Bible Pathways - Jan. 9, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
As the great patriarch Abraham dies, we meet Isaac's family — his wife Rebekah and their twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Do you find similarities between yourself and Jacob or Esau as God reveals their weaknesses, failures, and blessings?
At the age of 40 Isaac married Rebekah, but for 20 years they had no children. Then in answer to prayer on behalf of his childless wife, Rebekah gave birth to twins. But before their birth an unusual incident occurred which caused her to inquire of the Lord (Genesis 25:22). Jehovah revealed to her the elder shall serve the younger (25:23).
Isaac favored Esau, the firstborn, who became a man of the world with no spiritual interest. Jacob derived his inspiration from Rebekah, who through spiritual insight, never forgot the miraculous message from God that Jacob would rule.
As Isaac grew old and blind, he decided to impart the Abrahamic Covenant. But disregarding the words of Jehovah to Rebekah, Isaac was determined to confer the sacred covenant blessing on his favorite son, Esau, even though Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a single meal (25:34) and married heathen women (26:34).
Instead of building an altar unto God as he had done in the past when he faced a spiritual crisis, Isaac asked for a banquet. And make me savoury meat (his favorite food), such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die (Genesis 27:4). After eating, he planned to pronounce the Abrahamic Covenant upon Esau (27:1-4).
Isaac was almost blind (27:1), but his most serious problem was that he allowed his worldly desires to overcome his spiritual responsibilities (Proverbs 3:6).
God overruled Isaac's evil plan by allowing Rebekah to overhear the conversation. She courageously risked a curse from Isaac (27:13) in order to see fulfilled the prophetic message which had been given to her before the children were born (25:22-23). Jacob also desired to fulfill the priceless honor promised to Abraham and his descendants.
Jesus illustrated this spiritual characteristic with a parable by saying the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46).
Thought for Today:
All children need to be taught the importance of reading the Word of God (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6).
As the spiritual Seed that would bless all the nations of the earth (Genesis 26:4). Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. . . . as of one . . . which is Christ (Gal. 3:16).
25:6 concubines =econdary wives without inheritance rights; 25:8 gave up the ghost =ied; 25:16 castles =ettlements or villages; 25:21 intreated =rayed earnestly; was intreated of him =ranted his plea; 25:23 two nations =acob and Esau — the founders of two rival nations — the Israelites and the Edomites (36:9); 25:27 a man of the field = man of the world; plain =pright, undefiled; 25:29 sod =ooked, boiled; 25:33 Swear to me =romise me solemnly; 26:3 Sojourn =ive temporarily; 26:8 sporting with =howing loving affection; 26:9 of a surety =learly; 26:10 lightly =gnorantly; have lien =ad sexual relations; 26:11 charged =arned; 26:13 waxed =ecame; 26:14 store =ousehold; 26:19 springing =unning; 26:20 did strive =uarreled; 26:31 betimes =arly; 27:15 goodly raiment =hoice clothes; 27:19 badest =old; 27:28 fatness =est; 27:33 taken =unted and prepared; 27:37 corn =rain; 27:43 as touching thee =oncerning you.
Pray for The Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bruce & Joyce Rutherford's Anniversary • Staff: Joe Brashier • Government Official: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% Other/non-Religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers be praise to the Lord (Psalm 150:6).
Optional Reading: Matthew 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:8