- the sons were told to gather together to listen to their father
- Jacob told each of his sons what was going to happen to them in the future, and blessed them:
- Reuben: mighty, but unstable
- Simeon and Levi: scattered for their anger and cruelty
- the Lord would come through Judah
- Issachar was going to become a servant
- Dan: a judge and a snake
- waiting for the Lord
- special blessings for Joseph
- Benjamin: like a wolf
- Jacob's instructions about where he should be buried
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ, now that we've received Him, we don't have to sin. He has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness, so that we have everything we need to live a godly life. He doesn't ever let us be tempted beyond what we're able to handle, but He always makes a way of escape so we can endure it. How gloriously freeing this is!
We're not under the power of sin any more. We can choose to lean on the Lord for help to do what's right, and then we will be able to do what's right. This is only an opportunity we have because we have Him. People who don't know Him can't experience this freedom. But often, we, as His people don't realize this opportunity we have.
He gives us power by His Holy Spirit, living and working in us, so that we can be bold, and stand strongly. We don't have to study beforehand what we will answer accusers. We can receive wisdom and the words to speak from the Lord, supernaturally, right at that moment. As long as He is on our side, we don't have anything to worry about.
What joy there is, that we don't have to get mad, or tell a lie, or be contentious, if we choose not to. All of the riches of the Lord's help are available to us, so the only way we'll sin is if we allow it. Let's realize that when we're tempted, or when we're going into a tempting situation, and let's take advantage of leaning on the Lord for strength, and let's not allow the sin.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
One way to open our mouths, and to plead the cause of people who are appointed to destruction, is to pray for people to be saved. In a way, they're poor and needy. And, like people who can't talk, maybe they couldn't or wouldn't pray the same way for themselves.
In the next few days, when prayer requests come up for people who need saved, I'll focus on praying for them.
- words from the mother of king Lemuel, which means, for God, or by God
- warnings about ways like of women and whiskey
- alcohol is for dying people people, not for kings
- speak up for the needy, and for people who are appointed to die
- the virtuous woman:
- the value of a virtuous woman
- a virtuous woman will take care of her husband
- a virtuous woman works hard to make clothes for herself, for her household, and to sell abroad
- a virtuous woman is industrious and diligent, provides food, and does planting
- the strength of a virtuous woman
- a virtuous woman isn't lazy
- a virtuous woman reaches out to the poor and needy
- a virtuous woman retains honor (like Proverbs 11:16)
- a virtuous woman has wise and kind speech
- a virtuous woman surpasses all others
- the value of beauty is nothing compared to the fear of the Lord
- reward the virtuous woman like she deserves
And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
Abraham did all of what the Lord said, thoroughly, and he did it
...in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. We should follow that example, to obey the Lord immediately, when there's something we know He wants us to do.
I'll apply this by not putting off my school assignments until the last minute.
And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
There's a lot of favoritism that we show to people without really thinking about it. We end up having favorite people, that we're often nice to, and other people that we're in the habit of not being very nice to. This passage made me think about how we shouldn't show favoritism like that.
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
The Lord's been showing me how I should be kind to siblings, recently. I'll work on showing compassion to my siblings by being nice to the ones I don't usually be nice to, instead of showing favoritism.
- a call to perfection
- God changed Abraham's name and promised he would be a father of many nations
- the Lord promised to give Abraham the land of Canaan
- the Lord gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision
- God changed Sarah's name, and promised to give Isaac, and promised to make a great nation out of Ishmael too.
- Abraham performed all the circumcisions the very same day the Lord told him
- Joseph and Jacob made sure to get ready for the blessing while they could
- Jacob told Joseph about the Lord's appearing
- Joseph's family would be part the Lord's promise
- Jacob told Joseph about Rachel's death
- the Lord got the credit for giving Joseph children and letting Jacob see them
- Jacob blessed the younger son more than the older
- Jacob had captured goods from the Amorites in battle
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
If we want help and peace, we should have faith.
