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Pastor’s Note

Again, in today’s reading of Genesis, we see the imperfection of God’s servants. Such observations should certainly make us thankful for the grace, mercy, and forgiveness we have in Christ. God is good to use imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will in each generation. May he use each of us today, as we step out into the world to make a difference for God, knowing that the “surpassing power belongs to God and not us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

— Pastor Mike

Genesis 27-28

Isaac Blesses Jacob

27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”

14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.” 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him. 24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” 25 Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,

“See, the smell of my son
 is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!
28 May God give you of the dew of heaven
 and of the fatness of the earth
 and plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
 and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
 and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
 and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”

30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? [1] For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

“Behold, away from [2] the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be,
 and away from [3] the dew of heaven on high.
40 By your sword you shall live,
 and you shall serve your brother;
but when you grow restless
 you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. [4] If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

Jacob Sent to Laban

28:1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. God Almighty [5] bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!” Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

Esau Marries an Ishmaelite

Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

Jacob’s Dream

10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder [6] set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it [7] and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, [8] but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Matthew 9:18-38

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly [9] the woman was made well. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

Jesus Heals a Man Unable to Speak

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Footnotes

[1] 27:36 Jacob means He takes by the heel, or He cheats
[2] 27:39 Or Behold, of
[3] 27:39 Or and of
[4] 27:46 Hebrew daughters of Heth
[5] 28:3 Hebrew El Shaddai
[6] 28:12 Or a flight of steps
[7] 28:13 Or beside him
[8] 28:19 Bethel means the house of God
[9] 9:22 Greek from that hour

  • NonieS

    Genesis 27

    24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”

    Jacob out and out lied, when he answered his father. He was a deceiver, and yet went on to be a great man of God. This does not make what he did right. As Pastor Mike said, “We see the imperfection of God’s servants.” We should strive to be truthful in all that we do; but should never look back at our sin and think that God can’t use us. God forgives and will use us to further His Kingdom, when we put our trust in Him.

    Matthew 9

    36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

    Jesus had just healed many people, and when He looked around, He had compassion on on them. The world is full of hurting people and yet there are few who go out and share the Gospel. Jesus told His discipes to pray for more laborers to share. We are ambassadors of Christ, and need to be sharing the Gospel with a hurting world. Let us all be fishers of men. Maranatha!

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes!

    • CheriClark

      Yes – His compassion struck me this morning also.

  • Anne Ventura

    Gen. 28:20-21

    Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God,

    Jacob bargains with God., if God does his part, then Jacob will acknowledge Him as God. God had already chosen Jacob in his mother’s womb, not through the faith of Jacob, but the promise of God in his mother’s womb did he meet Rachel.

    Matthew 9:18-38

    Two blind men see. “Once I was blind, but now I see” A woman is healed from uncleanliness and rejection but grace saved her. A girl is sleeping (dead in her sins) Jesus gave her new life. Demons driven out (Greater is He that is in You than he that is in the world) 1 John 4:4. Jesus still performs these miracles today through his word in the Bible. He opens our eyes and heals us from uncleanliness before the Father and gives us new life 2 Cor. 5:17 which allows us to see, no longer dead in our sins. Thank you Lord for the work you have done.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, Lord, thank You!

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'” Matthew 9:37-38

    May we pray earnestly today that our mighty God of salvation would send out more gospel laborers who have the same heart of compassion that Jesus did for the lost. And may we too go out as laborers today and seek to preach the good news of salvation to the lost souls who are “like sheep without a shepherd” (v. 36). As we pray, let’s do so with the same faith that healed the people who Jesus interacted with; I want Jesus to be able to say of me, “According to your faith be it done to you” (v. 29).

    • CheriClark

      Yes!

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Genesis 28:16 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

    Then: So Jacob is on his way to Paddan-aram to get a wife from one of Laban’s daughters. He has not exactly been doing things in a right manner. He has bought Esau’s birthright and he has stolen his blessing. Now he is fleeing to escape Esau’s wrath. But God meets him in this spot where he has stopped for the night.

