The smooth and hairy brothers fall out, but the cousins bless one another

13 01 2011

DAY THIRTEEN : Genesis 27 v. 1 – 28 v. 22; Matthew10 v. 32 – 11 v. 15; Psalm 9

Jacob steals the blessing Isaac intends for Esau -this is a sorded tale, and Rebekah plays the main part, hatching the plan for Jacob to pretend to be his brother, and fool his father, Isaac.
Knowing what’s coming for Jacob, and his favoured son Joseph (a few chapters on), I noticed that part of Isaac’s blessing for his son was that he “be Lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you”. Joseph will get into trouble with his brothers (and Jacob will grieve the faked death of his favoured son) because of a dream where they will bow down to him…..families, eh ?

Esau held a grudge against Jacob – well you would, wouldn’t you !

Rebekah urges Jacob to flee for a while to her family, and stirs up Isaac’s unhappiness over Esau’s wives (Hittites) – ooh, it’s Rebekah who’s got herself in a ‘stew’ today, and is calling the shots.

Jacob’s dream, heaven’s stairway – more about my thoughts on the stairway later (my re-created thoughts..), but I was struck today by Jacob’s early morning response to such a clear dream, and hearing again the words of the covenant promise given to his grandad Abraham, and then his father Isaac. “Surely the Lord is in this place…How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven”, so the place is blessed, ‘anointed’ with oil, and called Bethel (house of God).
Jacob’s vow, or reciprocal promise is that he will honour God, and give a tithe of all God gives him.
God’s promises to us stir a desire to promise ourselves to Him

(Methodist Covenant Prayer :
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God,
You are mine, and I am Yours;
so be it.)

Jesus continues to teach his disciples
The cost of discipleship – this is a high calling, and Jesus’s words here are uncompromising and set the bar high. It’s about putting devotion to God first, above family (who the Bible clearly teaches, throughout, are our first calling after God), above our own ambitions and desires (take up your cross and follow).
The sentence which impressed itself upon me today was,
“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me” – powerful words for Christ-followers, that if we truly seek to be disciples we will carry Jesus’, and therefore God’s own, presence in the world.
You can have eternal influence today !

Jesus and John – this is a very special relationship between cousins. I read it as John (in prison, life-threatened) asking his cousin how he’s getting on with the whole Messiah thing ! It give Jesus an opportunity to report all the good news back to John, and to tell the world of John’s prophetic importance to Jesus and His ministry.

Psalm 9 – a song of praise and rejoicing in God, for all He has done, especially protection from enemies, God’s judgement and righteousness.

My re-created thoughts (on the stairway to heaven dream)

I once reacted to a picture I saw of Jacob’s dream, where the stairway to heaven looked like a very, very long rope ladder…..I knew, then, that if my entry to heaven depended upon my ability to climb such a ladder, I’d never make it….and I wrote these words :

Forgive me, Lord, I don’t like heights
They make me turn to jelly
And all those angels floating ’round
Give me a funny belly

The ladder looks so flimsy, Lord,
And it’s very, very high
You’d never catch me on it,
I think I’d rather die.

I know I’m getting cheeky, Lord,
I hate to make a fuss
But instead of climbing up to You,
Could You come down to us ?