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Bible Pathway - Jan. 11, 2010


Genesis 31

Highlights In Today's Reading:

An exciting climax to the personal problems and struggles Jacob has encountered in his life and thus far overcome. Laban and his sons are jealous of Jacob's blessings. Jacob flees; covenant between Laban and Jacob; Jacob's intense wrestling in prayer; God changes his name to Israel. Esau and 400 men are coming (32:3-21; 33:1).

Verses for Today:

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 (Gen. 32:28).
God, in a remarkable way, had blessed Jacob in many ways during his 20 years working for Laban. But the greed and jealousy of Laban and his sons resulted in a hostile attitude toward Jacob, the servant of God. The LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers . . . and I will be with thee. . . . I am the God of Bethel, where thou . . . vowedst a vow (made a pledge) unto Me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred (31:3,13).

Jacob left Laben with his 2 wives, 2 concubines, 11 sons and 1 daughter, and many servants and flocks. Esau, who had maliciously threatened to kill Jacob (27:41-45), was approaching with 400 men and Jacob was greatly afraid (32:3,6-7).

Jacob was left alone and he earnestly prayed all night, reminding the Lord that He had said: Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee (32:9). There is a lesson to be learned from Jacob. We need to know what God has said, and then we too need to rely on His promises. Most important, Jacob was praying for the fulfillment of the Covenant promise concerning the Messiah that God had made to His grandfather Abraham (22:18; 26:4; comp. Acts 3:25).

This godly servant of the Lord spent the night alone with God, prevailing in prayer. Following this, he was conferred with the highest honor given by God to any man in Old Testament history: 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 (overcome) (Gen. 32:28).

Through the centuries, the people of God would be called by his name — Israelites. Through his son Judah, Jesus the Messiah was promised (49:10).

Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13:24; Matthew 7:13-14). We too are in a covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Savior and our Mediator, who declared that the Christian life also requires struggle.

Thought for Today:

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Christ Revealed:

As the Angel (Messenger) of God who guides and provides our necessities (Gen. 31:11-13; Matt. 6:33; John 10:30).

Word Studies:

31:2 not toward him =not favorable; 31:7 suffered =permitted; 31:15 counted of him =considered by him as; devoured also our money =spent the money he got for us as dowries; 31:18 of his getting =which he acquired; 31:19 images =household idols; 31:30 longedst after =are homesick for; 31:31 peradventure =perhaps; 31:34 furniture =saddle; 31:36 wroth =angry; chode with =reprimanded; 31:50 afflict =mistreat; 31:52 over =beyond; 32:8 smite =attack; 32:10 bands =camps; 32:12 seed =descendants; 32:13 came to his hand =he had received; 32:15 kine =cows; 32:16 drove =herd; 32:21 company =camp; 32:31 halted =limped; 33:2 hindermost =last; 33:13 tender =weak, frail; 33:14 softly =slowly; 33:17 booths =temporary shelters.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Elizabeth Farace • Staff: Bernice Rathbone (retired) • Government Official: Rep. Michael Turner (OH) • Country: South Korea (46.9 million) in northeastern Asia • Major languages: Korean and English • Religious freedom • 48% Christian; 40% Buddhist; 3% Confucian; 9% Shamanism; Chodogyo, Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for godly discernment to know His will (Ezek. 44:23).

Optional Reading: Matthew 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23

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