Ever been in a conversation and the other person wasn’t being honest with you? Ever been in a situation where everyone body wasn’t playing by the same rules and ethics? Ever been in a situation where people aren’t telling you the truth in order to get their way? Ever been tricked? Ever been fooled? Ever been that person? Was it worth the gain? If you could do it all over again, would you reconsider how you went about it? How did it play out for the other people? Do you realize God can use any situation, even if it was purposed for bad and turn it around and use it for good in His perfect plan and timing?
Today’s reading begins on such a topic when Jacob pretends to be Esau to his dad.
Jacob Tricks Isaac
1Now it was when Isaac grew old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he said to him.
2“Look, I’m old,” he said. “I don’t know the day of my death.
3So now, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt me some game.
4Then prepare me a delicious meal that I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac was speaking to Esau his son. So while Esau went to the field to hunt game to bring in,
6Rebekah said to Jacob her son, “Look, I heard your father speaking to your brother Esau saying,
7‘Bring me some game and prepare me a delicious meal that I may eat and bless you in Adonai’s presence before my death.’
8So now, my son, listen to my voice, to what I am commanding you.
9Go now to the flock and bring me two good young goats from there, so that I may prepare them as a delicious meal for your father—that he’ll love.
10Then you’ll bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before his death.”
11But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I’m a smooth man.
12Perhaps my father will touch me, and he’ll take me for a mocker, and I’ll bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.”
13Then his mother said to him, “Let your curse fall on me, my son. Just listen to me, and go, get them for me.”
14So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared a delicious meal that his father would love.
15Rebekah also took her elder son Esau’s favorite clothes that were with her in the house, and she put them on her younger son Jacob,
16along with the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the hairless part of his neck.
17She put the delicious meal and the bread that she had prepared in the hand of Jacob her son.
18Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “I’m here. Who are you, my son?”
19Then Jacob said to his father, “I’m your firstborn, Esau. I’ve done just what you said to me. Sit up, please, and eat some of my wild game so that your soul may bless me.”
20Then Isaac said to his son, “How in the world were you able to find it so quickly, my son?” He said, “Because Adonai your God made it happen for me.”
21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can feel you my son—whether or not you really are my son Esau.”
22So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac, and he felt him. Then he said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are Esau’s hands.”
23He did not recognize him because his hands were like the hairy hands of his brother Esau. So he blessed him.
24But he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” So he said, “I am.”
25Then he said, “Bring it to me and I’ll eat some of my son’s wild game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it to him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.
26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me my son.”
27So he came closer and kissed him. When he smelled the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Behold, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that Adonai has blessed.
28May God give you— from the dew of the sky and from the fatness of the land— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29May peoples serve you and may nations bow down to you. Be master over your brothers. May your mother’s sons bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and may those who bless you be blessed.”
30No sooner had Isaac finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had just gone out from his father Isaac’s presence, than Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31Then he also prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father, and he said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s wild game that your soul may bless me.”
32His father Isaac said, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your first-born, Esau.”
33Then Isaac trembled with intense trembling and said, “Who was it then that hunted wild game and brought it to me? I ate it all just before you came and I blessed him—and yes, he will be blessed.”
34When Esau heard his father’s words, he shouted with an intensely bitter groan. Then he said to his father, “Bless me, me too, my father!”
35Then he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36He said, “Is this why he was named Jacob—since he’s tricked me twice already? My birthright he’s taken. Look! Now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he said, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I’ve made him master over you, and all your brothers I’ve given to him as servants. I’ve provided him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”
38Esau said to his father, “Do you just have one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39Then Isaac his father said to him, “Behold, away from the land’s fatness shall your dwelling be, away from the dew of the sky above.
40By your sword shall you live, and your brother shall you serve. But when you tear yourself loose, you will tear his yoke off your neck.”
41So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “Let the time for mourning my father draw near, so that I can kill my brother Jacob!”
42Now to Rebekah was reported the words of Esau her elder son. So she sent and called for Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Look, your brother Esau is consoling himself about you with the thought of killing you.
43So now my son, listen to my voice. Get up—flee to Laban my brother in Haran!
44Then stay with him a few days, until your brother’s rage subsides,
45until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you’ve done to him. Then I’ll send for you and get you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth like these women, from the daughters of the land what is life to me?”
–from Genesis 27
Have you ever heard was goes around comes around? Ever noticed that what you give tends to be what you get? Ever considered that if you are manipulative that you will get manipulated too? It does matter how you live your life! Live it in alignment to God’s will and God’s way! God can intersect your journey and speak hope and life and truth in the midst of your trials, troubles, and fear.
Jacob Sent to Laban
1So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, commanded him and said to him, “Don’t take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
2Get up, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and take for yourself a wife from there, from the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.
3Now may El Shaddai bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you will become an assembly of peoples.
4And may he give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your seed with you that you may take possession of the land of your sojourn, which God gave to Abraham.”
5Then Isaac sent Jacob away and he went toward Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Now Esau saw that Isaac blessed Jacob when he sent him to Paddan-aram to take for himself a wife from there, when he blessed him and commanded him saying, “Don’t take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
7Jacob listened to his father Isaac and to his mother and went toward Paddan-aram.
8Then Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were contemptible in his father Isaac’s eyes.
9So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, Nebaioth’s sister for his wife, besides his other wives.
Jacob’s Ladder From Heaven
10Then Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.
