- the Lord showed Jacob to return to his family's land
- Jacob told his wives how the Lord had guided him
- Jacob, with his wives and stuff, snuck away from Laban
- the Lord warned Laban about speaking to Jacob
- v25- 28
- supposedly Laban was just disappointed because he missed the chance to give Jacob a going-away party-- Yeah, right!
- the lamest religion ever, with "gods" who could get stolen and need a rescue mission
- Rachel hid the idols and Laban didn't find them
- Jacob's past faithfulness allowed him to answer in a forceful way that his enemy couldn't refute
- Laban and Jacob made a peace treaty
- angels holding back hurt from the servants of God
- 12,000 were sealed from each of the tribes of the children of Israel
- multitudes around the throne, worshiping the Lord
- those who came out of great tribulation were greatly rewarded
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
The Lord lets us have experience of comfort when we're in trouble, so we can share the same comfort with other people, like other people who are in the same trouble, or any trouble. When we have trouble, we should take comfort in the Lord.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
The Lord is great, and has done great things and marvelously saved us. We should be rejoicing, giving thanks, and praising Him.
When I pray, I'll make sure to remember to worship the Lord in my prayers.
- prayer and thanks for their faith and love
- walk with the Lord and give Him thanks
- for what He has done for us and how He has saved us
- for who He is and how great He is
- continue in the hope of the gospel
- suffering and laboring in preaching the mystery of the gospel
And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
Like the Lord remembered and hearkened to Rachel, God remembers and hears us when we seek Him. Jacob diligently served, and the Lord abundantly blessed him. We should be diligent in seeking and serving the Lord, because He hasn't forgotten about us or our desires.
Application1 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.
We might not be rewarded in this life, but, as long as we're laboring for the Lord in whatever we do, the rewards in heaven are real and well worthwhile. My application from this was that, even if it seems too hard to do as well as I want on my schoolwork, I'll work on it diligently today. I'll hope and trust in the Lord to remember and hear me, as I do my work as unto Him.
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The Lord's judgment for sin is a terrifying thing that nobody will be able to stand.Job 28:28
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
We should fear the Lord and depart from evil.
Because of the fear of the Lord, I'll examine my own life for sin, and I'll be recommitting my life to Him.
- the Lord is the one who opens and closes the womb
- Jacob had Dan and Naphtali by Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid
- Jacob had Gad and Asher by Zilpah Leah's maid
- Rachel bought Leah's mandrakes that Reuben had brought her
- God hearkened to Leah, and Jacob had Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah by Leah
- God remembered Rachel, and she gave birth to Joseph
- Laban agreed with Jacob to give him all the spotted livestock
- but then Laban took those livestock and hid them
- Jacob was able to breed plenty of strong, spotted livestock to be his own, anyway
- the first four seals went with the four beasts and the four horses
- the conqueror sitting on the white horse
- the swordsman on the red horse
- the one with balances on the black horse
- Death sitting on a pale horse, followed by Hell
- the souls of the martyrs cried, "How long...?"
- the sixth seal and the beginning of the end
- the signs of the Lord's return
- everyone feared the Lord's wrath
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and [there are] many adversaries.
Opened doors make me think of opportunities. We know that
the Lord shuts doors that no man can open, and opens doors that no man can shut (paraphrase). Sometimes when we're endeavoring to do a service for the Lord, there seems to be some kind of opposition. Sometimes we can't tell, for sure, whether the opposition is because the endeavor wasn't the Lord's will in the first place, or just because it's spiritual warfare.
I think of David, and how his city with their women and children, was captured by an enemy army. When he got back, he sought the Lord about whether he should pursue them or not. The Lord promised him that he should pursue them, and that he would, without a doubt, recover everything... And he did end up recovering everything.
