Tag Archives: jacob

WHO NEEDS TO CHANGE, ME?

Good morning or afternoon. I did not write a post today on the Tabernacle. I suppose I will post it when God gives me the go ahead, but for now I am reading and learning a lot.   The below devotional is one that a friend forwards to me and after reading it and sending it to a few of my lady friends, God spoke to my heart and impressed upon me to post it so you all could read. You may already get this daily devotional but I had to share it with as many people as I could.

It is a very good one about change and how hard it is for some of us. The story of Jacob (Israel) has always been one of my favorites in the Bible. He definitely went through some changes in his life.

I feel pretty certain you will enjoy this devotional. It is by Rick Warren and I always love reading his devotionals.  I hope you do too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How Can I Ever Change?
by Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?Most of us are interested in change. Moreover, God wants us to change. A life that is never willing to change is a great tragedy — a wasted life. Change is a necessary part of a growing life, and we need change in order to remain fresh and to keep progressing.But often the new ideas we gain from books or seminars just don’t seem to last. Maybe we will be different for a while, but then discover that the new methods do not have a permanent effect. The main reason for this is that we work on the exterior, our outside behavior, instead of on the interior, our motives. Any lasting change must begin on the inside, and that is a work of God.In the story of Jacob we can see the process God uses in helping us become the kind of person we have always wanted to be. The situation recorded in Genesis 32 was a turning point for Jacob and serves as a dramatic example of how God can change us.

The Four-Step Process

Jacob was a somewhat shifty fellow. Even his name means “cheater” or “schemer” in Hebrew. But a life-changing experience transformed him into a new person, and he became Israel, the man after whom the entire nation of Israel was later named. After that experience Jacob was never the same again.

In this story we have a clear expression of the four-step process God uses to help us become the kind of people we want to be. It is a truly encouraging message — a message that says we don’t have to stay in the rut we are in, that God will help us to change, to overcome that weakness or sore spot in our life. We just have to let him. So how do we let God do that?

Genesis 32 relates that while Jacob was alone one night, someone (an angel, according to Hosea 12:4) appeared and wrestled with him until daybreak.

When the man [the angel] saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. – Genesis 32:25-26

You may be asking, what does a wrestling match with an angel several thousand years ago have to do with changing me today? There are some important insights in this incident that show clearly the four steps required for transformation.

These four steps or phases are crisis, commitment, confession, and cooperation.

Crisis

The first step is crisis. Jacob had a long wrestling match with an angel, and the angel was struggling, but it was a no-win situation for them both. By daybreak the angel was getting tired of the struggle because he saw that he could not win. It was a situation beyond his control.

The lesson we see in this is that when God wants to change us, He starts by getting our attention, by putting us in a frustrating situation that is completely beyond our control. We cannot win, and we just keep getting more and more tired in the struggle. God uses experiences and problems and crises to get our attention.

If we are experiencing a crisis right now, it is because God is getting ready to change us for the better.

We never change until we get fed up with our current situation, until we get uncomfortable and discontented and start feeling miserable. When we become uncomfortable and miserable enough, we finally are motivated to let God do something in our lives.

We won’t change until our fear of change is exceeded by the pain we are experiencing.

Commitment

The second step in being changed by God is commitment.

When the angel asked to be let go, Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). Jacob was committed; he was persistent; he stayed with the situation until he worked it out. He was in a situation he didn’t like. It was frustrating and it was getting him down, but he was one hundred percent committed to staying with the situation until God turned it around for good.

Here is the lesson we learn from this: After God gets our attention with a problem, He does not solve it immediately. He waits a little longer to see whether we really mean business.

Most people miss God’s best for their lives because they give up too soon; they cop out; they become discouraged. When God allows a problem in their lives, instead of hanging in there and saying, “God, I’m not going to let go of this until You bless me, until You turn it around,” they give up and end up missing God’s best.

Even if we really want to change, we need to remember that we didn’t get into our present mess overnight. Our attitudes and actions and habits and fears and weaknesses took years to develop, and sometimes God has to remove them layer by layer.

Usually it takes a while for God to change you.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. There is hope. Hang in there. Be committed to getting God’s best for your life.

