Bible Reading for JAN11: Genesis 31-33

Jacob’s 20 years of servitude end in chapter 31,
but he must still go back to Bethel and make things
right with God. The next several chapters record several
crucial experiences in Jacob’s life, as he makes his way
from Laban’s house to Bethel. In them we see
illustrations of the conflict between flesh and Spirit,
the old life and the new.

Esau was coming, and Jacob was about to meet his
forgotten past! Would Esau forgive him or fight him?
Would Jacob lose everything he had schemed for? How
tragic it is when the past catches up with a man. But
before Jacob met Esau, he experienced three other
meetings.

In chapter 32:1-20 Jacob met God’s angels, and
in verses 21-26 he actually met the Lord and wrestled
with Him. The battle lasted all night, and only after
wrestling with the Lord could Jacob say, “Not my will
but thine be done.” In verses 27-32 Jacob finally faces
himself, confesses his sin, and yields himself
completely to the Lord. It was here that God gave him
his new name, “Israel,” which means “a prince with God,”
or “a God-governed man.”

To be broken by God is to have power with God.
God gave Jacob a new beginning, a new power. Jacob was
now walking in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. This
was illustrated by a new walk, for now Jacob limped. He
had been broken by God, but that limp was a mark of
power, not of weakness.

Verse 31 indicates the dawn of a new day, as the
sun rose and Jacob, with God’s help, limped out to meet
Esau. Their meeting takes place in chapter 33, and
resulted in each forgiving the other and each going his
separate way.

It is sometimes difficult to understand
situations that come into our lives as Christians. But
we must believe that our heavenly Father knows what is
best for us. If we will totally yield our lives to Him,
then everything that happens will bring honor and glory
to Him. Give God first place in your life. Satan would
have us believe there is not enough time for Bible
reading, prayer, and Bible memorization. Don’t let him
deceive you with this lie! For I have found in my own
life that when I give God the priorities of my life,
there is time for everything!

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