Daily Devotion for March 31, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Genesis 27:41-46 (ESV)
The Story of Isaac  - Jacob and Esau
Now Esau hated 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 approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah.
So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away — until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?"
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?"
Notes on the Scripture
Esau has become angry, because he thinks that Jacob, his younger brother, has robbed him of his birth right. This reaction is often seen in the Bible, in literature, and in real life; the eldest usually believes that he should be first in rank, but if he is outshone by a younger sibling, it can cause problems. In fact, the first story in the Bible after the Garden of Eden is the story of Cain and Abel. Cain, remember, was Abel's elder brother. He became so jealous when the Lord preferred Abel that he killed him. (Genesis 4)
Esau, although not as wicked as Cain, has less reason to complain. He knowingly sold his birthright to Jacob. But he is full of human frailty, and when the times comes for the birthright to be portioned, he regrets his decision and, as so many people do, blames someone else for a misfortune that is largely his own fault.
Rebekah, who is often the driving force in the story of Isaac, takes matters once again into her own hands. She sends Jacob off to live with his uncle, Laban. If you remember the beginning of the story of Abraham in Genesis 11, Abraham's father and brother had stopped their journey from Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan, and settled in the area around the modern-day border of Syria and Turkey, the land associated with the Assyrians (from whom Syria takes its name).
With this plan, she kills two birds with one stone. Not only does she put Jacob in the safest place possible, but also, she is irritated by the local Hittite women. Esau's two wives are both Hittites, and they have made her life "bitter". (Genesis 26:34-35) As Abraham sent to Haran to find a kinswoman to marry Isaac, we must suspect that Rebekah has something similar in mind — that Isaac will find a nice Aramean girl and Rebekah won't be vexed by more Hittite daughters-in-law!