Friday, April 30, 2010

Israel Meets Esau

And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. 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. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. Genesis 33:1-11

Steps: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The fearful thing that Israel ran from he has now met in the fear and power of God. Israel is now reunited with his brother but this time they are united without the power struggle or the need to get possessions. Both parties have much wealth and Israel has made his amends. He now trusts that God will provide. Esau is gracious and wonders about all of the gifts but he receives them from Israel and Israel sets up his home in the land of Canaan near the city of Shechem.

Prayer for Today: Thank You God that You can reunite the most stubborn of people. We don’t understand how You do it but You are able. We want to learn how to trust in Your care and in Your plans. Help us to be brought into full harmony with You and Your plans for us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jacob’s Name is Changed to Israel

And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 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. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Genesis 32:27-31

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jacob receives the blessing he wants. His name is changed from thief (Jacob) to Prince of God (Israel). All of the struggling of life has been fulfilled in Israel. He has had a personal experience with God and he has been changed in character and in name. He has personally met with God and he did not die. Israel is now content to live or die; whatever God wants to do with him or in him he is willing. He has now had his 12th step.

Prayer for Today: We have seen what You have done with Jacob, now Israel. We don’t know how it will happen in our experience but we want what You did to Jacob. We have toiled through life a long time, the guilt has been almost unbearable. Today, we ask that You will change us as well. We want to get our new name. We are so tired of calling ourselves the evil names that Satan, and others, have called us. Today we want to have our experience with You, we want to come out of our meditations with you changed people. Thank You for this promise of change.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jacob Wrestles with the Angel of God

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Genesis 32:24-26

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jacob has done everything he knows to do to make amends to Esau. He does not know what will happen this night. He sends his family back across the river in case anything goes wrong there is some hope that someone may make it out alive. He then goes to participate in his 11th step; he prays and meditates on the promises of God. While praying he feels a man’s hand on his shoulder and rather than assuming that it is God coming to bless him, he believes it is an enemy and wrestles all night long with this mysterious person. He is granted strength to fight all night long without giving up. As the day breaks and the sun starts to rise the Man puts forth His hand and touches Jacob’s thigh and dislocates it. The Man then tells Jacob to let Him go. Jacob refuses and holds on to the Man and recognizes that this Man is Jesus – the Son of God. He asks the greatest blessing that he can think of – he wants a direct blessing from God while the opportunity is there. Hosea 12:3-4 says that he wins in the fight and gets his blessing, so that his heart is finally at peace.

Prayer for Today: We don’t want to wrestle with You Lord, but we know that we will not have peace unless we spend enough time in prayer and meditation to wrestle with You. When we are done we pray that we will not give up this time. We have given up many times before and today we ask that we will not turn back but trust You long enough so that You can communicate with us and grant us Your blessing. Thank You that You have created these opportunities for us to receive Your blessings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jacob Sends His Amends to Esau

And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals. And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee? Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us. And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him. And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me. Genesis 32:13-20

Steps: 6, 7, 8, 9

Jacob is ready to send his amends to his brother. He hopes this will settle the heart of Esau and that he will not harm him. He will do everything on his part to apologize for his sin, and to make things right for his past sins. When he has finished cooperating with God’s command to restore what he has taken, he can fully trust in the care of God.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to do everything that we can to make right what we have made wrong. We know that when we have done everything there is more to be done and we will trust You that You will care for those things also. Help us to put our full trust in You and in Your ways.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jacob Makes Amends to Esau

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape. And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. Genesis 32:3-12

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Jacob recognizes that he stole things from his brother and he is now ready and able to make amends for his behavior. He gets a report that his brother Esau is coming to meet him with an army of 400 men. Jacob gets afraid and does what only a recovering person can do and that is go to God for help, encouragement, and direction. He goes to God and pleads God’s promises. He asks how can God fulfill His promises if he is dead. He recognizes that he is not worthy of help but asks God for help out of great need and mercy.

