Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hello Friends,
We made it back home safely and exhausted Friday evening after a wonderful and wild week in the Dominican Republic. I say wonderful because our mission team experienced the hand of God working through and for us. It was wild because we had 250-300 unchurched children to teach.I thought I'd report today while it was fresh on my mind and then we can get back to our study in Genesis on Monday.

Friday-Our flights went well and on time. We were picked up at the airport by the first half of our team who had spent last week in another town in the D.R. doing ESL classes and traveling the area preaching in small rural churches.
We rented 2 vans in which all 16 of us traveled. We spent the night in Santiago, where the airport is located, at the same nice hotel as last year, and rested up from the day of airports and customs. (The younger ones of the team went to a movie. I didn't ask if it was in Spanish.)

Saturday-We loaded up and traveled 2 hours to the northwest part of the country, by vans, reaching our destination of Monte Christi, a town of approximately 12,000. After settling into our home for the week, we visited and discussed the itinerary for the week. (Did I mention the spiders and 2 inch cock roaches, as well as dirty sheets?) We enjoyed daily getting together in the hotel's outdoors cafe, drinking the local coffee and colas. Zooming motorcycles and Jamaican music were always our entertainment. When we were in town, we would have our relaxing yet festive meals at the pastor's home. (We bought the food and local ladies cooked for us. Fresh local juices and fruits of all sorts were available. Did I mention rice at almost every meal?) All in all, the food was delicious and edible, of which we were grateful.

Sunday-We taught all the Sunday School lessons(various ages) at Monte Christi while others in our team went to Los Conucos for worship. At L.C. 4 children came to Christ. The rest of us joined them and taught Sunday School at L.C. What a way to start the week! I told them the story of Jesus.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday-We held Vacation Bible School in the local church at Monte Christi. I taught the younger elementary children, with 65-70 in my class alone. We met in the old church building next door to the new, larger one. Our curriculum was the same, Zacheus, Noah, Saul/Paul.
We had a preschool and a youth class, plus an adult and youth ESL class. We averaged 250 each morning. Every day I would include the plan of salvation for the unchurched children to hear. Each of us had an interpreter, which was challenging. I saw how the refreshments, puppets, and craft added to the excitement of the children. We broke ground and planted the seed of the gospel in this community. That was why God had sent each of us-showing and telling about the love of Jesus.

On Wednesday night, the concrete block, hot, not air conditioned church was packed with children and parents for the VBS commencement. It was an exciting time as the children quoted verses and sang new songs. The ESL class sang Jesus Loves Me in English, not Spanish, as well. Although we saw no numbers saved in M.C., the Lord was moving upon the people.
Each evening, various ones of our team would travel to rural churches, preaching the Word, as well as there in the local church.
Before leaving, we distributed bracelets and candy to the children. I know we stirred up the community for Christ. Next year, we expect more children and some fruit of this year's labors.

Wednesday afternoon, we drove 45 minutes through the brush on a dirt road in order to swim in the ocean and gather sea shells. It was a quiet, relaxing time that was well needed after such a busy 4 days.

Thursday-We said our good byes to the pastor and ladies then headed back to Santiago for a few hours of shopping, a good night's sleep, and a hot shower before flying back to the states. How blessed we are to have friends around the world and believers in Jesus, too.

Friday-We left 3 of our team behind in Santiago to conduct a youth camp next week and a newly wed young couple which were extending their honeymoon to a resort on the island. Please remember them in your prayers this week. The team split up again as our flight connections sent us to different cities of Dallas, Chicago, and even an overnight stay in Miami. Everyone made it safely back home, the last word I received.

We appreciate all the prayers sent up for us. God was so good in protecting us and meeting our needs.
So far, no one got sick.

I trust there is another adventure awaiting as I walk this country road of faith. Only God knows
where it will lead next. How blessed I am to be able to go teach His Word to those who have not heard it before. How blessed I am to be able to be a missionary in another way, writing Bible
lessons that go throughout the world viva internet.

So here I am. I finished a glass of tea on my quiet, cool, front porch swing contemplating what to write this morning. Now I'm ready for another glass. Won't you join me Monday as we dig into Genesis? I'm sure this isn't the last you have heard about my trip. Oh, I didn't mention all the gorgeous flowers of all colors, palm trees, banana trees, coconut trees, rice fields, people, dark skinned children and brown-eyed babies, blue and green oceans, swamps, mountains, huts, white fluffy clouds, armed guard stops, the van accident, etc.......

Love ya'll,


Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday, June 28-Flights home

Pray for the safety of both teams as they travel back to the U.S. and home to Arkansas. We will be split up on 3 different flight schedules.
Pray that others will see Jesus in them even in their journey home and may God start preparaing the hearts of those who will go next year. Thank Him for the seeds that were planted and the salvations.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

*Thank you sweet friends in Jesus for faithfully praying for us this week. Hopefully, I can give you a report of all that happened and the Lord's working.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday, June 27

Please pray for safety as we all travel back to Santiago and wrap up our mission trip. Please pray for a special blessing on those who have given up their lives to serve Christ. Also, help us to remember everything that He has done for us and to be humbled not only for the experience, but for the price and dedication that He showed us due to His unfailing love.

Psalms 150 Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday, June 26-VBS/ESL, and evening services @ Monte Christi

Please pray for the final day of VBS and worship service. Pray for blessings upon the workers and people of the D.R. as we continue to share with them the good news of Jesus.

2 Samuel 22:50 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday, June 25-VBS/ESL and evening worship @ Villa Vasquez and Mazanillo

Please continue to pray for the children and workers as we continue to share and build relationships with the children and adults at VBS.
Pray for salvations at the evening services, too.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday, June 24-Vacation Bible School/ESL, worship @ 
Las Matas and Los Conucos

Please pray that we have lots of children to share the free love and gift of salvation of God to. Please pray for their families as they may come with them to learn as well. Also, salvation in both evening services.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunday, June 23 @ Monte Cristi and Los Conucos

Please pray for all of our mission team as we are teaching Sunday School lessons  and preaching in two churches in the morning.
Pray for salvation of those attending both services.

Ephesians 2:8-9 for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Saturday, June 22
Please pray for our safe travel to Monte Christi and relax.

Colossians 1:16-17 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Here is our itinerary for mission trip to the Dominican Republic:
June 21-Fly to D.R. and join first team

Please pray for a safe travel to Santiago.(Arrive 8:40pm) and the pastor and family preparing for our ministry in Monti Christi.

Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

I have listed prayer requests for each day of our trip. You can have a part in our mission work if you will you join us in prayer daily
for our mission team.
Thank you dear ones for helping us share the love of Jesus around the world. We are reaching northwest Dominican Republic for Jesus.

Are Your Reservations Made?