Confession

The third step in being changed by God is confession.

The angel asked Jacob, “What is your name?” And he answered, “Jacob” (Genesis 32:27). What was the purpose of the angel’s question? It was to get Jacob to acknowledge his character by stating his name, which means “cheater” or “schemer.”

Jacob remembered the heartache he had caused by his scheming against his brother Esau, so when the angel asked, “What are you really like? What’s your character?” Jacob’s reply was saying, “I am a cheater. I am a schemer.” Jacob admitted his weaknesses because even though he was a cheater and a schemer, he was also honest with himself. When he identified himself as “Jacob,” he was admitting his character flaws.

This is an important part of God’s process for changing us, because we never change until we honestly face and admit our faults, sins, weaknesses, and mistakes. God will not go to work on our problem until we first admit that we have a problem. We need to say, “Lord, I’m in a mess. I have a problem, and I admit I made it.” Then God can go to work.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make excuses for our problems? We become experts at blaming other people and may say something like “It’s not my fault, you know. It’s really the environment I was brought up in — my parents caused it.” Or we might say, “The situation I’m in right now is caused by my boss at work.” Why do we act and talk this way? Because it is hard to admit fault in ourselves. And it can be scary to ask for help.

Why should we confess our faults to God — to let Him know what’s going on? No, He already knows. When we tell God we have sinned, it is no surprise to him; He knew our problems all along. We confess to him because he wants us to say, “You are right, God, I have a problem. I’ve blown it.” It is humbling to admit our mistakes, but once we do, God gives us all his resources and power to help us change for the better. At this point we can start becoming the persons we have always wanted to be.

If we don’t learn the lesson now, we will have to learn it later, because God is going to teach it to us one way or the other. We can save ourselves a lot of trouble by responding properly when the crisis first comes along.

Cooperation

The fourth step in being changed by God is cooperation.

God began changing Jacob as soon as he admitted who he was and began to cooperate with God’s plan. Jacob called the place where he wrestled with the angel “Peniel,” meaning “the face of God” (Genesis 32:30). Jacob had come face to face with God.

Every one of us must eventually come face to Face with God, and when we do that, God can change us.

God said to Jacob, “Now we can get down to business. I want you to relax. Just cooperate and trust Me, and I will make the changes that you want made, and I will bless you.”

God didn’t say, “Jacob, try real hard and use all your willpower to become perfect.” That doesn’t work, and God knows it.

Willpower simply does not make permanent changes in our lives.

That is attacking the outward circumstance. It is the internal motivation that makes the permanent changes, and that is what God works on.

Let God Do It

God always knows how to bring out the best in your life, and He knows how to do it better than you do. If you let Him, He will use whatever is necessary to accomplish this goal, because He doesn’t want you to waste your life.

Do you want God’s blessing on your life? Take the situation that is making you miserable right now, commit it to God, and say, “God, I am going to commit it to You. I am going to hold on to You until You turn this problem around for good.” Then confess the errors that you need to confess, and cooperate with God.

The Bible says, “The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip” (Genesis 32:31). While they had been wrestling, the angel dislocated Jacob’s hip, and as a result Jacob walked with a limp for the rest of his life. This is significant, because that thigh muscle is one of the most powerful muscles in the human body. When God had to get Jacob’s attention, he touched him at a point of strength. When we start thinking, “This is what I am really good at, this is what I am really strong at,” God may have to touch that very thing to get our attention.

Don’t Run, But Stand

Jacob often got himself into trouble because he was a cheater, and he often reaped what he sowed. But every time he got himself into a mess, he ran away from it. He just copped out. Finally, God said, “I know how to take care of that temptation — I’ll put a limp in his walk.” Never again could Jacob run away from a difficult situation. For the rest of his life he would have to stand and face his problems — not in his own strength but in God’s strength. God often puts an obvious weakness in people whom he blesses, and often the weakness is some kind of physical problem.

Do you want God to change your life? He will — in His own way. He will use the processes of crisis, commitment, confession, and cooperation. And when He does the changing, it will become permanent. You will not have to worry about your willpower and staying with it because you will be cooperating with God, relaxing and trusting Him.