11He happened upon a certain place and spent the night there, for the sun had set. So he took one of the stones from the place and put it by his head and lay down in that place.
12He dreamed: All of a sudden, there was a stairway set up on the earth and its top reaching to the heavens—and behold, angels of God going up and down on it!
13Surprisingly, Adonai was standing on top of it and He said, “I am Adonai, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your seed.
14Your seed will be as the dust of the land, and you will burst forth to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed—and in your seed.
15Behold, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I promised you.”
16Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Undoubtedly, Adonai is in this place—and I was unaware.”
17So he was afraid and said, “How fearsome this place is! This is none other than the House of God—this must be the gate of heaven!”
18Early in the morning Jacob got up and took the stone, which he had placed by his head, and set it up as a memorial stone and poured oil on top of it.
19He called the name of that place Beth-El (though originally the city’s name was Luz).
20Then Jacob made a vow saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this way that I am going, and provide me food to eat and clothes to wear,
21and I return in shalom to my father’s house, then Adonai will be my God.
22So this stone which I set up as a memorial stone will become God’s House, and of everything You provide me I will definitely give a tenth of it to You.”
–from Genesis 28
Are you needing a divine encounter to turn your life around? Are you in need of a wakeup call to help you get back on track? Are you aware of where to turn in order to get back on track and turn your life around? It’s to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him for wisdom and direction! Respond in obedience to His voice and His Word! And allow Him to work in and through your life that you will be new and transformed going forward!
When God does the supernatural in your life, will you share it with others? Will you testify of His great love and His great power and the truth that He has revealed in and through your life? Today’s reading continues down this avenue as Peter comes to tell the others back in Jerusalem what God has done in the life of Cornelius and his household, a family of non-Jews! God’s plan has always been for all of us! It’s just a matter if all of us will turn to Him! Let’s checkout how Peter explains to the others what God was able to do in and through him and what God taught Peter through the vision, dreams, and experience.
Peter’s Report to Jerusalem
1Now the emissaries and brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
2But when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision took issue with him,
3saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
4So Peter began explaining to them point by point, saying,
5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision—something like a great sheet coming down, being lowered from heaven by its four corners, and it came right to me.
6I looked inside, considering it carefully, and saw four-footed creatures of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the air.
7I also heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’
8“But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! For never has anything unholy or unclean entered my mouth.’
9But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider unholy.’
10This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven.
11“At that very moment, three men arrived at the house where we were, sent to me from Caesarea.
12The Ruach told me to go with them without hesitating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.
13He reported to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter.
14He will speak words to you by which you will be saved—you and all your household.’
15“As I began to speak, the Ruach ha-Kodesh fell on them, just as on us at the beginning.
16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.’
17Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us after we put our trust in the Lord Messiah Yeshua, who was I to stand in God’s way?”
18When they heard this they became quiet, and they glorified God, saying, “Then even to the Gentiles God has granted repentance leading to life!”
Discipling in Diaspora
19Now those scattered because of the persecution that happened in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Judeans.
20However, there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Yeshua.
21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
22News about these things reached the ears of the community in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
23When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was thrilled. He encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with heartfelt devotion.
24For Barnabas was a good man, full of the Ruach ha-Kodesh and faith. And a large number was added to the Lord.
25Then Barnabas left for Tarsus to look for Saul,
26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met together with Messiah’s community and taught a large number. Now it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christianoi.”
27Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted through the Ruachthat there was going to be a great famine over all the world. (This took place during the reign of Claudius.)
29So the disciples decided to send relief to those brothers and sisters living in Judea, each according to his ability.
30This they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
–from Acts 11
So have you heard the good news of Jesus? Has anyone spoken of all He has done and continues to do today? Has the news spread to your part of the world? Have you received it? What will it take for you to receive it? Is there anything keeping you receiving the greatest gift ever? The gift of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!
Today’s reading concludes in Matthew where we learn from Jesus how and why people are blessed (Be attitudes is what it is sometimes called)…
Drash on the Mountain
1Now when Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
–from Matthew 5
So let’s be salt and light to this world around us! There is so much darkness and sadness around the world and people are looking for a glimmer of hope! There is so much sorrow and pain that is looking for someone or something to spice things up! Let’s be it! Let’s share the joy of the Lord that is our strength that others may come to know the truth of God!
Called to Be Salt and Light
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house.
16In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
–from Matthew 5
Jesus didn’t come abolish the law but to fulfill it! Let’s grab a hold of this truth today!
Filling the Law to the Fullest
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!
21“You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’
22But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be subject to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be subject to fiery Gehenna.
23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
25“Make friends quickly with your opponent while you are with him on the way. Otherwise, your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the assistant, and you will be thrown into prison.
26Amen, I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last penny!
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29And if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body be thrown into Gehenna.
30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body go into Gehenna.
31“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall carry out your oaths to Adonai.’
34But I tell you, do not swear at all—not by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
37But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”
–from Matthew 5
So how will you respond to someone who has treated your wrong? Do good! How will you respond to someone who tried to manipulate or trick you? Do good! Don’t respond in anger but instead respond in love! Why let their behavior downgrade your own? By being nice to them and doing good things, you take the high road and it will be harder on them than retaliate because that is what they would expect and may even desire to help get rid of the pain or regret going on inside of themselves.
Overcoming Evil with Good
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.
40And the one wanting to sue you and to take your shirt, let him also have your coat.
41Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they?
47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they?
48Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
–from Matthew 5