14 January: Genesis 31-32, John 8:1-30, Psalm 14

Genesis 31-32

  • Jacob, which can mean "deceiver", now lives out a narrative filled with deceit. Although God has assured Jacob "Go back to your land and I will be with you," Jacob acts on God's charge through fearful deceit rather than through faith. He "deceives Laban by not telling him he was running away." v. 20, 31
  • Laban pursues Jacob and rebukes him for deceit. 
  • Rachel deceives Laban about the idols that she stole.
  • In the end, Laban demands a covenant be made around a witness that God is always watching and knows the truth.
  • As Jacob receives word that Esau will soon meet him, he is filled with "great fear and distress." Jacob's deceit only compounds into greater fear and distress. I have lied because I feared what the truth might produce. I need to learn this lesson from Jacob. The lie doesn't allay any fear, it only compounds that fear (eventually into distress).
  • The prospect of meeting Esau causes Jacob to call on the Lord. That evening, Jacob will wrestle with God and prevail. Despite all his deceit, God still blesses Jacob for his perseverance. Here he receives a new name, Israel!

John 8:1-30

  • The woman caught in her adultery (where was the man, btw) receives a remarkable balance of truth and grace from Jesus.
  • I we do not believe in Jesus, we "will indeed die in our sins." I need to both believe and reach as many as possible with this conviction!
  •  

Psalm 14

  • Very similar to Psalm 12 (in fact I confused them in their NT reference in Romans). Some 5 point Calvinists claim this verse for the universal depravity of man. However, the hyperbole of v. 1-3 is offset by the recognition of the righteous in v. 5-6 that God protects.