Maybe you have been limiting God by making excuses, blaming other people, or rationalizing. It is hard to drop your mask and say, “God, I have a weakness. I have a problem.” Until you do this, things will just stay the same as they are now. When you do this, you are changed for the rest of your life.

The good news is this: Beneath all those things you know about yourself that you do not like, God sees an Israel. He sees the prince or princess in your life. He sees what you can become. He sees your potential, and he wants to change you from a Jacob to an Israel.

Let God do His changing!

 

Excerpted with permission from God’s Answers To Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren, copyright Zondervan, 2014.

* * *

What is the one thing you would most like to change about your life? Think through each step in the change process and how you can apply it to your current situation. Join the conversation about prayer on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

CORRECTION – MOSES THE SHEPHERD

Before I get started with the post, I want to mention something that I posted in yesterday’s post – This is yesterday’s post – “PRAYER – MOSES THE SHEPHERD AND GOD“.  It was a quote from another website and after thinking about it today and talking to mom and dad about it, well, it is an incorrect statement. Or at the least, I misunderstand totally what they are trying to say. It is from the article “Moses in Egypt, and Moses in Midian” and is from this magazine – “The Christian’s Friend” which is on the website STEM Publishing (Sound Teaching on Electronic Media) Here is the quote…

Moses was an eminent type of the Lord Jesus. And I would just notice, in passing, that they are the only two persons mentioned in Scripture whose course we are able to trace from their birth on to the glory.”

I don’t know if any of you thought about that statement today, but at supper mom and dad and I came up with a few more folks that we can trace from the cradle to the gates of glory. I like to make a correction of any error I have made or find that I have posted. Here is a very short list of a few folks that we thought of:

  1. Isaac
    1. Born – Genesis 21:1-3 – And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.
    2. Dies – Genesis 35:2929 Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man [a]of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
  2. Jacob
    1. Born – Genesis 25:26Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[a] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
    2. Dies – Genesis 49:3333 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
  3. Joseph
    1. Born – Genesis 30:2525 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country.
    2. Dies – Genesis 50:2626 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
  4. Moses
    1. Born – Exodus 2:1-2 – And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.

There may be more… if you come up with any, let me know and I will make an addition to my correction. I would be interested to know what you think of. I am just not certain what that person meant when he made that statement. But it was a LONG time ago (1874) when the article was written… but if a scholar, he should have known… ???   Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up. Thanks for bearing with me.

With that said and out of the way, I will say this… I am going to take another day to gather my thoughts about Moses’ conversation with God in the Burning Bush. Tomorrow is Sunday and a day of rest. I will put together a post for Monday morning for you and it will be about their conversation and God’s mission for Moses. Thank you for understanding…

Below is a compilation list of some of my favorite songs that I have posted.  I know… I just counted them… 23 of them.  I told you I love music!  Just click on any of the songs to listen.  Thought you might enjoy!

00-SIGNATURE

 

 

 

PRAYER – JOSEPH INTO EGYPT

Yesterday’s post ended with Joseph telling his brothers and Jacob about the second dream he had. This dream was quite disturbing to his brothers and yet Jacob, after listening to the entire dream and “rebuking” Joseph… he kept these things in his mind. Here is the scripture – 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. So, Jacob, more or less, pondered them and kept thinking about them.Joseph_and_colorful_coat_1158-18

So the story goes that the brothers went off to feed the flock of sheep to one area and then ended up in another area. They seemed to be doing things “their way” while they were away from their father Jacob. A little rebellious and selfish in their way of doing things. Here is the scripture.

Genesis 37:12-14, 18-23

12 Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.”

So he said to him, “Here I am.”

14 Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. ….

18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20 Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”

21 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.

