Genesis 35 & 36: Will You Cry To God In Your Distress?
Verse of the Day: (35:3) And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
1. Distress (35:1-28)
And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. (35:1)
God comforted Jacob in his distress and disappointment as his sons failed him when they killed all the males of the people under Hamor the prince, because Hamor’s son had raped Dinah, their sister. God directed Jacob to go to Bethel to build an altar to worship Him and also to stay there. Indeed, let us in our distress and disappointment, go to God and worship Him, and seek His face and direction, as God knows best what is best for us.
2. Death (35:29)
And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Everyone shall die, and Isaac was no exception, as he died at the age of 180. Though Isaac was not a perfect father as he failed to raise Esau and Jacob in the way of God, yet God was good to him, as both Esau and Jacob managed to reconcile, and were there to bury him at his death. Though Jacob did finally walk in the way of God, Esau continued to doubt and disobey God. Indeed, we may fail as fathers and parents, but let us continue to trust and obey God, and do our best to raise and train our children in the way of God, and His Word, and God shall surely bless and keep us and our family. (Proverbs 22:6)
3. Dukes (36:1-43)
These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, (36:15)
While Jacob trusted and obeyed God in his life, Esau doubted and disobeyed God. Esau married many wives who were worshipping idols, and they even called their children dukes or princes, and assumed themselves to be the King and the Queen and concubines. In fact, God had never approved Esau to be the King of his people, as God was their King to lead them. This was why during the time of Prophet Samuel, when Israel wanted to have her King, like the nation of Esau (Edom), and other nations that followed Edom, God disapproved of it. However, Israel stubbornly persisted, and God eventually allowed it, but warned them of the dire consequences of their disobedience. (1 Samuel 8:1-7) Let us humble ourselves, and know that we are nothing, and God is our King, and everything. Indeed, with God we have everything, and without God we have nothing. (John 15:5)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please comfort me as I cry to You in my distress and disappointment.
Genesis 33 & 34: Will You Bow Seven Times Before God?
Verse of the Day: (33:3) And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
1. Seven (33:1-20)
And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. (33:10)
Seven means completion, and Jacob was completely humbled after his earlier encounter with God as he bowed seven times and pleaded with Esau, his elder brother, for his forgiveness as he had deceived him of his birth-right and blessings. Esau saw Jacob’s humility, and immediately forgave him. Jacob was overwhelmed when he saw Esau’s joyful face as though it was God’s joyful face of acceptance of his repentance of his sins.
2. Sword (34:1-29)
And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. (34:25)
This was one of the tragic incidences of the history of God’s chosen people, when Simeon and Levi, Jacob’s two sons, took their swords and slew the males of the people whose prince was Hamor the Hivite. Simeon and Levi could not trust God to judge Shechem, the son of Hamor, who had raped Dinah, their sister, and instead deceived the people of Hamor by promising them that they would forgive Shechem’s sin if they would circumcise themselves like the people of Israel. However, they did not keep their promise but instead killed all the males of the people of Hamor. Let us revenge not or take things into our own hands when people wrong us, but commit the wrong to God, and God shall surely vindicate us, and judge those who had wronged and hurt us. (Romans 12:19-21)
3. Stink (34:30-31)
And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. (34:30)
Jacob was very angry with Simeon and Levi as they had made him to stink or shamed him before all the people of the land. Jacob knew that he had failed as a father as his sons did not consult him, but took matters into their own hands. Children, let us obey and honour our parents, and we shall be blessed with longevity, and fathers, let us pray for our children, and raise them in the nurture and admonition of God so that our families shall be a great testimony of God’s grace, goodness and greatness! (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please humble me to know that I am nothing without You.
Genesis 31 & 32: Have You Seen God Face To Face?
Verse of the Day: (32:30) And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
1. Fathers (31:1-35)
And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. (31:3)
Though Jacob was deceived by Laban, his father-in-law, many times, yet he was respectful to him, and continued to serve him, because he feared Isaac, his father, and he truly loved Rachel, his wife. However, when God commanded Jacob to return to the land of his fathers, he finally led his family, servants and flocks back to Canaan. Laban discovered the escape, and he and his brothers pursued and caught them at mount Gilead.