Prayer for Today: God we are just like Jacob. We are not worthy of Your care but we need Your care. Please do for us what You did for Jacob. We claim these promises in Your name.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim. Genesis 32:1-2

Steps: 10, 11, 12

After his meeting with Laban, Jacob continues on his way home. He is nervous about meeting with Esau and is wondering if he will be safe. To answer this concern the angels of God are sent to him to reassure him. God allows Jacob to see the angels and sees two groups of angels, one group before him and one group behind him. Thus Jacob chooses to name the place Mahanaim – two hosts. He receives this vision as a blessing from God and is encouraged to continue to go home.

Prayer for Today: We thank You God for hearing our prayers even before we can recognize them and formulate them in our own minds. We thank You that would allow us to see the ways You support us and care for us. We ask today Lord that You will allow us to see more and that our hearts will grow more secure in You. As You cared for Jacob, we believe that You will care for us. Help us to hold on to You by faith.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

God Speaks to Laban

And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. Genesis 31:22-35

Steps: 9, 10, 11, 12

Laban hears that Jacob has left the area of Babylon to return to Canaan and he seeks to bring him back to Babylon. He has a larger force of soldiers than Jacob and feels that he can force the issue and keep Jacob in service to him a longer time. But God reveals His will to Laban in a dream and warns him not to threaten Jacob or to try to seduce him to come back to work for him. God has called Jacob and nothing is to stop his return.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You that when everyone is threatening us with disaster that You are still there. Your power is watching over us and nothing can happen to us unless You allow it for our blessing. Thank You that even those who appear powerful and that can harm us can not get past You and Your care. Help us to rest secure in Your power.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Lord Calls Jacob to Come Home

And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. Genesis 31:1-7

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7

Jacob can see that his success is causing distress and envy in the minds of Laban and his sons. He is fearful that Laban, and his sons, might try to steal his possessions and cheat him as he has done ten times before. In his distress he talks to God about it and God tells him to go back to his homeland and that He would be with him. Jacob shares this command with his family and prepares to go hom.

Prayer for Today: God, we pray that when it comes our time to do something You will make Your commands abundantly clear. You know how slow we are to hear anything that will disrupt our normal course of life. We pray that when You talk to us we will be ready to surrender to You and to obey You. We know that we can not do this on our own and we ask for Your help today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Laban is Blessed Because Of Jacob

And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee. And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake. Genesis 30:25-27

Steps: 4, 5

Laban is learning a valuable lesson. After deceiving Jacob regarding Leah and Rachel he is blessed by the fact that Jacob has watched over his flocks for almost 21 years. Jacob’s flocks have grown and so have Laban’s flocks. Jacob now has 4 wives and 11 sons. Jacob is getting restless and wants to return to his home to be with his father and mother. Laban recognizes that he has been blessed by Jacob and wants to keep him around longer. Laban tries to keep Jacob close by giving him increased wages. Jacob agrees to work with Laban a little longer and Genesis 30:43 states “And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels and asses.”

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You for Your blessings. It is You that bring prosperity to us when we choose to cooperate with You and Your plans. Today we ask that if we have turned away from Your plans for us, that You will bring us back and get us resettled. Bless us as You blessed Jacob. You know that we tend to turn away from You easily and today we ask that You will bring us back and get us restabilized. Thank You for Your love and care for us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jacob Deceived

And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? Genesis 29:18-25

Steps: 4-5

Jacob was able to safely get to his relatives in the land of Babylon. He found a girl that he wanted to marry and spent 7 years working for her father to get a dowry for her. At the end of the time he asked for her hand and her father, Laban, deceived him, by giving him Rachel’s older sister Leah, just as Jacob had deceived his brother Esau. When confronted with his potential loss of Rachel, he served Laban 7 more years to have the right of marrying Rachel

Prayer for Today: God, You know how we have treated others and very often You let us experience what it is like to have harmed someone else. We pray today that You will teach us our lessons as gently as possible for we have done terrible things to others. Help us to learn these things and help us not to do these things to others. Grant us Your grace and peace.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jacob Responds To God

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. Genesis 28:16-22

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jacob recognizes that he has had a communication with God. He is shocked that he is still alive after coming into the presence of God. He decides that since God did not kill him for his sins that it would be the safest thing to cooperate with God to the best of his understanding. He decides to accept God as His God, and that he will trust God with his life and possessions. If God will work with him he will testify of God’s role in his life by paying tithes, just like Abraham did in Genesis 14:18-20. Jacob will trust that God is able to care for him.

