Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday, January 13th: Genesis 31-32, Romans 11:1-18 ~ Nathan

I'm the second rookie that's joining this blog this year. I'm Tammy's lesser-known other half, and I'm still waiting to see what our rookie initiation will be, ha ha.  Seriously, I'm doing this blog for the same reason Conrad is, which is to study the Bible in a deeper way.  I admire Tammy, Pamela, and whoever else has contributed over the years, and all the time they've put into doing this. I'm hoping for a deeper walk with Christ for myself and all others, both writing and reading this blog.

In chapter 31 we read about Laban,  and his relationship with his son-in-law Jacob. What stands out to me about Laban is the contrasts in his life in this chapter. He's a man who uses Jacob to labour for him for 14 years with the promise to Jacob of eventually marrying his daughter, and never comes through with his end of the bargain. He cheats Jacob in pay, and is a man who keeps false gods (vs 19).

Then he goes on later in the chapter  mentioning how he cares for his children and grand children (vs 55), he even makes an agreement with Jacob later in the chapter and references a strong belief in God. So at times he trusts in God and others he clearly doesn't.

I found it humorous to read in verses 34-35 how Rachel hid the false gods from her father by sitting on them,  then claiming it was her time of the month for bleeding,  as an excuse for not wanting to move! Must have been a good laugh when told later to her sister! 

In chapter 32 we see Jacob's nervousness, by dividing all his possession into two groups, when he was about to meet his brother Esau. The brothers hadn't seen each other in years and had parted on a bad note. God had told Jacob to go back to his home land and that he would take care of him (vs 12), and yet Jacob was still nervous.

In Romans 11:11-12 we read about how a majority of the Jews turned away from God,  and how this brought blessings to the rest of the world. God didn't give up on his chosen people,  but says the world will be that much richer for it when the Jews become the kind of people God wants. There's hope for all!


Tammy said...

Laban definitely seems to be very manipulative and deceitful. He seems to just say whatever will help him out of the situation. He accuses Jacob of stealing from him even though Jacob had earned everything that he took with him, and it really was Laban that was the one being deceitful.

I love the hope in our Romans passage - God has always and will always preserve a remnant.

Pamela said...

Relating back to what Conrad mentioned yesterday, I think Rachel really was just eye candy to Jacob and that her heart was not as beautiful as her outward appearance. I can't help but think that Rachel wasn't who God had intended for Jacob at all. I found it interesting that it was Rachel that chose to steal from her father and lie about it when Jacob fled. I too found the excuse she gave quite humorous.

I think Jacob's crazy amounts of gifts to try and sway Esau's wrath was interesting because Jacob seemed to trust God when he left Laban to return "home" but Jacob was still unsure. I wonder if staying with Laban was a greater risk and if he just thought that with all the time that had passed that he'd have an easier relationship with Esau? Or did Jacob leave just because God told him to.

In verse 18 in Romans, this stood out:
"do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you." I think sometimes we forget that "every good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17) Not only our salvation, but our gifts and abilities, as well as our material blessings, relationships, and health that all these things are gifts from God. We are arrogant if we think these things come from our own abilities.

Conrad said...

Well done rookie! It's funny you should mention the period part because I was thinking the same thing - that they were all having a good laugh afterwards about that.

I also found it interesting that everything that Laban had in wealth was something that he felt that he earned and claimed as his own (Genesis 31:43), while Jacob understood that everything he had was a blessing from God (Genesis 31:9).

The passage in Romans is a great reminder of God's grace (vs 6). No matter how frustrated God would have been with the Israelites, He did not reject them. The same goes for us. No matter how badly we have sinned, we have the assurance that God will never reject us!