- Rebekah came up with a plot to get Jacob blessed instead of Esau
- Jacob talked back to his mother, so she gave him a very clever disguise
- Jacob lied to his father Isaac, so Isaac gave him a unmatchable blessing
- Esau was very sorry and cried for the blessing, but it was too late
- Rebekah sent Jacob to Laban to keep Esau from killing him
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
There are certain long-standing problems that the Lord has been working on in my life, like wasting time. It's as if He has come looking for fruit in that area for years. He does everything He can to help us be fruitful.
We should take advantage of the Lord's help, to grow in areas where we have weaknesses, while we still have a chance to do that.
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
What we think and do in our time by ourselves will eventually be shown to everyone.
For example, we shouldn't waste time on entertainment, like games and videos, especially bad videos, when we should be working at home or working on homework.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
We should remember the importance of seeking the Lord in prayer. Here we have promises that it will be effective.
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
The one good part that was needful and wouldn't be taken away, was to sit as Jesus' feet and hear His Word. We should serve much, but we shouldn't let our much serving get in the way of our Bible time.
1 Timothy 5:1&2
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren;
The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
I believe that this verse teaches that single men and women we should treat each other like brothers and sisters. I think that we shouldn't be completely separated from each other, but I don't think we should act like we're married either. I think we should be just friends. It says,
with all purity. (I added the emphasis.) That includes not just physically, but also in mind and heart.
And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac [was] sporting with Rebekah his wife.
When Abimelech saw the way Isaac was playing with Rebekah, he knew for sure that she wasn't just Isaac's sister. I don't agree with the dating game, because I feel that as singles, we shouldn't have fun with each as if we're married, but without the commitment. If we do, we're not treating each other as just brothers and sisters.
Should a brother and sister in the Lord just suddenly get married then? I don't think so.Proverbs 19:2
Also, [that] the soul [be] without knowledge, [it is] not good; and he that hasteth with [his] feet sinneth.Proverbs 14:15
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going.
In order to avoid haste, and consider our steps, I believe in courtship: spending time together to seek the Lord for His will about the relationship.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
One of the Lord's followers has to be a focused worker. If we're going to be His servants, we have to be faithful and follow through with our work for Him.
And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
This was a time of famine, and water was necessary for survival. This was especially true because the Lord had told Isaac not to go down into Egypt like people usually did in famine.
What really stood out to me in this chapter was that, when there was a conflict, Isaac avoided fighting by giving up what was rightly his and moving on. We should be like that.
A few things we should never compromise, but sinful pride makes us want our own way whenever there's strife. More often, I'll humble myself by giving up my own way even when I'm right.
- obey and be blessed
- Isaac lied about his wife to try to save his life
- the Lord blessed Isaac so much that there wasn't room for him in the land
- when there was strife, Isaac gave up what was his and moved on
- Abimelech made a peace treaty with Isaac
- v34 & 35
- Esau's parents were grieved by the foreign wives he chose
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
I happened to come to this in my daily Bible reading, and when my friend was speaking this morning, he encouraged us to consider this parable. People's hearts are like 4 kinds of ground in which the Lord's Word can be planted like a seed. Which of the 4 kinds of ground are we?
In this 3rd kind of ground, cares and pleasures, like thorns, choked out the Word of God so it didn't produce good things. We can be tempted by pleasures and cares, like worries that lead to anger and complaining. Sometimes we're tempted by riches, to have slightly dishonest business practice, or to withhold generosity.v15
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.The key to making our hearts into good ground for the Word, is to have patience.
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
The greatest faith is manifest by the humility of the believer.
- righteous business practices
- be humble
- v3, 5-8, 17, 19-21, 23, 29
- a person's righteousness or wickedness is the thing that will end up helping them or hurting them
- righteousness matters more than riches
- v9, 12&13
- be discrete in speech
- righteousness effects cities
- the importance of counsel
- good character for women
- much effort for righteousness will pay off well, but wickedness pays off too, in a different way
- generosity pays back
- win souls
Topic: Psalm 127:3-5
Family Size -- Your Opinion
Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.
As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth.
Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
My opinion about family size is that the Bible teaches that children are a blessing from the Lord, and that having many makes a person happy.
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
When we have troubles, we should entreat the Lord for them like Isaac did for this. That can actually make a difference.
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Next time I'm troubled and I feel like complaining, I'll entreat the Lord about the situation instead.
- Abraham's other children
- Abraham's burial
- the family tree of Ishmael
- the short story of Isaac
- the beginning of Jacob and Esau
- Esau sold his birthright to Jacob
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.
This is a good reminder that we shouldn't look at our situations like we deserve good for ourselves. We should be living to serve.
And so [was] also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
When we go places, we should remember that we're supposed to be fishermen to bring people to the Lord. Just like the Lord gave James and John the huge catch of fish, it's the Lord that does the work to draw people to Himself when we're faithful to speak up for Him.
Let's do that, and be bold to preach the gospel to people everywhere we go.
He that gathereth in summer [is] a wise son: [but] he that sleepeth in harvest [is] a son that causeth shame.
At first I thought this just meant that people should sleep when it's time to sleep, and not when it's not time to. Then I started to think that it's not normal to harvest in summer, at least not that much. I suppose there are certain summer crops that people can plant and then have to harvest in the summer, but, in general, harvesting in summer is probably a supplementary thing. Now I think this verse something along the lines of, 'A wise person will work hard for extra time, when he doesn't even have to, but a person who causes shame won't even work when it's obviously time to.'
