badly. Laban has been looking for his gods in Jacobs possessions, but Rachel had hidden them. Jacob did not know his wife had the objects, and was almost indignant.
He then defends his acts to his Father in-law. He tells him that the reason he feels anger is because he knows he treated Jacob and his family, (Laban’s own daughters,) badly. Yes, Laban did deceive Jacob. However, Rachel did steal her fathers gods, and if she would have been caught, she could have been killed-or worse.
Sometimes we tend to interpret things for people. We may think that God does things to punish our enemies, but maybe we are the reason for some of the bad things that happen.
Prayer-God, Help us be careful in everything we do. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do Read Genesis 31:43-55. Ask why God has us reading this chapter.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Genesis 31:22-34

Relax, Read, and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, "Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."
25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps? 28 You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by. You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.' 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house. But why did you steal my gods?"
31 Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah's tent, he entered Rachel's tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.
A few days pass, ans Laban finds out Jacob has split. He sets out after them and finds them. He gets on to Jacob for deceiving him and taking his daughters away. What really hurts him is that he is sure Jacob took his gods. Jacob is so indignant, he tells Laban that if he finds them, he will kill whoever took them. Jacob can not believe that any of his family would take an idol, and overreacts, not knowing that Rachael had stolen them.
Sometimes we overreact as well. We are so sure that something could not be done by us or anyone we love, we make bold statements. Beware, sometimes you may be speaking in ignorance, and someone may hold you to your statements.
Prayer- Lord, keep us from making rash statements. When we make bold statements, let them be about You and Your love. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 31:33-42

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Genesis 31:1-21

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 Jacob heard that Laban's sons were saying, "Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father." 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban's attitude toward him was not what it had been.
3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you."
4 So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, "I see that your father's attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I've worked for your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. 9 So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me.
10 "In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' 12 And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.' "
14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you."
17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, [
a] to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21 So he fled with all he had, and crossing the River, [
b] he headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Genesis 31:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
Genesis 31:21 That is, the Euphrates

Jacob prospered, and Labans Sons became jealous. When someone is successful we try to find the way they cheated. Why is it so difficult to be happy for others success, and not be jealous of it?
God tells Jacob to go home. He doesn’t feel as welcome as he did, so he tells his wives to pack up and leave, and they are only too eager to go. You would think they would be hesitant to leave their home, but they were ready to split. They had not been treated nicely by their Father, so they were ready to take things on the road, with their Successful husband.
Before they left, Rachel stole her fathers gods, (little g,) probably so Laban could not consult them when he realized they were gone. One would think that after living with Jacob and his one God, they would not be worried about pagan gods. We still take little idols with us, even though we believe in God.
Prayer- Lord, help us listen for your commands, and help us remember that You, and only You, are God. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 31:22-32

Monday, June 26, 2006

Genesis 30:37-43

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go Fight-Win. Amen.
37-42 But Jacob got fresh branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled the bark, leaving white stripes on them. He stuck the peeled branches in front of the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. When the flocks were in heat, they came to drink and mated in front of the streaked branches. Then they gave birth to young that were streaked or spotted or speckled. Jacob placed the ewes before the dark-colored animals of Laban. That way he got distinctive flocks for himself which he didn't mix with Laban's flocks. And when the sturdier animals were mating, Jacob placed branches at the troughs in view of the animals so that they mated in front of the branches. But he wouldn't set up the branches before the feebler animals. That way the feeble animals went to Laban and the sturdy ones to Jacob.
43 The man got richer and richer, acquiring huge flocks, lots and lots of servants, not to mention camels and donkeys.
This is kind of a weird passage. I have been a herdsman all of my life, and this makes no sense to me. Some old timer put great faith that vivid impressions at the time of mating influenced the offspring, therefore broken branches would cause broken colors in the strong animals, and these would be Jacobs. This is not verifiable, but God did fulfill his promise to Jacob that he would be prosperous. Jacob stayed to acquire wealth, but he would soon feel the need to go home.
We will travel to distant places to make a living, but wherever we are, we are always with God.
Prayer- Show us the path you would have us take. Keep us going forward, and continue to help us as we do Your work. Go Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 31:1-21

Friday, June 23, 2006

Genesi 30:25-36

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you."
27 But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that [
a] the LORD has blessed me because of you." 28 He added, "Name your wages, and I will pay them."
29 Jacob said to him, "You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?"
31 "What shall I give you?" he asked. "Don't give me anything," Jacob replied. "But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen."
34 "Agreed," said Laban. "Let it be as you have said." 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban's flocks.
Jacob wants to go home, even though he knows there is a good chance Esau will still want to kill him. He is in a foreign land however, and is homesick for the land of his father and grandfather. He has prospered, has many sons, and he knows God wants him to go home.
Laban does not want him to leave. He has prospered as well, and does not want Jacob to leave. So Jacob makes a deal with Laban to stay. In 30:27, Laban says he has learned by divination that God has blessed him because of Jacob. This means that Laban is worshiping other deities, probably idols, instead of Jacobs one God. Do we as Christians still worship idols even though we know there is only one true God? Think about it.
Prayer- Lord, Make us prosperous, give us your blessings. We love you and know You are our Lord. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 30:37-43

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Genesis 30:14-24

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."

15 But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."
16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me," she said. "I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he slept with her that night.
17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband." So she named him Issachar. [
19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun. [
21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace." 24 She named him Joseph, [
c] and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."
Genesis 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward .
Genesis 30:20 Zebulun probably means honor .
Genesis 30:24 Joseph means may he add .
Can you say "petty squabbles?" Sure, I thought you could. First, Rachel is under some pressure here. Jacob, her husband, was much older than she, and would probably die before she did. She had no children to take care of her in her old age. No "social security" to rely on. Making it worse, she and her sister were very competitive, and she knew Leah would not be nice to her if Jacob died.
Leah was really starting to win the baby war. Do you know what a mandrake is, and what it is used for? It is a poisonous plant from the nightshade family,(tomatoes and potatos are also nightshades, as is wolfbane,) used for making potions and drugs. Yes, the sisters wanted to get stoned that night. Does it ever stop? Rachel let Leah sleep with Jacob in exchange for drugs! Guess what, not only did Leah get pregnant, but so did Rachel, eventually. Once again, God is trying to teach patients.
Prayer- Lord, help us stop our petty fighting within our families, and our church families. Remind us we are all on the same team-Yours. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 30:25-36

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Genesis 29: 31-35, Genesis 30:1-12

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jacob's Children
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, [
a] for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."
33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. [
34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi. [
35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. [
d] Then she stopped having children.
Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery ; the name means see, a son .
Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears .
Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached .
Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise .
Genesis 30
1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"
2 Jacob became angry with her and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?"
3 Then she said, "Here is Bilhah, my maidservant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family."
4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, 5 and she became pregnant and bore him a son. 6 Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son." Because of this she named him Dan. [
7 Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won." So she named him Naphtali. [
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, "What good fortune!" [
c] So she named him Gad. [d]
12 Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." So she named him Asher. [
Genesis 30:6 Dan here means he has vindicated .
Genesis 30:8 Naphtali means my struggle .
Genesis 30:11 Or "A troop is coming!"
Genesis 30:11 Gad can mean good fortune or a troop .
Genesis 30:13 Asher means happy .
Father Jacob, had many sons. This is an interesting and almost bizarre turn of events. Leah was not loved, but could have children. Soon, she was spitting them out, trying to compete with her little sister for Jacob’s love and affection. Rachel had problems conceiving,(what is it about the wives of the patriarchs and trouble conceiving?) And felt jealous of her ugly sister, so she told Jacob to sleep with her maid-servant.
Jacob could have and should have learned from his grandfathers example, and avoided trouble by not doing that. Unfortunately, sometimes men are not the sharpest tool in the shed and we do things we know will cause ill-feeling just to ease a present problem. After Bilhah, Rachel’s servant became pregnant, Leah stopped having kids, so she had Jacob sleep with her servant to continue the kid race. Wow, what a mixed up family! And you think your family is a little dis-functional.
Prayer- Lord- Help us learn from the mistakes of our fathers and grandfathers. Keep us from falling in the same traps that others have fallen into. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 30:14-21

