"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding." - Job 38:1-4 ESV
“Were you there?” is a question that young earth creation scientist Ken Ham encourages people to ask when discussing the theory of evolution. The reality is that no man has witnessed the evolution of molecules to man, because it didn’t happen.
Yet, no man witnessed God creating the earth, sun, moon, and stars. I wasn’t there and neither were you. But there was someone who was there: God. And God has given us an account of the events of creation in the Holy Scriptures.
God’s Word is true and it is trustworthy. I hope you will put your faith in God and in every word that He has preserved for us. Take some time to study the science behind the creationist worldview. The Christian young earth creationist worldview is scientifically reasonable and defendable. Studying it will strengthen your faith and help you to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in you!
For those of you who are parents, please invest the efforts necessary to teach your children about creation science. Young minds are impressionable. They will either be shaped by a godless culture or a god-centered one. If you’re afraid to indoctrinate your children into the Christian faith, just know that the world is busy indoctrinating them for you. I know. I was there.
Will you pray with me?
Heavenly Father, You were there when the foundations of the earth were laid by the power of Your Word. You were there when the sea burst forth for the first time. You were there when the sun, moon, and stars were hung in the vast space of our universe. Before the beginning of time, You were there. Thank You, Father, for preserving Your Word for all of these years, so that we could know You. Thank You for speaking to Job and for speaking to us. You know all things and by Your will they have come into being. Help us to trust You in all things – in the daily stresses of life and in training up our children in the way they should go. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
In this chapter Job makes his final defense against his friend’s accusations. Again and again he says “If I have” – aka, “Trust me! I haven’t!”
Today I was struck by the fact that mankind’s propensities toward sin hasn’t changed all that much since Job was alive several thousand years ago. We still lust after women and wealth. We still lie and deceive. We still cheat the poor and forsake the widow and orphan.
I was also thinking about how often we only think about the sin of things that we do, sins of “commission,” but Job also talks about the things that we left undone, sins of “omission.” Have you ever considered the fact that not helping the poor, the outcast, the widow, the fatherless, might actually be a sin?
I wonder if we as the body of Christ have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the poor. Have we abdicated our responsibility to help the needy, expecting the local, state, and national government to do what the church has been charged to do?
Lord, please give us wisdom day after day in hope to be Your hands and feet here on earth until we’re taken to heaven. Help us to see those areas where we are falling short, sinning in what we are failing to do. May we not hide behind our church attendance or time spent in Your Word, thinking that gives us some kind of a free pass to not actually do the works that You’ve called us to do. Make us willing ambassadors for Your kingdom, both in what we do and what we don’t do. Keep us free from the love of money. Keep our hearts free from lust and jealousy and envy and deceit. Make us neighbor-lovers and Savior-lovers. Make us conduits of the grace that we have abundantly received from You. In the Almighty Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 22, Job 15
There is so much prophecy about Christ in Psalm 22. The Roman soldiers divided up Jesus’s clothes and cast lots for his garments like David wrote a thousand years earlier in Psalm 22:18. Jesus spoke the very words of Psalm 22:1 as He hung on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you, abandoned you, deserted you?
Sisters, when we find ourselves in that pit of despair, we must speak truth into our hearts, like David did in this psalm.
Here is the truth:
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV — “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Psalm 9:10 ESV — “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV — “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Let’s encourage one another with these words and pray to the Father together. Will you join me in praying?
In Christ, we are the recipient of God’s grace, hidden behind the cross where Jesus absorbed the Father’s wrath that we so deeply deserved. Jesus took the Father’s scorn in our place. Jesus paid the death price, so we don’t have to.
You are worthy of our full trust. Thank You for the sacrifice of Christ who has paid the price for my sin so that I don’t have to. My debt has been paid in full by my Savior, Christ Jesus, my Lord.
Thank You for Your faithful, steadfast love. I can trust without doubting that You will never leave me or forsake me. You are true, though every man be a liar. My own parents might even abandon me, turn away from me in shame, forsake me, but You never will.
In Jesus, You have made me Your child and put Your seal upon me, filling me with Your Holy Spirit, making me Your temple. What purpose and hope and peace there is in that!
Have you ever found yourself running in this rat’s race of life, pursuing some pie in the sky goal, but unable to reach it no matter how hard you try? Or maybe you have succeeded in reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself – you’ve gotten accepted into that college, graduated as valedictorian, married the guy, had the babies, won the praises of man – and yet you still find your life empty?