So, next time the weather is bad, or we're busy, or something like that, and we think, "Maybe I just shouldn't go... (preach the gospel, or pray, or whatever it is)," let's seek the Lord for whether He wants us to do it or not. If it isn't His will in the first place, maybe He's just closing the door... But, if it is His will, nothing can stop it. The Lord can work miracles. Where's our faith?v13
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
On one hand, I can admit that I'm in an undeserved place, having sinned before and been forgiven not by my own righteous works. But, on the other hand, we need to serve the Lord now, instead of taking his grace for granted and continuing in our sin.
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.
Sometimes we try a lot to succeed and excel in work, or school, or getting the victory over temptation and sin, and doing what's right... But sometimes our abundant labors seem to be in vain, because there's just more to do, and the mark is so high, and we fail again. The way we can find the strength in our hearts to keep doing what we should is by laboring for the Lord, and hoping in Him.
As we've been sinful before, and been forgiven, perhaps, of much sin, let's labor abundantly now, doing it for Him.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
We could have a hard time for a while, for example, from having a lot of hard work to do, and being busy, tired, or sick, or from other people giving us a hard time. We might be tempted to respond by complaining, acting angrily to other people, or being sinfully selfish. Instead, we should greatly rejoice in our salvation, by believing in the Lord, calling on Him, and loving others.v15,16
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
None of these bad things that we see around us in the world and struggle with will last, but we have an everlasting hope and inheritance in the Lord.v24,25
For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
When I'm having a hard time and all kinds of temptations, I'll have faith and hope in the Lord to pursue holiness and love others. When I'm tempted to think that it won't do any good to do what's right, I'll remember that it's the things of the Lord that will last, not the things of the world, and so I'll remember that I'll actually end up having more joy by doing what's right.
And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
We should work diligently, even if we have an unfair boss who changes our wages. We should go the extra mile, and the Lord will see that and reward us, because we're really working for Him.
I'll go the extra mile and work diligently on a certain thing I have to do, until it's really done.
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
It says the beast had
golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. Our prayers are like a sacrifice of sweet aromas to the Lord. That should make us think about the way we pray.
When I pray I'll think about how much our prayers mean to the Lord, and instead of thinking it's boring, I'll take advantage of the awesome opportunity that it is.
- Jacob came to the well and found out that Rachel was coming
- Jacob met Rachel, and Laban, and stayed with Laban for a month
- Jacob served Laban seven years for Rachel
wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?Jacob got a taste of his own medicine
- Jacob served seven more years to get Rachel as well as Leah
- the Lord blessed Leah with children
- no man was able to open or to look at the book
- the Lamb prevailed, and came and took the book
- the beasts and elders who were from every nation, and who would reign on the earth, sang that the Lamb is worthy
- a hundred million, plus millions more angels, gave glory to the Lamb
- every created thing in every place gave glory to God and to the Lamb
- the beasts agreed and the elders worshiped
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Speaking to people to edification, means to build them up and promote their growth in the Lord. One way we brothers can do this, is through preaching and teaching in the meetings. We should seek the Lord to give us this ability, through His Spirit.
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
This chapter is talking about what real love, from God, is like. If we have this kind of love, we'll be willing to bear and endure everything that comes our way.
Through my schoolwork, and, more importantly, through my interactions with the people around me, I'll work on bearing and enduring difficult things, in the Lord's love.
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12 talks about how there are believers with different kinds of gifts in the Lord's Church, but we're all believers, and we need all of each other. The first part of Verse 31 says,
But covet earnestly the best gifts... (before it leads into Chapter 13, about charity). We should want to have spiritual gifts like prophesy and teaching. Let's seek the Lord for the ability to preach His Word, so that we can use it to edify His people.
And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put [for] his pillows, and set it up [for] a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
It says Jacob
rose up early in the morning and did this thing for the Lord. When we have something to do to serve the Lord, sometimes we should rise up early in the morning to do it.
I'll work on getting up on time even if I don't feel like it.
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Even the 24 elders in heaven worship the Lord out loud. We should take the opportunity to worship the Lord, out loud, like this, now.