23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

OK, what a mess Joseph has found himself in. He was just doing what his father had asked him to do, but was he a little haughty while looking fo03990_000_bible-photo-18r his brothers? He was wearing the flashy “coat of many colors” that his brothers hated. I am not absolutely certain but I believe the area he was traveling was all kinds of terrain. It has hills and valleys and rocks and craggy areas too, probably. I guess you would wear your favorite coat on this journey…? The pictures you see here are of the valley of Dothan (Bible Photos).  The distance from Hebron to Shechem was about 50 miles. Shechem sits in a lush valley pass between two small mountains: Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. The distance from Shechem to Dothan was about 15 miles. So this was no easy journey for Joseph. It took him quite a while. We have no record of him ridingensignlp.nfo o 25a2 a camel, donkey or horse so he may very well have been on foot. It just simply doesn’t say. So if it was on foot, a 65 mile trip was quite the trip for this 17 year old. Nonetheless, he travels to Shechem to find his brothers and finds out they have moved 15 miles on further North. He continues on and they see him in the distance and conspire to kill him then.

How many times have you found yourself on a long journey (life journey) and all of a sudden someone takes you and throws you down a well… (maybe not literally but figuratively), that is, you have been lied to, lied about, or cheated on or any number of other betrayals. It is a very disturbing and hurtful thing to realize this about someone you thought was a “friend” or it can even happen with family as it did with Joseph.

These brothers of Joseph not only betrayed him but they conspired to kill him! Most of us probably have never experienced that depth of betrayal before, however, it is all relative! Betrayal is betrayal. The worst was planned but God had other plans. And God is ALWAYS IN CONTROL whether we want to admit and recognize it or not. Let’s look at the next part of the scripture.

Genesis 37:25-35

25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

29 Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30 And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?”

31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”Giovanni_Andrea_de_Ferrari_-_'Joseph's_Coat_Brought_to_Jacob',_oil_on_canvas,_c._1640,_El_Paso_Museum_of_Art

33 And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.

36 Now the Midianites[a] had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.840737_orig

Not only have the brother’s thought about murder of their own flesh and blood, but they top it off with a lie to their father! Oh what a tangled web we weave! Poor Jacob. This old man that loved this young son so much had to go through all this mourning and heartbreak all because these selfish sons hated their younger brother and wanted him dead. Jacob mourned for a long, long time and could not be consoled!

Meanwhile, young Joseph is being sold into Potiphar’s house, in Egypt. Potiphar is an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard. A very good place for him to land. The scripture says that the Lord was with Joseph and he was very successful. Let’s look at this scripture.

Genesis 39:1-6

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a succe2014807_univ_cnt_2_xlssful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.Picture3

As you can see, Joseph was very successful and very handsome. This created a new problem for this young man. However, we will look at that tomorrow. We will see the long, hard journey that Joseph must go through before he comes out on the other side victorious! There are lessons to be learned over and over in life, and Joseph is learning them at every turn!

Sometimes in life, just when things look their best, life can happen and cause everything to turn upside down and look like the end of the world – at least the end of your world. Just remember, if the Lord is with you, no matter how dim and dark things seem to get, the outcome must be left up to the Lord. We must have faith and trust that God’s plan for our lives is the absolute best that it could be. God loves you and wants you to know you are His beloved!

The Song – Always – Charles Billingsley

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – JOSEPH

Running a little late with this post.  However, you will really enjoy this next story line.  Joseph and the coat of many colors… Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel and born of Jacob’s old age.  This was a very special son and the story will keep you wondering… Prayer is vital in Joseph’s life.  Let’s see how it gets started.

Here is the scripture to get you started.  I will post the full post later today.  Thanks for being patient.

Genesis 37: 1-11ISRAEL AND JOSEPH

Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”

And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”

10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

00-SIGNATURE

 

PRAYER – THE GOD OF JACOB

I am going to explain in this first paragraph why I will be skipping a lot of Jacob’s early life.  I know you may be wondering why I would skip so much of Jacob’s life.  I have left out namely his meeting Rachel and marrying Leah and Rachel and having children and getting back together with his brother Esau, etc. because I am trying to stay focused on “prayer” in these posts since this series is on Prayer. There simply were not many mentions of any prayer in the chapters telling about the life and times of Jacob and Esau. Some of the story line is quite sad and unsettling, and some is confusing and mostly nothing was mentioned about prayer to God in any of it. So, I am searching the scriptures to find the “conversation” time with God – the prayer time. That is what I really want to talk about. So with that said, I hope it sheds a little light on why I have skipped and will skip things from time to time. Someday, I hope to be able to go back and do more on those stories, but for now, I am compelled to stick with prayer. God has impressed upon my heart to impress upon your hearts how important it is and how it gets His attention. He loves to have conversations with His children.