I think it's interesting that this verse talks about
a wise son and
a son that causeth shame, because it really parallels with
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.If it's a time when we want to be a comfort or encouragement to our parents, we should make sure that we're wise, and that we're diligent.
This week I'll work on not sleeping too much.
- wickedness or righteousness, it will eventually have a real effect (v1, 7,9,10a,24,25, 27-30)
- the real value of work and wealth is based on righteousness (v2,3,16,22)
- much about good and bad speech (v6,8b,10b,11,14, 18-21, 31&32)
- if you will be wise and do well, you have to listen to other people and to criticism (v8,14a,17,23)
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
The word, murmurings, according to Thayer's Lexicon, means a secret debate [or] secret displeasure not openly avowed... querulous discontent.Jude 16
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
The people with the terrible character described in Jude were characterized by murmuring and complaining.Psalm 142:2
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
The acceptable usage of complaining, is to pray to the Lord about your troubles.
v55 & 56
And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us [a few] days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
The Lord had helped things go quickly up to this point, but they could have easily lost the time afterward. And often, things that get put off don't get done.
I have a problem with wasting time. Sometimes the Lord answers prayer and helps me get things done quickly, like this servant. Then it's tempting to let things slide, and I loose the time afterward anyway. When I see that the Lord has prospered my way so far, I won't let things hinder me and make me slip back.
- Abraham said that the Lord would send an angel (v7)
...the LORD led me...(v27)
I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.(v33)
- Abraham's servant's testimony
- he wouldn't be stalled or hindered
- he loved her and was comforted -- the comfort in loving others
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
This is talking about how God appointed Jesus, and it says
...he hath anointed me to preach the gospel... But we can also take this as encouragement for us to preach the gospel. That's the Lord's work that we're privileged to be brought into.
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance...
We too, should fear the Lord's awesome judgment, and not just talk about repentance, but make some real changes. Including:
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse [any] falsely; and be content with your wages.
The part that says,
...be content with your wages makes me think of contentment in general, and how we should be content.
When I've had something I need to do that I don't think I'll enjoy (like my homework), it's easy to walk around dreading it and complaining. But once I really get started and get into what I'm supposed to be doing, it's usually not as bad as I thought. We should be content with what we have to do.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Often when people correct or criticize somebody, they also have a problem at the same time, or a problem in the way they're finding fault.
When that happens to me, it's tempting for me to respond unlovingly.
That's what a scorner does, but I should be a wise man instead. Even if my reprover has problems too, I can humbly examine myself and learn something from it that I can do better.
Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.
I'll be teachable.
Is it possible to save up too much money?
I. Warnings About Riches
Money, in general, is a good thing. However, it is possible for believers to accumulate more money than they should. What makes an amount excessive? Is it OK or good to be rich?1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
A common, reasonable-sounding teaching is that there's nothing wrong with having a lot of money, but the love of money is the problem. I don't exactly agree.1 Timothy 6:9
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
This verse doesn't just say they who love money, but
they that will be rich. In other words, not only should we not love money, but we shouldn't want or desire to be rich.
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
The poor are rich in faith.Luke 18:25
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Interpreted correctly, this verse means that it's difficult, (though we see in the next verses that it's not impossible), for rich people to get into the kingdom. That's the fact.James 5:1
Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you].
Rich people will be miserable. The Bible has many warnings about riches, but as far as I've seen, I don't think it seems to say that it's OK or good for believers to be rich.
II. Saving Up Is Important
We might not want to be rich, but money is valuable, and it is good and important to save.Ecclesiastes 10:19
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all [things].
This verse tells the value of money.Proverbs 10:15
The rich man's wealth [is] his strong city: the destruction of the poor [is] their poverty.
Having savings is like investing in property, like owning a field, building a house, and having security. It's my favorite type of insurance policy. And, if you don't want to take on debt, saving up for large expenditures beforehand is debt-free alternative.
III. Warnings Against WasteMatthew 7:6
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.Proverbs 27:23 & 24
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, [and] look well to thy herds.
For riches [are] not for ever: and doth the crown [endure] to every generation?
And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.
I'm impressed with this Anna, who
departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day. We should serve God and pray, night and day.
And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou [wilt give it], I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take [it] of me, and I will bury my dead there.
Abraham insisted on being fair. He wasn't afraid of spending too much money, when spending a lot of money was the right thing to do. We should also be painfully honest.
I'll insist on doing what I know is right, even when other people pressure me; Not for selfishness, but in love.
- v1 & 2
- Abraham responded to Sarah's death and mourned and wept
- v3 & 4
- he asked for a burying place
- he picked a specific place and offered to pay for it
- v10 & 11
- Ephron offered to just give it to him
- Abraham insisted on paying for it anyway
- v19 & 20
- Abraham buried Sarah
And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
I saw several times in this chapter, how the Lord will keep His promises. We should believe in Him because He'll do what He's said.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
I think of 1 Corinthians 15, which talks about our hope in that Christ rose from the dead and we believe that we will also rise again:1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Out of belief in the Lord and belief that He will reward us, we should be diligent to do what He wants us to do.