Moving Forward

Today’s Passage – Exodus 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 3 – 4Proverbs 24Psalms 116 – 120)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Isaiah 51:11

Read the “0124 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “He Brought Us This Far” and “Quit Griping!

“15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:” (Exodus 14:15)

In Exodus 14, the Israelites are heading out of Egypt through the wilderness and eventually into the Promised Land of Canaan. God had just miraculously delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt through a series of divine judgments (plagues) culminating with the death of every firstborn person and even animal of the Egyptians. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, finally had enough and agreed to let the Israelites leave. However, Pharaoh has a change of heart and decides that he is going to pursue after the Israelites with his army and trap them on the shore of the Red Sea.

The people of God were once again very afraid and their fear affected their faith in God:

“10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14:10-12)

Moses assures the people that God was going to deliver them once again:

“13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

It is interesting that Moses told the people to “stand still,” but God breaks into the conversation Himself and tells the people to “go forward:”

“15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:” (Exodus 14:15)

But where were they going to go? They were pinned up against the waters of the Red Sea. God put a wall of separation between the army of Israel and people of God (vs. 19 – 20), and then God parted the waters of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass through on dry land, and once they were safely on the other side, God closed up the waters again and drowned the Egyptian army that attempted to follow them. 

Though the people of God were fearful, they moved forward in faith, which caused God to bring them the victory. Then Moses and the Israelites were singing:

“1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:1-2)

There would be many more challenging moments for the people of God in their future as they wandered through the wilderness on their way to the Land of Promise and each time they had a choice: were they going to allow their fear to cripple their faith or were they going to move forward?

The theme for our church this year is “moving forward.” We have experienced many obstacles in our past that God has gotten us through and I am quite sure there will also be many more obstacles, no doubt more challenging obstacles in our future, but I am also quite sure that as long as we keep moving forward by faith, God will bring us through them all.


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Now Do I Have Your Attention?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 1 – 2; Proverbs 23; Psalms 111 – 115)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0123 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage in Exodus – “Your Free To Go” and “What Can Wash Away My Sin?

“And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” – (Exodus 12:30-33)

Flies, frogs, locusts, darkness, hail. All of these and more sent by the hand of God in order that the Egyptians, as well as the Israelites, would know that there is an awesome and powerful God in Heaven. God’s command to the king of Egypt was simple: “let my people go”. However, Pharaoh was not too willing to heed the request of God. He seemed to be more willing to endure all of the plagues that God was sending his way. That is, all until his first born son was taken from him at the hand of God. God finally got his attention. He was finally ready to yield his stubborn will to the will of God.

There was a lot to think about in the passages of Scripture that we read this morning and I understand that there are deeper theological truths behind the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, but I couldn’t get past the thought that sometimes God has to allow some especially painful things in our lives in order to get our attention. We are sometimes like that hard clay that the potter must soften before he can use it. I’m just wondering this morning, is there something that the Lord has been trying to do in your life that you have been resisting. Have you hardened yourself to the point where, in order for God to accomplish His will, He will have to break you. What will God have to do to get your attention?  I suppose this thought applies just as much to the Christian that is fighting against God’s perfect will as it does to the lost person that is resisting salvation. Whichever your case is, the remedy is the same. Soften your heart, and yield to God’s will. Is there some sin that you are holding on to? God will do what He has to do in order to get you to repent of it and forsake it. Whatever it takes, God will accomplish His will for your life. You cannot win in a battle with God.


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Sin Stinks

Today’s Passage – Exodus 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click hereto view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 15 – 16Proverbs 22Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0122 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Did Pharaoh have a Choice?

“And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 7:21)


“And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.” (Exodus 8:14)

There are a few thoughts that came to mind from these three chapters of Scripture this morning. First, notice in the above verses the results of the first two plagues upon the people of Egypt. These plagues were delivered by God to the people of Egypt through Moses because the Egyptians had enslaved the children of Israel and had flatly refused to submit to God and then let them go. In the first plague, the waters of the Nile River and then all of the fresh water sources were turned to blood, killing all of the fish. In the next plague, the frogs came out of the water in droves and covered the land and even got into people’s homes. Notice also in Exodus 8:7, the “brilliant” Egyptians magicians while trying to prove that they had just as much power as God did, duplicated the plague, producing even more frogs, and complicated the problem even more for the people of Egypt.

