Jan. 21 – (Gen. 22-23) I’m sure you recognize Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac as a type and shadow of God sacrificing His Son. Let’s look a little farther in this connection. God guided Abraham to sacrifice his son on a certain mountain in the land of Moriah. According to 2 Chronicles 3:1, Solomon constructed the temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. It is also concluded that this temple had the veil that was rent in two when God sacrificed His Son.  Moriah means “chosen by God”. In Abraham’s day it was uninhabited. Abraham could not see Jerusalem, the temple and Calvary, but the Lord God saw them.  Not only was Christ the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), and His people chosen from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), but Calvary was designated as the place.  Abraham obeyed what the Lord told Him to do and trusted God for the outcome.  God formed us in the same manner and time for His glory and purpose. Whether we see what our obedience will bring now is not as important as to obey Him and fulfill His purpose. It may not be seen until we have that view from heaven! SELAH

                Let’s ponder another similarity to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Verse 4 says “On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.”  Of the many incidents in the Bible which took place on “third days,” there doesn’t seem to be one that does not illustrate resurrection truth. This is a clear example.          

Jan. 22 – (Gen. 24) In this chapter, Abraham sends one of his servants to his homeland in Mesopotamia to find a wife for Isaac. The journey was about 550 miles and would have taken the servant about 21 days.  I found an amazing prayer journey in a book (“Genesis” by Donald Barnhouse) for each verse in this long chapter that really impacted me. I will give you a few examples, but would love to see you, add your own sentence prayer after each verse. V.1: “And Abraham was old, and well advanced in age.” Lord, give us a sense of our impermanence.  “The Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.” Abraham induced Sarah to lie to kings and was on the point of seeing her dishonored and may have given the king credit for fathering Isaac. But God blessed Abraham in all things. What greater instance do we need, to show that all of God’s dealings are in grace, and totally unrelated to any worth in the man to whom the promises are made? It is all of grace. Grace blesses in all things. Lord, bless us in utter grace.  V. 2: “His eldest servant…ruled over all.” This episode of wooing and marriage is a type of the choice of the church as the bride for the divine Bridegroom (John 3:29).  In this pageant, this eldest servant, ruler over all, portrays the Holy Spirit, who goes in a far country to seek a bride for the son.  Unfortunately, in our day, too much is attempted without relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Too often He is the God whom the church does not know.  Test your memory for a moment. Do you know the name of this old servant of Abraham? If you do not, your ignorance is typical of the ignorance of most Christians regarding the life and power of the Holy Spirit.  The servant’s name is recorded in Genesis 15:2! Lord, may we know the Holy Spirit in His fullness.   These are just a few examples. If you want to borrow the book, you can check it out of the church library!  

Jan. 23 – (Gen. 25-26) When Abraham died, who buried him?  It was Isaac and Ishmael.  I always pictured them as never connecting at all and yet here they are burying their father. Ishmael lived far from Isaac and yet he found out about his father’s death and came to pay his respects.  I wonder how long it took for that news to get to him.  Funerals bring family members together more than just about anything. Sometimes the re-connection is good. Sometimes it is not so good. Have you ever wondered what your funeral will be like? Who would come?  The most important question: What would they say about your life in Christ?  Selah

                Isn’t it amazing how the sins of the father can be passed down to children? Isaac is lying about Rebekah being his wife just like his father Abraham did…and to the same king!  God protected them despite their lies. How do we rectify this in our own families? Ask the Lord for healing in areas you know are sinful. Repent and turn from your sin. It’s that simple and that hard. 

Jan. 24 – (Gen. 27-28) Maybe because it is near the beginning of a new year or it’s the need to lose some extra pounds, that the story of Isaac wanting to bless Esau caught my eye. Here is an explanation from Donald Barnhouse: Esau gave up his birthright for food.  Now Isaac wants to bless his firstborn (whom the birthright typically went to, but God had chosen Jacob). First Isaac wants food…specifically Esau’s fresh catch. It is a sad thing when the body is allowed to dominate the soul.  Paul said, “I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection; lest by any means after having preached to others, I should myself be a castaway (I Cor. 9:27).  Isaac’s love of venison became the cause of deception and hatred.  Esau was loved and accepted by his father for his ability to hunt and bring home good food over a boy who stayed home and was favored by mom. An appetite can be the undoing of a life and we discover that Isaac’s love of food was passed on to Esau, who had already sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Lord, put a guard on all our appetites.    

Jan. 25 – (Gen. 29-30) Have you noticed that Laban deceived Jacob in much the same way that Jacob deceived his father in gaining the “first born blessing”? Both involved customs of birth placement and also disguising themselves.  I think of the phrase-“What goes around, comes around.” 

Jan. 26 – (Gen. 31-32) Have you noticed that most of Jacob’s life is spent trying to do things his own way, even though God had a very special plan for his life.  It wasn’t until 32:9-13, that he calls God “Yahweh” which is a personal term.  Many times, we go through many phases of our life and try to do things in our own strength.  When we return to ask Him to show us how to live a life of trust in His way that life becomes so much better, peaceful, and joyful.

                As we get close to reading about Joseph, I realize Joseph was already born (32:22).  Though he was probably very young, Joseph was part of these very experiences. He saw the his father’s relationships with family and how Jacob was changed in the wrestling.  Childhood experiences change us and many times we aren’t aware.  

Jan. 27 – (Gen. 33-36) Let’s look at the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau as Jacob renews a relationship with Esau, we see that he humbled himself. He acknowledges Esau as the first born and bows himself before Esau.  Lord, may we not flinch from making things right.  Esau responds by embracing him. Lord, give us the spirit of forgiveness. There are just so many things Jacob is still doing in his own strength and not trusting God.  Lord, help us to trust in your ways and directions and not just in our own abilities to do what we think you are saying to us. Selah