January 10

Read Genesis 28 -- 30

In Today's Reading:

Abrahamic Covenant conferred upon Jacob; vision of Jacob's ladder; journey to Paddan-aram; Jacob's marriages to Leah and Rachel.

When Isaac realized that God had overruled his scheme to confer the God-ordained birthright of Jacob upon Esau, he began to tremble uncontrollably (Genesis 27:33). He quickly conferred with Rebekah, not to accuse her of any wrongdoing, but to decide how best to plan for Jacob's future. If Jacob violated the word of God in marrying an idol-worshiping woman, as Esau had done, Rebekah asked: What good is my life? (27:46). Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him: Don't take a wife from the Canaanite women. Go at once to Paddan-aram. . . . Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and . . . give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham (28:1-4). This was an obvious admission of how wrong Isaac had been in his attempt to defraud Jacob.

However, Esau was quick to blame Jacob for his trouble, saying: He (Jacob) has taken my blessing (27:36). Esau is typical of sinners who irresponsibly blame someone else for their failures.

Isaac lived 43 years after his attempt to thwart God's plan, but there is no record of him being used again of God. For Jacob, however, his remarkable blessings began on his first night away from home.

Without map or companion, but according to the exact plan of God, Jacob left home on his journey of more than 500 miles and arrived safely in Paddan-aram. God marvelously guided him to Rachel and the home of his mother's father, where he was received with a warm welcome (28:2).

Just as it is with everyone who lives to please the Lord, Jacob's life was set apart for a purpose. When Christians realize this truth, their attitude toward their marriage partners, workplace, physical limitations, and hardships will be seen as in the will of God.

At a much later date, Jacob's son Joseph would be sold as a slave by his brothers. But, 20 years later he would say to them: You planned evil against me; God planned it for good (Genesis 50:20).

Christ Revealed:

As the Lord whose unseen presence protects (Genesis 28:13-16).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Roy Blunt (MO), Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA), Rep. Lois Capps (CA), and Rep. Greg Walden (OR) · Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group · Religious freedom · 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to teach you His ways (Psalms 27:11).

Optional Reading: Matthew 10

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3