Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 14, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 23 & 24, and Matthew 12

Genesis 23 - Burying Sarah, and Acquiring the Field, Cave, & Bordering Trees of Machpelah
Sarah lived 127 years and died in Kiriath-arba (Hebron) in Canaan. Abraham asked for a site to bury her from the Hittites. They let him choose anywhere because the said he is God's chosen one among them. He asked for the cave of Machpelah, and would pay full price for it. Ephron the Hittite said yes and tried to refuse payment, but Abraham insisted. The land was worth 400 shekels of silver, and Abraham paid it in the presence of the Hittites. Everything from Ephron's field at Machpelah near Mamre - the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the boundaries of the field became Abraham's possession. This is where Abraham buried Sarah.

Genesis 24 - Rebekah & Isaac Marry
Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac from his family without taking Isaac to his family. If the woman won't come the servant would be free from his oath. The servant took a lot of provisions, and as they stopped for water by Nahor's town (Aram-naharaim), when the women went to draw water. The servant asked God for success and asked for Isaac's bride to be a woman to be one who gives both him and his camels water. Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah (wife of Abraham's brother Nahor) came along and did just as he asked. The servant gave her a gold nose-ring, 2 bracelets, and asked whose daughter she was, she responded and offered food and lodging for the night. The servant worshiped the LORD for His kindness and mercy in leading him. Rebekah's brother Laban ran out to meet the servant. Laban offered hospitality. The servant told Laban the whole story of what happened. The servant asked if they would show kindness and faithfulness to Abraham, and they said, "This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter." And they gave Rebekah to him to go and marry Isaac as the LORD has spoken. The servant bowed to the ground before the LORD, and brought out silver, gold, and garments for Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and mother. In the morning he asked to be sent out, but Rebekah's mother asked for them to stay 10 days. He asked them not to delay, so they asked Rebekah's opinion. She said she will go, so they sent her away with her nurse who raised her. They blessed Rebekah, and she and her female servants got up and left. Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi. Early in the morning he went for  walk in the field, and saw camels coming. Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from the camel, the servant said it is Isaac, so she veiled herself. The servant told Isaac everything, and Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother (Sarah) and took Rebekah to be his wife. He loved her, and he was comforted after his mother's death.

Matthew 12 - Lord of the Sabbath, Those Who Gather with Jesus will be Forgiven, Trees Are Known by Their Fruit, Jesus Is Greater than Jonah & Solomon, This Generation is like a man Who's Unclean Spirit that was cast out Returned back with 7 More, Jesus' Family are those Who Do the Will of God the Father
Jesus passed through the fields on the Sabbath. They were hungry and picked grain, the Pharisees saw and accused them of breaking the law, Jesus reminded them of when David ate the sacred bread, and that when the priests violate the Sabbath by working in the temple on the Sabbath, but are innocent. Jesus said He's greater than the temple, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus entered their synagogue and healed a paralyzed man on the Sabbath and said it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. The Pharisees went out and plotted against Jesus, how they might destroy Him. Jesus, aware of this withdrew, huge crowds followed, and He healed them. He warned them not to make Him known, to fulfill Scripture in Isaiah. Jesus healed a demon-possessed man blind and mute. The crowds said, "Perhaps this is the Son of David!" The Pharisees heard and said Jesus drives out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons. Jesus knew their thoughts and said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction...If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? If I drive out demons by Beelzebul, who is it your sons drive them out by? You will be your judges. If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Anyone who is not with Me is against me, anyone who does not gather with Me scatters. Because of this, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

A tree is known by its fruit - good or bad. How can you speak good things when you are evil? The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. On the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Some scribes and Pharisees wanted Jesus to show a sign. Jesus said no sign will be given but the sign of Jonah, as he was in the belly of a huge fish three days and nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and nights. The men of Ninevah repented at the preaching of Jonah, they will condemn this generation; yet, something greater than Jonah is here. Something greater than Solomon is here. When an unclean spirit returns to a man he came out of, it brings seven others with it, and they enter and settle down in the man again. That man's last condition is far worse than the first, that's how it will be with this generation.

As Jesus was speaking to the crowds His mother and brothers waited outside to speak with Him. Someone told him his family wanted to speak with Him, and he replied, "Who is My mother and My brothers?" He stretched out His hand to His disciples saying, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother."

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