O.T.#74 "Are Your Reservations Made?
June 21, 2012
Genesis 35-Part 4
Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years.
Genesis 35:29a  NIV


When I have reservations made for an airplane flight, I know what the time of its departure is.
I get my things ready to take and pack my bags. Then I arrive at our regional airport at least an hour ahead of the time designated for the plane's departure. Even though I know that I'll be sitting around waiting for the time to pass, I still make preparations to be there early. I don't want to miss my flight, nor do I want my bags left behind.

I'm excited to tell you that I have reservations made for me to arrive in heaven some day. Jesus has already made them for me. He even paid the air fare, too. The only thing is, I don't know the time of my departure. But that's where faith comes in. I'm ready to go any time. The older I get, the closer
it  seems. Have you made preparations for your departure? Has your reservation in heaven already been made? Jesus is the only ticket that will get you there. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him.

Today, we are wrapping it up for Isaac. Jacob had to race against time in order to get back to
Mamre, known as Hebron, some 22 miles south of Jerusalem. When Jacob left his father after the deception and blessings, he thought Isaac was at death's door, some 20 years earlier. But Jacob has the opportunity to see his father one last time before Isaac dies. Our times are in God's hands. Only
God knows how long or short our life will be.

Verse 29 describes Isaac as being old and full of days. That phrase intrigued me, so I kept hunting until I found a commentary explaining.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible says:
It means Isaac had fulfilled the course of his life; he departed by a mature death, which is ascribed to the blessing of God. It refers not only to the duration of his life, but also to the state of his feelings; implying that Isaac, being satisfied with life, willingly and placidly departed out of the world. When they have one foot in the grave, some decrepit old men have a horror of death. Being satisfied with the favor of God and with their own age prepares themselves for their departure. 
How about you and me, are we satisfied with what we have accomplished with our life? Are we ready and willing for death come take us away today? Have we completed the tasks God has for
us? Are we obeying Him right now? Are we fulfilling our course of life predestined for us?


We have already said good bye to one of our patriarchs-Abraham, who lived 175 years. Now his
son Isaac, who lived 180 years, died. They were both buried at Mamre, along with Sarah and Ishmael. This was the land and cave which Abraham purchased for the family burial back in
It is good to see that Jacob and Esau were still at peace with each other. They came together again
in order to bury their father.
Poor Jacob, he had planned on seeing his mother after 20 years, but she too had passed away before
it happened. What an accumulation of trying times. Jacob lost his wife Rachel when she gave birth to Benjamin. Death is hanging around this family, isn't it?
So that's where we leave Jacob for a while. The next chapter discusses Esau's family and their


Make sure your reservation is made in heaven.

Get ready for your departure from this world.

Trust Jesus as the only way to get there.

Leave my baggage of sin behind.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The First Born Messes Up

O.T. #73  "The First Born Messes Up" 
June 20, 2013
Genesis 35-Part 3
And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah
his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 
Genesis 35:22


Does it really matter, the order in which you were born? It did back in the Old Testament days. Maybe it doesn't so much now a days. but it did back then. I am the youngest of three children,
so I was called the baby of the family. Ugh! Here I am, almost 60 years old and still the baby of
the family. I wasn't so bad growing up. I got away with a lot of things that my older siblings didn't.
he he! Well, today, we aren't talking about the last born child, but the first-born child in Jacob's
tribe of 12 children. He messed up big time. Are you interested? Read on friends.

First, let's talk about something good. In verses 23-26, we read of the twelve sons of Jacob. They are listed according to their mothers instead of chronologically. They are presented according to legal priorities. Things changed because of one single act by Reuben, found in verse 22. However, grace abounds. We'll discuss it in a few minutes.

According to Revelation 21:12, the New Jerusalem will have a great and high wall with 12 gates,
and the names of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel are written on these gates.

How fantastic is that! This chosen and blessed family, with all its messes, will have that recognition for eternity. God has a plan and is working that plan. In Revelation 5:5, Jesus is referred to as the
Lion of the tribe of Judah. We're talking about the Messiah-Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What an honor for them. Aren't you happy for them? And to think, spiritually, we are sons and daughters of Abraham, brothers and sisters of Jesus. And we get to live in that new city prepared for Jerusalem.
The King of kings and Lord of lords will be reigning there. Wow! I can hardly wait to see and experience it. And this King Jesus will know my name. How humbling! Glory to Your Name,
sweet Jesus!

Will Jesus call your name in heaven? Better make sure today that He will. Death can be closer than we think.


There is sin in the camp. Reuben, the eldest son, had sex with Bilhah, his father's concubine, the mother of Dan and Naphtali, the handmaid of Jacob's wife Rachel. This shocking act changed everything for Reuben the rest of his life.

Referring to chapter 49, Liberty Bible Commentary describes the situation this way:
Jacob's first-born was a cause both of rejoicing and heartache. He should have received both the birthright (which went to Judah) and the blessing (to Joseph), and he lost them both! His father called him unstable as water, which literally means a boiling over of water, a vivid metaphor for unstable emotions. History gives witness that Reuben never did influence the nation of Israel significantly after his fornication with Bilhah. No prophet, judge, or hero ever came from this tribe; and when Isaiah lamented for the land east of Jordan in Isaiah 15, he only mentioned Moab.
Leah was Reuben's mother, who was Rachel's sister, and Jacob's first wife. You recall that Jacob
was tricked by Laban after working 7 years for Rachel. Laban gave Leah to Jacob instead of his beloved Rachel.

Not only are there sorrows in the family of the dedicated believer, but there are also sins. Sin never brings blessing; it is always costly. (Wiersbe)

How many years has this story of Reuben's mess up been read and told?

Pleasure may be for the night, but the consequences come in the morning. Why don't we stop and think about what we are doing? Why don't we consider how our actions and words effect others?


Resist temptations to sin.

Stop and think about the consequences of my words and actions and how they effect others.

Thank You Jesus for letting me be in Your family.

Trust Him for my present and future.

*I'm packing and getting ready for our mission trip to the Dominican Republic tomorrow. I'm trying to continue writing lessons before I leave.
We will meet up with the first team, who is already doing ESL classes and evening services in various churches in the northwest region of the island. Please remember us daily in your prayers.
I will be teaching Sunday School at 2 different churches to children on Sunday. Then, teaching
VBS lessons to children for the next 3 days. I ask for the Holy Spirit's direction and salvation of
all those who hear the gospel this week.
I'm not sure if we will have access to internet where we will be, so probably I won't be updating
my experiences.However, check in daily just in case. Others may have the knowledge and
I love you all and appreciate your faithfulness to read my writings. I feel like you are going with
me on this trip where my country road goes. We're excited with anticipation as we depend upon
the Lord Jesus and go in grace.

