Out of obedience, Jacob returned to Canaan, but going through the country of Edom, where is brother lived was inevitable. This episode 31 gives us hope that strained relationships can be repaired when involved parties are willing to humble themselves.
Jacob probably never imagined all that would be awaiting him in Paddan Aram, but those 20 years there would be challenging years. In this episode 30, we see how Jacob builds a family, not just with the one he loves but with other women out of obligation for the sake of following the custom and pleasing wives who want to build a family. In the end, God stills makes Himself known and Jacob is given instructions on what to do next.
Jacob's journey to Paddan Aram started. One night he gets a dream from God confirming that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God reiterates to Jacob the covenant that He had established with his grandfather Abraham and father Isaac. This episode 29 encourages us in many ways, as we look at God's appearance and learn from Jacob's response. Several points are drawn to encourages what we can learn from God and Jacob from the foundational study passage...
Deception hurts, but it hurts even more when the deception comes from your own family. This episode 28 reveals the scheming, deception and painful outcome within a family fighting for a blessing. There is surely a lot of mess in families (none are perfect) but we can definitely learn from this story how important it is to treasure truth and seek for spiritual discernment rather than take matters into our own hands and cause irreparable pain.
We make decisions everyday. As we consider those decisions some of us think rationally about the matter, prayerfully consider and get wise counsel, however, others make rash decisions when they are under duress, when they are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. The latter is dangerous as the consequences of our choices might not be immediately observable, but bad decisions always have bad consequences, it's a matter of time before we see its fruits.
God remains faithful to His Word and what He promises He fulfills. Isaac's life is a testament of how God's plans cannot be thwarted. His life encourages us to trust God even if like Isaac we have not done anything to deserve His favor. God's plans for us are good, to prosper us and not to harm us but to give us a hope and a future. This episode leads us to trust God even when bumps in the road of our journey challenges our faith.
Do you ever pray? How do you pray? When your prayer is answered, what do you do? If we are honest, we tend to pray general prayers because we either don't believe our prayers will be heard and answered or we pray without any expectation. This episode 25 gives us hope, however; Abraham's trusted servant teaches us how to pray with expectation and how to honor God.
In ancient biblical times, finding a bride was not based on feelings or preference. People did not fall in love and then get married, oftentimes than not, the marriages were arranged within the family and accepted as such. Monogamy, endogamy, polygamy, concubinage, levirate marriages are terms we might not come across very often but as our journey through The Bible continues it will become very essential to be familiar with these terms.
How can we know where our devotion lies unless it is tested? Abraham's journey is reaching a peak as God is telling him to do the unimaginable--sacrificing his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Episode 23 teaches how important it is to not only trust and obey God but to lay everything on the altar because God never fails to reward those who trust and obey Him.
In life, there is joy and there is pain--an appointed time and a season for everything, but God journeys with us even in the midst of our distress. Abraham, Sarah and Isaac are at a fork in the road with Hagar and Ishmael. Ishmael and Isaac's destinies are traced for them to part. In this episode 22, we are brought to a place of remembering that although circumstances of life can be painful, God's plans and purposes for us are good and they cannot be thwarted...