2. Fear (31:36-55)
Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. (31:42)
Laban was angry with Jacob because Jacob did not bid him with a proper settlement and farewell, and he also discovered that his images were stolen from him. (It was Rachel, his daughter, who stole them). Jacob was also angry with Laban as he had served him for 20 years (14 years for his 2 wives, and 6 years for his cattle), yet Laban had not been giving him a fair remuneration. This was why he secretly brought his family and flocks back to Canaan. However, God spoke to Laban in his dream, that he must make a covenant with Jacob (with God as their witness at the heap of stones that they would gather) that Jacob shall only return with his own family, servants and the multitude of flocks, if he would remain faithful to Laban’s 2 daughters. Jacob fully agreed to the covenant, as he was very thankful that God and his fear of Isaac had kept him serving Laban for the last 20 years.
3. Face (32:1-32)
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. (32:28)
Jacob was fearful of Esau, his brother, who sought after his life after Jacob had deceived him of his birth-right and blessings. While Jacob was on his way to make amends for his deceit by presenting Esau with great gifts through his servants, God sent a “man” to wrestle with him one night, that completely changed his life. Jacob was persistent in his struggle, and would not let the “man” go, until his thigh was out of joint, and the “man” told him that God had given him a new name “Israel”, and God shall bless him and his descendants (one of them was none other than the “man”, Jesus, the Saviour). Jacob called the place, Peniel, meaning “I have seen God face to face” as God preserved his life.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I see You face to face as Your Holy Spirit is in me.
Genesis 29 & 30: Will God Remember You?
Verse of the Day: (30:22) And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
1. Rachel (29:1-35)
And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. (29:20)
When we are deeply in love, time flies very fast! This was what happened to Jacob and Rachel as he served for 7 years for Laban, his future father-in-law, so that he could marry his beautiful Rachel, and 7 years to him seemed like a few days! However, Jacob waited for 14 years instead of 7 years before he married Rachel, as Laban deceived him, and brought Leah, his elder daughter, to him during his wedding night. This was a painful reminder to Jacob that he too once deceived Isaac, his father, when he pretended to be Esau, his elder brother, so as to get his father’s rich blessings from God. God is not mocked, for indeed we shall reap what we sow. Let us be righteous and honest in all our dealings so that God shall bless and keep us in His perfect peace and will. (Galatians 6:7)
2. Remember (30:1-24)
And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: (30:23)
In the days of Jacob and Rachel or the Old Testament era, the community despised the wives who were barren as they believed that God had shamed them. Though Jacob deeply loved Rachel, yet she had no child, while Jacob’s first wife, Leah (Rachel’s elder sister) had 6 sons – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah (the Lord Jesus was from Judah), Issachar and Zebulun. However, God remembered Rachel and heard her prayers, and subsequently gave her 2 sons – Joseph and Benjamin. Indeed, God remembers His people, and answers our prayers, and shall provide for all our needs when we trust and obey Him!
3. Righteousness (30:25-43)
So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me. (30:33)
Jacob declared his righteousness before Laban as both agreed that Laban would reward Jacob with all the speckled and spotted flocks for his labour with him, before Jacob and his family members would return to his own country. God remembered and blessed Jacob, as when Jacob put the stronger flocks to drink before the peeled rods, they miraculously conceived the stronger speckled and spotted off-springs. Jacob then left Laban with his family members and the great number of stronger speckled and spotted flocks. Indeed, we may be imperfect, but God remembers and blesses us, when we trust and obey Him.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please remember and bless me as I keep trusting and obeying You.
Genesis 27 & 28: Will You Flee From Deceit?
Verse of the Day: (27:12) My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
1. Death (27:1-5)
And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: (27:2)
Everyone will die and Isaac was no exception as he prepared his will and legacy for his family. He asked his eldest son, Esau, to prepare him his favourite stew and he would then bless him with blessings to be the head of his family and lead over all his family matters. Indeed, we know our birthdays but not our death-days and let us believe in Jesus because by God’s grace are we saved through faith in Jesus, and we shall be freed from condemnation in fiery hell, and have everlasting life with God in heaven. (Ephesians 2:8)
2. Deceit (27:6-46)
And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. (27:41)
Though Isaac prepared to bless Esau, yet his wife, Rebekah, preferred Jacob, their youngest son, to be the head of their family. She taught Jacob to deceive his father, Isaac, by preparing Isaac’s favourite stew for Jacob to give to Isaac, as well as covered Jacob with Esau’s clothing, so that Isaac would be deceived to think that Jacob was Esau. Subsequently, Isaac was deceived and he gave both the birth-right and blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. This deceit led to hatred and animosity between Jacob and Esau, as Esau sought to kill Jacob. Until this day Jacob and Esau’s descendants; the Jews and the Arabs, still have deep rooted disputes over many matters. Let us be truthful in everything as God is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so that God’s richest blessings be upon us (John 14:6)
3. Dream (28:1-22)
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (28:12)
Rebekah instructed Jacob to flee from Esau, who sought to kill him, and go to her hometown to marry his wife-to-be who was his cousin. While travelling Jacob had a dream, as God spoke and assured him that he would succeed Isaac, and be the father of Israel. The ladder in the dream was the prophecy of Jesus being the Saviour who shall bring men who believe in Jesus, from earth to heaven as absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) Today, God only speaks to us from the Bible, and our dreams are just dreams! It is God’s love that Jacob was not only forgiven, but he was blessed as the father of Israel. Let us thank God for His love, that when we believe in Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins, and blessed with abundant life in Him! (John 3:16)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to flee from deceit and be truthful as You are the Truth.