Serving in Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Returning Home

O.T.#72  "Returning Home"
June 19, 2012
Genesis 35-Part 2
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blesssed him.
Genesis 35:9


We struck out on our own, the four of us, back in 1980. Our children were ages 3 and 1. We were following God's leading for our lives. The first step was to get a  college degree while serving in
the pastorate. We were gone 17 years from our home area, our home church where we were both baptized and we were married, and the area where our two children were born. That was a long
time, 17 years, yet it flew by, too. We had so many lessons to learn about our God and life in general. We were excited when God led us back to a church in that area. We have still remained
here 16 years, serving God in the same church and association. Oh the experiences we have experienced! Yet, if we had never stepped out in faith, we would not have experienced them. I
don't regret any of it. How faithfully our God provided! I wonder if Jacob was excited to return to Canaan. Shall we see.

Finally, Jacob gets back to Bethel. It's been a long time coming, his getting back into God's will.
I recon he learned a few lessons while out there on his own-went to Haran, worked 14 years for 2 wives, had 12 sons and at least one daughter, endured a deceiving father in law, sorrows and trials, and got homesick (maybe).

God appeared to Jacob again, in verse 9. This time, God:
  • reaffirmed Jacob's new name-Israel;
  • told him a nation and a community of nations would be from Jacob;
  • said kings would be in his lineage;
  • gave the land given to Abraham and Isaac to Jacob and his 12 sons.
Jacob built an altar, a pillar of stone, offered a drink offering and poured oil upon it. He worshiped at Bethel and renewed his fellowship with God.

Doesn't it help encourage us when we hear about the promises of God for His children, about our future home in heaven? Are you walking by faith where you are?


Jacob traveled three times in chapter 35 (verses 5, 16, 21). God had called him to go "back to Bethel"
after being gone 20 years. What is so special about Bethel? It was the place of the Jacob's vision
and vow.

When a person is backslidden,(as Jacob was) there is nothing else for him to do but go back to the place of dedication and renew his vows. The only place for sin is in the grave. (Wiersbe)

There are four graves mentioned in this chapter:
  1. the grave of the idols (verse 4) Before Jacob could take his tribe, family, back to the altar,  they had to clean house-get rid of the idols and jewelry associated with heathen worship by burying them.
  2. Deborah's grave (verse 8) She was Rebekah's nurse; Jacob's mother was Rebekah.; when Rebekah left her home to go marry Jacob's father, she took her damsels with her. That's all all I could find about Deborah. She must have been in the family so long that she was like family. She must have been important for God to mention her in His Word.
  3. Rachel's grave (verse 19) Rachel gave birth to her second son, Benoni, and then she died. (Joseph was Benjamin's older brother.) Jacob called the boy Benjamin. Benoi means son of   my pain or son of my misfortune; while Benjamin means son of my right hand. (Falwell)    The memorial of Rachel could still be seen in Moses' day, about one mile north of Bethlehem    (verse 20). (MacArthur)            
  4. Isaac's grave (verse 29) Isaac was Jacob's father; Isaac's funeral brought Esau and Jacob together once again. Isaac was 180 years old when he died. 
Why mention these four graves? It puts the family into perspective-no idols were taken back to Bethel, only God is worshiped; the older generation passed away-Isaac; Jacob's beloved Rachel
is gone. Who does that leave? Israel, (Jacob's new name) and his 12 sons, later known as the     Twelve Tribes of Israel, and their 3 mothers.

It is a hard thing, burying a loved one. Yet, we learn to carry on without them. Does it make our
faith stronger or weaker?


Cling to God's promises; daily hunt for them in His Word.

Trust the Lord with my family.

Thank You Lord Jesus that You never leave us nor forsake us.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Time to Clean House

O.T. #71 "Time to Clean House"
June 18, 2013
Genesis 35-Part 1
And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there, and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Genesis 35:1
*Please pray for our son today. He is having some health issues.
If he has surgery, we can't go on our mission trip Friday. He works at our tire shop. Trusting God today; His will be done.

Guess what? I got a new vacuum cleaner for Mother's Day. I know it was a strange gift, but I actually did need one since the old vacuum stopped working. I really didn't consider that my
Mother's Day gift, although we purchased it that weekend. My husband did, however, so I let it be. I'm happy because it is light and easy to maneuver around things and does a great job cleaning.
Now I have no excuse for not cleaning the floors. Yes, every week, it's time to clean house. Did
you know Rachel and Leah were told to clean house? Are you curious? Read on dear friend. (It wasn't exactly in those words.)

Let's review for a moment. Jacob ran away from Esau and from Laban. Laban pursued Jacob and after a week caught up with him. Laban was looking for his idols, which Rachel had taken and did not return to her father. Laban and Jacob made a boundary agreement and separated on good terms. We recall that Esau had sworn to kill Jacob after deceiving their father into giving his first-born's (Esau) blessing to the younger son (Jacob). Jacob wasn't sure how Esau would treat him after having 20 years to stew on it. They had a good reunion and departed on good terms.

Jacob was told by God to return to Bethel, but he settled in Shechem instead. That's where his daughter Dinah was raped and two of his sons massacred all the men of the city. Now we're up to date. If only Jacob had obeyed completely, it would not have happened.

God spoke to Jacob again in chapter 35. This is the 5th of 7 times that is recorded of God speak-
ing to Jacob (31:3, 11-13; 32:1-2, 24-30; 35:1, 9-13; 46:1-4). God had intervened with directions
and defense in Jacob's life, just as God had promised. Now it was time for Jacob to hold up his part of the bargain-God would be his God.

Jacob was told to:
  • arise and go to Bethel and dwell there; (Jacob's dream about the ladder occurred there in chapter 28); where God confirmed the Abrahamic covenant to Jacob;
  • make an altar unto God, a place of worship of the one true God, Jehovah.
Jacob realized that God had answered him in his day of distress and was with him those 20 years.
Isn't God so faithful!

Am I listening for God's voice to speak to my heart? When was the last time we heard Him give
us directions, friend? Have we totally obeyed the last thing God told us to do?


What did Jacob tell  his household after God spoke to him?
  • Put away the strange gods that were among them; Rachel had brought her father's idols with them whenever they left Laban.
  • Be clean (bathe) and change their garments; This pictured both cleansing from defilement      by idolatry and consecration of the heart to the Lord; it was time to clean up heart and soul.
They gave Jacob their idols in their hands and earrings in their ears; (earrings were probably idolatrous significance as in Exodus 32:2-3). Jacob buried the idols and earrings under an oak tree near Shechem.
The tribe of Jacob was traveling again. This time it was a good thing-returning to a place where
God met Jacob and Jacob met God.

Are we willing to get rid of any ungodly thing in our house or any idols we've made in our life?
Is there anything that has taken God's place in our heart that we need to remove? A good time to ask Him.


Take inventory and clean house, my life of any idols.

Bury those things that are more important than my God.

Follow Jesus wherever He says go.

