Saturday, May 25, 2013

Genesis 32:1-21

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 32:1-21. 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 with his brother Esau. You may recall that Jacob had previously deceived his blind father into thinking he was Esau.
  • Jacob sends a message to his brother that he is coming back home, and Esau comes to meet him with 400 men. That’s pretty intimidating. Jacob is understandably afraid and sends some impressive gifts to his brother, hoping it will make him accept Jacob back. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • If Jacob hadn’t been deceitful in the first place, he wouldn’t have had to worry about anything when he went back home. It can be tempting to cover one sin with other sins (for example, by covering up a "small" lie with a slightly bigger one, and then another one, and then another one...)
  • 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. We need to do what God tells us to do even if it seems scary or unreasonable or intimidating. 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.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there a sin in your life that you're trying to cover up with other sins, maybe a series of "little" lies you've been telling? Decide today to come clean and to live with the honesty of Jesus. Maybe you could ask God to make you more like him, and maybe you need to confess your sins to a close friend.
  • Has God been telling you to do something that you're afraid of or reluctant about? Decide today to go through with that, regardless of how scary it may feel. Ask God to help you rely on his strength rather than your own.