Genesis 25 & 26: Will You Believe And Trust In The God Of Abraham?
Verse of the Day: (26:24) And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.
1. The Days Of Abraham (25:1-26:5)
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. (26:1)
There will always be famines or crises in our lives because God uses them to test our faith in Him. In the days of Isaac, as in the days of Abraham, his father, there were famines, and Isaac prayed to God for deliverance. God revealed to Isaac that he should stay in Gerar, not go to Egypt, and that He shall provide him with wells of water. By this time, Isaac had twins, Esau and Jacob, and God prophesied to him that they shall have their own nations, and the elder shall serve the younger. Indeed, Esau subsequently sold his birth-right to his younger brother, for a bowl of stew, just because he was fainting.
2. The Death Of Abraham (26:6-23)
And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. (26:18)
Everyone shall die, and there was no exception, as Abraham and Isaac died. However, both of them left legacies of their belief and trust in God. Though they were imperfect, as both lied about their wives being their sisters because they feared for their safety, yet they repented their sins, and served God to the end. One of their great legacies was the provision of water to their people when they invested their resources to digging wells not only for their people, but for future generations. Indeed, this is a great legacy that we believe and trust in God, and doing good for our people and for our future generations.
3. The God Of Abraham (26:24-35)
And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; (26:28)
Both Abraham and Isaac had such great testimony that the Philistines, their enemies, made peace agreement with them not to hurt them but to do them good. Though there were times when Abraham and Isaac feared for their enemies, and the uncertainty in lives, yet God was there to encourage them that He was with them, and shall bless and multiply them, and they should fear not of their enemies or uncertainty. Let us live a life of great testimony, and believe that God is with us, and the world shall see our God living in us!
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, I believe and trust in the God of Abraham, the true and living God.
Genesis 23 & 24: Will You Submit To God’s Leadership?
Verse of the Day: (24:27) And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.
1. Life (23:1-20)
And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. (23:1)
It is not how long we live on this earth but how well we live for God. Everyone will die on this earth, but where will our souls go after death? Some may say that death is final, and we have no soul, but I believe that we have souls and there is a God, our Creator. (Luke 12:20-21) God is the Author of the Bible, His holy Word, and that we have here, the book of Genesis, the 1st book, and ends with the book of Revelation, the 66th book of the Bible. In the Bible, God says everyone will die whether young or old, rich or poor, famous or ordinary, because we have sinned and fall short of His holiness. The only way to have God’s holiness and live forever is to by faith believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23, 6:23) Sarah was 127 years old when she died, and she and Abraham are now in glorious heaven, because by faith they believed in God. (Hebrews 11:8-19)
2. Leadership (24:1-33)
And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. (24:12)
Every Christian parent’s prayer is that our children marry someone who loves God, and Abraham was no exception. Abraham was old and he knew he would die, and he instructed his servant to go to his hometown to look for a wife for Isaac, his firstborn son, Isaac’s wife must be his relatives who loved God. The servant prayed to God to show kindness to his master. As he stood at the well, he prayed that the woman who would come to him, and gave him and his camels drink shall be Isaac’s wife. God answered his prayer, as He led Rebekah to the well, providing water for him and his thirsty camels!
3. Love (24:34-67)
And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (24:67)
Isaac submitted to God’s leadership by loving Rebekah even though it was an arranged marriage when both parties had not known each other. Though we need to know our partners before we marry them yet in Isaac’s case he trusted God that Rebekah was God’s choice for him. Indeed, both Isaac and Rebekah grew in love, and God and Rebekah comforted Isaac when Sarah, his mother, whom he loved very much, went to be with God.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to submit to Your leadership now and forever.