From: January 16, 2019
Scripture for today: Genesis 32:13-34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 3:19-20
From: January 16, 2018
From: January 16, 2017
Simeon and Levi were Jacob’s second and third sons. They were born to his wife Leah. When it was reported that their sister Dinah had been sexually violated by Shechem the Hivite, the prince of that country, they were furious. Even though Shechem came to them with his father Hamor, offering to pay a dowry and make things right. They schemed for revenge and ultimately killed every man in the city, taking their wives, children and possessions as plunder. Jacob never forgot the violence of Simeon and Levi. In his last words to his sons from his death bed, he described these two brothers together as “instruments of cruelty” (Gen. 49:5-7), prophesying that they would be scattered in Israel. And so they were, the tribe of Simeon was enveloped by the land of Judah. And the tribe of Levi was given to God as priests and scattered throughout the cities of Israel. In a story like this it is difficult to find the moral or the meaning. It is even more difficult to see God in it. Yet, this was the people that God chose to make His own, the nation to which would be born the Messiah, the Son of God.
From: January 16, 2016
After a sleepless night wrestling with God, Jacob went to bed with one name and woke up with a another one. Instead of the name “Jacob,” a name that came from his grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth, (Perhaps we get the phrase “you’re pulling my leg” from this), his name became “Israel” (“one who prevailed with God”). God gave Jacob a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the twelve tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God “pulled Jacob’s leg” until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own effort.
From: January 16, 2015
Jesus offered this invitation in the context of talking about access to the Father. He had just said that no one knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. This is similar to Jesus describing Himself as the only way to God as He did in John’s gospel (John 14:6). In this context, Jesus invites those who are heavy with laboring to find God, or to please God with their works, to come to Him instead and make Him their Master (“Take My yoke”), resting their souls in Him. The invitation to take His “yoke” (An implement for putting an ox into service pulling a plow) is an invitation to come under His Lordship, becoming His servant. This is Christ’s offer of a great exchange. Exchange your hard and impossible work to please God for His finished work on your behalf. Therein, you will find “rest” (sabbath) for your soul. Have you accepted this invitation?
From: January 16, 2014
After a sleepless night wrestling with God, Jacob begins a new day with a new name and a limp. “Jacob,” which means grasping the heel or pulling the leg, got his own leg pulled out of joint. Henceforth, he will be called “Israel,” and his 12 sons will become the 12 tribes.
From: January 16, 2013
Jacob got a new name after wrestling all night with God. Instead of the name “Jacob,” a name that came from his grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth, (Perhaps we get the phrase “you’re pulling my leg” from this), his name became “Israel,” one who prevailed with God. God gave Jacob a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the 12 tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God pulled Jacob’s leg until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own scheming.
From: January 16, 2012
Jacob spends a dark night of the soul wrestling with God. God changes his name from Jacob (pulling my leg/deceiver) to Israel (wrestled with God). Jacob walks with a limp the rest of his life, but he has a new identity from God. Have you ever experienced a dark night of the soul, wrestling with God?
From: January 16, 2011
God is still offering name/identity changes to those who seek Him. What’s your name?