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Let's make sure that we're trusting and believing in the Lord right now, then we can be justified again, and have peace, and rejoice.
Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Praying to the Lord for help is one way to express trust in Him.
I'll continue to pray and cast my cares on the Lord, and He's going to be a shield for me as I trust in Him.
- the wisdom of humility
- the purity of the God's Word
- desire not too little, and not too much
- it seems to be pride that causes people to be disrespectful to their parents, and that will lead to destruction
- generations: it seems like wasn't everybody from a certain family line that would have these problems, but it was all kinds of people, regardless of family line, during a certain period of time.
- pride keeps filthy people from being washed, and destroys needy people
- numbers of things
- discontented people are like several not-very-nice things
- 3 or 4 things too wonderful to understand
- v20 (& 12)
- people in darkness think they're OK because they cover up their problems
- 3 or 4 terrible things the earth can't stand
- 4 things that are wise even though they're small
- 3 or 4 things that smoothly and gracefully move
- with saying things you shouldn't, and wrath, it's better to just "cut your losses" and try to take it back while you can
And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
This is an encouragement that we should seek the Lord in our trouble, and He'll see us.
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
When there are specific troubles in my life, I'll pray, and talk to the Lord about them, and just ask Him for what my requests are about them. Sometimes I don't even know what to pray, so then I'll just ask Him to help with the situations, that He would deal with them and work them out. Like He saw Hagar and took care of her, I can be encouraged to know that the Lord sees me.
And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What [is] your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants [are] shepherds, both we, [and] also our fathers.
Pharaoh asked just what Joseph had said he would, and the brothers wisely answered with the words Joseph had put into their mouths.
When people in authority question us about things like our occupation, we should honestly and wisely answer just what the Lord gives us to say, and the Lord will cause it to work out.
- Sarai had an idea
- as usual, having multiple wives didn't seem to work out very well
- the Lord found Hagar
- the Lord promised Ishmael
Thou God seest me
- Ishmael was born, like the Lord had promised
- Joseph's plan worked: His family got the best land because they kept livestock, and because they answered wisely
- Jacob met Pharaoh and told about his life
- Joseph provided for his family like he had promised
- the cash for cattle program, when money failed
- federal takeover of real estate, for economic bailout
- urbanization and income tax, because the government owned the people
- tax-exempt religious workers
- Israel grew greatly in Egypt
- Jacob asked Joseph to swear not to bury him in Egypt
[Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
We don't become right or good because we've kept God's laws. Everybody has broken the laws of God by sinning in some way. The blessedness comes in, when, even though we've done wrong before, we can be forgiven by faith in Christ.
Let's be examining ourselves, and making sure to repent from any sins we have. The Lord will forgive us-- Not because we've done things good enough, but because of His mercy.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
I have 3 thoughts from Romans 3:
First, that I really need to focus on having faith, and believing in the Lord:v22
Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Secondly, once again, that our justification is not by the things that we ourselves do:v24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
And finally, that I have been justified, and I need to remember that my past sins are forgiven and gone:v25
Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
When the Lord has been convicting us about how we need to repent, we shouldn't try his patience. We should consider how good He's been to us, and we should be diligent to serve Him better.
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
There's a day coming when the Lord is going to judge us, even for all the secret sins that we have. We should be examining ourselves for sin, if the Lord convicts us, we need to repent.
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.
This is an encouraging promise.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
It's important to trust in the Lord in our situations. I'll work on being diligent to do what I know the Lord wants me to do, because the Lord is my reward, and I believe in Him.
And he said, I [am] God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up [again]: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
The Lord told Jacob to not fear, that He'd go with him, and that He'd bring him back out. It's encouraging promise that we don't have to fear, because the Lord is with us, and He will deliver us.
I'll work on trusting the Lord, and believing that the He will work things out for good, instead of worrying and being afraid of what will happen.
