BSF Genesis: Week 24, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.
That angel soldiers are camped on the earth .  Jacob met with them.  Those who would harm Elisha witnessed them

b.
Trust in God, knowing he has set forces of heaven to the ready to battle those who would stand in opposition to Him and His plan

4.
a.
i.
Angels of God met Jacob – “This is the camp of God”

ii.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them

iii.
My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight

iv.
We are competent to judge earthly matters.  We will judge angels.  How much more the things of this life

v.
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

b.
The protection of the encampment of angels.  When I am apart from family I know that God’s army of angels encircles them and protects them from harm

My Daily Journal:

I believe in God.  I believe in the bible.  I believe in angels.

That may sound silly to say, but I’m amazed sometimes on the cafeteria approach that some christians take to the words in the bible.  Accepting this and that because it says so, but not believing other things because, well, just because those don’t choose to.  I don’t think that is how it works.  The bible is either true or not.  I understand some things are stories and parables and illustrations and some things are specifically relevant to specific people and times.  Angels don’t fall into either of these categories.

The fact that there is a supernatural spirit world going on all around us is clearly stated throughout scripture.  From the fall of man and an angel guarding the entrance to Eden through to the angels in revelation, they permeate the scriptures.  Christ reference angels repeatedly.

So, while we some may choose to ignore them or treat them like dolls or decorations, angels with the strength and power to fight God’s battles and protect his believers are a fact.  It is a fact that I love and appreciate.

I leave my family each day to go to work.  I drop my children off at school and I have a child away at college.  My mother lives alone, my sister lives in another town and I have many other friends and family across the country.  I am thankful to the police, firemen and soldiers who do their duty to protect not only me, but my loved ones from earthly harm.  I am even more grateful for the angelic protectors who stand guard protecting them from things I do not even see or know are present.  What a greater risk and duty they perform!

BSF Genesis: Week 24, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
a.
Your servant Jacob,… In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups – If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape

b.
He expected Esau to fulfill his promise to kill him for stealing his blessing and conning him into selling his birthright.

6.
He knew he would survive.  Instead of prepare defenses or plans of retreat, he sent ahead gifts

7.
200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.

8.
a.
Attributes: Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD,
God’s Word: you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’
Confession: 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.
Remembering: I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.
Petition: 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau,
Acknowledge Weakness: for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.
God’s Promises: 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

b.
We need to start prayer with acknowledgement of who we are praying to and the word and promises that He has given to us

My Daily Journal:

Here are the approximate market price calculations for those who are interested:

200 female goats @ $163 = $32,600
20 male goats @ $177 = $3,540
200 ewes @ $340 = $68,000
20 rams @ $541 = $10,820
30 female camels with their young @ $10,000 = $450,000
40 cows @ $700 = $28,000
10 bulls @ $1700 = $17,000
20 female donkeys @ $1500 = $30,000
10 male donkeys @ $1500 = $15,000

Total: $654,960

While the cost was interesting, what I found even more interesting was that this is the first mention we have of Jacob being generous.  Abraham was generous with Lot and with the King of Salem.  Isaac was generous with his own life in obedience to his father and his God, but there has been no mention of any generous act by Jacob until this one.

This is not a bribe, Jacob knows he will survive the meeting with his brother.  Nor is it purely restitution, for no agreement of the cost of the damages has been reached.  This is a gift, an offering, something done with hope of reconciliation but not expectation of payment.  This is a demonstration of a generous heart, something valued by God in all his children.

BSF Genesis: Week 24, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

9.
His penchant for deception.  His predisposition to use deceit, financial strength, or other cunning to take advantage of a situation

10.
punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds, he struggled with God, he wept and begged for his favor

11.
The angel of the Lord, Jesus.  Face of God

12.
Man cannot force God to do anything.  Anything any man receives is a gift from the Almighty.  Jacob refused to let go showing a tenacity to cling to the Lord.  The greater blesses the lesser, not the other way around.

13.
We too rely on our own wit and cunning.  We believe that we can buy our way out of wrongs.  We confess our weaknesses but do not reject the things that make us weak

My Daily Journal:

What do we cling to?

The story of Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord is one with many facets.  Jacob is not chastised for wrestling with the Lord, but through his own strength he is unable to win, either over God or man.  In wrestling strength comes from the legs and hips.  Wrestlers, like most athletes, spend a lot of time physically developing “the core”, the mid body strength that transfers out.  In Jacob’s wrestling, one touch showed the weakness of his own core of relying on his own strength.  All he could do was hold on, cling to his opponent.

Did Jacob win?  Did he force the angel to do anything?  Given what he seeks, the answer is obvious.  A blessing is always and only transferred from the greater to the lesser.  Giving something back to someone that already belongs to them in not a blessing.  Nor can a blessing be bought or forced.  Receiving something unmerited is the definition of a blessing.

But, to cling to one thing, we have to let go of other things.  To cling to the Angel of the Lord, forced Jacob to not cling to himself.  To cling to God means to let go of our own desires to be in control.

BSF Genesis: Week 24, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

14.
a.
Bowed down 7 times

b.
They wept.  Called him “my lord” “For to see your face is like seeing the face of God”

c.
He seemed to place a longing for family that was greater than the anger he held.

15.
No.  He should have done as God commanded in Gen 31:3, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”Back to Bethel where God told him he would live in Gen 28:13

My Daily Journal:

I was struck by the lesson that humility and love go hand in hand.  Jacob had spent his youth conniving to get the upper hand on his brother.  He clung to his heal at birth, he bought his birthright, he stole his blessing from his father.  He always wanted to be over his brother, dominating in authority.  But to receive the love of his brother and overcome the hatred and anger Jacob had pushed into his brothers heart, could not be received through strength or cunning.  To receive love requires humility.