Like the song “Never Enough” from the 2017 blockbuster hit, “The Greatest Showman,” no matter what the world has to offer you, it’s never enough.
All the shine of a thousand spotlights All the stars we steal from the night sky Will never be enough Never be enough Towers of gold are still too little These hands could hold the world but it’ll Never be enough Never be enough
Today, when I finished reading the book of Genesis, it struck me, “Lord, whatever this world has to offer, it’s never enough.”
Eve thought, “If only I could eat the fruit of that tree…”
Lot’s wife thought, “If only I could go back home…”
Sarah thought, “If only I could have a son…”
Rebekah thought, “If only my son Jacob would receive his father’s blessing…”
Leah thought, “If only Jacob loved me…”
Rachel thought, “If only I had a son…”
In the final verse of Genesis 45, Jacob receives word that his favorite son, Joseph, whom he thought had been killed by wild animals is still alive. Jacob says,
And then when Jacob was finally reunited with his dearly loved son, he says “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” (Genesis 56:30) And God graciously gives Jacob another 17 years of life after seeing his son – time enough to know not only Joseph but also Joseph’s two sons who were born during Joseph’s years in Egypt.
At the end of his life, Jacob asks Joseph to bring near his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.”
And suddenly my mind started thinking, “Lord, when will it be enough for me? When I have that next thing, that next relationship, that next opportunity? When I finally quit doing that thing that I hate? When my husband finally does the next thing? When my child does that most important thing? When will it be enough?”
And then I was reminded of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
We learn of God’s grace as we are humbled. Surely these afflictions are for our good. It is good to recognize that nothing on earth will ever be enough. Treasures on earth – whether monetary or relational – will never satisfy. Our lives are better because of the thorns that the Lord has in His mercy given us.
Our faith grows as it is stretched.
Let’s pray together.
You alone are worthy. You are enough. You satisfy. In Your presence there is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Your face, Lord, is what I seek.
In this world, You have promised that I will have troubles, but Lord You have also promised that I can take heart before You have overcome the world.
If I have every trapping of this world – all the knowledge and wisdom, all the fame and power and praise of man, all the riches, all the relationships – it will never be enough. Let me not seek after these worldly things that can never satisfy.
Let me boast only in You – that I know You, that You are the Lord, my Lord, who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. This is what You delight in, so make these my delight, too.
You are a good shepherd and You are my shepherd. I have everything I need. You are enough.
Your grace is enough for me. You are more than enough for me.
In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Psalm 16:11; Psalm 27:8; John 16:33; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 23
"So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt." Genesis 45:4-8 ESV
I have a quick question for y’all – Have you ever been sold into slavery by your brothers? No? Me neither.
Have you ever been hurt by anyone in your life? Yes? Me, too.
When someone hurts you, it can be hard to forgive them. Sometimes it feels like you can’t “let them off” by forgiving them. You can take on the roll of punisher – wanting them to pay for what they’ve done to you.
But let’s think about Joseph’s words here — what if we saw God’s hand at work even in our pain? How would that change your desire to punish someone who hurt you? Wouldn’t that make true forgiveness a whole lot easier?
The truth is that God is always at work, accomplishing the best ends through the best means for the most people. Sometimes people get hurt during that … And sometimes those people are YOU …
Will you pray with me?
I trust You. I trust Your heart. I trust Your mercy and kindness and grace and power. You have proven Yourself to be good and faithful – in Your Word and in my life. But, Father, sometimes things look really bad to me. In fact, sometimes those things really are bad. It’s wrong to sell your brother into slavery. That is wrong. Yet, Lord, you worked through that unthinkable tragedy to bring great good for a great number of people with fruit still being born even today.
I pray that I would trust You with all my heart, soul, and mind. Help me to remember Your steadfast faithfulness to Joseph and me now and forever.
Genesis 42 kicks off with the famine having spread to the land of Canaan, thereby forcing Jacob to send his sons to Egypt to buy grain. Jacob sends ten of his remaining sons, but refuses to send Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, the only other son of Rachel, “for he feared that harm might happen to him.” (Genesis 42:4) Jacob is still playing favorites, like I wrote about here.