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Genesis 29:14-30

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
14 Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood."
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be."
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak [
a] eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."
19 Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me." 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?"
26 Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant. 30 Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
Some people work for wages, Jacob worked for wives. He had nothing to give for a wife, as was the custom of the day. Instead he offered hard work, and seven years of it. Rachel was cute, but her older sister Leah was not, (a lazy eye perhaps?) Jacob worked towards the cute one, but on his wedding night, Laban substituted the plain older sister. How ironic, Jacob had deceived his father and brother, now his uncle deceived him.
He did get to marry Rachael soon afterwards, but he had to work for his father-in-law for seven more years to buy her. Jacob worked a total of fourteen years to get what he wanted. The brash young man developed patience. Many times it seems like we can’t wait for things to work out. Human dramas are solved every night on TV in less than an hour. We, as a people lack patience. If something is truly valuable, shouldn’t we be able to wait for it? God has wonderful things planned for all of us, all we have to do is be patient. This is more than just romantically, but that is a very good start.
Prayer- God, help us be patient. We know that you have great things in store for all of us. Help us wait for the right time-and the right people. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do -Read Genesis 29:31-35, 30: 1-9

Monday, June 19, 2006

Genesis 29:1-13

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. 2 There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. 3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
4 Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?" "We're from Haran," they replied.
5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" "Yes, we know him," they answered.
6 Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."
7 "Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."
8 "We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."
9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle's sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.
Jacob is basically on the run. He is fleeing to his Mother’s brother-Laban. He traveled for some four hundred miles, on foot through the desert. While stopping at a water well, he meets Rachel-Laban’s daughter, and therefore, his cousin. He was smitten, and wanted to help her out, after he kissed her.
She ran and told her father, and as soon as Laban heard about Jacob, he was happy. Even though Jacob had deceived his father, angered his brother and was on the run, God still had plans for him. That’s the way God works. Even when we do bad things, great good can come from it. It is not always easy, as Jacob will soon learn.
Prayer- Lord, Always use us, even when we aren’t trying to do your work. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 29 14-30

Friday, June 16, 2006

Genesis 28:10-22

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway [
a] resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it [b] stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." 17 He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, [
c] though the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD [
d] will be my God 22 and [e] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."
Genesis 28:12 Or ladder
Genesis 28:13 Or There beside him
Genesis 28:19 Bethel means house of God.
Genesis 28:21 Or Since God ? father's house, the LORD
Genesis 28:22 Or house, and the LORD will be my God, 22 then
Sometimes God uses a dream to get our attention. Jacob had been caught up in excitement, deceit, and a quick escape. His attention was off God. After he had his dream and saw all the angels climbing "Jacob’s Ladder," he was back in focus.
God had always promised that Jacob would be the patriarch of the line of Isaac and Abraham. Jacob got a little restless and tried to speed God up, and bad things happened. Now he realized that God was with him. WE do the same, usually with the same results. The good news is that God is with us as well.
Prayer- Dear Lord, Thank you for always being with us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 29:1-13

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Genesis 28:1-9

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed [

] him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram, [b] to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3 May God Almighty [c] bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham." 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman," 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Isaac and Rebekah did not want their kids to marry the locals. They wanted to keep their line pure. They sent Jacob to live with Rebekah’s brother, Laban.
Esau heard what had happened and saw how important it was to his folks, so he took a girl from Ishmael’s family, his fathers half brother, to please his parents.
Do our parents want us to marry the right people? Do they care about who we hang with? Do we have some friends just to keep our parents pleased? What does this have to do with our relationship with God? Who we hang with and who we have relationships with determine how we act. If we hang around garbage, we will eventually turn to garbage. We should always try to spread the Good news of Jesus and his love to ALL PEOPLE, but look at who we hold up as heros or examples.
Prayer- Lord, Help me find friends who will help in my walk with you, not those who would be too great an obstacle. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do -Read Genesis 28:10-22