Prayer For Today: God thank You for revealing Yourself to us in a manner that we can grasp. As You worked with Jacob we believe that You want to work with us. We don’t know the best way for You to work with us so that we to can believe but we trust that You know the ways to our heart and minds that will help us make the same kind of decision as Jacob did. We also pray that You will help us to trust You with our tithes and offerings. Help us to recognize that You do not need our money and possessions but that we need to be able to give these things as our testimony of trusting You. Thank You for working with us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

God Talks to Jacob

And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 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. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. Genesis 28:11-17

Steps:1, 12

The Son of God comes to meet Jacob when he leaves home to head toward the land of Babylon and the family of his mother. The Son of God reveals Himself as that ladder that connects Heaven and Earth. John 1:51. Jacob is surprised that God would want to talk to him and work with him. Jacob is touched by this visit and his heart is opened to God to start to work with him and get things resolved.

Prayer for Today: Thank You Lord for being so kind to us that even when we are full of guilt and do not know what to do, You will come and find us and start to work with us in ways that only and Infinite God would understand. Don’t give up on us, keep working with us until we make that decision to follow You. Thank You Lord for Your tender mercies.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Isaac Sends Jacob Away Due to Esau’s Desire to Murder Jacob

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. And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? Genesis 27:41-45

Steps 1, 4

Esau tells someone in the family of his intent to kill his brother in vengeance for the loss of his birthright and his blessing. He plans to kill Jacob after his father dies. Esau’s mother tells her son Jacob of Esau’s intent to kill and the plan is made to send Jacob away for a while until Esau’s temper cools out. No one but God knows that Rebecca will never see Jacob again. Jacob is ok with leaving for a while and will go to his relatives in Babylon, and will seek a wife from among the ancestors of Abraham, and Rebecca.

Prayer for Today: It seems apparent that we have initiated all kinds of responses from others regarding our negative behaviors. We pray to You today that You will take care of us like You took care of Jacob. Help us to believe that You know what You are doing and we can trust our cases in Your hands. Thank You for being willing to handle all court proceedings that we have caused as a result of our behaviors. Wherever you want to send us so that You can take care of our cases, we want to do it. Thank You for caring about us.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jacob Sins Against Isaac, Esau, and God

And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? Genesis 27:32-36

Steps: 1, 4

Isaac has just been deceived by Jacob and Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking that Jacob was his son Esau. Jacob steals the birthright by fraud, rather than by trusting in the belief that God would give him the real birthright. Jacob has not entered into recovery yet but the principles are waiting for him when he is hurting enough. Isaac and Esau are distressed at the deceit practiced by Jacob, and by his mother. The both agree that Jacob is rightly named – a supplanter – or a deceiver. Jacob had indeed stolen the birthright, and Esau’s blessing. Jacob desperately needs recovery.

Prayer for Today: God, we all have done what Jacob did, but each of us in our own way. We need Your help, today, as always. Help us to accept that You have a plan to redeem us from sin, and from each and every addiction we have developed. We need Your help. Help us to watch the story of Jacob and help us to grasp hope from his experiences with you. Thank You for Your love for us.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Curse on Jacob and Rebecca

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. And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, m son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. Genesis 27:12-13

Steps: 1, 4, 5, 6, 11

In this section of the Bible story Isaac is growing old and is blind. He perceives that he is going to die and he is ready to grant his eldest son the birthright of a double portion of property and a double portion of spiritual blessing as the spiritual leadership of the family. Jacob covets the spiritual blessing and wants it but cares less for the property. Jacob’s mother Rebecca comes up with a strategy to get the blessing on Jacob in light of the prophecy that the older would serve the lesser. Jacob hears of this plan and is concerned about getting caught, not the intrinsic evil of the plan. Jacob is willing to try to deceive his father if he won’t get caught. Rebecca provides the solution and that is she is willing to receive the curse of God that would come from deceiving her husband, and by helping God in ways of works that deviates from faith. She is not aware but her behavior will mean that soon she will not see her son for the rest of her life, and that she will be a role model for the Jewish leadership when they ask for the blood of Jesus to be on them and their children. Matthew 27:25. She did not do an inventory and she received much grief.