As though that’s not bad enough, even after Simeon (Jacob’s second son from his unloved wife, Leah) is left behind in Egypt, Jacob continues to insist that Benjamin cannot go to Egypt, saying, “My son shall not go down with you [Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn son], for his brother [Joseph] is dead, and he is the only one left.” (Genesis 42:38) In fact, Jacob still has eight other sons in addition to Reuben left at home, namely Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, and Zebulun.
How would you feel if you heard your father say such a thing about one of your brothers?
Wouldn’t you want to scream and cry and stomp your feet, “Hey, Dad, what about me? Don’t you love me? Aren’t I your son? What about me and my children? What if we starve here from this famine?”
When the famine becomes even more severe and all the Egyptian grain has been consumed, Jacob is finally willing to send his sons again to Egypt to buy food. (Keep in mind, Simeon had been left in Egypt as a captive all this time.)
Judah, Jacob’s fourth son who was also born to Leah, solemnly pledges to his father, “From my hand you shall require him [Benjamin]. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.” (Genesis 43:9 ESV)
To which Jacob finally relents, “May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” (Genesis 43:14)
Now, put yourself in the shoes of Judah, or one of Leah’s other sons or worse yet one of the sons of Rachel’s servant Bilhah or Leah’s servant Zilpah. Imagine hearing your father refer to Simeon, your big brother as “your other brother” while Rachel’s son is referred to by name. Benjamin, Jacob’s last son. Benjamin, the only remaining son of Rachel, Jacob’s dearly loved wife who died during his birth. Benjamin, the “son of my right hand.”
Whether spoken intentionally or not, Jacob’s words communicated to his children that Benjamin is more valuable than they are. Read Judah’s own words to Joseph about his dad at the end of Genesis 44.
In spite of the pain that his father has caused him, Judah still loves his dad. He may not be expecting a prodigal son’s welcome home — no father running to him with arms open wide. Rather, he is expecting to arrive home to a father who is looking behind him to see if his baby brother is there. And yet … Judah is still worried about the deep pain that his brother’s loss will cause his father.
Are you having a hard time loving someone who has hurt you again and again? Are you struggling to forgive someone who repeatedly has broken your heart?
How I long to see you face to face, to sit at your feet and have every tear wiped away from my eyes. How I ache for the pain and sin and sorrow of this world to be over.
But, Father, in the meantime, help me to love as Your Son loved. Remind me how much You have forgiven me. Show me my sin.
Help me to forgive even those who forget me and reject me and spit in my face. I want to forgive others as You have forgiven me.
Lord, I can’t do this on my own. I need Your strength. Help me to see the log in my own eye, to accept responsibility for where my own sin has contributed to the pain that I find myself in.
I want to overcome evil with good for You are good and I am Yours.
In the Good and Gracious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
I found it especially interesting to read Genesis 38 and 39 together. Genesis 38 tells the story of Judah, who got his widowed daughter-in-law pregnant, while Genesis 39 tells the story of Judah’s younger brother, Joseph, who successfully resisted Potiphar’s wife in spite of her incredible persistence.
Genesis 38 – Sexual Sin and Human Pride
I mainly want to focus on Genesis 39 today, but before we get there I do want to point out two things in Genesis 38.
"About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” - Genesis 38:24 ESV
Judah is the father of this child. Judah is the reason that Tamar is pregnant. Yet Judah is who demands that she be burned. 🥺😭
How quickly we point out the sin in other people when we are guilty of that very same sin! How prone we are to hate lying and pride and sin in other people, while overlooking it in ourselves!
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3 ESV
This is part of loving your neighbor as yourself. Somehow we all manage to forgive our own lying and deceit and sexual sin and pride. We make excuses for our own misbehavior, yet we are quick to point fingers at others. May it never be.
I pray that we desire repentance in ourselves as well as our neighbor to repent. May we be merciful as we have been shown mercy. May we not think that we are somehow better than the other person when we are both eating pig slop.
As a dear Christian sister often reminds me, “We are all just beggars looking for somewhere to buy bread.”
The second thing that jumps out at me from Genesis 38 is that Perez, one of the twin sons who was conceived in Tamar through this act of sexual immorality, is the child that God chose to be in the line of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:3)
God uses all things, sometimes even sinful things, to accomplish His purposes. Does that mean we should continue in sin? May it never be. But does it mean that none of us are beyond hope and that God is able to use even our sinful past to bring Him glory? Yes. Yes, it does.