Obey fully, not half-heartily.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Don't Answer That Door

O.T.#70  "Don't Answer That Door""
June 17, 2013
Genesis 34-Part 1
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.  Genesis 34:1


She was about 14 years old, Dinah, when she went into town. She went to see the daughters of the land, scripture tells us. she just wanted some girlfriend talk time.
I remember being 14, naive to the ways of the world. I didn't think about the possibility of anything bad happening to me. I trusted everyone because I thought everyone could be trusted. But I didn't have to go anywhere to find out otherwise. The untrustworthy knocked on my door when I was
home alone. He was Dad's friend, so I knew him. We talked for a few minutes, then he wanted to come inside and wait for Dad. I refused and he left. It must have been God protecting me from harm, for I didn't realize his intent was to have his way with me. Dinah's story didn't have a good ending, though. (I learned to not answer every knock at the door.)

Jacob was told to go back to Bethel by God, but he didn't. He put his family in a place of temptation. I wonder if he regretted that decision. Do you regret any decisions you made in the
past? Do we care about where our children/grandchildren go and who they are with?


Why didn't one of Dinah's brothers accompany her to town? What about older brother Joseph? Maybe that would have prevented her rape by Shechem, a prince and son of Hamor.
Anyway, as it turned out, Shechem loved Dinah and wanted her for his wife. So the two fathers talked. Keep in mind that Jacob's family was not supposed to intermarry with the heathen people.

Sad to say, Jacob's sons were liars like their father. In fact, they used the sacred rite of circumcision to accomplish their wicked scheme. (Wiersbe)

What happened was two of Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, took their swords and killed all the
men of the city, including Shechem and Hamor, while they were healing from their circumcision.
But that wasn't enough, they captured their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of
theirs in the city and fields, including their families. Also, they returned Dinah to their father.
(When the guys were down, the brothers took advantage.)
When Jacob found out what his sons had done, he was more concerned with his own safety and welfare than he was with the sins of his family.

Vengeance exacted meant retaliation expected. Total loss of respect and peaceful relations put
both him and them in harm's way with survival being highly unlikely. (MacArthur)

Murder and theft, what a reputation for children of God; along with a daughter being raped and reputation as a harlot. Jacob had reason to be concerned for his family's safety. Weren't they
testing God's promise of safety?

What will happen next?


Forgive and forget, letting go of hurtful past things, then go on with Jesus.

Don't take advantage of people when they are down.

*Happy belated Father's Day to all you dads.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Let By Gones Be By Gones

O.T. #69  "Let By Gones Be By Gones" 
June 14, 2013
Genesis 33-Part 2
Let me find grace in the sight of my lord.  Genesis 33:15c


My family is not a close knit family. If we see each other years down the road, it seems to make everyone happy. I miss them, though. My husband's family is close, so it makes me wish mine
was. But because of hurt feelings, I don't think it will happen in my lifetime. Why can't people let
by gones be by gones? Forgive each other and go on with life. Life is too short to harber hurt feelings, don't you think?
When Jacob left home, it seemed that he and his twin brother would never have a happy meeting again, but it did happen. Want to check it out?

Jacob had a good visit with his twin brother Esau. The years of seperation must have mellowed
Esau. Time has a way of doing that. Jacob must have felt badly about all the deception and trickery he had used in order to their father to give him the first-born blessing instead of Esau. Jacob had
sent a large, generous gift of 550 animals from his flocks and herds to Esau as a peace offering
before their meeting, but Esau refused it the first time. Then Jacob insisted on his brother taking the gift when they met. It was Jacob's way of saying he was sorry. When Esau accepted the gift, it was his way of saying Jacob was forgiven. Their relationship was mended.

How far are we willing to go in order to mend relationships that are injured?


When it was time for the brothers to move on, Esau suggested he accompany Jacob (heading back
to Bethel). Jacob made an excuse of the baby animals and mothers would die if they moved too quickly. He stated that he'd have to go softly, which means gently. Then Esau offered to leave some servants with Jacob to lead the way, help with the herd, and protect them from any enemies. Jacob refused the offered escort, for he didn't intend to live next door to his brother. So Esau headed south.

Jacob wanted to have favor, grace, in his brother's eyes. Do I desire to receive grace from God?

Jacob's intention to meet up with his brother in Seir didn't materialize. He first stopped at Succoth, which is east of the Jordan River. Then he stopped at Shechem, which was 20 miles west of
Succoth, and 65 miles north of Jerusalem. Well, Jacob ended up north while Esau ended up south.
Jacob ended up in the land of Canaan, but not at Bethel, where God told him to return. It sounds
like partial obedience to me.
Jacob bought some land and settled in with his family and animals. He put up an altar and
called it El Elohe Israel, which means God, the God of Israel.

Approximately ten years time may have elapsed in Succoth before Jacob went to Shechem. Jacob erected an altar as Abraham had on his arrival (12:7). El Elohe Israel  indicates that Jacob was confessing, using his new name Israel, that El was his God, "a Mighty God is the God of Israel." (Falwell)

Do I go softly, gently, on my way? Do I try to justify my partial obedience? Is the God of Israel
the God of you, too?


Confess my sins and make relationships right with others.

Deal softly and gently with others.

Keep God first place in my life; seek grace, not discipline.

Forgive and forget.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Shoes

O.T.#68  "New Shoes"
June 13, 2013
Genesis 33-Part 1
And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.  Genesis 33:12


Since I try to stay faithful to my exercise regiment of walking more than 5 miles a week, my shoes get rather worn down and thin over time. So I bought a new pair to take on our mission trip. I sure don't want to forget to take them with me. I'll be on my feet a lot, teaching Bible stories, prayer walking, etc. so I knew it was needful for my journey. One thing I don't want to forget to take on my journey is Jesus. Instead of sitting around, I know He wants me to go with Him there and share the love of Jesus with children.  I am trusting Him to go before me, leading and keeping me safe. This was the similar thing Jacob told Esau in our lesson.

We left Jacob in a wrestling match with the Lord Jesus. Jacob had to admit his sins of deceiving
and scheming when asked his name. Then, God weakened him by touching his thigh joint. All
Jacob could do was cling to the Lord when asking to be blessed.
Once Jacob faced himself and confessed his sin, he was changed.
God gave him a:
  • new name-Israel means he will rule as God, prince with God, a god-governed man;
  • new walk-limping; in the spirit, not the flesh; walking by faith and not by sight;
  • new beginning (surrendered to God) and a new power with God; broken by God but his      limp was a mark of power and not weakness;
  • new position with God; 
  • a new day-as the sun rose, he limped out to meet Esau with God's help.
Do you have a new name-Christian?
It can be a good thing to have an infirmity, such as a limp, to remind us that we need our God all the day long. We we are weak, we can be strong in faith with Jesus living in and through us. Then
we are given a new day with a new hope.


