Genesis 31 - Day 31 (click here to read the chapter)
Scripture: Genesis 31:19
Commentary: The teraphim or “household gods” were associated with luck and prosperity of the family. One suggestion is that, like the lares and penates of Roman tradition, these small images guarded the threshold and hearth. They were passed from one generation to the next as part of the inheritance. The fact that Rachel was able to hide them under a saddle suggests their tiny size, though some were larger (see 1 Sam 19:13). Many of these small figurines have been found in Mesopotamia and Syro-Palestine. They were a part of the popular or local religion, not associated with temples or national cults for the major deities. One recent study has suggested they were figurines of the ancestors, but others see them as more generally related to the family’s patron deity. Laban’s frantic desire to retrieve these images suggests their importance to his family, in contrast to Jacob’s disposal of them before he departs for Canaan.
Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., Ge 31:19). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Application: The bible doesn't explain to us why Rachel stole her father's "household gods" but I understand the draw of having a rabbit's foot to bring you some luck. Thank God that He is the one who "blesses" us so we don't need to rely on a charm or other object.
Prayer: Lord, draw me closer to You and help me recognize all or Your blessing in my life.
Genesis 30 - Day 30 (click here to read the chapter)
Scripture: Genesis 30:1-3
Commentary: 30:1–8 The second scene, like the first, begins with seeing, “When Rachel saw” (cf. 29:31). When the Lord saw Leah’s situation, he acted in mercy. But Rachel’s reaction to divine kindness is jealousy, and like Sarah (16:2), she adopts the desperate expedient of having children through her maid in an attempt to be even with her sister.
1–2 “To think that after the beautiful, gentle love story of 29:1–20 this angry exchange is our first and only experience of their marriage!” (Westermann, 2:474). The desperate desire of women for children is often expressed in the OT (cf. 1 Sam 1:6–8, 15–16; Prov 30:16), but nowhere so vehemently as here. “Give me children, or I shall die.” Sarah’s and Rebekah’s reactions in similar situations are mild by comparison (cf. 16:2; 25:21), even though they had waited many more years than Rachel. To blame her husband for her plight also smacks of impiety, for the OT regards children as the gift of God, not of man (e.g., Ps 113:9). Prayer, not protest, should have been Rachel’s reaction, as Jacob implies in his heated response, “Am I in God’s place, who has prevented your womb from bearing fruit?” Rachel demanded sons; Jacob describes children as “fruit of the womb,” thereby underlining their God-givenness (cf. Deut 7:13; 28:11; Ps 127:3). “Am I in God’s place?” said the king of Israel when faced with another impossible demand (2 Kgs 5:7).
3 But despite Jacob’s rebuke, Rachel is set on solving her problem by her own devices and not waiting for God to act. On the custom of surrogate marriages in the ancient Near East and Genesis’ view of them, see Comment on 16:1–6. Rachel, in fact, quotes Sarah’s words in asking Jacob to follow this custom, “that I may be built up from her” (16:2).
Wenham, G. J. (1994). Genesis 16–50 (Vol. 2, p. 244). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: As Wenham notes above, "Prayer, not protest should have been Rachel's reaction..." Just another reminder that God is in control and instead of taking matters into our own hands, we should place our trust in Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me to know You more.
Genesis 29 - Day 29 (click here to read the text)
Scripture: Genesis 29:15-25
Observation: Laban reaches Haran, meets Laban and the rest of the family, agrees to work for his Uncle 7 years to earn the right to marry his younger daughter, Rachel. On Jacob's wedding night, Laban deceives his nephew and gives him Leah, his older daughter instead of what was promised.
Application: It's not fun being lied to. Jacob received a taste of his own medicine as his uncle changes their agreement. Thank God that He is righteous, faithful and just. He will do as He promises.
Prayer: Lord sanctify us and help us to be righteous like You.
Genesis 28 - Day 28 (click here to read the chapter)
Scripture: Genesis 28:13-15
Observation: On his way to live with his Uncle Laban, Jacob camps at Bethel and meets God face to face (Theophany).
Application: Like his father before him and his grandfather before his father, Jacob receives God's promises of the land, descendants, and all the families of the earth would be blessed through him and his heirs.
We are the beneficiaries of God's promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have been blessed and received eternal life through the Son of God for the Sovereign Lord is faithful and just and true.
Prayer: Praise the Lord!
Genesis 27 - Day 27 (click here to read the chapter)
Scripture: Genesis 27:11-13
Observation: Isaac and Rebekkah are not on the same page in the parenting of their sons.
Application: This is how I know that God is real. It's because the bible doesn't sugarcoat or try to hide the character flaws of its main characters. Isaac has aged and is nearly blind but that's not the reason why he can't tell the difference between his sons Esau and Jacob. The reason is because he doesn't have a relationship with them. Maybe I'm being too hard on Isaac because the cultural norms were different back then, but really? That's probably why God prophesied that the older would serve the younger, knowing that this would happen. Even with all of our dysfunctional tendencies, God's plan will be accomplished.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are always near, available, and in control.