I have deep regrets over many things I did in the first 25 years of my life – maybe you do, too – yet those things shaped who I am today. I pray that God would use my brokenness to be holes for His glory to shine out of.
Genesis 29 – Handsome Joseph and Potiphar’s Persistent Wife
Let’s look next at Genesis 29 – a completely different reaction to sexual temptation.
Potiphar’s wife, a woman of authority, the wife of his boss, aggressively pursued Joseph – a very different situation than the one Judah was in – and yet Joseph remained steadfast, refusing to even “listen to her.” (Genesis 39:10)
The scriptures are full of encouragement to FLEE from temptation and sin. We must actively train ourselves – and our children – to FLEE from temptation.
And let us not be like Lot’s wife who kept looking back as she was being forced to flee Sodom. Let us not be like the Israelites who thought fondly about their years in Egyptian bondage. Let’s be women who flee from temptation with our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
“For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!” Proverbs 5:3-12 ESV
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13b-20 ESV
Thank you for Your mercy and grace and forgiveness. I don’t deserve it. I have been Tamar and I have been Potiphar’s wife. Like 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Such was I, Lord! But, Lord, You have washed me clean through the blood of Jesus. You have given me new desires and new power by Your Spirit at work in me. Praise Your name!
I pray that You would protect our husbands and sons. Please, Father, help them to keep their hearts and minds pure. Help them to think about what they’re thinking about and to pay attention to what has their attention. Show them the way of escape when they are tempted and give them the wisdom, strength, and desire to flee.
Please protect my sisters and me – and our daughters – from the temptation to be temptresses. Make us honorable women. May we be found faithful – to You and to our husbands. Create in us clean hands and pure hearts, O LORD. Teach us to that true fulfillment and satisfaction is found only at the feet of Jesus, so that we would not seek it elsewhere.
You are worthy. You alone are worthy. Thank you, Jesus!
In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
When I Think About the Lord
When I think about the Lord How He saved, how He raised me How He filled me with the Holy Ghost He healed me to the uttermost When I think about the Lord How He picked me up Turned me around How He set my feet On solid ground
That makes me want to shout Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus Lord, You’re worthy Of all the glory, and all the honor And all the praise Oh, makes me want to shout Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus Lord, You’re worthy Of all the glory, and all the honor And all the praise
Read Through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 19; Genesis 33
Twenty years earlier Jacob had fled for his life after lying to his father and cheating his brother Esau out of his father’s final blessing.
Jacob was terrified to go back and see Esau again. He expected Esau to kill him, his wives, and his children, or at a minimum anyone would expect Jacob to receive a severe tongue lashing, right?
This is so not what anyone would expect. Forgiveness and reconciliation are rare commodities in human relationships, even between brothers.
Like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, Esau ran to his brother and embraced him.
“How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate." - Luke 15:17-24 ESV
I’m reading about Esau, but all I can think about is God’s overwhelming, never-ending, faithful love. He loved me while I was yet His enemy. Truly He loved me first. I am able to love because He first loved me!
I confess that I don’t really understand how all this works, but I do know that it all begins and ends with our loving Father. He draws us, He pursues us, He draws us to repent, He lavishes His mercy on us.
If Esau was able to forgive his lying, deceiving, selfish brother, that takes an act of God. Likewise, if we’re able to forgive others who hurt us, it’s an act of God.
Dear sisters, God is able to do it through us! What is impossible for man is possible for God! God can give us the strength and humility to forgive others who have hurt us. And He commands it of us. We must forgive others because we have been forgiven by God of SO MUCH!
Which reminds me of another parable that Jesus told. This time in Matthew 18.
"Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times."
"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’
So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.
Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
-Matthew 18:21-35 ESV
Please give us the strength and humility necessary to forgive others. Help us to say with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Help us to pursue others while they are sinners like Jesus pursues us. Help us to overcome evil with good rather than repaying wrong with wrong.
Make us more like Jesus who was willing to suffer that we could be forgiven and set free.
"When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.
And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing."
- Genesis 29:31-35
So often as women we feel like we control our own wombs. I remember a time of great marital struggles and infertility for my husband and I. Reading this story about Leah is such an encouragement to me. God has purpose both in our fertility and in our barrenness. May we bring him glory in both.
Yet when God gives Leah sons, she views them as tools to try to get her husband to love her.
Son #1: Now my husband will love me.
