Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Is it time for a change?

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 29-31

“Then the LORD said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.’” Genesis 31:3

Here at the beginning of the year, it’s not unusual to think about changes we would like to make in the coming 12 months, or that seem inevitable by the way they insert themselves into our awareness.

The latter was Jacob’s experience.

He had lived near Laban, his father-in-law for twenty years (Genesis 31:41). It was certainly longer than his mother had anticipated (she talked about an absence of “a few days” - Genesis 27:44).  But now change was in the air. Several things alerted Jacob to it:

1. His brothers-in-law, Laban’s sons, were restive and talking about how he had stolen their father’s wealth (and thus their inheritance) - Genesis 31:1.

2. Laban no longer seemed favourable to him either - Genesis 31:2.

3. God spoke to Jacob (the Bible doesn’t say exactly how) and told him what the change was to be. He was to return home.

It’s interesting to see what changes God told other Bible characters to make.
  • God spoke directly to Abram (later Abraham) telling him to leave home and and old associations for points unknown - Genesis 12:1.
  • God engineered a bush fire out of which He told Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery - Exodus 3:10.
  • God told Joshua to move forward - Joshua 1:2.
  • God came to Gideon as the “Angel of the LORD” and told him to fight against Israel’s oppressors, the Midianites. To start that process he was to destroy his family’s idols - Judges 6:14,25.
  • God gave many directives to Elijah. He told him where to find supplies (1 Kings 17:3-4,9), when it was time to come out of retirement and get back to work (1 Kings 18:1), who to anoint as ruler and prophetic successor (1 Kings 19:15-16) and what judgments to pronounce on evil King Ahab (1 Kings 21:18,19; 2 Kings 1:3).

In the New Testament
  • God told Ananias to go and pray for Saul—a seemingly dangerous assignment because Saul was legendary as a persecutor of Christians - Acts 9:10-16.
  • God told Peter to go to the house of Gentile Cornelius - Acts 10:19,20.
  • God told the early church’s prophets and teachers who to appoint for special assignments - Acts 13:1,2.
  • God told Paul and Silas to avoid certain places (Asia and Bithynia) and to go to others (Macedonia), on their missionary journey - Acts 16:6-10.

We see that God communicates directives about many things in a variety of ways. What is He whispering (or shouting) in your ear? Let’s be open and obedient to His directions for change this year.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to catch Your signals about the changes You are asking me to make in 2018. Amen.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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