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Genesis 27:30-46

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
30 After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, "My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing."
32 His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your son," he answered, "your firstborn, Esau."
33 Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!"
34 When Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me—me too, my father!"
35 But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing."
36 Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob [
a] ? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?"
37 Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"
38 Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!" Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."
Jacob Flees to Laban
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."
The name Jacob means "he grasps the heal,"(remember the birth-Genesis 26:26) and that figuratively means he deceives. Who would name their child "Con-Artist" today, but Isaac did. Jacob lived up to his name.
Esau was a little bitter about being scamed-twice. He did honor his father, and did not kill Jacob right away. He made it no secret that he would kill him after he mourned his fathers passing. He did conveniently forget he had traded his birth-right for a bowl of soup. Esau may have been a tad impetuous.
Rebekah feared for Jacob’s life, and told him to go stay with her brother until his brother settled down. Of course that might be-never. She wanted Jacob to succeed so she could be proud of him, now she was sending him away, never to see him again. He would also never see his father again. His rash behavior had severe consequences.
We too face tough times when we do not wait for God. Think of times that you tried to hurry things up only to make matters worse. Patience is a virtue, but we want things now!
Prayer- Lord, Give us the patience and wisdom to do things in the matter You want them done. Forgive us when we show bad judgement, and let us forgive others who show bad judgement against us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 28:1-8

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Genesis 27:22-29

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24 "Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "I am," he replied.
25 Then he said, "My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing." Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son, and kiss me."
27 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."
Jacob had to hide his true identity from his father. He tricked him, but paid a big price. If he had been patient, the birthright would have been his anyway,(Genesis 25:23) but he could not wait for God.
Jacob had to know this would not sit well with his big brother, His big, tough, mean brother. Sometimes we don’t think things through. Did Rebekah think she could control Esau as well as she controlled Jacob? That would prove to be a mistake.
We do the same in our lives today. We know that God is in control, and will provide, but we can’t always wait on God. When we take control, that is usually when things spin out of control and we wreck. Sometimes, the things that we are trying to get the most are what we end up losing. Read further and find what Jacob gives up.
Prayer- Lord, help us do things in your time, not ours. Give us patience to wait, and the wisdom to see the big picture. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today-Read Genesis 27:30-40

Monday, June 12, 2006

Genesis 27:13-21

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
13 His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."
14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. 17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
18 He went to his father and said, "My father." "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it?"
19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing."
20 Isaac asked his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" "The LORD your God gave me success," he replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not."

When we conspire to deceive, we distance ourselves from God. Although Jacob knew he was doing wrong, he did not try to stop his mother from deceiving Isaac. He payed a little lip service at first, but once Rebekah said she would assume responsibility, he went on with the plan. Once the deception started, he felt there was no turning back.
There is never a no-turn back point when we sin. Even though it may be hard, we can stop our sin at any time. If we do not, it is our choice, and is never out of our hands.
Even if it is not our plan to sin, we are still st fault if we do not stop when we know what we are doing is wrong. Jacob knew what his mother was doing was wrong, yet he still helped her. The Nazi officers at the Jewish concentration camps knew what was going on was wrong, but were too scared to try to stop things, and they were just as guilty as the people who thought of the plans for the holocaust. We are not perfect, we sin. We will be always held accountable for our sins. The good news is that if we confess and ask for forgiveness, it is granted. Christ died to complete that deal.
Prayer- Lord, Give us strength to live nas you want us to live. Give us the wisdom to see when we are not doing your work, and give us the courage to make adjustments. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Read Genesis 27:22-29