- the Lord promised Abram a multitude of descendants
- the Lord promised Abram he'd inherit the land
- Abram prepared a sacrifice according to what the Lord told him
- the Lord told Abram what was going to happen in the future, and showed him supernatural signs
- the Lord made a covenant to give Abram the land
- the Lord gave a very encouraging promise
- Jacob and his family started to travel to Egypt
- Jacob's descendants by Leah
- Jacob's descendants by Zilpah
- Jacob's descendants by Rachel, including Joseph and his two sons in Egypt
- Jacob's descendants by Bilhah
- the numbers of Jacob's descendants
- Jacob had a very joyfully emotional reunion with Joseph
- Joseph had his brothers explain to Pharaoh that their occupation was livestock, and then, because of that, they ended up living in the land of Goshen
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
This is just a reminder, once again, that the gospel is powerful and does lead to salvation, and we should preach it like we realize that.
Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake, and then:
And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
When the Lord's on our side, we don't have to worry about anything. Nothing can really harm us.v31
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
We should boldly do what the Lord wants us to do, without worrying about anything.
He, that being often reproved hardeneth [his] neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Sometimes it's easy to get used to criticism for something, because people talk to us about it all the time. Then we start ignoring it, because we think we aren't really doing anything wrong.
If people reprimand us for a certain thing very often, we better make awfully sure we aren't actually at fault in that thing. We shouldn't just casually brushing it off all the time. If we were warned so many times, and the warnings end up being right, we're going to be in big trouble.1 Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
If I'm an angry person, I'll be guilty of stirring up strife and doing all kinds of bad things. It's tempting to think that it harmless to get angry
for a good reason, or when other people seem to be doing a lot worse things wrong.
In some situations it's very difficult (and sometimes seems impossible), to keep from getting angry-- like when people we really care about are doing dumb and bad stuff, or mistreating us; Or when we feel desperate and trapped in an overwhelming situation.
We need to keep our cool anyway. Because, if other people have problems, that's their problem; but, if we respond the wrong way, then that becomes our problem. The Lord does make it possible for us to maintain a level head in all those situations.1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
I don't really think I have very much of a problem with this right now... But my application from Proverbs 29:22 is to make sure I'm not being an angry person, in order to make sure I'm not
stirring up strife.
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.v21
But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
We should listen and do what the Lord wants, even when it's contrary to what makes sense to us.Proverbs 3:5-8
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
To open their eyes, [and]
to turn [them] from darkness to light, and
[from] the power of Satan unto God,
that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified
by faith that is in me.
This is awesome. This is what our mission is, and this is what the gospel does. There's great power in the message, to make a great and positive difference in people's lives. Like that verse says, it's by faith in Him. Here is that message, of what He has done for us:v22b, 23
...witnessing..., saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ should suffer, [and] that he should be the first that should rise from the dead,
and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Let's be faithfully witnessing and preaching the gospel to people like this.2 Corinthians 5:18-21
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
Paul boldly asserted his right to appeal to a higher authority for justice, when it appeared like doing so would further the Lord's purpose. And, when Paul was dragged in front of high authorities with accusations against him, he took those opportunities to preach the gospel to them. We should look for the Lord's purposes in our situations.
Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
It's interesting how each of the speeches accusing Paul contained a distinct lie. On the other hand, this speech was packed with all kinds of lies-- but the one that caught my attention was that Tertulius said of Paul,
whom we took, would have judged according to our law.
In the previous chapter, Acts 23:3, Ananias had commanded the people to hit Paul on the mouth; and Paul asked Ananias,
sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? But here Tertulius said they would have judged Paul according to their law.
Sometimes, when people aren't really following the right ways of the Lord,
it seems like they can't even live up to their own laws.
What's encouraging to me, is that when people were lying about Paul, the Lord gave him the answer to speak, and the Lord worked out the situation for His own purposes