Wouldn't it have been wonderful if Jacob had lived up to his new name and new position with God? But he didn't. Chapter 33 begins with Jacob, the old name, not the new name Israel, lifting up his
eyes and saw Esau coming with 400 men. Again, he was walking by sight and not by faith.
Jacob lost because he did not claim his spiritual privileges:
  • his limp-He bowed 7 times before Esau instead of facing him man-to-man; The prince with God cringed before a man of the world; better to limp by faith than to bow in self-trust;
  • his power-Jacob was scheming and bargaining with the enemy; he didn't ask for God's power;
  • his testimony-Jacob lied to Esau about the flocks and traveled in the opposite direction; the two didn't meet again until they buried their father;
  • his tent-Jacob built a house and settled in Succoth;
  • his vision-He moved again and pitched his tent toward the city of Shechem, not unlike Lot (13:12); he lost the vision of God's city (Heb. 11:13-16).
  • his daughter-Jacob put his family in a place of temptation (she was violated when she investigated the city).
Jacob was a backslider. Yet, don't we do the same things? On Sunday we get filled with the Spirit, determined to do right, then on Monday we walk by sight and take on the ways of the world.
Do we learn lessons from our own sins and Jacob's life?

It was obvious to Jacob that God had changed Esau from hate to brotherly love. He could tell by Esau's expression on his face.
Can people tell by our expression that we have been with the Lord?

In verse 12, Jacob said to Esau, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
Aren't we on a journey through life? Are we going with Jesus or our own way? Do we a let Him
lead and we follow?

[Resources: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]


Surrender to God and He will make all things new in my life daily.

Walk by faith, not by sight.

Walk in the Spirit, not the flesh.

Go with Jesus where He leads; walk with Jesus.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Battle of Wills

O.T.#67  "A Battle of Wills"
June 12, 2012
Genesis 32-Part 1
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Genesis 32:24


Our daughter was a strong willed child growing up. Maybe that was because she was our first born. Well, she met her match-her father. He always told her that he would win if she wanted a battle of wills. Sometimes she would challenge him, other times she would surrender without a fight. Oh,
he would listen to her side, but he had the ultimate say so. She would try hard to win her case,
but lost. Jacob was the same way, but he too met his match-Jesus. Want to watch a good wrestling match?

Jacob went on his way. He had left one relative (Laban, his father in law) and now was going to
meet another (Esau, his twin brother). Somewhere in between the farewell and hello, Jacob encountered the angels of God again. Didn't he wonder why they were there? Why didn't Jacob
stop and inquire of them? At least, why didn't he ask them what was going on? God sent His angels, messengers to him, so something why didn't they get his attention?

Jacob even named the place of encounter-Mahanaim, which means double camp. Jacob began in obedience to God's command (return to Bethel), and he was met by God's messenger to encourage him. Naming the place this name possibly referred to his camp and the angel's camp.

Jacob's mind was focused on his upcoming meeting with Esau, instead of meeting with the Lord.
Esau was coming and Jacob was about to meet up with his forgotten past. Would Esau forgive him
or fight him? Would Jacob loose everything he had schemed to acquire? How tragic it is when the past catches up with sinners. Geography could not erase Jacob's past nor cold twenty years of history change it.  (Wiersbe)

Jacob had deceived his father, Isaac and received the blessing of God instead of Esau. Jacob pretended to be his twin brother. If you aren't familiar with the story, read chapter 27-28.

This was Jacob's first recorded prayer since his encounter with God at Bethel enroute to Laban
 (28:20-22). (MacArthur)
Twenty years is a long time to go without praying, don't you think?

What would we do if our past caught up with us? Would we run away or face it? Would we devise
a scheme to manipulate it or yield to it and confess our sins?


Before Jacob met Esau, he three other meetings:
  1. He met God's angels (verse 1-20). Back in chapter 28 at Bethel, Jacob first saw these angels. They should have reminded Jacob that God was in control. However, he failed to put his faith in God who promised to protect him, years ago. Psalm 91:11-13 says For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, least thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Jacob divided his company into 2 groups and ignored the protecting angel army. He was afraid and distressed. He tried to bribe Esau with gifts. Here we go again-Jacob and his scheming. Is his flesh going to rule   over God's Spirit? Jacob sent his family and possessions across the Jabbok River for protection. (Esau had 500 men with him.) Jabbok means for wrestled.
  2. He met the Lord (verses 21-26). After Jacob took his steps in carnal confidence, then he asked for God's help. Doesn't that sound like us? When all else fails, ask God to help, pray. "Prayer based upon God's promises assures answers; God's Word never fails!" says Liberty Bible Commentary. Why don't we go to Him first in prayer? When Jacob was alone, he wrestled   with the preincarnate Christ. Have you been wrestling with Jesus? If it's a battle of wills, He will win every time. His will will be done. May as well yield at the start. Jacob was defending himself and refusing to yield for a while. What will it take for us to yield our will?
  3. He met himself (verses 27-32). Jesus crippled Jacob, placing his thigh out of joint, so he wouldn't win the match. Jacob received the blessing after he admitted who he was-Jacob means deceiver, supplanter. His name was changed to Israel, which means God's fighter or may God strive. Jacob had to surrender first, admitting his sins. Jacob had been broken by  God. Pride didn't win this match. The conflict wasn't against Esau or Laban, but against    Jesus. Jacob's self-sufficiency had to be redirected to God.
(Resources: Wiersbe's Expositiory Outlines on the Old Testament, Liberty Bible Commentary)

Are you wrestling with Jesus? Will you surrender and let Him be Lord of your life? What will it require? Will it require a breaking your heart before you surrender to Jesus?


Quit hanging onto the flesh and grab hold of Jesus.

Stop bribing, deceiving, and scheming-pray instead.

Yield to Jesus so He wins the battle of wills so I don't have battle scares.

Who Done It?

O.T.#66  "Who Done It?" June 11, 2013
Genesis 31-Part 3
And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.  Genesis 31:23


Jacob talked to Rachel and Leah, his wives, in a field for privacy and told them God said to return
to Bethel. They agreed and the clan packed up and left while Laban was sheering his sheep. They were gone 3 days when Laban was told about the departure. Laban and his company high tailed it after them. Actually, scripture uses the term persued in verse 23.
Persued means run after, (usually with hostile intent), chase, put to flight, persecute. (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)

It wasn't because he didn't get to kiss the grandchildren bye or tell his two daughter farewell. Oh
no, it was more serious than that. Someone had taken Laban's household idols and HE WANTED THEM BACK!

They caught up with Jacob and everyone after a week of hard traveling. One of Jacob's wives was the thief. Can you guess which one? You have a 50/50 chance of getting it correct.  If you guessed Rachel, you would have been right. Verse 19 says so.

Hidden sin led to more sin as Rachel, the thief, lied to her father and her husband, while angry
Laban examined everything in the caravan. (Wiersbe)

Jacob stole away, unknown to Laban, while Rachel stole away the idols of Laban.

Jacob sneaked away into the will of God instead of departing in triumph. (Barnhouse)

Probably, this made Laban think Jacob took his precious idols.