Friday, June 09, 2006

Genesis 27:1-13

Relax, Read and Reflect.
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jacob Gets Isaac's Blessing
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." "Here I am," he answered.
2 Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don't know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die."
5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.' 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young 13goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."
11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I'm a man with smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing."
13 His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."
The Lord had already told Rebekah that Jacob would be the heir,(Genesis 25:23-26,) but when she found that Isaac was about to bless Esau, she figured she had to take matters in her own hands. In desperation, she conspired to deceive he own husband and cheat her first born son.
Jacob hesitated, not because he knew it wasn’t right, but because he was scared of getting caught. We use punishment and fear to scare people to act right, but it is not always effective. We must want to follow God so much that we do the right thing, even if we don’t see how it benefits us immediately.
When we try to take matters in our own hands and away from God, that is when we fail. God does not rule with fear, he loved us so much he sacrificed his son for us. Shouldn’t we be able to follow him after he did that?
Prayer- Lord- give me the patience to wait and live my life like You want me to. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today-27:13-21

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Genesis 26:23-35

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham."
25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26 Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?"
28 They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'-between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD."
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
32 That day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!" 33 He called it Shibah, [
a] and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba. [b]
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
Genesis 26:33 Shibah can mean oath or seven .
Genesis 26:33 Beersheba can mean well of the oath or well of seven .
Isaac had patience. God came to him to confirm his covenant with him by Abraham. Isaac trusted God. Isaac was also a well digging man. Wells were very important in this region. Like wildcatting for oil, every well dug was not a producer, some were dry holes,(literally.) Maybe it was because God blessed Isaac and his people, but for whatever reason, he hit water-often.
The Philistine King Abimelech came to make peace with Isaac. Even though the king had been rude to him, Isaac eagerly made a treaty with the king. God had touched the king through Isaac, and he was eager to celebrate God’s works. When our enemies are drawn to us because of God within us, how do we respond?
Esau, being a good ol’ boy, married the local girls. Typical jewish parents that they were, Isaac and Rebekah did not like them, and they caused much grief in the family. Some things do not change much through the generations.
Prayer-Lord, Let me be an example of your love and grace. Let my enemies come to me for peace. By following your example, they will receive it. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Read Genesis 27:1-12. Pray for the girls chrysalis flight in Lufkin.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Genesis 26:12-22

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us."
17 So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19 Isaac's servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen and said, "The water is ours!" So he named the well Esek, [
a] because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. [b] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, [c] saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land."
Genesis 26:20 Esek means dispute .
Genesis 26:21 Sitnah means opposition .
Genesis 26:22 Rehoboth means room .
God kept his promise and blessed Isaac’s business endeavors. This led to jealousy from the Phillistines, and they stopped up his wells. In this area of the world, water was a valuable resource. Because of his blessings, Abimelech asked him to move.
After he moved, and this was further into the desert. Still, people filled in his wells, so he dug new ones. He finally after the third well had enough for all people.
Do we also get jealous of others that prosper? Does God not bless us? If so, why do we despise others whom God blesses as well? Is it because they don’t deserve the blessings? Do we deserve our blessings? Before we start to plug our neighbors wells, we should look at how much God has given us.
Prayer-God, Thank you for all the blessings you pour on us, even if we do not deserve them. Help us to love our neighbors. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Things to do-Read Genesis 26:23-35

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Genesis 26:1-11

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn.

1 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the earlier famine of Abraham's time—and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do
not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring [

] all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws." 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," because he was afraid to say, "She is my wife." He thought, "The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful."
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, "She is really your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her."
10 Then Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."
11 So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: "Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."
Genesis 26:4 Or seed
Like Father-like son. Isaac does listen to God, and even during times of famine he does not retreat to Egypt. He goes and lives with the Philistines there in Canaan. This tribe of people would grow to be enemies of the tribes of Israel,(remember Goliath?)
As he lived with the, he became scared because his wife was hot, (sound familiar?) And said she was his sister. Abraham, Isaac’s father did this trick not once-but twice, and it was a disaster both times. Isaac did not learn.
You know that the other nations around the early Hebrew people thought they must be a little weird. Abraham and Isaac told rulers their wives were sisters, then people saw them being ‘nice" to these women. I am from the South, so I won’t make the obvious comparisons. When the other rulers find out, and they always do, they are mad. They are mad because the lies of the patriarchs might have caused them or their people to sin.
We have to trust God. If He tells us to go somewhere, we have to have faith that He will protect us. If we can’t do that, what can we have faith in?
Prayer- Dear Lord, protect us in all our travels and adventures. Thank you for your gifts you give us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do-Come to the College fellowship and worship tonight@6:30.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Genesis 25:27-34