When God finally called off the plague, the frogs died. They gathered all of the dead frogs and piled them up “in heaps.” All of this death that was result of these initial plagues caused Egypt to stink. Here we see that the wages of Pharaoh’s sin not only caused a lot of death in Egypt, but it also caused a very unpleasant stench. There would be more death to come as well as many cattle would die (Exodus 9:6) as well as many other “men and beasts” (Exodus 9:26). Sin produces all sorts of negative results. Sin stinks! It causes nothing but devastating and unpleasant consequences for everybody involved.

Another thought that came to mind from this passage is that the magicians who worked for Pharaoh did have power, but their power was limited. They could imitate some of the miracles that God wrought through Moses (Exodus 7:11), but most of them they could not. The magicians were also powerless to undo what God had done, and even acknowledged to Pharaoh the far superior power of God.

“And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” (Exodus 8:18-19)

And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” (Exodus 9:11)

The devil is certainly a very shrewd and powerful being, but he “ain’t got nothin’ on God.” God is infinite in everything He is, including in power. If you want to be on the team that doesn’t “stink,” and wins every time, you will want to be on God’s team.


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The Saturday Morning Post – It’s Still Murder

Today’s Passage – Exodus 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 11 – 12; Proverbs 20; Psalms 96 – 100)

Read the “0120 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Did you know that America has aborted over 58 million babies since Roe v. Wade? A few years ago, in a blog, I mentioned that the count was just over 52 million. Our children have been lied to, and now believe what was actually a baby is just a blob of goo. At only 2 months after conception, your baby has its own fingerprints, your baby can urinate, make a fist, and feel pain.

Jeremiah 1:5 says…

God had already had a plan for Jeremiah’s life. Does that make you think something like, “I wonder, out of the 58 million aborted babies, which one God ordained to have the cure for cancer? Or the solution to the food shortage? Or the solution to the pollution of the earth?”

Even Isaiah…

Count the cost. The cost of an abortion is around $500 for the first trimester, and $2000 for the second trimester. Do the math: 58 million abortions (and we’ll just say they were all first trimester) times $500 equals $29 TRILLION DOLLARS! Somebody’s making a lot of money. Even back in the days of the prophet Amos…

I don’t think that God likes abortion.

And in Proverbs 6…

Children are a reward for you, not a burden, or an inconvenience.

Psalm 127 says…

Going back to Exodus chapter 1, look what the LORD did for the midwives…

If you have had an abortion, it will not keep you out of Heaven, however, depending on what you do with Jesus will…

We all sin…

But, there is a but…

Eternal life in Heaven is one of God’s free gifts to you. All you need do is reach out and receive it…

Ask Jesus to forgive your sins, come into your heart and save you. And He will. And do you know what you will find?

Peace.


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Reconciliation

Today’s Passage – Genesis 45 – 47 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 7 – 8Proverbs 18Psalms 86 – 90)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

Read a previous post from this passage – “Just Let It Go” and “The Big Picture

“4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. … 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” (Genesis 45:4, 14-15)

Often when I write about this passage or reference it in a sermon, I am primarily focused on the theological aspect of God’s “big picture” plan that was in the background of all the events surrounding the lives of Joseph and his brothers. God allowed all the bad things to happen to Joseph so that he could eventually become the prime minister of Egypt and deliver his family from a terrible famine that would have destroyed them back in Canaan.

However, as I get older, I am thinking more about the human side of the story. Joseph’s brothers had wronged him greatly when they had sold him into slavery, but that was a long time ago. I am almost positive that as the years had gone by and his brothers had all witnessed the grief that their betrayal caused their father Jacob, they probably deeply regretted their decision.

Joseph also, though he was the one that was wronged, probably initially wrestled with bitterness towards his family and had feelings of revenge. He probably thought about ways that he could get even with his brothers. In the very least, he probably was anticipating the day when he could expose their sin and gloat about how he had been right and they were wrong.

As the years went by, however, I believe Joseph and his brothers all had deep regrets about the rift in the family relationship and if a way was made, they were all probably willing to heal the old wounds. Sometimes, as we look back on this story we tend to demonize the brothers and deify Joseph, but they were all just human beings, and I believe that the greatest part of this story for all of those involved was that a twenty year break in the family relationship was finally being healed. The family was being reconciled.

