In these verses the father warns his son about falling into the web of an immoral person. He describes one whose words may be “as sweet as honey and as smooth as olive oil,” but whose character is ruined by sin. He warns that associating with such people will only lead to “bitter poison and pain.”Read More
The Joy of Discovery
As he moves closer to his uncle Laban’s territory near Haran, Jacob’s heart and mind are filled with the blessing of his father and the promise from his encounter with God. He arrives at a well, covered by a large stone. In a manner very similar to how his grandfather Abraham’s servant had been divinely directed to meet Rebekah so she could be Isaac’s wife, so Jacob arrives at a well where God has a divine appointment arranged.Read More joy, blessing, guidance
What Goes around Comes around
Jacob was no doubt especially joyful that his journey of discovery included a potential bride as beautiful as Rachel. However, he is about to see that the family issues of deception and envy are not entirely in the past.
Negative family traits, embedded in character, are difficult to overcome.Read More deception @en, family conflict, character
Surprised by Sovereignty
In the culture of the Ancient Near East at the time of Jacob, children—especially sons—brought status. Leah, “unloved” because she did not have Rachel’s beauty, was blessed by the Lord and she blessed Jacob with their first four sons. All their names speak of God recognizing her need and providing these children (29:31-35). The Lord shows how he watches over those who face partiality and rejection, just as he had done for Hagar (ch 16).Read More Ancient Near East, family conflict, underdogs
Prosperity Meets Envy
Through ingenuity, hard work and divine blessing Jacob is exceedingly prosperous (Genesis 30:25-43). This prosperity arises within a clear arrangement that Jacob had made with Laban to compensate for years of service. Nonetheless family intrigue is stirred up again as Jacob’s cousins begin to murmur that Jacob has taken advantage of their father. Jacob observes Laban was not as friendly as he had been before.(v 1-2).Read More deception @en, family conflict
Laban and his relatives set off in hot pursuit of Jacob’s party. They catch up to them in the hills of Gilead, a region east of the Jordan between the Dead Sea and the Sea of the Galilee. Before they have time to have an encounter the Lord intervenes by speaking to Laban in a dream. Laban is warned not to say a word to Jacob, not a threat or a promise. (vv 22-24). As he will communicate in his meeting with Jacob, he clearly understands he is to cause no harm to Jacob, although he could do so (v 30). Once again God is determined to protect his promised one.Read More family conflict, fusion spirituality
A Bold Prayer
Wow – what is happening in this psalm? Has the psalmist done something so terrible that God is furious? What’s this discipline thing about? Is the Psalmist dying of some illness – or what?
Well, we are not told. What we do read is that the psalmist feels rebuked and disciplined and is crying out for help and for mercy . . . again. But this time there is a cry for healing, for release from pain and sleeplessness.Read More suffering, prayer, healing