Prayer for Today: God, let us see our need before we are willing to deceive others and receive the curse. Help us to be willing to recognize Your higher call on us than our loyalty to others. Help us to be willing to receive Your gift of forgiveness.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Like Father Like Son

And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon. And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her. And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death. Genesis 26:7-11

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Isaac’s father Abraham had said the same thing in Genesis 12:13-15; 20:1-7. It is almost as if the genetic coding of father and son were tied together. God speaks of this in His law in Exodus 20:5. Isaac knew how to do the same sin as his father had done. He was afraid that God would not take care of him and he lied to assist himself rather than trusting God to take care of him.

Prayer for Today: God, You know we have lied a million times, and often when we did not even need to. We lie over anything that may cause trouble for us. Help us today to learn how to trust in Your ability to take care of us. Grant us the gift of knowing Your will and the gift of trusting in Your will before we can even see all of it. You love us and You will care for us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Esau Sells His Birthright

And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:29-34

Steps: 1

Jacob was interested in the birthright which would consisted of two parts – the double portion of the estate of Isaac, and the portion which would make one the spiritual leader of the family. Jacob was interested in the spiritual part first and foremost. Esau was interested in the portion of the estate, but could care less about the spiritual leadership part. Jacob knew that Esau despised the spiritual part. One day when making lentil stew Esau came in and was hungry Jacob decided to see if he could cut a deal with Esau over the spiritual part of the birthright. Esau thought that the spiritual component of the birthright was as valuable as the bowl of stew and sold it to Jacob for this amount. God says that Esau despised the birthright. But Jacob got the birthright outside of the will of God. Jacob had decided to help God when he should have rested in His care.

Prayer for Today: God, we can look back on this story with some insight, and we think we would not have “stolen” the birthright from our very own brother. Help us to see Lord that we are capable of most anything, just like Jacob. Help us to see that we have a problem and help us to see that we have a need and help us to come to You to get that need met. Help us to wait upon You to help us solve our problems. Thank You for Your patience and love for us.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. Genesis 25:21-26

Steps: 4, 5, 10

When Isaac had been married for 20 years he still did not have any children. He asked the Lord to heal his wife’s womb and God blessed Isaac with twins. The Eldest was named Esau – Red; the younger son was named Jacob – Supplanter, or Deceiver. At birth God gave Isaac and Rebecca a prophecy that the elder son would serve the younger. It would be the task of Isaac and Rebecca to hold on to that prophecy, for it would bring great peace to the heart.

Prayer for Today – God, we thank You that you know our hearts from birth. You know what we will do, and You know why we will do it. Break us free from the temptations of life, and help us to walk in purity of thought and action. Help us to do those things that are pleasing in Your sight. Thank You for Your everlasting love and care.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Death of Abraham

And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. Genesis 25:5-8

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

God granted Abraham many years of productive life. He was 175 when he died. He lived to see his son married and settled. Abraham also had the blessing of giving a lot of money to be sure that his son was settled. Abraham also was able to get everything settled with Ishmael and the sons from his wife Keturah, whom he married after the death of Sarah. When everything was cared for then Abraham, the friend of God, died and was buried. God had blessed His friend in many ways.

Prayer for Today: God, You were wonderful in Your relationship with Abraham. We pray that we can believe that as You treated Abraham is how You want to relate to us. Help us to hold on to that idea as Abraham held on to the idea of what You wanted to do for Abraham’s children. Thank You for Your tender mercies toward us. Help us not to turn away from You.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Wife for Isaac

And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master’s son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. Genesis 24:42-46

Steps 1,2,3,4,5,11,12

Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant went to Abraham’s family to find this wife lest Isaac find a wife of the people of Canaan. At least a woman of Abraham’s original family would have some awareness of the true God. The servant prays about the wife, and what kind of criteria he would be looking for in her, and when he had finished praying God brought the woman to him and the servant was thrilled and praised God for this blessing. He felt successful and was ready to return to Abraham with the gift from God for Isaac.

