Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 25 & 26, and Matthew 13

Genesis 25 - Abraham's other sons & death, Ishmael's line, Isaac's line
Abraham took another wife (Keturah) and had six sons: (1) Zimran (2) Jokshan (3) Medan (4) Midian (5) Ishbak (6) Shuah. They also had sons (you can see them here). Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac, and he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines, but he sent them away from Isaac (east). Abraham lived 175 years, and Isaac and Ishmael buried him where Sarah was (the cave of Machpelah). God blessed Isaac, who lived near Beer-lahai-roi. Then Ishmael's family is outlined (again you can see that here). Ishmael lived 137 years. His family settled from Havilah to Shur (opposite of Egypt). He lived in opposition to all his brothers. Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah. She was childless, and he prayed to the LORD on her behalf. The LORD heard and she conceived. The children struggled in her womb, God said, "Two nations are in your womb, two people will come from you and be separated. One people will be strong than the other, and the older will serve the younger. The older was named Esau, and the younger Jacob. Isaac was 60 when they were born. Esau became a hunter/outdoorsman, Jacob became a quite man who stayed at home. Isaac loved Esau because of the food he caught. Rebekah loved Jacob. Jacob had cooked a stew and Esau/Edom came home and said, "Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I'm exhausted." Jacob asked him to sell him his birthright, so Esau did, and Esau ate, drank, and left. So, Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 26 - Covenant with Abraham Reaffirmed with Isaac, Living as a Foreigner, Covenant with Philistines, Esau's wives make life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.
There was a famine, and Isaac went to Abimelech (of the Philistines in Gerar). The LORD appeared and said not to go to Egypt, but stay in this land as a foreigner, He will be with him and bless him, confirming the oath he swore to Abrahm to make Isaac's offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky. Further, that God will give Isaac's offspring those lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by his offspring, because Abraham, "listened to My voice and kept My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions." Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men there asked about Rebekah he said she was his sister because he was afraid of being killed because of her beauty. Abimelech (king of the Philistines) saw Isaac caressing her, and asked why he lied. Abimelech said anyone who harms this man or his wife will certainly die. Isaac reaped 100 times what he sowed in farming. The LORD blessed him. He became rich, had livestock and slaves. The Philistines grew envious. They stopped the wells that his father's slaves dug, and Abimelech told him to leave because he was too powerful. Isaac left and reopened the water wells. The herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac over the wells. He moved and dug a new well and named it "open spaces" (Rehoboth), because the LORD made room for them to be fruitful in the land. Isaac then went to Beer-sheba and the LORD appeared to him and reminded him of His covenant. Isaac built an altar there, and called on the name of Yahweh, his slave dug a well there. Abimelech came with Ahuzzath (his advisor) and Phicol (his army commander). They made a covenant with Isaac not to harm each other. Isaac's slaves dug a well the day Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol left saying, "We have found water!" He called it Sheba, therefore the city is Beer-sheba. Esau was 40 and took Judith (a Hittite) and Basemath (a Hittite) as wives, and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.

Matthew 13 - 8 Parables of the Kingdom, Prophet Without Honor in His Hometown
Jesus went out and large crowds gathered, so he got in a boat and sat to teach the crowd as it stood on shore.

(1) The Sower - A sower sowed seed on the (1) the path - birds came and took it (2) rocky ground - they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn't deep, but the sun scorched them because they had no root, they withered (3) among thorns - the thorns choked them (4) good ground - produced  crop. Anyone who has ears should listen! The parables are the secrets of the kingdom of heaven given for them to know, but it has not been given to them to fulfill Scripture in Isaiah, that looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. The eyes of the disciples re blessed because they see, and ears because they hear. The prophets and righteous longed to see what they see and hear what they hear. The seeds (1) on the path - this represents those who hear the word about the kingdom, but don't understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart; (2) on the rocky ground - is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, but he has no root, when pressure or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately stumbles; (3) among thorns - the one who hears the word, but is seduced by the this age and wealth, and he becomes unfruitful; (4) the good ground - the one who hears and understands the word, and bears fruit.

(2) The Wheat and Weeds - The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed, but while sleeping his enemy sowed weeds. The plants sprouted and produced grin, then the weeds appeared. He told his slaves not to gather the weeds so as not to uproot the wheat, but at harvest to gather the weeds and burn them. They were to gather the wheat in his barn. The One sowing is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one sown by the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Those guilty of lawlessness will be thrown into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom.

(3) The Mustard Seed - The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, it's the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown it's a tall tree.

(4) The Yeast - The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that spread through all the flour.

(5) The Hidden Treasure - The kingdom of heaven is like treasure buried in a field that a man found and reburied. Then, in his joy, he sells everything he has and buys the field.

(6) The Priceless Pearl - The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one that was priceless, he sold everything he had and bought it.

(7) The Net - The kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown in the sea. I collects all kinds of fish, they dragged it ashore and gathered the good fish into containers and threw the worthless ones out. This is what it will be like at the end of the age. Angels will separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

(8) The Storehouse - Every student of Scripture instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who brings out of his storeroom what is new and old.

When Jesus finished He left. He went to his hometown of Nazareth and taught at the synagogue, they didn't listen because they knew him and his family. The people were offended by Him. Jesus said, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household. He didn't do many miracles because of their unbelief.

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