God Sees

Genesis 27-29

Genesis 29 31a NIV

Recently I have been able to spend a lot of time with my nephew and niece. My nephew is 2 years old and my niece is 7 months old. It’s almost a little weird how spending time with children can be such a blessing. They almost never give you anything or return the amount of love that you give them. Yet for some reason they are a blast to be around. My nephew is at a stage where he wants your full, undivided attention. This is great when you have some free time to hang out but when you are running late or need your focus elsewhere it gets a little challenging. Children have a way of a bringing joy to your life with a simple smile.

In Genesis 29 Jacob works for Laban to make Rachel and Leah his wives. I am completely unsure how Jacob handled having two wives but it doesn’t seem like he handled it well. Jacob didn’t really want to marry Leah but Laban his father-in-law lied to him and he ended up having to marry both sisters in order to have Rachel. Jacob had some options being married to both, he could either treat both of them right or he could treat one unfairly. He chose the latter by ignoring Leah the sister he didn’t want to marry

I want to hone in on verses 31-35. You may already be familiar with the story but sometimes it is nice to get a reminder. In verse 31 it says that Leah was hated and God saw her being hated. So God opened her womb and gave her sons. Leah’s response is that God gave her these children so that her husband would love her. Maybe so, but maybe God just wanted to bless Leah with children.

This passage shows us a larger idea as well. We too often forget that God is with us and sees everything. It can be easy when we are going through hard times for us to feel like we are all alone. I think Leah probably felt alone. She is married to a guy who never wanted to be married to her and chose her sister over her. She probably felt like she was competing with her sister for the love of their husband. I imagine that her relationship with her sister was really messed up. She probably felt all alone through this whole situation.

God saw the situation that was unfolding and looked upon her with compassion and showed her love and mercy by giving her children. God sees us in our situations and he does interact in our world to stop injustice. Psalm 34.18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” He didn’t let Leah’s suffering go unnoticed. Your suffering doesn’t go unnoticed either. Isaiah 64.4 says, “… no eye has seen a God besides you, who act for those that wait for him.”

I take a lot of solace in these scriptures because I know that when I am suffering, feeling alone and am brokenhearted that if I wait for God in whatever situation that I am in that he will act in that situation. Whether it’s a situation like Leah’s where everyone hated her and she had to be feeling lonely or you just feel alone at school and you don’t feel like you have any friends we have a God that if we wait for him, he will act. God isn’t blind to our suffering and he will move our lives if we wait for him. In Leah’s situation I am sure just having the first-born child would have been good enough to bring joy into her life. God went well beyond that and gave her three children to raise and to love. God showered her with goodness.

Daniel Wall

 

Read or listen to today’s Bible passage at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+27-29&version=NIV

 

Tomorrow’s reading will be Genesis 30-31 on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

Stuck

Genesis 19-21

Genesis 19 16

Have you ever gotten your car stuck before? Growing up, my brothers and I often went over to our grandparents’ farm. In high school, I started helping out with keeping up around the place. I would load up in the old beat up farm truck and head to the places that need to be looked after, which sometimes took me down into the swampy parts of the property. Some days, I could maneuver just fine through the trees and brush, but on others, I would begin to sink. If the truck got into a place where the tires couldn’t get traction, then they would start to spin, sinking the truck even deeper into the muck.

 

Lot has got himself stuck in a similar situation. In Genesis 13, Lot chose the edenic land close to the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, while Abram moved further away from him. Abraham, through his prayers and his concern for his nephew Lot, convinced God to relent in destroying the city in chapter 18. But, even so, we see the depth of the evil of the city in chapter 19, where the angels could not even find 10 righteous people. Because of this, the destruction God had planned was set to occur. God was going to destroy the city with burning sulfur (Gen. 19:23-26), an epic and troubling display of God’s wrath.

 

In the midst of these verses, filled with despicable actions and God’s judgment of them, we also see the tender portrayal of God’s forgiveness and compassion. While getting ready to destroy the city, the angels, who God had sent, grabbed Lot’s hand and pulled him out of the city. This was done “because of the Lord’s compassion for him” (Gen. 19:16). Lot was stuck in his ways, stuck in the lifestyle of sin created by the place he was living in. He was stuck in the filth and mud. God however loved Lot too much to leave him in this place. He grabbed Lot and brought him out of his former life.

 

So often, we are like Lot. We thought we chose the best path for ourselves when we survey the options in front of us. Sometimes though, what looks best to us may lead us too close to the lifestyle of sin. We get into that swampy place and spin our tires – stuck even if we wanted to get out. It’s in these moments that God reaches in and pulls us out. It may be painful, but it is so so worth it to leave behind those sinful places and follow God out of what is destined to be destroyed.

 

Do you feel like you are stuck in sin? Pray for God’s salvation today.

 

-Cayce Fletcher
Read or listen to today’s Bible reading here – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19-21&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Genesis 22-24 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Mercy and Compassion

Isaiah 14-16

isa-14-1-ww-cc-9x

Thursday, February 9

If someone were to look at news regarding the Middle East, there is a good chance it would have something to do with the people of Israel fighting against the surrounding nations.  Israel always seems to have problems with its neighbors.  These problems go all the way back to Abraham!  In today’s section of reading, there were several passages about neighboring nations of Israel.

At the beginning of our reading in Isaiah 14:1, it states that “the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land.”  Even though the people of Israel were a wicked nation at this time, God was still going to have compassion on them.  This is an example of the grace and mercy of God, as He was still going to work with them and give them their own land.  Similar to God having mercy on the people of Israel, God is willing to have mercy on us.  God’s will is that no one should perish; He wants us to seek Him.  If we do, then God will have mercy on us and grant us a spot in the coming Kingdom.

The rest of our reading for the day had to deal with the oracles of the surrounding nations.  Although God was merciful towards his own people, the other nations don’t necessarily receive that same mercy.  These other nations were opposing the people of Israel, and God was not too fond of that.  He was going to redeem His people.  God has the back of the Israelites, even when they were at their worst.

Nowadays, according to Paul, “There is neither Jew nor Greek,” (Galatians 3:28).  Anyone who devotes their life to God, is seen as a chosen people from our Heavenly Father.  The chosen people in the Old Testament were pretty much the Israelites.  The chosen people nowadays are followers of Christ.  Therefore, just as God had the backs of the Israelites, God has our back.

-Kyle McClain

(photo credit: http://www.alittleperspective.com/isaiah-14-through-16/)