13 January: Genesis 29-30, John 7b, Psalm 13
- Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, but it seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. I'm not sure if time works that way for me. I was so eager to marry Debbie that each day seemed like seven years. Perhaps the workload of seven years was minimized by Jacob's great love for Rachel.
- Jacob, the deceiver, is deceived on one of the biggest nights of his life — his wedding night. He thinks he is going to bed with Rachel only to wake up with Leah. "When morning came, there was Leah!" This event will affect the next 13 years of Jacob's life.
- As Jacob marries both Rachel and Leah, so begins a course of Despair (29:31), Blessing (29:32-35), Jealousy (30:1), Anger (30:2), Sexual Compromise (30:3, 9), and Greed (30:14-15). This is the background for each of the twelve great tribes of Israel! The Bible is certainly very honest about the flaws of our patriarchs.
- The controversy over Jesus reaches a fever pitch during the great festival. Many are trying to kill him while others summon the courage to support him and his claims. The signs of Jesus cannot by denied.
- Jesus speaks cryptically to the crowds about his relationship to the Father. In that discourse, he explains something very important about the Holy Spirit (which we can now know through John's editorializing v. 39).
- The Spirit will flow from within us like streams of living water
- The Spirit had not yet been given in this manner
- After Jesus is glorified, the Spirit will be given
- This is perhaps the greatest distinctive of the New Covenant — we receive the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant, the Spirit was apparently not given in this way. Although He came upon people and even "filled them" it was different from what Jesus will offer to us. Amen! We have a great gift in this covenant.
- Another great psalm that helps me wrestle through the "dark nights of the soul." I'll remember David's pattern:
- Place your complaint before the Lord
- Recognize the terrible situation about you
- Place your request before the Lord
- Affirm your faith in the deliverance of the Lord