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Notice that God calls Jacob out of the place he had purchased and told him to return to Bethel, "The House of God". God has called us to separate from the world, to be santified or set apart for his service. It was interesting that Esau seems to have voluntarily removed his family, flocks and heards out of the land that Isaac had blessed Jacob with. It wasn't necessary for Jacob to do anymore trickery to get what God had promised him. Perhaps Jacob "Israel" has turned a corner and is no longer a deceiver, but rather takes his petitions before the Lord.

I really like verse 21 of Matthew 12: "the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers." The name of Jesus is sweet, signals hope and offers healing to all. Paul tells us in his epistle that "at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow..." This tells us that there is also power and authority in the name of Jesus. "There is no other name under heaven, given among men wherby we must be saved." This reminds us that there is salvation in the name of Jesus.
"Jesus is the sweetest name I know!"

The passage in Proverbs jumped out at me today. I admit to you all that 5-1/2 years ago, I was tied into knots worrying over the "Dread Y2K Bug" I was full of fear and spent hours and lots of dollars planning and scheming for ways to survive the impending doom. My time would have been better spenting reading and obeying God's word: "No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because GOD will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound."

Walk with Emmanuel "God right there with you",
Mark

Genesis 33:1-36:43

Although Jacob has wrestled with God and prevailed, although his name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28) in the previous chapter to signify his reliance upon God, Jacob gave his brother, Esau, a deceptive answer to a question. He implied that he was heading with Esau back to Seir, the place where Esau had settled. However, Jacob, headed toward Cannon as God had directed him. Jacob meant heal grabber, supplanter, deceiver but God had given him a new name and confirmed it a second time, Israel, but he was still acting like a Jacob. Fear of man will have you acting like the nature God has delivered you from. I heard a preacher say this once, “When we get Saved, we are moved to a new address. However no one can find us there because we are still hanging out at the old address,” something to think about. Am I an “Israel” acting like a Jacob?

Whether God tells Jacob to get rid of the idols within the households in the camp is not stated, but Jacob does just that. This shows that as we walk in our deliverance we can still be carrying elements from our past lives. I don’t know if the terror of God came upon all the towns so that no one attacked them as they traveled because of Jacob’s obedience to God’s command to build an alter and worship, as well as the purging of everything that wasn’t of God, but God clearly subdued the nations around them so they wouldn’t attack. When I cry out to God to subdue my enemies have I done so from a place of cleansing and idol disinvesting?

The deaths of Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, Rebekah and Isaac are recorded and we enter the chapter of names, names and more names: hard names that I can’t pronounce and which have a meaning and reason for being recorded, even if I don’t know why. It is always a good thing to read through the names, no matter how “dry” the reading may seem. I have found some interesting relationships, surprising to say the least, which have explained some rebellious behaviors and or deepened the depths of some heinous crimes. I’ve yet to find any things in Esau’s family tree that has made me go, Hmmm, yet. Although I have taken note of the lists of kings in chapter 36. Kings come and then they go. Their rule may be good or bad but their effect on man is limited by their life span be it a natural death or an assassination. Jesus is the only eternal King that has ever ruled.

Matthew 12:1-21

Jesus ticks off the “religious folks” by breaking their laws. Laws they made out of false reasons to keep folks religious. The religious leaders knew the laws and applied them to ever aspect of their lives and to the lives of others, but the one thing they didn’t know was God who wrote and gave them the laws, they didn’t know the purpose of the laws. You can do all the right things for the wrong reasons, their motivation for keeping the laws were wrong. They had a desire to elevate themselves instead of the Holy God who wrote those laws. They were looking to accuse Jesus of working on the Sabbath so they could charge Him with blasphemy. But because it wasn’t Jesus’ time yet, all their efforts fell short.

Jesus put them to shame by applying rightly the scriptures they knew so well but didn’t know how to use. So their accusation charging the disciples of working on the Sabbath because they took a couple of grains of wheat to feed themselves, because they were hungry, became the charge that embarrassed them. Please note that this was on the Sabbath day, the day that people came to the Temple or the synagogue to here the Word of God discussed and taught. Jesus is called the Bread of Life and bread is made from wheat. I don’t know if I’m going off on a tangent but I just saw this in this reading. The disciples are breaking off heads of wheat to eat because they were hungry, the wheat representing the Bread of Life, Jesus. People were going to the temple to be fed Spiritual Food, yet the religious leaders were symbolically trying to stop the disciples, as well as the people, from feeding off of that “Bread of Life.”

It is a sad event indeed to flock to the place where one is supposed to be fed with spiritual food and find the pantry empty. It has already been stated that the crowds were like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36) The role of the shepherd is to feed the sheep, yet the ones assigned to do that were not doing their job. What is the state of our churches, are people being fed?

Jesus also stopped them from making a second accusation of working on the Sabbath. By not laying his hands on the man with the withered hand, they could not accuse him of being a Sabbath Breaker.
Psalm 15:1-5

The question of who may worship in the sanctuary of the Lord, a psalm of David, is answered by a man who sought God’s forgiveness because he could not keep them the answers without offering up sacrifices to cover his sins. But God said of David, He is a man after God’s own heart. I know that some of us are dealing with the problem of what we desire to see in the men and woman of the Old Testament and what they actually were in flesh and blood. Yet of David, he was a man after God’s own heart. A question to ponder, “What does it mean to be after God’s own heart?

Everything that the person does to be able to “stand firm forever” (verse 5), means that that person is not concerned about what other folks think or say about them. Example: If you refuse to slander others (verse 3), when you are standing at your front door or in the market place at your job and gossip walks up to you and starts giving you an earful, whether you deflect their talk as gracious as Miss Manners or you stop them cold, they will talk about you. If you lead a blameless life you won’t do it in a box somewhere because people are always watching, you will be called a “goody-two-shoes” and folks will be waiting to see you fall. You can’t run with the crowd and fulfill the last verse in the Psalm. We want everyone to like us. We want to be Holy, but not too holy. I struggle with this all the time. There goes that bible lady…

Proverbs 3:21-26
Insight and good planning can only be done under the umbrella of godly Wisdom. Godly Wisdom or hanging with the Ph.D. wise, the MBA wise, that is the dilemma. Praises of God or the praises of men, we get to choose.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Ramona,
Your wise comments all ways touch me in either shame or in aggreement. Thanks you for you extensive study and great council. I am sure like all of us you are probably teaching your self along with us.

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