    Always: As believers we need to live with the reality that God is in this place and in us.

    Now: The reality that God is with us. We as believers know we have the Holy Spirit in us. We know that God is with us. But the reality of living life with that fact can be hard at times. The reality of realizing that I am dragging God through the muck with me as I go through the day is hard to grasp at times. This is what I do. I picture Jesus before me. My Jesus is sort of tall and is slim in a muscular way – all that walking and carpentry work. His complexion is olive benefiting his heritage. His hair is dark and a little long. His eyes are dark brown. I can see the love in His eyes but also the pain that I have caused Him because of my sin. I can see the marks on His brow where the thorns were pushed down. I can see the gaping holes in His wrists where the stakes were hammered in. If I dare to touch Him, His side is tender from the spear that was thrust in. My God is with me. When I go to a movie that is not appropriate He is there. When I listen to music that is not uplifting He is there. When I hang with friends that are speaking inappropriately He is there. That should resonate with me. That should motivate me. That should temper my actions and my thoughts. May I live each day with the reality that God is in me.

    NT
    Matt 9:37-38 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

    Then: There are many that are following Jesus. They desire to be healed. Jesus has compassion on them. He knows that their greatest need is Him.

    Always: We should always have compassion on those that do not know Jesus.

    Now: This semester is starting up and my mind drifts to Awana and the youth ministries here at Compass. Many of the youth will be going to a weekend retreat where they will have fun, yes, but more importantly they will hear of the saving grace of our Lord. I think of Navigating Motherhood and the many ladies that will come for fellowship and information on how to be a better wife and mom. They need Jesus. And I notice something. Jesus tells Hs disciples to pray. Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest. That is where we should begin. That is where I should begin. In prayer. May I earnestly seek the Lord’s face and His desire for those they He brings across my path. May I be faithful and diligent to always point them to Him. And may I bathe each encounter with prayer.

    • Karen Chien

      thank you for the reminder to earnestly pray. Pray for God’s mercies to save the lost and for us to never cease to be used by Him

  • Karen Chien

    As I as reading the OT I just kept thinking how manipulative it was for Rebekah to encourage Jacob to deceive his own father. Pastor Mike summed it up best:
    Again, in today’s reading of Genesis, we see the imperfection of God’s servants. Such observations should certainly make us thankful for the grace, mercy, and forgiveness we have in Christ. God is good to use imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will in each generation.

    May I ever be so thankful that God has forgiven me in my many screw ups in life and use me to further Kingdom for His glory.
    ————

    NT 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened

    So amazing how Jesus used miracles back in the day to be a way to show His divinity and His power. Healing the blind is such a powerful illustration that is so symbolic of how people can be so blinded to the gospel truth. They may physically see and not be physically blind but they are blinded in their hearts to the saving grace coming only through Jesus Christ. It is only by the grace of God that He removes the veil , the scales from people eyes to make them see truth. Thankful He has opened my eyes,healed my blindness and chosen to save a wretch like me.

    • CheriClark

      Yes- I am constantly in awe that God would use me in His ministry.

  • Beth Metcalf

    …he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matt. 9:25b,36 (Jesus’ compassion touches my heart this morning once again, by taking the young lady by the hand…, and his compassion for the helpless sheep without a shepherd, and everyday we can praise him for his most compassionate deed, of the greatest measure, in that “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 To make propitiation for OUR sin. We can never sing enough praises to represent the amount due!)

    • CheriClark

      Yes – His greatest compassion was when Jesus took the wrath we deserved.

      • Beth Metcalf

        Amen my friend!

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Matthew 9:36
    When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

    Lord, help me to be more compassionate, like Jesus, today.
    Help me to use the resources you have given me to love and serve people.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we be so moved with compassion that we desire to present the news of the Gospel to them.

  • RyanDamato

    Genesis 27-
    37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?”

    Reference back: Genesis 25-23 And the Lord said to her,
    “Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
    the one shall be stronger than the other,
    the older shall serve the younger.”