Rachel took her father's household idols (teraphim). Why did she do it?
David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible suggests:
  • she wanted them to worship and didn't want to leave without the idols,
  • she did not want her father to inquire of them, using them as tools of divination to catch them, as he had previously done in 30:27,
  • or perhaps it was because such idols were often used as deeds to property and she thought this was her inheritance,
  • maybe Rachel felt her father had mistreated her,her husband, and her whole family,
  • she wanted to keep her father from idolatry (tradition says).
It was nearly 300 miles from Haran to the mountains of Gilead. Jacob left his place of safety for 20 years, where he was a comfortable servant, to go to a place where God had called him, but into a dangerous enemy territory (including his brother Esau who swore to kill him).

Psalm 34:14 says, Depart from evil, and do good, seek peace, and pursue it.

What am I pursuing after? Is it wealth, material goods, love of God, peace?


Jacob's company thought they were going home scott free-not going to happen. We don't know
what kind of bad intent was in Laban's heart at that time, but God did. In a dream, God told Laban to
be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad. (verse 24)

Laban made the accusations (NIV):
  • What have you done?
  • You've deceived me.
  • You've carried off my daughters like captives in war.
  • Why did you run off secretly and deceive me?
  • Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to music of  tambourines and harps?
  • You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by.
  • I have the power to harm you, but last night the God of your father said to me, "Be careful     not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."
  • Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house.
  • But why did you steal my gods?
Whew! What a greeting! Poor Jacob didn't know there was any issue with Laban's idols. He was innocent. He had no earthly idea what Laban was taking about, nor who took them. So what  did Jacob say in haste? If you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. (verse 32a)

Laban searched all the tents, but found nothing. Rachel had put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. How uncomfortable it must have been riding that way. She lied to her father, giving an excuse of being on her period, the reason she didn't stand in respect of her father. (It would have revealed her guilt.)

Well, Jacob reviewed all the good things he had done for Laban those 20 years. It was the truth that Jacob spoke. It got to Laban, so he agreed to make a covenant with Jacob, called Mizpah Blessing, which means God was watching. The two men agreed to not go past the heap of rocks they set up, in order to harm the other one. Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and fed Laban a meal. the next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them, then returned home.

So the idols were not found at that time, nor Rachel's  lie revealed.
The only redeeming thing in Jacob's angry speech is that he gave God the glory for his success
 (verse 42). (Wiersbe)

Isn't it sad when family members cannot trust each other? Do we draw line of boundaries in our mind or heart and they better not cross them? Do we do that with God? Not allow Him into certain parts of our life or into rooms of our heart?


Be truthful; my sins will find me out.

Depart from evil do good; pursue and seek peace.

Allow God into all areas of my life.

*Thank you for the birthday wishes. I spent with day with 2 friends. We drove to another church and picked up fantastic things for ours to use this summer in Vacation Bible School. It's wonderful when sister churches help each other out. We had lunch together, even shopped.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Thief in the Family

O.T.#65  "A Thief in the Family"        June 10, 2013
Genesis 31-Part 2
And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.  Genesis 31:22


The Lord blessed Jacob's herds and flocks with stripes, spots, and speckles. Ordinarily, one would not want that on their animals, but Jacob made a deal with Laban that Laban took all the solid colored new borns and he took the others. The Lord continued to multiply Jacob's animals.
Then the Lord told Jacob to go back to Bethel. Apparently, Jacob didn't wait around for a sign or
a second dream. He told Rachel and Leah, his two wives, they packed, and they were on the road
back to Canaan. Laban was shearing his sheep when Jacob's family, servants, and animals left.
After 20 years, Jacob had had enough of Laban and his life there. Yeah, Jacob is finally going
back to where he left God's will.

Probably Laban would have been glad to be rid of the man who outsmarted him, had it not been
for one thing-his daughter Rachel stole Laban's idols. Jacob did not know this had happened.

The gods were given as part of an inheritance. The chief heir should receive the father's gods, idols. The sisters would not, since they were married to Jacob. Who was the thief?

Jacob's household was filled with idols and was not fully committed to God. How can a family worship God with the heavy chain of idolatry wrapped tightly around it?  Their idols were made
of wood and stone. What about ours? What consumes our time and money? Where does our
security come from? (Lucretia Mobbs, Missions Mosaic Magazine)

Stay tuned to find out how done it/did it.

So where's the blessing? Nothing can compare to the inheritance which belongs to a believer in
Jesus Christ-heaven with God.


Jacob and his entourage did not make a simple and fast exit. He had a lot of animals, kids, and stuff to move. It took 3 days before Laban realized they were gone and 7 days for Laban's band to
catch up with them. 
Can you see the dust flying on the dirt road? Maybe there wasn't a road or highway for them to
travel on. Maybe they were going through the green fields so the animals could eat. I don't know.

Moving can be fun with the idea of a new beginning, but traveling with 12 kids? And all those
noisy animals? How pleasant could that be?

Jesus walked on the dusty roads of the Promised Land. He didn't have an air conditioned van,
Do I get grumpy when traveling or moving? Hmm...yes.


Don't be guilty of holding onto idols in my life, drop them.

Follow Jesus.

If I have left my Bethel, left the Lord's will, go back.

*I am going to hold onto day, my 59th birthday. Don't need to count any more. Let them come,
 but it won't matter. :)
Actually, I am very grateful to my Creator that He has allowed me to live this long. Have a great, blessed day, ya'll. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
*Gaylene, I received your gift and will let you know how it was spent to minister in the D.R.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Time to Move

O.T.#64  "Time to Move"
June 7, 2013
Genesis 31-Part 1
Whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.  Genesis 31:16b


Years ago, my mother was having a hard time adjusting to my father's death, so we moved in with
her for the summer to help her. I knew it was getting close for the time to move, so I searched for
a teaching job in another region of the state that was closer to the seminary in order for my husband
to attend. Three schools called to set up interviews with me. Mom told them I wasn't interested, so
I had to call and correct that misinformation. Needless to say, she didn't want us to leave, but it was time for us to go. It was difficult, but God had other plans for us and we had to follow Him. Jacob was at that point in his life. Are you ready to read about it?

We left Jacob with his striped, spotted, and speckled herd and flock of animals. The man increased exceedingly (30:43) Don't you expect Laban and his sons to be jealous over Jacob's prosperity? It happened. Laban was his usual conniving self, looking out for his own welfare, always scheming.
So the Lord told Jacob to return to the land of Canaan and He would be with him. Jacob talked to Rachel and Leah about their father and about leaving. Laban had changed Jacob's wages 10 times (verse 7). The two wives gave good advice-whatever God said to you, do (verse 16).

God reminded Jacob of his Bethel vow. The backslider now had to return and fulfill his promises to the Lord who had blessed him.
Three factors entered into Jacob's decision to leave:
  1. the changed attitude of Laban
  2. the need for establishing his own home
  3. the direct leading of the Lord.   (Wiersbe)
When Jacob sought to leave at the end of his contract (30:25), it was not right in God's timing. Now
it was, so god directed Jacob's departure, and in confirmation, assured him of His presence. So after another six years, it was time to go (verses 38-41). In the privacy of an open field, Jacob's plans could be confidentially shared with his wives. Laban's wage changes were intended to cripple Jacob's
enterprise, but God had intervened by blocking the intended hurt (verse 7) and overriding the wage changes with great prosperity (verse 9).  (MacArthur)

If we are serving God, He will take care of us. Have you experienced this?