Are there all kinds of deep theological truths here regarding forgiveness, justification, and God’s sovereignty? Certainly. But don’t miss the human part of this. No true believer takes pleasure in being at odds with members of his or her family. For twenty years Joseph was dead to his brothers and for much of that time Joseph probably wished his brothers would die, but eventually, they all wanted this disastrous falling-out to come to an end. We are really not told in the text, but I wonder what the family gatherings were like in their remaining years. I bet they went fishing together. I am almost sure they didn’t let the little irritations and petty jealousies of life bother them as much as they did when they were young. They were a family again, and family is everything. At least it is to me.


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The Joseph Principle

Today’s Passage – Genesis 43 – 44 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 5 – 6Proverbs 17Psalms 81 – 85)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0117 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s reading passage – “Bereaved Again,”  “Passed the Test,” and “People Can Change.”

“And the famine was sore in the land.” (Genesis 43:1)

Back when I was in Bible college in Texas, our pastor would teach a principle and refer to it often when he was counseling people regarding finances and stewardship. He called it the “Joseph Principle,” which basically teaches that money needs to be saved in the plentiful years so that there will be enough to last during the lean years. In these chapters that we have been reading here in Genesis, God miraculously revealed to Joseph through the dream of Pharaoh that there would be seven very plenteous years where there would be an abundance of food produced in Egypt and the surrounding area, which included the land of Canaan where Joseph’s family lived. Unfortunately, those seven very good years would be followed by seven very bad years when the crops would fail and food would be scarce. Note – the story of Pharaoh’s dream and the plan of Joseph is found in chapter 41. The implementation of the plan and the results of the famine are in the following chapters including the portion for today.

Joseph came up with a plan that would dramatically increase the strength and prosperity of Egypt through those lean years. He advised Pharaoh to purchase as much food as he could during the plenteous years, when it was cheap, and then store it up for the lean years. When the abundance ran out in the land, people were then forced to go to Joseph and purchase food from him at a much higher price, and then when their money ran out, they were forced to turn over their land to Pharaoh in return for food. The wealth of Egypt increased while all others who were unprepared suffered tremendous losses.

The very obvious stewardship principle that we should learn from this story is that we also need to store up wealth and other resources when it is abundant so that we will have enough when the lean years come. Right now, in America, we are still experiencing incredible prosperity. God has blessed this nation abundantly. I know that we are in a period of inflation and that interest rates have increased somewhat recently, but there are still plenty of jobs out there and much income to be earned for people who are willing to work hard. As a matter of fact, in this lazy culture that we are living in, if you are willing to be diligent and work hard you will be an absolute hero at your workplace and will likely advance very quickly. There is really no excuse today for people to be struggling, unless they have health issues, etc., that are hindering them from being able to work.

But during these prosperous times, you must prepare for the lean years that will surely come our way in the future. You cannot squander all that God supplies you with today. You need to save some of it for tomorrow. My recommendation to you who are able to work and earn income for your family is to earn as much as you can today while still maintaining your family and spiritual priorities. In other words, don’t spend so much time working that you are neglecting your time with your family and your service to the Lord.

Once you have a good source of income, you need to budget your money carefully, making sure that you are giving back to the Lord. I am a believer in giving at least a tithe to the Lord’s work as well as offerings to special projects. You also need to be saving for the future and for the rainy days that surely will come. There are a lot of great Christian resources out there that can help you in the area of stewardship, but one in particular that we have used to help the folks in our church is Ramsey Solutions, a ministry headed up by Dave Ramsey that has helped many people get out of debt and prepare for their future. There are other good resources available as well.

Don’t put off preparing for the future. If you start now, you will be in a strong position when the times get hard and you may even be able to help others who are not as prepared as you are. The Joseph Principle is a great nugget of wisdom that all of us should put into practice before it is too late.