I am going to pick up Jacob’s story at Genesis 35. This is after a lot of things have happened to Jacob, after many lies and deceitful times among him and his relative Laban (Rachel’s father, and Jacob’s mother’s (Rebekah) brother). Rebekah has died and Isaac is very old and about to die as well. The family has just come through a very disturbing time with Jacob’s daughter Dinah, who had been defiled by the Canaanites. After all was settled – somewhat – God speaks to Jacob. This is a very important inPicture3itiation of conversation from God to Jacob. Let’s see the scripture:

Genesis 35:1-4

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”

And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

If you remember in my last post – regarding Jacob, I talked about Jacob’s trip to Harem. He came to a certain place and decided to spend the night there. He had a dream about a ladder with angels going up and down on it and God standing at the top of the ladder and told him that He would be with Jacob and that he would provide for him (paraphrased, of course).  The following scripture is from the previous post “ISAAC, REBEKAH AND TWINS“.

Genesis 28:15

15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel;[a] but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

OK, back to this current post.  God visits Jacob once again after the disturbance with Dinah. God calls him back to the area where Jacob made his vow to God – Bethel.

How many times has this happened to us? We have some epiphany with God (definition of epiphany – an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure) and vow to Him that we will be changed and live differently. The saying “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” comes into play here. We, as human beings created by God Almighty, long to have that “God space” in our hearts and spirits filled with God. Sundown_in_mountain_top However, we as finite human beings are so weak when life begins to enter in and the “mountain top” experience that we had with God wanes into the everyday drudgery of life. Oh, how I can relate! We all should be able to relate to some degree with Jacob. He had this wonderful experience with God and then life happened. God is still God though. God called Jacob back, just as He does us. He loves us so much, He will never let us go. God calls … “Come back to me, where you were with Me and you loved Me with all your heart.” God is such a good God. He is so faithful and patient with us, His beloved children.

So God calls Jacob back to Bethel to “dwell” there. He didn’t want him to just visit and renew the vow. He wanted him to bring his whole family animagesd dwell there with Him. Jacob hears God’s call and answers with his whole heart, telling his family to put away (do away with) the foreign gods…. See how far Jacob had allowed his family to get from God? Foreign gods? This is Jacob!? Yes, he is only human and life happened. He is renewed with this new calling from God and answers with vigor! His house responds and they go through a ceremony of cleansing.

The scripture says that Jacob took the foreign gods and gold earrings and “hid” them under a tree. It is suggested by one of the commentaries that I read that this was probably a place unknown to the family that gave them up, so they would not go and get them again.

Genesis 35:4

So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

When God finds us, do we have “foreign gods” that have taken our attention away from Him? When he calls us unto Himself, do we get rid of them and forget about them or do we just put them on the shelf for “safe keeping”? God calls us to be pure and holy as He is holy.

1 Peter 1:15-16

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

This song by Tom McCain is very good.  I think we can all relate to the message in this song.

The Song – Holiness – Tom McCain

We must let go of things that draw our attention away from Him and cling to Him and His righteousness instead. He will not let us stay where we are. He wants us to grow and grow with Him. We have to let go of the “foreign gods” totally. We cannot keep them in one hand while reaching for God with our other hand.

When they -finally arrived at Bethel, God appeared to Jacob again. This time God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. God saw Jacob’s change of heart and wanted to establish a new life for Jacob and his family – in fulfilling the promise made to Abram (Abraham). Genesis-35-10-And-God-said-to-him-Your-name-is-Jacob-Your-name-shall-no-longer-be-called-Jacob-But-Israel-shall-be-your-nameThis was a reminder for Jacob that God was with him. Jacob’s name meant supplant(er) – (definition – to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery) and his new name – Israel meant “having power with God” (See this website for information of God changing his name – gotquestions.org).

Genesis 35:9-15

Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. 11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. 200px-Jacobs_Vision_and_Gods_Promise14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.