I'll keep taking my opportunities, in the worship meetings and in prayer, to worship the Lord, out loud, like the 24 elders did.
- Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away
- Esau saw what happened, so he married Ishmael's daughter
- "Jacob's ladder"
- Jacob named the city Bethel
- Jacob's vow, and the start of regular tithes
- an open door and a voice saying
Come up hither
- description of the him who sat on the throne
- description of the 24 elders around the throne
the seven Spirits of God
- description of four beasts saying
Holy, holy, holy
- the 24 elders worshiping the Lord
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
The word, discern in this verse means to separate or make a difference between things. We should realize the difference between just eating, like we do every day at home, and remembrance of the Lord's body.
Next time we get together for the Lord's remembrance, and eat the bread, let's make sure that we aren't just eating it, but that we stop and consider the Lord.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
How do we earnestly contend for the faith, in these days when ungodly men have crept in? In verses 20-25 I see a call for us, ourselves, to be living a holy life.
praying in the Holy Ghost. I'm not sure everything that exactly means, but I don't think it just means praying in tongues or something like that. I'll work on praying sincerely, not just using vain repetitions.
- grace and peace to the elect
- our hope for an inheritance in heaven and salvation
- joy through believing, even in many trials
- the prophets foretold the gospel of our salvation
- instead of sinful desires, a call to holiness
- live in the fear of God since we were bought with Jesus' blood
love one another with a pure heart fervently
the Word of the Lord endureth for ever
And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring [it] to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
I think it's interesting that Isaac said,
that my soul may bless thee. I thought of how we bless and worship the Lord.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
I looked at this two ways. First of all, when we worship the Lord, it should be sincere, from our hearts. Isaac wanted to eat some good food from someone so he could bless him from deep down inside. Sometimes when a believer prepares food, while I'm eating it, and it's delicious, a gratitude and blessing to them just wells up from deep down inside of me, and if I were to voice thanksgiving or gratitude to them for it, it would really be from my heart. We should worship the Lord that way.
On the other hand, we, like Isaac, can be too focused on outward feelings. Isaac felt the goatskins on Jacob's hands, and smelled Esau's coat that Jacob was wearing, and he blessed Jacob because he tasted the food and it tasted good. Because of going by outward feelings, Isaac ended up being deceived, so that he wasn't even blessing who he thought he was. We shouldn't be too focused on feelings, or we could be deceived like Isaac was.v22
And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice [is] Jacob's voice, but the hands [are] the hands of Esau.
Primarily, we should know the Lord's voice, and go by that. Sometimes doing what's right doesn't make us feel good. We should do what we know is right, from the Lord's Word, despite how we feel.
We have an awesome opportunity in our meetings, that most other people don't have, that any of the guys can get up and worship the Lord out loud. That's a great thing that we should keep doing, but it shouldn't be like a meaningless repetition. When I worship the Lord, out loud, I'll work on making sure I do it sincerely, from my heart.
- Isaac asked Esau to bring meat and be blessed
- Rebekah plotted to get Jacob the blessing
- Jacob went along with it
- Jacob deceived Isaac
- Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking he was Esau
- Esau was very upset that he missed out
- Isaac gave Esau a blessing that wasn't very good, because it was all he had left
- Esau planned to take revenge against Jacob
- Rebekah sent Jacob away to be safe
- Rebekah gave Isaac a reason for sending Jacob away
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].
We should watch out for temptation, and be ready to take the way of escape that the Lord provides out of it.From v7,8,9,10
Neither be ye idolaters... Neither let us commit fornication... Neither let us tempt Christ... Neither murmur ye...
Let's watch out for idols, immorality, and complaining, today.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
We should live our lives for Christ, in a way like there's something to gain, and something to miss out on.
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
We shouldn't just do what is OK for us, but we should consider our example to the other people around us.v9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
We shouldn't do things that would cause a different believer to be tempted to sin.v12
But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.