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    • By SisterActs2
      Here is a poem of mine:   I am an amateur.  The reason I said "came out of nowhere" was because it took a revelation to realise Jesus was the truth I had been searching for!
       
      LOST AND FOUND
      I'm the poor and wretched, blind and naked, woman on the street
      Who's looking for her knight in shining armour, if ever we should meet
      I'm a broken person, looking down, so undeserving of his love
      Don't think of ever looking up, never dreaming he's above
      Would he ever consider one so degraded, blind and lost
      Would he ever come looking for one who is storm-tossed?
       
      But there He is!  Came out of nowhere!  ...  HE'S NAILED TO A CROSS!
      Never did think I
      that He could buy
      my freedom ....  WHAT A COST!
      A miracle!  My Lord, My God, you've taken me by the hand
      The Lamb of God has looked for me ... He's left the 99
      and found His little lamb.
       
      People, I must apologise.  I have been convicted by the Lord that I may have given the wrong impression here.  The words "woman on the street" were meant to convey how I felt on the inside when I received salvation, nothing more.  Nonetheless, I was a sinner and now I am a sinner saved by grace.
      Thank you everyone.
       
       
    • By omharris
      I introduced a section within my first post in this series, as one of the most unbelievable scenarios you could read. In that section you have Rebekah and Jacob pulling off the deception of a lifetime, as Isaac is tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau merely by strapping a piece of sheepskin on Jacob's arm. I have to ask, have you ever seen sheep? They exceed the hair of man about 100 to one.
      While most would have run for their lives but not Jacob; and, I cannot give you any good reason why? As you see in Genesis 28:6-7, Isaac, after the deception, has instructed Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. After hearing this Jacob leaves toward Haran in order to comply and his mother goes with him. What just happened?
      Watch what Esau does.
      Genesis 28:6-7 NASB Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan," 7) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.
      This is the first time I noticed this aspect of the story. Note how it says, “and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.” When you think about the reality of the situation and how furious Isaac should have been at Rebekah, then it makes all the sense in the world for her to with Jacob. Besides that, she may need to make the introductions and marriage arrangements for this favorite of sons.
      Esau, on the other hand, seeing how irritated his mother became about the women he married, (This is the same mother who deceived Isaac his father, and helped to cheat him out of his rightful inheritance,) went out and found himself a few more.
      Genesis 28:8-9 NASB So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9) and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.
      This next section focuses entirely on a dream that Jacob had.
      Indeed, it was a very vivid dream, in a manner similar to the dream that Abram had, it was as close to reality as you can come. You have to wonder how much understanding Jacob had about God, or where he got that understanding. The only thing we see is Isaac praying to the Lord in chapter 25. Isaac, being the son of Abraham, I can understand how and where he learned of the Lord, but the apparent influence on Jacob is not seen.
      Genesis 25:21-23 NASB Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23) The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger."
      Jacob's Dream - Genesis 28:10-22
      But first Jacob has to kneel before his father, apparently at his father's demand.
      Genesis 28:1 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
      This is the second time Jacob has been blessed, however, Isaac is well aware of the deceitful methods that were used on him. Without going any farther, I already see a prime example of the nature and character of God, as Isaac overlooks the “sin” and bestows a purposeful blessing upon Jacob.
      Blessed is the Hebrew word bāraḵ: A verb meaning to bless, kneel, salute, or greet. The verb derives from the noun knee and perhaps suggests the bending of the knee in blessing.
      Would we expect to see Isaac kneeling before Jacob at this point?
      Not a chance, so it is Jacob, this time with intention, kneeling before his father.
      Do you think it is possible that Isaac could bring some punishment upon this son?
      No, and again, this is an example of God's grace, as we too, caught in our sins, deserved punishment, but what happened? The Son Jesus took all punishment on our behalf.
      I am well aware that I have no key character, in this scenario, that takes the punishment for Jacob. What I do see, is Jacob suffering abuse, at not only the hand of Laban but his own sons when we get to them.
      Pay attention to what Isaac tells Jacob.
      Perspective: The flood has come and gone, and, with it, should have been the giants and the evil and violence that were associated not just with them, but people in general. And, secondly, this has taken place before Moses and prior to the law.
      Is that what happened?
      Not exactly, for men still had the right to choose how they would live, and the giants returned. Genesis 6:4 tells us that afterward, they showed up again. After what? The flood.
      “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 NASB
      Two pieces of evidence for giants after the flood comes from Numbers 13:33 and 2Samuel 21:16, both of which speak of giants still permeating the land. Canaan was one of those places and we learn of it when Israel sent 12 men to spy out the Land of Canaan.
      “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
      Do a word search and the first place Canaan shows up is in Genesis 9.
      Genesis 9:18-27 NASB Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20) Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21) He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22) Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. 24) When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25) So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers." 26) He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27) "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant."
      Notice how Canaan is pointed out as the son of Ham; this is not a favorable distinction.
      Genesis 28:2 NASB "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother.
      The town of Bethuel gained it's origins in a man, as was the case with every city.
      Genesis 22:20-23 NASB Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21) Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." 23) Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
      So here is your ancestry moment, It was told, Abraham:
      Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor
      Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel."
      Kemuel produces a son Aram. Note the similarities to Paddan-aram!
      The son to be born to Nahor is Bethuel.
      Bethuel became the father of Rebekah
      Rebekah is the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob. This also means that Bethuel became the father of Laban.
      Jacob, still kneeling before his father Isaac, receives all these instructions and blessings; as though what he stole was not enough.
      Genesis 28:3-5 NASB "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
      “ May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.”
      “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”
      What were the blessings of Abraham?
      Genesis 12:1-3 NASB Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
      Genesis 17:6-8 NASB "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7) "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8) "I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
        I will make you a great nation
      I will bless you
      and make your name great
      I will bless those that bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.
      In you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.
      I will make you exceedingly fruitful
      and I will make nations of you
      kings will come forth from you
      I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … for an everlasting covenant.
      Be a God to you and to your descendants.
      And, I will give you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.
      So, tell me, is this what you say to someone who has just deceived you? And yet, this is exactly what Isaac just did. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”
      Genesis 28:10-11 NASB Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11) He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.
      Haran, isn't that the place where Abram was and God told him to go to a land that He would show him? Yes, it is. But it is also the place where so many things will take place, and now Jacob is going there to find himself a wife. Fortunately, Jacob has his mommy with him to make the introductions; although we are not told that, it works for the moment.
      Genesis 11:26-31 NASB Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. 27) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28) Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29) Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30) Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31) Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
      Note this: “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
      It seems God has His hands in everything, doesn't it?
      “He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set;”
      Genesis 28:19 NASB He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.
      “And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.”
      Genesis 28:18-22 NASB So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19) He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21) and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22) "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
      God's house? This statement is immensely significant, and so is this, “and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
      Without any motivation of “law,” Jacob has made a commitment to tithe.
       
