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Today's Reading
January 10

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Pastor’s Note

We are only ten days into this year’s DBR and have already covered so much ground. I am grateful that you are reading God’s word each day along with us. Thank you for your investment in this fundamental Christian discipline. May God continue to bless and encourage your walk with him, as you thoughtfully and faithfully give yourself to reading and meditating on his word.

— Pastor Mike

Genesis 25-26

Abraham’s Death and His Descendants

25:1 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, 10 the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. 11 After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.

12 These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 (These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) 18 They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled [1] over against all his kinsmen.

The Birth of Esau and Jacob

19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” [2] So she went to inquire of the Lord23 And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
 and two peoples from within you [3] shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
 the older shall serve the younger.”

24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. [4] Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom. [5]31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

God’s Promise to Isaac

26:1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Isaac and Abimelech

So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with [6]Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’” 10 Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

12 And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, [7] because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. [8] 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, [9]saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

26 When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army, 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28 They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 He called it Shibah; [10] therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they made life bitter [11] for Isaac and Rebekah.

Matthew 9:1-17

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

9:1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing [12] their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus Calls Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus [13] reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A Question About Fasting

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, [14] but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Footnotes

[1] 25:18 Hebrew fell
[2] 25:22 Or why do I live?
[3] 25:23 Or from birth
[4] 25:26 Jacob means He takes by the heel, or He cheats
[5] 25:30 Edom sounds like the Hebrew for red
[6] 26:8 Hebrew may suggest an intimate relationship
[7] 26:20 Esek means contention
[8] 26:21 Sitnah means enmity
[9] 26:22 Rehoboth means broad places, or room
[10] 26:33 Shibah sounds like the Hebrew for oath
[11] 26:35 Hebrew they were bitterness of spirit
[12] 9:4 Some manuscripts perceiving
[13] 9:10 Greek he
[14] 9:14 Some manuscripts add much, or often

  • Sam Funk

    Gen 25:9 Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, 10 the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife.

    Despite their disorder earlier and their separation in location, Isaac and Ishmael did the honorable thing in burying their earthly father together.

    Gen 26:31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace.

    Praying that I can serve the Lord in such a way that it becomes obvious to others that God has blessed me.

    Matt 9: 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

    What a powerful demonstration of his authority! Rather than just saying his sins were forgiven, Jesus proved his sovereignty by healing the man right in front of them. And yet, some were not willing to fear God enough to repent.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, my heart aches for those who do not want to acknowledge who Jesus is.

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Gen 26:22 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, [9]saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

    Then: Isaac’s servants digs 2 wells and the herdsmen of the area claim them as theirs. So they dig a third well and finally that one is not disputed.

    Always: We as believers are to be persistent.

    Now: How many times do we give up when things gets hard? We think we are suppose to do something. We think it is God’s will. But yet there is opposition. Now not every time because we need to prayerfully consider whether we are acting in God’s will or on our own. But sometimes there are just obstacles. God wanted Isaac’s well to be in that third spot and so it was. We did to be persistent in acting on the promises of God even when, especially when, there is opposition.

    NT
    Matt 9: 6-8 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

    Then: Jesus has been healing and curing paralysis so the crowds knew He could do that. But here He makes a point that He came to forgive sins.

    Always: Jesus came to forgive our sins.

    Now: Oh – how fickle we are as people. They oohed and aahed over the fact the Jesus could heal the sick. Many came to Jesus for just that benefit. They (at least many of them) did not realize that their greatest need was for the forgiveness of their sins. They needed to be made right before God. They were quite willing to accept Jesus as a healer of the sick but not quite sure about this healing of their sins. It was much more important for Jesus to heal this man’s sins than it was to heal his paralysis. But the crowd murmurs at that. They know that God forgives sin. And this Jesus was thinking He could do that? He very clearly told them that He is God. He can forgives sins. But because someone can say your sins are forgiven but there is no proof to back that up Jesus tells the man to arise and go home. He heals His paralysis. People wanted a sign and Jesus gave it to them. His ministry of miracles was to support all that He said. It was to gather their attention and prove that He is God. Oh- but many did not and still do not believe. Jesus has done all the work. We need in repentance and faith to trust in the work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus came to die to pay the penalty of our sins so that we might spend eternity with Him. Does your heart rejoice in that today as you follow the path He has laid before you?