    Throughout scripture God reveals his sovereignty and Lordship by choosing who he wants, when he wants to do it. He chose people throughout history that show an obvious lack of discernment and an obvious shortcoming in being capable of leading and establishing anything godly. For this reason, God would prove mankind that he is capable of changing wicked and deceitful hearts into hearts of righteousness.
    It’s easy to become puffed up when we have the truths of scripture to show us that once we are saved, we are always saved. It can give us such an extreme sense of security that we forget who we really are as human beings. We all start as sinners set apart from God.Some pasts are worse than others but all are founded on sin. God choosing us and delivering us from this should lead us all into actions of obedience and striving to please him in all we do.
    As I wake up each day, I pray that God would give me a clear view of the fact that I need to rely on his strength and power to fight the temptation to act as a typical sinful human being. My thoughts are easily directed by the temptations of the enemy and I pray that God gives me the desire to stay focused no matter how strong the temptations are.

    Matthew 9-
    35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

    Jesus was dealing with a people who knew God as a god who needed sacrifices and demanded obedience to the Law. They were looking for the Messiah but weren’t ready for him to actually be there alive amongst them. The way he established his ministry was speaking the gospel and performing miracles that only God could do. In order to forgive sins and “heal people’s soul” he would show how easy it was for him to heal their illnesses and diseases furthering his authority and command over everything.
    Can Jesus heal whatever he wants? Of course and his word shows that he will heal according to his will. The bigger concern and concentration in this passage is the fact that he can heal the heart. He requires a faith in him from those who he heals. Having faith in him and trusting in him being our Savior, should lead us to grab the baton and continue his ministry of sharing the gospel. He’s established his truth by how he lived so our focus is not “re-proving” that he was/is God by looking to perform miracles or anything like that, it’s teaching others that he is the only way we can escape the wrath of God. The harvest is plentiful and we need to answer the call and get to work.
    I love the fact that he uses this illustration of fields and harvest. Some of the hardest working people are farmers and they only have a season to reap all they can before it’s too late and their crops spoil. I want to be sure that this is my focus when I interact with non Christians. I pray for a sense of urgency as I work hard in the fields.

    • CheriClark

      “God choosing us and delivering us from this should lead us all into actions of obedience and striving to please him in all we do.” – YES!!

  • Sam Funk

    Gen 27:24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”

    Isaac asked several clarify questions that tested the honesty of Jacob but jacob failed. He lied to obey his mother and to get a blessing that didn’t belong to him in human terms. However, it was the Lord who declared it when they were born. It was a fulfillment of God’s plan.

    Gen 28:13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.

    The land of Israel is not something a country or group of nations can decide is theirs. God declared it was their land thousands of years ago. Woe to those who go against the word of the Lord.

    Matt 9:24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.

    Incredibly, even after bring a person back from the dead, bring sight to the blind and other miraculous signs, and preaching and fulfilling God’s word, some still refused to believe he was the Son of God.

    • CheriClark

      People have so much information about Jesus and they refuse to turn to Him today.

  • CrisFrancisco

    Daily Bible Reading for January 11, 2017

    OT

    8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. (‭Genesis‬ ‭27‬:‭8‬ ESV)
    Rebecca used her influence to command her son to lie and deceive. By God’s grace, he was able to work out his purposes. We need to be careful about how we use our authority and influence and never cause people to stumble and sin against the Lord.

    NT

    37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭37-38‬ ESV)
    The harvest is plentiful for the kingdom but the laborers are few. May we be prayerful that God would send out more laborers, that people would step up to obey the command to evangelize, and that I would be a faithful labor for the Lord.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, appreciate that you pray for more laborers and that you begin with yourself. May we always be willing to labor for our Lord.

  • Sadie-Megin Daniels

    Matthew 9:23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.

    They laughed at Jesus because they thought they knew better than He did: Only a foolish person would think a dead person was only sleeping. God turns the wisdom of the world on its head. The wise become fools and the fools become wise. Better to be a fool and trust in Christ than to be wise according to the world.

    • CheriClark

      Yes – may we seek His wisdom.

  • Tracy Libby

    Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”💙

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