    • By omharris
      This entire blog was spawned from a sermon entitled, What about Jacob? Or, can a man find healing in a woman? To make this brief, I did not understand, nor was I able to track with what the pastor said, as he tried to prove his point about Jacob. Sorry, I can't really see it but I am enjoying the study, as usual. 
      As we finished part one of our look at Jacob, the grand deception was complete. Do you think Rebekah and Jacob gleefully danced around the campfire that night as they celebrated how well they pulled it off? Hardly, for Esau, as you will see, has every intention of killing Jacob once Isaac is dead.
      Notice how there is no concern on the part of Esau for how this will affect his mother. And, all this evokes another question, is it possible for Esau to regain his birthright? I don't think so, at least not in God's eyes. 
      Cheating not only Esau but your father as well, you would think that Jacob would be gone already, but only minutes from now Issac calls Jacob before him and commands him to not a wife from the same cluster of women that Esau had chosen from. Isaac directs Jacob to Laban, Rebekah's brother. Maybe, Isaac knows full well what kind of man Laban can be considering the backhanded maneuver Rebekah has just pulled on Isaac.
      With that said, let's continue on.
      I mentioned in the previous post, that Esau did not take this selling of the birthright serious. If he had
      Wouldn't it seem logical to say something to Isaac? Wouldn't Isaac have known?  Why would Esau bother to respond Isaac as though there was not a problem? “As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Jacob logically only has seconds to get out of Esau's presence, and, his fathers.
      Genesis 27:30-37 ESV As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me." His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed." As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!" But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?"
      The deception is pulled off, and now you would think that Jacob has to flee, an exile. And Esau is the reason.
      Genesis 27:38-41 NASB Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." So Esau lifted his voice and wept. 39) Then, Isaac, his father answered and said to him, "Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. 40) "By your sword, you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck." 41) So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
      So Rebekah calls Jacob in once again.
      Genesis 27:42-45 NASB Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, "Behold your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43) "Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! 44) "Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury subsides, 45) until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
      But Jacob still hasn't left. To make matters worse, we now learn of Esau's wives and what grief they are causing Rebekah.
      Genesis 27:45 NASB until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
      In response to Rebekah, Issac calls Jacob in once more.
      Genesis 28:1-5 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2) "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. 3) "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
      While Isaac's command is that he get a wife from Laban's daughters, we don't see anything that tells us he knows what he is looking for. Jacob, in a sense, stumbles upon Rachel, and she is a vision of how a girl should look. He wants her and is willing to work for her to get her. There is an irony here in that Rachel, is not an accident by any means, for Laban, her father is Jacob's uncle. (Consider: If Rebekah knew how to be devious it only makes sense that Laban, Rachel's father, would also know how to be underhanded.)
      Jacob makes no effort to negotiate for her but tells Laban that he will work seven years for her. (That timeframe may be significant on several levels. Seven is the number of perfection, redemption, and a theme that recurs throughout scripture.)
      It may be essential to consider Rachel's age at this time. I doubt he would have pursued her if he did not think she was old enough to marry.
      “Joseph married at about age 30 (Gen_41:45). This was old by Egyptian standards, since most males were still only boys when they married. Yet it is clear that a boy had to be not only sexually mature but also able to provide for his wife and thus settled in his occupation before he married. Girls seem to have married between about twelve and fourteen. They did not have to wait until established in a career. Some royal marriages, occurring for dynastic or other political reasons, took place when the individuals were very young. For example, Tutankhamen died at the age of eighteen or nineteen after a nine-year reign and marriage, so he must have been nine or ten when married.”
      NELSON'S Bible Manners & Customs, How the People of the Bible Really Lived,
      Howard F. Vos, THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS
      Jacob does not do what many desperate men would do, and rape her, he waits the seven years. He then goes to Laban and demands that she be given to him for he has paid for her.
      Laban deceives Jacob just as Jacob had deceived Esau and gave him Leah.