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes, may I pursue harder when I am confronted with obstacles.

  • NonieS

    Genesis 26

    3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.

    Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God makes a promise to Isaac. He gives him good land. God always keeps His promises!

    As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. – Matthew 9:9

    Jesus calls His first disciple, Matthew. Matthew didn’t ask any questions; but rose and followed Jesus. We too must be obedient to Christs call and follow Him. Maranatha!!

    • CheriClark

      Yes – may we obey and follow.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12

    The first step to salvation is to realize our sickness/sin before a holy/perfect God. Jesus came not only to heal the physically sick but the spiritually sick. Even as Christians, we are all fighting off the sickness of sin to some degree or another every day. We need to daily acknowledge our need for our great physician and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we see our sin as Jesus does.

  • Karen Chien

    OT 4 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

    A great reminder of God’s provisions when we obey and do the will of the Father. How do our children show us that they love us? It is by action- by obedience. So the same with us, when we show action -obedience to the will of God we are showing Him that we heed His commands and want to honor Him by obeying His words. Yes it will be hard because the flesh will be at war with spiritual matters. But so thsnkfuk that after being a new creation in Christ we will have that desire because the Spirit will dwell within us.

    NT 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

    Jesus desires for those who willingly admit they are sinners. He doesn’t want a show off of who is better than another, even in terms of “religious good works” because everyone’s works are like filthy rags to a holy God. Christ came to heal the sick, came to seek the lost , those who are meek and humble need of a Savior, the Light of the world. Even the ones who seem to have it all on the outside (great job, stable income, family in tact, got a house, car etc…) may be the sickest most needy person in despair of true hope on the inside compared to the one who is an obvious complete disaster on the outside a “sinner” (lost job, lost their family, has no place to lay down) but has repented and place hope, salvation and security in Christ alone, would be one who has been healed.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we see sin, and especially our sin, as God does.

  • Anne Ventura

    Matthew 9:4-5

    4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?

    Thank you Lord, for performing the lesser deed to prove the greater. Though the miracle of healing can be seen, the forgiveness of my sins proved to be greater for eternal life.

    • CheriClark

      What a greater miracle – that of redeeming us!!!

  • RyanDamato

    -Genesis 25-
    21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

    26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

    The Bible is so clear regarding prayer. God desires communication but he is very clear about his plan not being altered by man’s desires. His will (desire) is that man would reach out to him with prayers that align with his will (plan).
    The concluding thing in prayer based on this account of Isaac and Rebekah is patience and trust as an additional element to prayer. Isaac was 40 years old when he and Rebekah were married. the time line is vague in this account but what we do see is 19 years of time between marriage and conception. Even if we don’t know for sure when Isaac began praying, we do know the goal during that time was to have children, be fruitful and multiply. 19 years would have been a long time to wait to begin praying for Rebekah. Conjecture? Yes, so the key for us as Christians is to remain steadfast on God’s plan, to recognize that he has called us to do certain things and if we are diligent in working hard, and we’re in prayer with a will that aligns with his, he will address it on his time line, not our own.
    I have specifically pulled this verse out several years when commenting but it really has a place in my heart because of the transformed life of my mother. Growing up, I prayed so often regarding her life and many years went by before the Lord revealed to me (and everybody else that was praying for her) that her time was ready. She repented of her sin and has become a strong woman of God over the years. God’s convicting message to me through it all was that I seemingly gave up at times in my conversations with him. I want to make sure that what I pray for is in fact prayed with all trust and faith no matter what God’s timing might reveal.