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Give God the Glory

Today’s Passage – Genesis 41 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 3 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read a previous post from this passage – “In His Time

Read the “0116 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Genesis 41:16)

In chapter 41 of Genesis, we hear about Pharaoh’s dreams of the corn and the kine. He knows that these dreams mean something, but he has no clue what the significance of them is. He learns that there is a man named Joseph down in the dungeon that has been known to interpret dreams for other people. Joseph is hastily summoned to appear before Pharaoh, and Pharaoh questions him about his supposed ability to explain the meaning of these of these dreams. Joseph is very quick to deflect the focus from himself to the Lord. He doesn’t take any credit for his gift but immediately gives the glory to God. In fact, five times in Joseph’s discussion with Pharaoh Joseph mentions God to Pharaoh. (vs. 16, 25, 28, and 32) Pharaoh gets the message also, because in vs. 38 and 39, he acknowledges that the interpretation of the dream can from God also:

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:” (Genesis 41:38-39)

This heathen king was introduced to the God of the Universe all because Joseph took an opportunity to use a gift that was given to him by God and acknowledge the fact that it was God who enabled him to do it. 

How many opportunities do we get each day to display our God-given abilities to the lost world around us? But, when we do a good job and we are recognized, do we give God the glory by letting everybody know that it is God who is working through us? Let’s not steal God’s glory, and let’s not waste opportunities to be witnesses for the Lord. Our sole purpose in life is to make God look good and to glorify Him in front of a lost and dying world. If we meet Pharaoh in Heaven someday, it will likely be because Joseph made God look good. How many people do we point to God?

By the way, the opposite of this story is also true. When we do wrong things in front of the lost people around us, we are making God look bad. What an awesome responsibility and privilege we have to represent the Lord in this world. Let’s be sure to give Him the glory when we get things right and take the blame when we do things wrong. Let’s make God look good to the world around us.


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Godly Character

Today’s Passages – Genesis 38 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the passages. Click here to view today’s passage on Blue Letter Bible.)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 1 – 2Proverbs 15Psalms 71 – 75)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0115 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “What About Judah? and “God’s Perfect Plan

“And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:7-9)

Joseph was a man of great godly character and is a wonderful picture, or type, of Christ in that regard. He is simply not like other men. He has the ability to say no to his flesh and completely yield to the will of God for his life. This attribute of godly character can be exhibited in many examples from Joseph’s life, but a particularly vivid picture of this is painted for us in the verses above. Joseph, a young, single man, was being tempted in the area of sexual purity by the wife of his employer. Joseph had the perfect opportunity to yield to the the lusts of his flesh, but instead refuses. He says, “NO!” He knew that yielding to Potiphar’s wife’s wishes was foremost a sin against God and was also a sin against Potiphar, a man that had been very good to Joseph up to this point. How many young men in Joseph’s position would have been able to resist the temptation and say no to this kind of proposition?

Sexual impurity is not limited to just the act of committing adultery with another man’s wife. It is just as wrong for unmarried people to commit fornication regardless of what our very carnal contemporary culture would say. It is also dangerous to view images portraying sexual impurity on the internet. It is very difficult for both men and women to say no to their flesh and yield to God in these areas, but it can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says:

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

I realize that the Holy Spirit did not work in quite the same way in the Old Testament time that Joseph lived, but I know this: Joseph had a deep and abiding relationship with God, which is exactly what walking in the Spirit is for the New Testament Christian today. Joseph’s love for God and His will superseded Joseph’s fleshly desires. Joseph did not have “better flesh” than other men; he was not superhuman. He just was in love with God.

Peter wrote about this level of Christian discipline:

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)

Notice two of the seven attributes that Peter states can and should be added to every Christian’s life: virtue and godliness. These are the two that Joseph exemplified in his encounter with Potiphar’s wife. However, Joseph also demonstrated the other five attributes listed by Peter throughout his life. And so can we, if we are walking with and filled with the Spirit of God, and yielded to God’s will. It is not easy to “just say no” to our flesh, but it is certainly not impossible with God’s help.

By the way, we see quite a contrast in Joseph’s godly character in chapter 39 with the character of Judah and his family in chapter 38. Notice the language used in v. 2:

“2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.” (Genesis 38:2)

It does not say that he married her; it just states that he “went in unto her.” There is all kinds of other weirdness going on in this chapter also including immoral behavior by Judah’s sons and also Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law whom he thought was a harlot.


