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Genesis 31:17-32:12

The intensity of Jacob’s flight from Labon’s household can be picked up by the 18th verse of chapter 31, He drove the flocks in front of him… Shepherds, at least Middle Eastern shepherds didn’t drive their sheep, they led the sheep. Note, The Lord is my Shepherd…He leadeth me.“ Jacob was relying on stealth and speed to protect him from his father-in-law and not the promise of God. I think it was difficult for Jacob to really believe that what God had said to him and given him as a promise. Jacob was a man who had incorporated deception and use of his skillful tongue to weave him in and out of situations, trying to obtain control, thus the words that came out of his mouth, which were not founded on truth predisposed him to not be able to believe in the Words of God.

The same principal applies to us today, if we are not dealing in truth in our own lives, it is very difficult to near impossible to believe the Words of God. When Laban catches up to Jacob’s party of travelers, the conversation between the two give a window into the lives of two men who lived by deceit and manipulation. They are not listening to each other, they try to anticipate the others intent and speak out of turn and off topic of what question was askd by the other and they don’t answer the accusations each brings up. When the topic of household gods are brought up, Rachel gets in on that dance of trickery.

And what about those household gods? Why were they taken from Laban’s home? Was it a way to get back at her father, or was the woman Jacob loved attributing powers to them? Both Laban and Jacob mention call out the name of God but not as their God. He is the God of my ancestors, the God of Nahor and Isaac, but not their God. Is there this duality, this double mindedness of gods and a Big God of all the other little gods operating in both households? Do I have unseen household gods in my home as I call on the creator of the Universe to get my prayers answered. Who do I call on first when I am in trouble, feel put upon and pulled from every direction, or is God my last resort after I have called on the other gods in my household?

As Jacob approaches his home country, the guilt he has for his former behavior toward Esau is manifested by the unease and danger he feels when he hears that Esau and an army of 400 men are coming to meet him. Guilt, real or false, will take over our imaginations and cause us to mentally picture every punishment we think we deserve And along with that punishment we will mentally construct 50 million ways to remedy and take away that guilt.

Matthew 10:24-11:6

I too like Mike became stuck on the take up your cross statement of Jesus in verse 38 of the 10th chapter of Matthew. Within the context of verses 32-39, it seems that this cross is the fall-out one will experience when you align yourself with Christ in the midst of an unbelieving family, and in some cases in the midst of a believing family if you don’t believe like they do.

34"Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. 35I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36Your enemies will be right in your own household! 37If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

I find that chapter eleven is both and encouragement and a warning to me. If what I think Jesus should be doing doesn’t happen, I should not dwell in doubt but change my expectation. John the Baptist was in prison. He had done carried out the assignment God had given him. He baptized Jesus and seen the Holy Spirit enter Jesus and heard the voice of God. Yet he was in doubt because he was stuck in the prison cell waiting for the overthrow of the Roman government, that wasn’t happening. So he found himself saying, “Jesus, are you the one?” What do I do when what I want God to do on my behalf is not done? Will I stand, after having done all to stand?

Psalm 13:1-6
I believe, help my unbelief. This is the cry that seems to be in the heart of the psalmist David. Two-thirds of this Psalm seems to be questioning God and where He is in the affairs and life of the speaker, and the last one-third acknowledges the speaker’s trust in the one true God. This is “me” in time of crises. “God do you care? Are you here, there, anywhere?” But then something rises up within me and I can proclaim with certainty that I know that God is with me, sometimes.

Proverbs 3:16-18
Ah, this is the place where Wisdom is personified as a woman, I love it. Well to be truthful on the other side of the street lives folly, also a woman. Smile!

Grace and peace,

Ramona

We are right in the middle of another discourse by Jesus, Matthew 9:35-10:42. Matthew 10:38(NAS) "And He who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." It is demanded of followers of Christ to be allegiant to Him, even to death. Yes, follow Him everyday!

I like Matthew 11:5 because it is basicly Jesus telling John, His credentials of "being The King." v11 "the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them."

Psalm 13:5-6 "(5)But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. (6) I will sing to the Lord Because he has dealt bountifully with me."
So we are to give God ALL the praise when He delivers us out of sicknesses, darkness, and troubles. I always try to give God the praise for everything going on in my life no matter the situation.

God Bless

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