Sunday, May 5, 2013

Genesis 28

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 28. 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?)
  • In the first line of this chapter we see that Isaac listened to the plea of his wife and reconciled with Jacob. Then Isaac warned his son Jacob not to marry someone who didn’t have the same faith as he did. 
  • Isaac told Jacob to marry his cousin. This is considered weird and wrong today, but it was normal for their culture.
  • Esau (Jacob’s brother who he had tricked) heard about his father’s advice to his brother and realized how important it was to his family to marry someone who had the same beliefs. 
  • We read about how God met Jacob in a dream, and Jacob promised to follow this God who met him in his dream.
  • Interestingly, one of the things Jacob established as a sign of his commitment to God was giving God back 10% of everything he had. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Isaac’s warning to his son to marry someone who has the same faith is important to us as well. The Bible talks about this idea as being “equally yoked,” which is a farming term. Being “yoked” is when two animals are essentially tied together to work as one. When these two beasts are tied together they have more strength than working separately. This is the same for a husband and a wife: if we have opposing spiritual beliefs we will be pulling in different directions. It also applies in other areas of our marital relationships. Not only is it healthy and helpful to have similar spiritual beliefs, but it's also important to have agreement in our finances, philosophy of parenting, dreams for the future, etc.
  • When Jacob promised to give 10% of everything to God it is the first mention of a certain amount to give to God. The Bible teaches that giving to God is an act of worship on our part and God will bless us when we give back to him.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • In the Bible God commands us to give at least ten percent of the money we bring in back to him, and promises to bless us when we do it. In fact, giving ten percent back to him is the only thing God tells us to test him on. Do you give regularly to God as another way to worship him? If not then why won't you trust and obey God in this way?
  • God doesn’t promise us fame or fortune when we follow him but he does promise to always be there with us. Do you live your life to honor God like Jacob promised to? What things in your life do you need to change to honor God more?