Genesis 30, Esther 6, Matthew 21

Read Genesis 30, Esther 6, and Matthew 21.

This devotional is about Genesis 30. 

How do you get what you want? How do you achieve our goals if they depend on factors you can’t control?

That’s what Jacob and Rachel struggled with in this chapter of scripture. Rachel, to begin with, really wanted a baby (v. 1). Infertility can happen to a couple because of physical issues with the husband or the wife. In this case, though, we know the problem wasn’t with Jacob’s body because he was making plenty of children with his other wife, Leah.

Unable to conceive herself, Rachel begged her husband for help (v. 1). But Jacob wasn’t a gynecologist and, at that time, there were no medically-valid infertility treatments anyway, so he was frustrated in verse 2 that Rachel turned to him. Rachel came up with another idea which was to use her slave as a surrogate mother (v. 3). That plan worked (vv. 4-6), but sparked a baby war between Rachel and Leah (vv. 9-21).

Later in the chapter, Jacob was ready to leave town because he was not prospering financially by working for Laban. We see that in verse 30b where he said, “when may I do something for my own household?” Jacob and Laban brokered a deal that would compensate Jacob better for his work (vv. 31-36). But, rather than merely trusting God to bless his work, Jacob came with a superstitious way to try to tilt the odds of prosperity in his favor (vv. 37-42).

Ultimately, God did give Rachel what she really wanted–not a step-child but a son of her own (vv. 22-23, and another son later who is foreshadowed in verse 24). Note that, in verse 22, “God remembered Rachel; he listened to her….” In other words, it was prayer, not manipulative human schemes, that got Rachel what she wanted.

The book of James, chapter 4:2 says, “…You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” The human way to reach an impossible goal is to use devious, superstitious, manipulative, or other sinful means. 

The way of faith is to pray. Trust God, accept his yes or no answer, but ask him earnestly, repeatedly, sincerely for what you need or desire. Is there any desire or goal you have that you’re trying to use sinful human ways to achieve? Trust God and pray for it instead. 

Leviticus 15, Proverbs 29, Psalm 101

Today, read Leviticus 15, Proverbs 29, Psalm 101.

This devotional is about Psalm 101.

In this song, David sang about the ideals to which he aspired. Each “I will” expressed his determination as the king to lead his kingdom according to specific moral principles. Those moral principles were:

to lead himself first (vv. 1-3b)

Before expressing moral goals for his administration, David set some personal goals for himself. Those goals were:

  • To praise God and live a godly life in His sight (vv. 1-2a-b)
  • To act with righteousness in his personal, family decisions (v. 2c)
  • Never to approve of something that God disapproves of (v. 3a-b).

to cultivate relationships carefully (vv. 3c-7)

Because the king was powerful, many people courted his friendship in order to gain power. David determined to be careful about who influenced him by:

  • separating himself from:
    • those who were dishonest (“faithless = lacking in faithfulness” v. 3c-d)
    • those who had evil hearts (v. 4).
    • those who gossiped. In fact, he determined to rebuke anyone wanted to tell him secrets that slander others (v. 5a-b)
    • those who were proud (v. 5c-d)
    • those who were dishonest liars (v. 7)
  • and, instead, choosing to make friends with those who:
    • are faithful to God and others (v. 6a-b)
    • who are righteous in their lives before God (v. 6c-d)

to rule justly (v. 8)

  • by silencing those who were wicked and outspoken about it (v. 8a-b)
  • by delivering justice to those who broke God’s law intentionally (v. 8c-d)

None of us is a king, but each of us should consider how making these kinds of choices could affect our lives and the lives of others.

Do you live your life by a moral code?

Have you ever spelled out on paper the kind of life you are determined to live by the grace of God, the kind of people you won’t and will be influenced by, and how you will use the power/influence you have?

As David sang this song, perhaps each morning at the beginning of his day, he was rehearsing what it would look like to do the right thing at the moment of decision, reminding himself of what was important to him (because it is important to God), and resolving to live his life by these principles.

As we know, David did not perfectly live by these principles No one, except Jesus, was or is able morally to live by these or any other good principles. These are the things David aspired to be personally and to see cultivated in his kingdom.

Who do you aspire to become morally? Have you considered writing out your principles and reviewing them regularly?

Ephesians 1:11-14

Ephesians 1:11-14

Ephesians 1:1-10 taught us that God has a plan for everything. But how do we know that God’s plan is working? What evidence is there in the world? What evidence should you look for in your own life that God’s plan is working? Find out more about it in this message from Ephesians 1:11-14.

This is a message from chapter 1 of the New Testament book of Ephesians by Pastor Brian Jones.

This message was delivered on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at Calvary Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Watch on other platforms:

Ephesians 1:11-14

Ephesians 1:11-14

The Bible teaches that God has a plan but what evidence is there that God’s plan is actually working? How do we know that God is doing something in this world? Find out in this message by Pastor Brian Jones on Ephesians 1:11-14.

This message is from chapter 1 of the New Testament book of Ephesians by Pastor Brian Jones.

This message was delivered on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at Calvary Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Watch on other platforms: