January 12, 2021

You Can't Buy Me Love

Genesis 31–35

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Jacob Flees from Laban

Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth.” And...

Jacob Flees from Laban

Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth.” And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods. 20 And Jacob tricked 1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates, 2 and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your 3 father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.

36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, 4 but Jacob called it Galeed. 5 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, 49 and Mizpah, 6 for he said, “The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight. 50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

55  7 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.

Jacob Fears Esau

Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God's camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim. 8

And Jacob sent 9 messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”

13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him 10 with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 11 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

Jacob Wrestles with God

22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, 12 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, 13 for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, 14 saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

Jacob Meets Esau

And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company 15 that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of 16 you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”

15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 17

18 And Jacob came safely 18 to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money 19 the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. 20

The Defiling of Dinah

Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl for my wife.”

Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, for such a thing must not be done.

But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your 21 daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you. Dwell and trade in it, and get property in it.” 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. 12 Ask me for as great a bride-price 22 and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.”

13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree with you—that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. 16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.”

18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor's son Shechem. 19 And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob's daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his father's house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21 “These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one people—when every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.” 24 And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

25 On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem's house and went away. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” 31 But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”

God Blesses and Renames Jacob

God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, 23 because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth. 24

God appeared 25 to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: 26 be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 27 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance 28 from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; 29 but his father called him Benjamin. 30 19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this day. 21 Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine. And Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Footnotes

[1] 31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27
[2] 31:21 Hebrew the River
[3] 31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here
[4] 31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness
[5] 31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness
[6] 31:49 Mizpah means watchpost
[7] 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Hebrew
[8] 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps
[9] 32:3 Or had sent
[10] 32:20 Hebrew appease his face
[11] 32:20 Hebrew he will lift my face
[12] 32:22 Or sons
[13] 32:28 Israel means He strives with God, or God strives
[14] 32:30 Peniel means the face of God
[15] 33:8 Hebrew camp
[16] 33:12 Or along with
[17] 33:17 Succoth means booths
[18] 33:18 Or peacefully
[19] 33:19 Hebrew a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value
[20] 33:20 El-Elohe-Israel means God, the God of Israel
[21] 34:8 The Hebrew for your is plural here
[22] 34:12 Or engagement present
[23] 35:7 El-bethel means God of Bethel
[24] 35:8 Allon-bacuth means oak of weeping
[25] 35:9 Or had appeared
[26] 35:11 Hebrew El Shaddai
[27] 35:11 Hebrew from your loins
[28] 35:16 Or about two hours' distance
[29] 35:18 Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow, or son of my strength
[30] 35:18 Benjamin means son of the right hand

You Can't Buy Me Love



Key Verse | Genesis 32:20

"[A]nd you shall say, 'Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.'" For he thought, "I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me."

Bio | Hannah Massman

Hi there! My name is Hannah. You may recognize me from the front page of The Dallas Morning News about 20 years ago. It's not a big deal. I was the first to use a revolving door at the airport, and they took an action shot. Besides that claim to fame, I can also say that I have eaten a cheeseburger—before I was lactose intolerant, of course—next to Jerry Jones. I don't have the most impressive life stories. So it's a good thing I can boast in Jesus. Amiright?

Central Truth

Esau does not accept Jacob because of the gifts Jacob sends ahead, but because of Esau's own compassion for his brother. Like God, Esau shows unmerited favor toward Jacob, and we can expect this from Jesus when we turn to Him.

Devotional | Genesis 31–35

Jacob hears that Esau is coming and fears what his brother will do to him. After having deceived Esau, what can Jacob do now to lessen his brother's anger and heal their relationship?

In fear of Esau, Jacob sends...

Jacob hears that Esau is coming and fears what his brother will do to him. After having deceived Esau, what can Jacob do now to lessen his brother's anger and heal their relationship?

In fear of Esau, Jacob sends his brother hundreds of animals as gifts before reuniting face to face, hoping the gifts will appease Esau. Yet Jacob is unsure if his gifts will be enough to repay his wrongs. So he puts his favorite wife Rachel and son Joseph in the back to protect them. When the brothers reunite, Esau runs to meet Jacob and embraces him.

This story is a reflection of the gospel. Esau accepts Jacob because of Esau's own heart, not because of what Jacob offers him. Esau does not need more animals. He says, "I have enough . . . ." (Genesis 33:9) Same with Jesus. We will add nothing to Him if we offer our best. It is not our gifts that lead Jesus to forgive our sins against Him, but instead it is Jesus' own heart for us. Titus 3:5 says, "[H]e saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit." This is the gospel of grace.

We do not have to fear how we will be received by Jesus when we come to Him, like Jacob feared Esau. In John 6:37, Jesus says, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." We can be confident when we come before Jesus with a repentant heart that He will not respond in anger, but instead in love and acceptance.

