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ACAD – Praise: Genesis 29

Jacob Arrives in Northwest Mesopotamia

29 Then Jacob continued his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. He looked and saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying nearby, because they drank water from this well. A large stone covered the mouth of the well. When all the flocks would gather there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place.

Jacob said to the shepherds there, “My brothers, where are you from?”

They answered, “We are from Haran.”

Then Jacob asked, “Do you know Laban, grandson of Nahor?”

They answered, “We know him.”

Then Jacob asked, “How is he?”

They answered, “He is well. Look, his daughter Rachel is coming now with his sheep.”

Jacob said, “But look, it is still the middle of the day. It is not time for the sheep to be gathered for the night, so give them water and let them go back into the pasture.”

But they said, “We cannot do that until all the flocks are gathered. Then we will roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep.”

While Jacob was talking with the shepherds, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, because it was her job to care for the sheep. 10 When Jacob saw Laban’s daughter Rachel and Laban’s sheep, he went to the well and rolled the stone from its mouth and watered Laban’s sheep. Now Laban was the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and cried. 12 He told her that he was from her father’s family and that he was the son of Rebekah. So Rachel ran home and told her father.

13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house, where Jacob told Laban everything that had happened.

14 Then Laban said, “You are my own flesh and blood.”

Jacob Is Tricked

Jacob stayed there a month. 15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “You are my relative, but it is not right for you to work for me without pay. What would you like me to pay you?”

16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older was Leah, and the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he said to Laban, “Let me marry your younger daughter Rachel. If you will, I will work seven years for you.”

19 Laban said, “It would be better for her to marry you than someone else, so stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like just a few days to him because he loved Rachel very much.

21 After seven years Jacob said to Laban, “Give me Rachel so that I may marry her. The time I promised to work for you is over.”

22 So Laban gave a feast for all the people there. 23 That evening he brought his daughter Leah to Jacob, and they had sexual relations. 24 (Laban gave his slave girl Zilpah to his daughter to be her servant.) 25 In the morning when Jacob saw that he had had sexual relations with Leah, he said to Laban, “What have you done to me? I worked hard for you so that I could marry Rachel! Why did you trick me?”

26 Laban said, “In our country we do not allow the younger daughter to marry before the older daughter. 27 But complete the full week of the marriage ceremony with Leah, and I will give you Rachel to marry also. But you must serve me another seven years.”

28 So Jacob did this, and when he had completed the week with Leah, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29 (Laban gave his slave girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob had sexual relations with Rachel also, and Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban for another seven years.

Jacob’s Family Grows

When the Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, he made it possible for Leah to have children, but not Rachel. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[a] because she said, “The Lord has seen my troubles. Surely now my husband will love me.”

Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon[b] and said, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved, so he has given me this son.”

Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi[c] and said, “Now, surely my husband will be close to me, because I have given him three sons.”

Then Leah gave birth to another son. She named him Judah,[d] because she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Then Leah stopped having children.

Footnotes:

  1. 29:32 Reuben This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “he has seen my troubles.”
  2. 29:33 Simeon This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “has heard.”
  3. 29:34 Levi This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “be close to.”
  4. 29:35 Judah This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “praise.”

New Century Version (NCV)The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Seduced by the Enemy, Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

Can one born in sin truly recognize sin?
If all of life is a thought, then what is death?
If faith is an alignment of mind, heart and will, then what is doubt?
If no weapon formed against a believer can harm them, then how can a believer be destroyed?
If nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, then what can possibly turn a believer away from God?
If Jesus Christ died for me, why is it so hard to live completely for Him?

These questions may sound philosophical, but they have very practical answers.

 

Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

seduce
1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt
2. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance

“Seduction” has a romantic connotation in world culture, however, synonyms for the word “seduce” include decoy, lure, deceive and tempt. None of those words have a romantic ring to them. The word “enemy” can also be misleading, in that it leads one to look outward for danger instead of inward. The spiritual attacks aimed at knocking believers from their walk with God targets the believer’s internal organisms of belief, faith, heart and thoughts. Even though the perpetrator of the attacks is the spirit we know as Satan or the devil or the god of this world, our most dangerous potential enemy is our self. The self that can be seduced into believing something other than the truth. The self that can be beguiled into a change of heart and led astray from their faith. The self that can be deceived into thinking they are less than they are. In a very real sense, a believer can seduce their own self away from God.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.   ~ 1 John 5:18-19, 21

If we believe God’s word, nothing Satan/the devil/the evil one attacks us with will harm us. We have only to stand and resist his attacks. Faith is our shield and the Word of God is our sword. The Word of God says that our faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:11-17). Above we read in 1 John 5:18 that the evil one cannot touch us. So if the evil one, aka Satan aka the devil cannot breach our faith, how can he harm us?

He can only succeed against us when we are without our faith – when we have set aside our shield.

Does one not become one’s own worst enemy if one is assured of victory, yet chooses to forfeit said victory?

We are our biggest enemy because we have the ability to choose between life and death – every day, every step, every thought. Satan can’t do that for us, he can only camouflage death (choices leading to death) to make them look like life (or rather the type of life we seek in the world).  

It’s important for a believer to know who they are in Christ – saved, delivered, anointed, more than a conqueror, ambassador of Christ, minister of reconciliation, a priest, and a king seated in heavenly places. It is equally important to know who we are when we are not in Christ. When we operate in the flesh (seeking to satisfy our SELF) we are on a slippery slope leading to sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Believers who are susceptible to seduction by the enemy are those who think they can accept Christ, God’s saving grace, and still operate outside of Him, outside of God’s grace. Those who believe they can praise the Lord in the morning and still speak death to their life in the evening. Those who plant a fruitful tree yet starve it at the roots. Their left hand is not aware of the doings of the right. And their thoughts are not expressed by their actions.

I am such a susceptible believer.   

I am the most dangerous and destructive enemy I will ever encounter. I need to know that about myself.

You need to know that about yourself.

There is nothing that comes against you that can do more damage than what comes from within you. So the true battle is getting your SELF under control. Once you are in control of your SELF (or every time you regain control of your SELF), submit your SELF under the authority of Christ. It is through Christ that we have the power to continue to walk according to the Spirit of God and it is through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that we are convicted and corrected of our errors during our walk.

I thank God for His firm hold on me and His persistent voice within me.    

The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, not with our flesh (our SELF, our sinful nature). So don’t be seduced by SELF (by your flesh, your sinful nature) into seeking temporary worldly pleasures over God’s eternal promises.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.    ~ Galatians 5:22-26

 Q:  How many times must I die to self in order to live in Christ?

A:  As many times as it takes to REMAIN in Christ.