    Matthew 9-
    10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Go, therefore, making disciples…later in Matthew, Jesus lays down the great commission which is intended for all people to be purposeful about their lives as Christ’s ambassadors. Jesus wasn’t reclining and scheming on how to collect more taxes, he was specifically there to call out their sin and command them to turn from it and live for him and do what’s right.
    We have taken this passage and completely wrecked the implication of it. So many Christians say they are using their life (outward expression of faith) rather than words to reach the lost. They partner up with the world, “recline at table” so to speak and they find ways to mix in without being purposeful about that meeting. We need to make sure that when we feel our ministry is in an environment where sinners are abundant, we are vocal and purposeful about reaching them with the gospel message. The early apostles were great examples of this as they specifically preached the word no matter how “offensive” it might seem and then they would live amongst the people as witnesses of what they’ve already preached.
    Reference 2 Corinthians 6- (notice that verse 14 isn’t referring to just dating or marriage as commonly connected to)
    11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.
    The Temple of the Living God
    14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
    I pray for my interactions with sinners. I pray that my life would be a constant Matthew 28 scenario and I pray God would use me in my communication with the lost.

    • CheriClark

      “I want to make sure that what I pray for is in fact prayed with all trust and faith no matter what God’s timing might reveal.” – Yes. Thank you for sharing your account of praying for your mom for many years. May we rest in God’s timing.

  • Tracy Libby

    Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”?

    • CheriClark

      Amen!

  • CrisFrancisco

    Daily Bible Reading for January 10, 2017

    OT

    21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (‭Genesis‬ ‭25‬:‭21‬ ESV)
    I love to see when God’s people go to the Lord in prayer. Our father in heaven loves to fellowship with his children.

    Made I be more and more characterized to be a person who is dependent on the Lord and is frequently in prayer. May I not lack because I never asked the Lord.

    NT

    2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭2‬ ESV)
    Jesus gave the paralytic the best thing that he could give him: forgiveness of sins and eternal life. To prove that he was able to grant forgiveness, he also gave him the ability to walk. Our God is simply amazing and gracious.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, He is!

  • Sadie-Megin Daniels

    Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Thank You, Lord, that You came to call sinners! Luther said that his sin gave him hope because Jesus Christ came to save sinners. Thank You, Lord, that You are a merciful God!

    • CheriClark

      Yes- grateful that He called me!

  • Beth Metcalf

    And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matt. 9:15 (Aren’t we overwelmed, in pain… when our groom is “not with us”? Due to death…, quarrels…, hearts not one… Yes. Thank you Lord our groom, you never leave us! …”for you are with us”(ie: Ps.23:4) Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut.31:6

    • CheriClark

      Yes!!!

  • Zachary Carreon

    Matthew 9:9
    “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.”

    He chooses us despite our sinful dispositions and the scorn of the world.

    • CheriClark

      So grateful that He chose me.

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Matthew 9:5
    For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?

    Lord, may I not forget that the miracle of conversion surpasses any earthly healing.
    We can be so shortsighted. Help me to see more clearly today.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, the One who can save us is more than capable of doing the “lessor'” miracles.

  • Amy Smith

    God is so gracious to give us so much detail about the lives of those who have gone before us. May the Lord help me to discern, acknowledge and repent of / turn from favoritism in my home, regarding how I spend my time, among my family in Christ, non-believers…it can be so subtle! May the Lord help me to reach deeply into every aspect of this in my life and root it out!

    NT: And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. – Matthew 9:1
    Great reminder that Jesus was rejected by those in his own city. I think of my immediate family on my side – I am the first that I know of has been born-again and my family members are not interested in discussing the Bible and its validity. May the Lord help me to never stop showing compassion towards them and increase my faith and earnestness in prayer for their salvation.

    • CheriClark

      It is always tougher it seems when those you are trying to minister to are family. Praying for you.

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