GENESIS 28:1-29:35 | MATTHEW 9:18-38 | PSALM 11:1-7 | PROVERBS 3:11-12
Click on the link below to listen to an audio recording of this post:
The Lord repeats to Jacob the great covenant first made with Jacob’s father and grandfather.
God says: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
The concept of a tithe or a tenth of one’s earnings is created by Jacob right here. Jacob says in verse 22: and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.
God needs nothing from us, not even a tenth, and yet this is a way of putting our money where our mouth is. To give back to God a small portion of what we get from God in the first place is our way of giving praise and honor where it belongs.
Jacob’s trip back to the old country on his mother’s side is a most fascinating one. In an almost comedic turn of events, he meets his uncle Laban, falls in love with his younger daughter Rachel, waits for her for seven years, is then deceived by Laban when Rachel’s sister Leah is given to him in marriage, and then waits another seven years to get Rachel’s hand in marriage as well!
The origins of the twelve tribes of Israel is dawning upon us. We see here the birth of the first four sons of Jacob and Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.
Turning next to our reading in Matthew, we continue with the account of Jesus’ ministry: raising the dead, touching the infirm, giving sight to the blind, and sound to the mute. In all of these instances, what is striking is the strong faith of each of these who believed in the power of Jesus to heal them. They did not approach Jesus wondering if this might be yet another thing to try; they came with a ferocious faith that caused them believe that they would be healed. The sick woman’s faith is the most remarkable — she believes she only needs to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment in order to be healed! And she is right! But the miracle occurred not because of Jesus’ garment, but because of her faith in the man who wore it!
Jesus says to the believer: “According to your faith let it be done to you.”
One can imagine how busy Jesus’ days must have been like. Matthew says about this: 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Next, we turn to the Psalms, and find David speaking of God’s omniscience in these verses:
4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
The verses from Proverbs are gentle reminders on the value of paying heed to the admonitions of the Lord. Solomon, wise king of Israel, says:
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.