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Discussion Questions

1. Jacob shows partiality by favoring his wife Rachel and son Joseph, sending the rest of his family ahead with less protection. Partiality is costly as we'll see later in Genesis when Joseph's jealous brothers sell him into slavery. Is the sin of partiality hiding anywhere in your life?

2. Do you struggle to trust that Jesus will accept you with joy and gladness like Esau accepted Jacob?

3. In what ways have you tried to "buy" Jesus' favor and acceptance?

9 Comments available

Lindsey Driscoll 5 months ago

Hannah, what a great central truth reminding us of the way Esau runs to Jacob is the same way our father comes to meet us with open arms of grace through the sacrifice of his son, Christ!

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

God revealed to Rebecca which child would inherit the blessing, Ironically her vision of what would happen was more right than Isaac’s vision. Literally.

Wrong on several levels, Isaac’s physical vision faded , also wanting to thankfully pass on the blessing to Esau, the wrong guy.

Rebecca would never see her favored child after cooking up the scheme herself. God always said Jacob will be as if first born.

Linda Green 5 months ago

Wow, Hannah, I didn’t see that! Love that the Bible is FULL of rotten sinners, and sinless God who keeps His promises. It gives me hope for today. Unchanging God, new rotten sinners. And occasionally a fully devoted follower shines out- praying we would be all about Jesus and His gift in this dark world.

Have always wondered if the reason the angel wrestled with Jacob all night was because Jacob planned to run away. When daybreak came and he couldn’t sneak off, the angel let him go. But first, he made it so he couldn’t run. Ever.

This was a severe mercy to Jacob. Asking God to see His mercy in things I can’t change.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

Jacob desperately wanted a blessing and was willing to wrestle for it. He may have realized his foe could easily kill him and wrestled on, with a touch his hip went out of joint but he got the blessing.

No one can see God and live and the foe disappears before sunrise.

God sends Jacob off to face his worst fears, his brother Esau, limping his way there.

Greg Jones 5 months ago

Genesis34

Up to this point Abraham and his descendants have lived peacefully in the land. Wives deceptively posing as sisters have been protected to the point of that protection being profitable. Genesis26:1-11 sleeping with a man’s wife would have brought shame on the people. A sister was a different matter.

Before, deception regarding a wife being a sister lead to honored treaties. Here, acts regarding a true sister lead to a deceptive treaty. A very profitable deceptive treaty.

It’s here at Shechem at the end of the conquest Joshua states:

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:15

Verse14 is meant to remind of Genesis35:2-5.

Sue Bohlin 5 months ago

(1/2) Hi Hannah, great devo! I had never thought how Esau’s response to Jacob was a reflection of Jesus’ heart in him.

My heart warmed to read Genesis 32 again. I was deeply ashamed of walking with a limp from polio my entire life until I was 45 when the Lord removed the shame. One thing He did was to shine a light on this story, pointing out, “Do you see what I gave Jacob as a souvenir of My all-night wrestling match with him? I gave him a limp—a holy limp. You don’t need to be ashamed of your limp either.” I realized that for the rest of his life, when people saw Jacob, they didn’t see a shameful limp, they saw the lingering touch of God on him.

Sue Bohlin 5 months ago

(2/2) Then, by His grace, I lost the ability to walk at all for a year and a half. It was super painful, but God was setting me up for the amazing blessing of getting my limp back! On the other side of hip replacement surgeries, I still have a limp, but limping means I AM WALKING!

Jacob could thank God for his limp because of the reminder of his special night with God. I thank God for my limp because it means He has restored my ability to walk and because He keeps using it in a variety of ways for His glory and my good.

I blogged about that here: https://probe.org/a-holy-limp/

Hugh Stephenson 5 months ago

Materially, it worked out pretty well. Yet, I feared being confronted with the true heart of my actions.

Relationally, it did not work out very well. My marriage was good but far from what it could be. I got along with my kids but was not the father God designed. From 2010-2012 God showed me how my sins had severely damaged my relationships. By His grace, He also showed me what redemption and healing was like, (Jeremiah 29:11)

Now I was willing to do ANYTHING to get what He offered. God whispered, “I am enough”, (Philippians 4:19)

He showed me the cost. EVERYTHING I valued, (1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 6:19-20).

Wrestling and striving was to end, (James 4:2-3)

Abiding and resting became the call, (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 15:10-11, John 10:10, Matthew 11:28-30).

Hugh Stephenson 5 months ago

GM Hannah. I had a cheeseburger in a DQ when Warren Buffet was across the room. I said hello to Muhammed Ali as I walked by him in a hotel. You’re still ahead of me.

Reflecting on Jacob and a life of deception.

From a young man I always liked Jacob. He was a schemer and negotiator. I admired that.

I was willing to do just about anything to get what I wanted. The voice in my head constantly shouted “MORE”.

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