It seems like Jacob had had enough of Laban. Jacob got his marching orders and march was what
he was going to do-march right out of Laban's life, taking his two daughters and a passel of grandchildren with him. The gals agreed that God had intervened and refunded what their father had wrongfully withheld and spent. Their inheritance was in Canaan, not where their father and brother were.
The gals must have packed up quickly. The clan high tailed it out of Dodge, so to speak. They didn't say any good-byes or give any kisses. I doubt that any tears were shed at this move. It was time to
go and that was exactly what they did, without dear old dad knowing.

Sometimes hasty decisions are okay to carry out. When God moves, we are to move. Don't linger
in the valley of decision too long. The road of hesitation can be painful.  Anyone need to go back
to their spiritual Bethel, where you sold out to God? Are we doing God's will? Are we serving in
the place His has for us to serve?


Leave the past in the past and follow Jesus today.

Get on my way with Jesus.

Be willing to move when He says go.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Striped, Spotted, Speckled

Sorry for the delay today. If I pause in the middle of writing and fix breakfast, the computer kicks me off the internet and doesn't save anything previously written. I didn't know that happened today, so I typed away for nothing.

O.T.#63  "Striped, Spotted, Speckled"
June 6, 2013
Genesis 30-Part 2
Name your wages and I will pay them. Genesis 30:28 NIV


Here's a true story: We have one cow name Blacky, who is black all over except for her white head.
Black has been a good producer of calves for us throughout the years. However, that all changed the last two years.
Last year, my husband and I both went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Before the trip, I thought that Blacky's calf would be sold to pay for my expenses. I was walking by sight instead of by faith in God to provide. Well, something happened to last year's calf. We could find neither hide nor hair, not even bones of the baby. We though perhaps coyotes got it.
So this year, when it was time for Blacky to calf, I just knew it would be the money for us this time. No, it didn't happen. The was born dead. Okay, I admit that I can be slow at catching onto things, but this was very obvious to me. Lesson was learned-trust God for the needs of the mission trip. So far, He has provided what we needed for both trips, even with the increase in costs.
I think Jacob was a slow learner of life lessons, too. He lingered 6 more years with Laban. Are
you ready to go to his farm?

Jacob was ready to go back home after 14 years with Laban. He realized that it was time for him to strike out on his own and provide for his large family. Jacob had worked 14 years to get his 2 wives. God had blessed Laban because of Jacob, so Laban didn't want him to leave.

Laban covered the evil motive of his plan by using the Lord's name (verse 27) and by asking Jacob to choose the terms. (Wiersbe)

Laban offered Jacob anything, just name his terms, name his price.

Wiersbe's Expository outlines on the Old Testament explains this:
Laban asked, but Jacob refused a gift, for the last time he accepted Laban's "gift" he was deceived (29:19). Jacob offered to work as Laban's shepherd, if Laban wold give him the "rejects" of the flocks and herds. Oriental sheep are white and goats brown or black. by accepting the striped, spotted, and speckled animals, Jacob was apparently giving Laban the better deal.

Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life throught
Jesus Christ our Lord. 

If we don't accept God's free gift of salvation and repent of our sins, we can't have the free gift He has for us-eternal life in heaven with Him. Friend, have you done this?


Jacob the schemer devised his own plan. He tried superstitious methods of rods and sticks at the troughs to influence the outcome of the new babies' colors, but it was God who determined what color of baby sheep and goats would be. Jacob even tried "selective breeding" with thew cattle. Where was Jacob's faith? Had he been around that worldly Laban far too long? Did any of Jacob's scheming work? Stay tuned for the answers tomorrow. (I couldn't resist.)

Okay, the agreement was that none of the solid colored animals would belong to Jacob. If any were born in his flock, Laban could take them. And so the saga continues...


Thank God for His grace.

Trust Him for everything.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Family

O.T. #62  "The Family"  June 5, 2013
Genesis 29-Part 3to 30:24
And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach. Genesis 30:23


A good Christian family with 19 children live in our area. The children are well mannered, well
taken care of, taught Christian values  and the Word. Yet people still think it is terrible that they would have so many kids. Why? Maybe it makes them convicted that they aren't family oriented,
but are materialistic, career oriented, or don't want to spend their time training children. Whatever the
reason, why not just keep the negative comments to themselves? Back in my grandparents' day, it wasn't unusual for families to have at least 7 children. My grandparents had 6 and 7. How about yours?
I said all of that to say Jacob had 12 sons and 1 daughter. Shall we look at his family?

We have already discussed how Jacob worked 7 years for his beloved Rachel, but was given her sister Leah by Laban instead. He then married Rachel a week later, and worked 7 more years. The deceiver Jacob had met his match-Laban deceived Jacob.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary has this to say about the situation:
Such consanguinity (relationship by blood) was not God's will, and the Mosaic code later forbade it (Lev. 18:18). Polygamy always brought grief, as in the life of Jacob.

Whenever a marriage begins with sin, there is usually division and unhappiness in the home. At
first, neither of the two wives bore children, but it was obvious that Jacob loved Rachel more and that he "slighted" (verse 31) Leah.  (Wiersbe)

Here's the family portrait. These 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel, to which was Jacob's name changed later. Jacob was 84 at the time, mind you.
So God honored Leah by giving her 6 sons and one daughter by Jacob:
  • Reuben means See, a son!, indicating Leah's pledge from God indicating His favor;
  • Simeon means hearing, which reveals that God had heard how much Leah was hated;
  • Levi means attachment, expressing Leah's desire that Jacob would ultimately become attached to her;
  • Judah means praise, conveying the thought of not merely the praised one, but the one for whom Jehovah is praised;
  • Later, Leah had Issachar, which means reward;
  • Zebulun means dwelling.
  • A daughter was added to the family, Dinah (She is mentioned because of the tragedy in  chapter 34, though she wasn't the only daughter born to Jacob.
Like her husband's predecessors, Sarah, Rachel was jealous of the other woman, and gave her husband her maid servant, Bilhah, to produce her children, since Rachel had none at that time.