      Laban makes a statement here, in response to Jacob's shock and disappointment, that I never noticed before.
      And Laban answered It is not done thus in our country, to give the younger before the elder. Genesis 29:26 Brenton)
      As that particular pastor exclaimed: "this had to cut Jacob like a knife, as this is precisely what Jacob and his mother had done to Esau.” And, Uncle Laban may well have been told of it. If not, it is amazing how the Holy Spirit puts words in your mouth.
      According to the pastor, the premise behind all this is that Jacob, a broken man, (I am not so sure he could understand that for a long time,) pursues Rachel, the vision of perfection, in hopes that she would heal him and make him a better man. I am not sure I see all that, but it makes sense, as most men do just that. While the hope of finding something that calms the inward brokenness he feels may be going on in the back of his mind, it is not directly noted in scripture; many things aren't, and yet the more in-depth answers and subjects are there if we pursue them.
      One of the things that I see in scripture is that God is in control, regardless of how lousy the circumstances seem to be.
      The pastor said, “that God gives us examples of people who are messed up so that we can know what not to do.” If that theory is correct, then why would God tell Israel, explicitly, not to learn from the surrounding nations, for the surrounding nations were doing everything wrong, worshiping idols, and sacrificing their children to gods. While I might argue that learning from my neighbor how to work with Iron could be a necessity that would allow a civilization to create water pipes. However, there is often a hazard in close associations, especially with those not so grounded, as it can cause us to be drawn away by the deviant and those used by Satan. Along with that, I have had several acquaintances that claimed to be Christians. One, it turns out, was in a men's home (the men's home is somewhat irrelevant except that you can make an obvious assumption - and that is that the person from the home has had some mighty struggles in the past.) While the leadership of the men's home had mandated church services and Bible studies they had to attend, they could not seem to get the world out of this brother. He, in a short period, took a job on the night crew, and I rarely saw him after that. His reattachment to the world seemed to grow and he left the group home he was a part of.
      You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23:32-33 AMP)
      And you shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will give over to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16 AMP)
      You didn't merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time, you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways. (Ezekiel 16:47 CJB)
      Is it the person becoming the snare? Perhaps, but what we do know is that Satan will deceive you through any means possible. In some cases, it might be an innocent but attractive looking woman.
      Yes, Jacob's life is one huge psychodrama. He is a liar, a cheat, and a general a mess; he does not even seem to slow down all those years later when he meets Esau again. But there is a method to God's madness. God seems to use broken people; he even seeks them out. He seems to find pleasure in lifting them up and healing them. On the plus side, our savior is a descendant of the line from Jacob.
      My point: That no matter how messed up the narrative, or, our story is, we can and should glean as much as we can from each one, for it is God's story. Sure, you think it is all yours, but it is never anything less than God's plan, you merely get to be a part of it.
      "For I know what plans I have in mind for you,' says Adonai, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. " (Jeremiah 29:11 CJB)
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      Our Heavenly Father, whose Son is thee door to heaven, Holy Spirit lovingly teaching us meaning of your name.
      I continue to confess, apologize for, rebuke and repent from surfacing sin. May your revival usher in your kingdom according to your will with ours bent to it. May our leaders own up to their power and responsibilities by declaring and enabling your rule, reign and sovereignty. May they be careful and aware of their extreme influence. May we awake and arise to these times of spiritual crisis from which all other curses fester. May we acknowledge Jesus Christ as living water from whom all healing and restoration flows. Forgive us Lord for our distractions, false idols and sin in place of You. We are near rock bottom and have only You to save us. Have mercy on our souls. May You revive us and have us grow, ripe for harvest. Lest we forget the folly and fate of our past. We have You to thank and draw us near in times of desperation. I call upon your terms, cleanse the church to make Christ's body fit for the good Lord's fight, already won, rescue more lost souls. I dare cry "bloody murder" yet truth being told with our Saviour sacrificing himself. All who believe in him live eternally ever after.
      In Jesus Christ's pure perfect holy name I pray, amen.
      GregoryB
    • By Kay.
      Hello I'm Kay from London 
      Just checking this out. 
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