Prayer for Today: Thank You for Your testimony that You can answer our prayers any way You like. Thank You for Your assurance that You know every detail of what we need and even before we are finished praying You have the details worked out. Thank You for being so faithful to us. We want to trust You to care for our every need.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Death of Sarah

And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these ere the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebreon in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mour for Sarah, and to weep for her. Genesis 23:1-2

Steps: 4, 5, 10

To all comes our time of death. God allowed Sarah to live to a ripe old age of 127. She had the experience of having her son Isaac by faith and she saw him grow up. She had done her part in developing her son and now she could rest in the full trust that God would be able to watch over her son. Now Abraham would weep over her, complete her burial, and see to the final details of his son Isaac.

Prayer for Today: Praise God for His watchcare and love. He watches over us and even when we make mistakes, and doubt His power, He still cares for us. Sarah died trusting in the care of God. We too can die in His care and trust our loved ones to His care as well. Today, Lord, give us the courage to trust in You.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Abraham’s Act of Faith

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. Hebrews 11:17-19

Steps 4. 5, 10

God chose to record Abraham’s offering of Isaac as a testimony of faith. He recorded this story both in Genesis – the beginnings, and in Hebrews 11 the chapter of the mighty acts of faith of His people. Abraham’s story is of such a nature that God wanted us to see it in a number of different ways. But one of the major ways is that it was an act of faith. Abraham did not understand why Isaac was to be offered up especially since God had said that through Isaac was to come the Messiah. But Abraham figured that if God chose to have Isaac killed He would be able to resurrect him to fulfill His promise in and through Isaac. By faith Abraham obeyed God believing that God would fulfill all of His promises by ways that Abraham had not seen before.

Prayer for Today: Help us to have the faith of Jesus like Abraham did. We can not see how You are going to do it in us but since you have promised to change us and to give us victory over all of our addictions and defects, we trust that You will accomplish it in us as you have done to men like Abraham. Thank You for your great power and deliverance.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

God Promises Abraham

And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:15-18

Steps 3, 12

God testifies to Abraham that because he obeyed His voice that all of the nations of the world would be blessed by Abraham’s seed – Jesus Christ. All of this because Abraham had obeyed and had not withheld his son from God. Because Abraham had not withheld his son, he would be an example of the fact that God would not withhold His son. This testimony would be a blessing to the whole world throughout all of time.

Prayer for Today: Help us Lord to recognize Your gift in Jesus Christ. Most of us have read the story of Jesus before and may not have seen the connections with Abraham. We can’t imagine that we would be able to follow Abraham’s lead. Yet, in Your providence You have made arrangements that what the men of God in the Bible have done, You can do in us. Help us to hold on to these precious promises by faith.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Abraham Sees a Ram

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. Genesis 22:13-14

Steps 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

Abraham, after being delivered from having to kill his on, looks up and sees a ram caught in a thicket. He recognizes God’s fulfillment of Abraham’s testimony that He would provide a Lamb. Abraham sacrifices the ram in place of Isaac and the promise is completed. In addition God grants Abraham another gift for in this experience God allows Abraham a view of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Jesus declared that “Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56. Abraham saw that God would complete the sacrifice that Abraham had tasted of. God would allow His beloved Son Jesus to die in place of humanity whom had sinned against Him. That which Abraham tasted of would be completed by God Himself.

Prayer for Today: It is an amazing story that You would allow Your Son to die in our place. We deserve death yet You want to grant us life. Help us to accept Your precious Gift and help us to accept the impact that it should have on our hearts and minds. Help us to grasp that you allowed Jesus to die for us because You love us. Thank You for Your great mercies to us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God Stops Abraham from Harming Isaac

And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:10-12

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

Abraham obeyed God literally. When he had committed to the sacrifice of his only son, God stopped him before any harm came to Isaac, or Abraham. God stopped Abraham and told him that He now knew that Abraham would not withhold anything from God. God knows the end from the beginning. He already knew what Abraham would do. But all of God’s children – you, Abraham, and every other created being who read about this story, would not know until it was fulfilled. Abraham passed the test. He found out that he would obey God whatever the cost might be. Because he passed the test then there is hope that we to might be able to pass our tests when they come to us in God’s times and in God’s ways.