Bilhah, maid servant of Rachel, had 2 sons of Jacob:
  • Dan means justice, indicating that God had vindicated or intervened for Rachel;
  • Naphtali means wrestling, depicting Rachel's struggles.
Rachel finally had 2 sons:
  • Joseph meaning to take away or to add, so God either removed the reproach of her childlessness or would give her another son;
  • God gave her Benjamin much later (35:18); Benjamin means son of my right hand.
Leah thought she was done bearing children (4 had been born), took up the rivalry, and gave her
maid servant, Zilpah, to Jacob to bear more:
  • Gad means troops;
  • Asher means happy, stating her inner happiness at having another son.
[Reference: Liberty Bible Commentary, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, the    
                   MacArthur Bible Commentary]

There we have it, one big happy family-NOT! It must have been crazy living with four women, jealous of each other's time with Jacob and their child bearing.
This account covers 14 years in Jacob's life-years of toil, trial, and testing. God used Laban and the difficult circumstances of life to discipline Jacob and prepare him for the tasks that lay ahead. (Wiersbe)


Here's a humerous little story inserted in the Bible.
Reuben was about 5 years old, playing the a field during wheat harvest time. He found small, yellowish orange colored fruit, called a mandrake, and brought them to his mother Leah. In the ancient world, these were viewed superstitiously as "love apples," an aphrodisiac or fertility-inducing narcotic.
Rachel bargained with Leah, Jacob could come to her that night, in exchange for the mandrake. This happened before Rachel had Joseph. The funny thing is, Leah was the one who got pregnant, not Rachel.
Leah tells Jacob, in verse 16, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with
my son's mandrakes. Leah paid for her time with Jacob. Is that funny or what? What a mess!
This reminds me of another woman who ate of the forbidden fruit-Eve.

God gives children (verses 6, 17, 20, 22). Finally, in 30:22-24, God opened Rachel's womb and she conceived Joseph.

Do we turn to God in our time of distress or to our own resources? Do we try to manipulate circumstances?


Patiently wait upon God to solve our problems, work out circumstances, and intervene in situations.

Keep following Jesus.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Deceiver is Deceived

O.T.#61  "The Deceiver is Deceived"
June 4, 2013
Genesis 29-Part 2
When morning came, there was Leah!  Genesis 29:25a


The scheming and deceiving Jacob has met his match-Laban. We find that they are two peas in a
pod, just alike, if I may say so. You know the kind-take advantage of people so they have the advantage. Users who don't want to be used.

Jacob spent twenty years with Laban. During that time he reaped the sad consequences of his own sins, yet at the same time, God was disciplining him and preparing him for future service.
The first installment of Jacob's discipline-he became a servant. The second installment of Jacob's discipline-the deceiver himself is deceived. Shall we look a little closer at the situation?

First, Jacob became a servant. After being at Laban's house for a month, they discussed wages for Jacob's work. Apparently, Jacob had been helping out around the house or in the fields or with the sheep.
 Laban said, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing?
Tell me what your wages should be."
Now Jacob was in love with Rachel. His bargain was to work 7 years for Laban in exchange for Rachel to be his wife. (Scheming again)

The NIV says verse 20 this way: So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed
like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Aaah! Isn't that sweet? Isn't that romantic? Here Jacob found the woman of his dreams and he was willing to wait and work 7 years before marrying her? What's up with that plan? Seven years are a long time to me.
Am I willing to wait for God's promises to be fulfilled in my life? If so, how long? Am I serving
the Lord while I wait for His timing? Time marches on, to the beat of the drum, and the beat seems to speed up when you get older.

Jesus loved us so much that He willingly came to earth and lived 33 years among evil mankind. He even know the outcome-killed on a cross. But then, He arose from the dead to provide us with
eternal life. Do you believe this?


All right, discipline installment number two-the deceiver himself is deceived.
Laban was not about to forfeit his elder daughter's chances for marriage, so he forced Jacob to
marry her. Jacob lied about the firstborn (27:19); now he is lied to about the firstborn (29:26). (Wiersbe)

What must have happened, Laban took Leah, his oldest daughter, in stead of Rachel, the one Jacob loved and worked 7 years for, to the marriage tent that dark night in question. In the morning, the truth was made known-he slept with Leah. Jacob confronted Laban, agreed to stay with Leah, then took Rachel to be his wife, after agreeing to work 7 more years for her. He gets himself into more messes.

Jacob reaped what he had sown. Pay backs are tough. We don't think about "down the road" do we.
Living in a little town, I have seen some messes people have gotten themselves into.
What can we learn from this? Sin will find you out.


Confess, seek forgiveness, change, turn around.

Look before I jump.

Seek the Lord's will first, then obey Him.

Don't be a deceiver; God sees all.

Monday, June 3, 2013


O.T. "Providence" June 3, 2012
Genesis 29-Part 1
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
Genesis 29:1


Providence-there is a city in Rhode Island by that name. Roger Williams, a religious leader in American Colonies, founded the settlement in 1636. He named it Providence because he believed God had guided him there. (The World Book Encyclopedia)
Do you believe in the Providence of God?

We left Jacob on a spiritual mountain in Bethel. He met Jesus in a dream, which involved Jacob's ladder, on which angels went back and forth from heaven to earth. Jesus gave Jacob some promises, which He had given to his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham. Jacob descended into everyday
life at Haran where Jacob gets acquainted with scheming Laban, his mother's brother. Jacob ends up staying around for 20 years under God's disciplining hand. A lot happens to him during that time.

In chapter 29, we see the setting of what becomes Jacob's well. It was God's Divine Providence
that brought Jacob to the very field where his uncle's flocks were to be watered and he met his
future wife Rachel. This was the same well where Abraham's servant Eliezer met Jacob's mother Rebeka. (She watered his camels, also.)

In an age before clearly marked roads and signs, Jacob did not know where he was until he asked some of the locals, and he discovered he was at his destination. (Guzik)

The shepherds at the well watered three flocks by rolling away the stone over the well. They
replaced the stone and left.

The stone on the well's mouth was either to secure their property in it, for water was scarce, to save the well from receiving damage from the heat of the sun, or to prevent the lambs of the flock from being drowned in it. (Westley's Explanatory Notes)

Rachel came with her father's sheep to be watered. So Jacob rolled the stone away so she could.
On an ordinary day, Rachel (means ewe) is homely dressed as a shepherdess, hot and sweaty, hair
a mess. She meets the love of her life and future husband, although she doesn't know it. Jacob addresses himself to her with tears of joy and kisses of love (verse 11). Jacob told her who he was and she ran to tell her father.

Things don't just happen by chance. Look for God, who is always working around us, in our lives, and through our circumstances.

Did you notice that Jacob did not pray about this situation? Eliezer prayed for God's direction
before he met Rebekah. Do we pray when we meet people? Before making decisions?


Rachel left Jacob at the well and her sheep, too. She brings back her father Laban, Jacob's uncle.
Laban brought Jacob to his house. Then Jacob told Laban what was going on. Jacob stayed there
for a month before anything else happened.
Let me interject here: Laban's household had idols for their gods, which will be discussed later (31:34). Should Jacob have stayed so long? God used scheming Laban to discipline Jacob for His service. We will continue this saga this week. It is rather interesting how Jacob reaps what he
sowed back home.

Who do we associate? Are they believers in Jesus? Are our family and friends that we daily talk
with Christians?


Recognize the Providential hand of God working in our lives.

Submit to Him; acknowledge Him; love Him.

Be aware of who our friends, relatives, and coworkers serve and love-God or the flesh (self).