So God has appeared once again to Jacob and they have renewed this vow and God changes his name. Now Jacob has “power with God” and the covenant begins to unfold.

The vow we have made with God can be renewed at any time. We just have to call upon the name of The Lord and He is there. He will answer us in our time of struggle or rejoicing. He longs to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much and calls you His beloved.

The Video – Our God Is An Awesome God – Carman

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – ISAAC, REBEKAH AND TWINS

The last time I wrote anything in the Prayer series was about when Rebekah was found to be a wife for Isaac. Isaac was 40 years old when he and Rebekah became husband and wife. The age of Rebekah is actually in question, but the general consensus is around 14 years of age. isaac-meeting-rebecca-by-friedrich-bouterwekYep, Isaac was 40 and Rebekah was 14… wow… I know! However, that is what the “experts” seem to settle on based on the records of births. Nonetheless, that is not what we are here to talk about. This series is based on Prayer and thus we shall continue on such.

The first mention of Isaac praying is for Rebekah because of her barrenness. Isaac prayed and God heard his prayer and Rebekah conceived. Let’s look at the scripture:

Genesis 25:21

21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 And the Lord said to her:

“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.[b] 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob.[c] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Now, I know some of youIsaac-Blessing-Jacob-1642 know the story of Jacob and Esau and this blog post is not really going to be about the life and times of these boys growing into young men. Since I have begun this series on Prayer, from Genesis 1 to now, Genesis 25, I have realized that I have to reign myself in so often when I write a post when it is directly from scripture, like this is. Why? Because I begin to study, research and try to find the “truth” about meanings of words and phrases and that takes me on rabbit trails and down fox holes sometimes. I love doing that but it distracts from the true meaning of this series – Prayer. Not that all of that researching and studying is not good and important to me, I simply do not have the time to do all of that and to write a quality post about the main idea – which is Prayer. So… with that said, I will try to find the “prayer times” and stay away from the unfortunate choices that Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau made that caused consequences that seem so unnecessary. However, you know as well as I do, that “… all things work together for good for those that love the Lord…” Romans 8:28. God was in control then just as He is now and He used all the happenings for His glory. Sometimes, our choices just are not the right way to go and the consequences seem harsh but as long as we leave the final outcome to God, He will get the glory and we will learn a lesson, as did Jacob and Esau – eventually. I would encourage you to read the entire story, however. It is quite interesting with twists and turns and ups and downs. (Genesis 25)

The next prayer time I am going to discuss is fast forwarding to Genesis 28. In this scripture Jacob is on his way to Haran to find a wife among his relatives (his mother’s brother, Laban). Jacob has traveled all day and arrives at a location to spend the night. When he falls asleep, he has a dream and God appears in his dream. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 28:10-22

10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God wjacobs-ladderere ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel;[a] but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”jacobs-ladder-meditation1

You hear it said that when God speaks to your heart it is with a “still, small voice”. Well, my experience has been that way sometimes and then sometimes it is not so small. However, I have never had a dream where I actually see and hear God. This dream Jacob had must have rocked his world! It is quite descriptive about the dream and the paintings you see about this particular subject are quite elaborate.

In that I have never had a dream like Jacob’s, I have heard God speak to my heart and like Jacob, it is pretty awesome! When God speaks, whether it is with stillsmallvoicethat still, small voice or otherwise, it is awesome! I mean it brings tears to my eyes usually and I am usually speechless for a time… I know that may be hard for some of you to understand, those that know me pretty well, but it’s true. It takes my breath away for the God of all creation to speak to me. He knows my name! He cares about each of us! Just as He cared for Jacob. He wanted Jacob to know He loved him and has made a promise and a way for Jacob. “…15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”god_speaks

God makes that promise to us as well. He is with us and He will keep us wherever we go. He will never leave us nor forsake us!

De.uteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

With that wonderful scripture, I will close this post for now. I love knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me. He is faithful – always! He loves you and wants you to know that too! After all He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Be Still and Know That He Is God – Steven Curtis Chapman

The Video – Be Still and Know That He Is God – Steven Curtis Chapman

00-SIGNATURE