Prayer for Today: It is difficult for us to imagine that we could pass a test like Abraham and Isaac’s test. Yet we have seen that other people in the Bible made it in their time of difficulty and we have faith that what You did for them You will do for us. Help us to hold on and to trust in Your care. Help us not to fear or to pull back but to press forward and fully trust in You, and in Your knowledge of us.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Isaac’s Faith in Abraham and in God

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Genesis 22:9

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

Isaac hears the plan that Abraham presented to him. Isaac had not heard the voice of God but he trusted that his father Abraham had heard the voice of God. Isaac was so surrendered to God that the message to Abraham from God was accounted by Isaac as the voice of God to him. He heard he trusted, and he allowed Abraham to bind him and place him on the altar and was prepared to be offered up as a sacrifice. Isaac fully trusted God and fully trusted his father with his life.

Prayer for Today: God we thank You that You have not asked us to sacrifice our children like Abraham did. You know that we have offered ourselves up on heathen altars of drugs, sex, violence, money, relationships, gambling, and business. We have not always known what we were doing, but have often known that we were doing wrong things for wrong reasons. We ask again that You will forgive us for our thoughts and actions and restore us unto You. Help us to trust You so that we will not do these things again.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Isaac Wonders Where the Sacrifice Is

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Genesis 22:5-8

Steps 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

Isaac wonders where the lamb is for the sacrifice that his father has spoken of. Isaac asks Abraham about the presence of the lamb for he has seen the fire and he has carried the wood on his own shoulder. Abraham tells Isaac that God would provide this lamb. History would tell us that Jesus was to be that Lamb that was to be sacrificed but Abraham and Isaac did not see all of this at this moment. Both Abraham and Isaac were obeying by faith in the information that God had provided them and in the experience that they had had with Him before. They trusted and obeyed.

Prayer for Today: God, we to wonder how You will handle our affairs. We can not see the future but we trust that You will be able to care for us as You did Abraham and Isaac. Grant us the faith that when You talk to us we will not doubt You. Thank You for Your mercies.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Most Difficult Experience for Abraham

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. Genesis 22:1-4

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

God now allowed Abraham to go through an experience more difficult than anything that any man had gone through before. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, who had been given to Abraham by God Himself. Abraham immediately made arrangements to go to the place that God had informed him of and he arrived there on the third day. Abraham did not allow himself to doubt regarding whether the voice that had spoken to him was God or not. He had had heard that voice many times and recognized clearly that it was God, and he obeyed immediately. Abraham trusted God and although he did not understand everything He knew that whatever happened God knew what He was doing.

Prayer for Today: God, it is amazing that You would ask this of Your friend
Abraham. We have difficulty understanding what You were doing yet we know that Abraham obeyed and You blessed Him. Help us that when it is our turn we will trust You like Abraham did. Thank You for allowing us the opportunity of seeing You interactions with Abraham. Thank You that You will be us when our times of crisis come.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hagar and Sarah – Allegories for the Old and New Covenants

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Galatians 4:22-31

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

God applies the story of Sarah and Hagar as examples of the old and new covenant. The old covenant is a promisory arrangement that is based on the promises of the person to do right. The new covenant is a promisory arrangement that is based on the promises of God to do right. As Sarah could not have children based on her efforts to have a child, she needed to trust that what God promised would come to pass not by her efforts but by God’s promise. So with us, for us to have victory over our addictions we can try harder to overcome or we can depend upon God to do for us what we can not do for ourselves. This trust in God is the new covenant experience.

Prayer for Today: God, we know that our own efforts to stop our addiction have produced only frustration and anxiety. Help us to hold on to You and Your promises to help us. We need Your help to even think about these things. Help us to have the faith of Abraham to hold on to You. Please work out Your will within us.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ishmael and Hagar in the Wilderness

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. Genesis 21:14-20

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

God has given approval to send Ishmael and Hagar away with almost nothing. It looks as though they will die in the wilderness but when Hagar gives up on life God steps in to help them. God has promised to make him a great nation, for Abraham’s sake and what He promises He will follow through with. God rescues them and establishes them.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You that when You promise something You will do it. Help us to hold on to You even when it looks like we will die for obeying You. Help us to hold on to You by faith and even though we might die yet You are there to watch over us and to help us to accomplish Your holy will. Thank You that we can have an experience with You like Abraham had.