Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21: Genesis 32

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 32. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The first part of this chapter shows Jacob trying to make amends to his brother Esau for his trickery. Jacob sends a message to his brother that he was coming back home and Esau comes to meet him with 400 men. That’s rather intimidating. So, Jacob was understandably afraid and sends out some rather impressive gifts to his brother hoping it would make him accept Jacob back. We’ll find out how that goes in the next chapter.
  • Then we read about Jacob wrestling with God. During this wrestling match, Jacob showed how strong he was. Then as was common for his forefathers, God changes Jacob’s name, to Israel.
  • Jacob’s name change is why the nation of Israel has its name today. Israel means “you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” At least Jacob got a pretty cool name.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God told Jacob to go back to his family. This had to really cause Jacob to worry because he knew his brother previously wanted to kill him. But Jacob obeyed and trusted God to protect him. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Have you felt that God wanted you to do something that you don’t feel prepared for? Are you going to trust God to provide for you and obey him? Just about every time God tells someone to do something in the Bible it’s outside of their comfort zone. That’s because God wants us to have to rely on him, not on ourselves.