Relax, Read and Reflect.
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom. [
a] )
31 Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
32 "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
33 But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:30 Edom means red .
This is a story of sibling rivalry. Esau was to oldest,(by seconds,) and so therefore by tradition was the heir to the family business and fortune. That was his birthright. Esau means red, he had red hair and was a man’s man. He like to hunt and do manly things.
Jacob was a "mama’s boy." He hung around the tents, gossiped and learned to cook. The two were different as night and day. I like Esau, he would have been a lot of fun to hang around with,(you just know he told great stories.) As macho as he was, he was prone to act rashly. He traded momentary happiness for the long term benefits. Do we act the same way? Do we act impulsive?, and want to be satisfied-Now! I know I do.
God works in the big picture, the life-not the minute. We need to re-read this passage and remember to think before we act. We won’t die if we miss a meal. Beware of such impulsive acts, they tend to have long term consequences.
Prayer- Lord, Grant us patience and wisdom. Help us to think before we act, and not be as compulsive as we tend to be. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do today- Re-read Genesis 25:27-34. For a great essay on Esau, find "The Ben Lilley Legend" by J. Frank Dobie. It is an old book, but the last chapter is titled "Esau was a Hunter," and it really brings Esau’s personality traits to life.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Genesis 25:19-26

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go Fight Win. Amen.
Jacob and Esau
19 This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram [
a] and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. [
b] 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. [c] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
The patriarchs (fathers) of the Old Testament had problems conceiving. Remember Isaac’s father Abraham was very old before he had Ishmael, and then Isaac. Now it appears that Isaac will not have a son with Rebekah. Isaac is a man of God, and he prays for a son. God answers his prayer with two.
Is it okay to ask God for things while we pray? Sure, while prayer should not just be a wish list to God, it is okay and natural to request things from God. Remember a
few things though. God sees the whole picture, we don’t. What we think we really need may not fit God’s plan. God does things in His time. We tend to be impatient and greedy. Isaac waited until he was sixty to have sons not because he wanted to, but because that was what God had planned.
We can and should ask for God’s help in all we do. We should be careful what we pray for-we just might get it.
Prayer- Dear Lord, Thank you for you do and all you give us. Give us wisdom to ask for the things that would do the most good, and patience to wait until the right time to receive them.
Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Things to do- Read Genesis 25:27-34

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Genesis 25:1-18

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer-Lord, Open my heart and open my mind and help me learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
The Death of Abraham
1 Abraham took [
a] another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
5 Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. 6 But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
7 Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. [
b] There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
Ishmael's Sons
12 This is the account of Abraham's son Ishmael, whom Sarah's maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. 17 Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. 18 His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward [
c] all their brothers.
Abraham had lived a very full life. He had a great relationship with God, and became the father of great nations. After Sarah died, the old Abraham married again and had more children. Most of us never know this, we think all he had was Ishmael and Isaac.
If he had so many sons, why did he leave everything to Isaac? He wasn’t the oldest, and he wasn’t the last to leave home. God’s covenant with Abraham was made for Isaac, and he would be the one who remained true to God.
I think it is important to know that Ishmael came back to help bury his father. Evidently, he still had a relationship with his father, even after Abraham sent him and his mother away. After Sarah died, things may have gotten easier. He was not a happy man, and he and his descendants did not get along with their neighbors. They were a contrary people.
Prayer- Lord, thank you for wanting to have a relationship with us and for blessing us even if we do not deserve it. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
Things to do today Read Genesis 25:19-26