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The Saturday Morning Post – The Mighty God

Today’s Passage – Genesis 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 25 – 26; Proverbs 13; Psalms 61 – 65)

Read the “0113 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Jacob bought some land and there built an alter calling it Elelohe-Israel, which means the mighty God of Israel. We serve a truly awesome and mighty God. Reading about how He worked in the lives of people, and then thinking about the way He worked in my life, I know that He is God Almighty. Has He worked in your life? Can you say what a mighty God He is? Are you where God wants you to be? If you answer yes then that alone should tell you how mighty God is. All those times you messed up throughout your life, and now you are in the center of God’s will. You probably did not realize that all those times He was guiding you out of the messes you had gotten yourself into. Well praise Him, for He is the mighty God, and worthy of that praise. Let’s take a look at some ways that God protected Jacob.

1) The LORD got him away from Laban.

But Rachel had stolen some little idols, Laban’s gods, from her dad. And Laban chased after Jacob and his family.

2) The LORD gave him favour with Esau, his brother.

Jacob did not leave home on good terms with Esau. Jacob had gotten Esau’s birthright and Esau’s blessing. Esau would have killed Jacob if he didn’t leave to get a wife from Issac’s family.

But God had blessed Esau, that he was satisfied with all that he had…

And we see by our text verses that Jacob and his family eventually landed in Shalem, a city of Shechem. While there, Shechem raped Jacob’s daughter Dinah. But Shechem loved Dinah and was willing to pay any price for her. That price would be every male of the city would be circumcised.

But God was still with Jacob and…

3) The LORD granted Jacob safety as he traveled to Bethel.

Now none of this happened to me. This is Jacob’s story. But, God has proven Himself to me over and over again that He is THE Mighty God. Is He the Mighty God to you?

Peace.


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Perspective

Today’s Passages – Genesis 31 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24Proverbs 12Psalms 56 – 60)

Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “No More Jacob,” and “Following the Will of God.

“And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory.” (Genesis 31:1)

The dictionary would define perspective as “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view” (Apple Dictionary)

In the very first verse of our text today in Genesis 31, we see that Laban and his sons had a completely different perspective or point of view than Jacob did. From Laban’s family’s perspective, Jacob had received all of his prosperity from Laban: that Jacob had actually taken it from him and his other sons. From their point of view, Jacob owed them greatly. However, Jacob had a completely different perspective. He saw things in a completely different way than Laban and his boys. Jacob’s side of the story was that Laban’s family did not have very much when Jacob joined them, and because of the hard work and blessing of God upon Jacob, God had increased both Laban and Jacob tremendously. We know from the text that Jacob’s perspective was right:

” … for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.” (Genesis 31:12)

My point, however, is that Laban and Jacob had completely different perspectives on the exact same set of circumstances. It is like those pictures that were circulating around the internet a while back. The image would be of a dress, and some people would sware that the dress was green, and others were absolutely positive that it was another color. People often see things from different perspectives. 

Again, we know that Jacob’s particular point of view in this case was the accurate one according to God, but that does not change the fact that Laban’s sons truly believed that they were right also. They were not, but they thought they were. They could not see things from Jacob’s persepective. Oftentimes, people see things through the lense of what is in their best interest. Jacob was benefiting more than the sons of Laban were from the arrangement that Laban made with Jacob, so they naturally thought that somehow something was amiss; they thought Jacob must have been stealing from them, which simply was not true. 

There are a couple of lessons here that I think we need to learn. First, when it comes to conflicts between two people who are, in most areas, likeminded, there needs to be a sincere attempt to try to understand the other’s perspective: try to see things from their point of view. Oftentimes, if an open mind is kept, conflicts can be easily resolved.

However, when trying to understand people who come from a completely different perspective, a little more care will have to be taken. Christians have a God perspective; especially those believers who are well-grounded in the Scriptures. We see things from God’s perspective (at least for the most part). The lost world and even some carnal Christians have a totally different perspective, partially because of the fact that they have been blinded to spiritual Truth. Satan has blinded them:

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

The lost world believes that Christians are foolish for believing what we do. They simply do not understand us:

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

As believers, we need to try to understand that the problem is a spiritual one. We are simply living in two different worlds; we have totally different mindsets or paradigms. There needs to be a paradigm shift. We need to pray that God will open their eyes to the Truth of the gospel. If they were to get saved, the problem of different perspectives would be solved. Like you, I get very frustrated watching and listening to the politicians and television personalities who “simply don’t get it.” But, they can’t get it because right now they are blind to the Truth. God needs to open their eyes. We need to pray for them, and compassionately love them and try to preach the Truth to them.


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