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Genesis 32-36


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                               
Thru the Bible in a Year
Genesis 32-36
January 13              
               Finally, fearful of his uncle’s anger and unwillingness to let him depart, Jacob flees in secret only to be caught by Laban. Having been warned by God in a dream, he is willing to let by-gones be by-gones but wants the family idols which his daughter Rachel has stolen. Rachel lies to her father, allows her husband to fly into (a totally unjustified) self-righteous rage, and manages to keep the idols for herself.
            Problems in the East quickly give way to problems in the West, however, as Jacob must now live through his meeting with this brother Esau. It’s been nearly 20 years since the two brothers last met, and given what he's taken from his brother, Jacob is entitled to some serious concerns regarding this meeting. Once again, God has prepared the way and all the preparations and gifts Jacob brings prove unnecessary. Jacob receives a new name from God, Israel, signifying a new beginning. Meanwhile Esau is glad to have his brother back!
            Following a terrible incident with the people in Shechem, Jacob once again is blessed by God, but before he can settle into his new life, Rachel dies during the birth of her second son, Benjamin. With Isaac’s death, a few years later, Jacob becomes the head of the family.
            The progression of our lives is often uneven and the outcomes unpredictable. We may end up differently than we planned when we started out. We may find peace at the very point we expected to find disaster (as in the meeting between Jacob and his long-unseen brother). It is also true that at the very point we're finally able to enjoy of lives, new troubles or challenges can occur
(as in the death of Rachel for Jacob).
            Given the uncertainties and surprises of life it's extremely important to have some kind of solid, reliable ground on which to walk through them. For Jacob, God provides this solidity and security in His covenant. For us God has provided an even greater Source of confidence:  the Savior, Jesus Christ. By His death on the Cross, He proves once-and-for-all that God will allow nothing to stand between us and His love. In the Resurrection, God demonstrates once-and-for-all He has the power to back up His desire for our lives.
            Do you ever feel victimized by circumstance?  As you read the Bible, notice how many times God prepares the way, or overcomes some obstacle or protects His people at a critical point. What He did for Jacob He does for us.
            Today, ask God to show you some way in which you're not trusting Him enough. Then, without setting aside your responsibility to do the best you can in every situation, make a conscious choice to believe that God will work things out.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2011