Son #2: The Lord has heard that I am hated.
Son #3: Now my husband will be attached to me.
Finally, Son #4: THIS TIME I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!
Yet, it’s this fourth son, Judah, whom God chose to father the line of the Messiah, the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, God’s only Begotten Son. And it’s Leah, the unloved wife, whom God chose to bear Judah.
Are you feeling unloved today? I’ve been there. But so has Jesus. He knows how it feels to be rejected by those who were supposed to love Him. And He loves you. And He is worth more than a perfect husband or a thousand imperfect sons.
Let me pray over you.
You are close to the broken-hearted. You are the God who remains faithful when man is faithless. You love the unloveable, the poor, the lonely, the rejected.
You are the good shepherd who pursues that lost sheep.
I pray that we would praise You when life is good and we would praise You when life is hard. No matter what, You are worthy of our praise.
We offer our hearts, minds, wombs, and lives to You. Father, fill them as You will in Your perfect timing and for Your purposes. Help us to trust You with our hearts and our hurts.
Genesis 26:22 ESV - And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
In reading Genesis 25 and 26, I was first struck thinking about the pain and confusion Isaac and Rebekah must have felt in their 20 year wait to bear a child. Then, I pondered the plethora of problems that partiality causes, especially when it’s in a family.
But then when I came to Genesis 26:22 and felt led to look up that word “Rehoboth” which I learned means “broad place,” which then reminded me of a verse in Psalm 18 that I read last week.
Psalm 18:36 ESV, "You gave a wide place for my steps under me and my feet did not slip."
And I wondered, was the first well, the Esek well, not in a broad place? How about the second well, the Sitnah well, was it not in a broad place? I don’t think so.
Rather, Isaac and his herdmen made a conscious decision to avoid a quarrel … to choose peace over strife. The Lord had given them all of this land, but Isaac and his men had to choose to avoid a quarrel. (You can read the story in Genesis 26:17-22)
Well, that then reminded me of what I’m studying in 1 Timothy 3:2-3 ESV, “An overseer must be above reproach … gentle, not quarrelsome …” The NASB95 translation says, “An overseer must be above reproach … gentle, peaceable.”
That word that the ESV translates “not quarrelsome” and NASB translates “peaceable” is amachos (G269). a + machos … not + fighting, not + contentious. Paul uses this same Greek word amachos in Titus 3:1-2 ESV, “Remind them (that’s everyone, not just overseers or elders … look back at Titus 2:15 for more context) to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling (NASB95: be peaceable), to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
And I can’t talk about quarreling without looking at Proverbs. Proverbs has a little – I mean, a lot – to say about quarreling! Here’s a sampling of verses from Proverbs of quarreling:
Proverbs 17:14 ESV – The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Proverbs 19:13 ESV – A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
Proverbs 20:3 ESV – It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 21:19 ESV – It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Proverbs 25:24 ESV – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 26:20-21 ESV – For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
Proverbs 27:15 ESV – A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
And how about a few verses from Romans 12,
"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:16-21 ESV
No matter how big or small my house, no matter how big or small my yard, no matter how many or few people I have to share my place with, You have indeed given me a wide place for my steps. The boundary lines You have given have fallen for me in pleasant places. I have a beautiful inheritance. Because You, Lord, are my chosen portion and You hold my lot.
Whom shall I fear? You are the stronghold of my life or whom shall I be afraid?
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. I can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I pray that so far as it depends on me that I will live peaceably with all. Help me, Father, to avoid quarrels, to keep a careful watch over my mouth that I may not sin with my tongue. Help me to guard my mouth with a muzzle, especially when teh wicked are in my presence.
I pray that my mouth would be FILLED with Your PRAISE and with Your GLORY all the day.
I pray that I would not be a quarrelsome or contentious wife. Father, make me an excellent wife. Please help me to do my husband good and not harm all the days of my life. I pray that I would open my mouth with wisdom and that the teaching of kindness would be on my tongue.
I pray all this to the glory of Your name and for Your Son Jesus Christ who gave Himself up for me to redeem me and to purify me, to make me a woman for His own possession who is zealous for good works. Amen.
I love to pray scripture. This prayer is guided by Psalm 16:5-6; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:11; Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6; Psalm 141:3; Psalm 39:1, Psalm 71:8; Proverbs 21:9, 19; Proverbs 31:12, 26; Titus 2:14
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