Friday, January 27, 2012

Laban Chases After Jacob; Wisdom is a Tree of Life

    Today's Reading:
  • Genesis 31:17-32:12
  • Proverbs 3:16-18
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Genesis 31:17 - 32:12
Today I read about how Laban chased Jacob and caught up with him.  Laban was furious because he thought someone stole his idols, which was the case because his daughter Rachel had taken them.  So this makes me wonder, are these idols of other gods?  Are these idols of God Himself?  What exactly is an idol? When I think of the word "idol", I think of how God tells us not to worship these idols -- whether or not they pertain to him or of anything heavenly.  Rachel was not found out for stealing the idols, which is good since Jacob offered to have the person who stole them killed. 

Chapter 32 starts the story of how Jacob returned home and sent ahead a messenger to Esau.  Jacob then learns that Esau is coming with an army of 400 men to greet him.  Jacob splits up his camp into two in hopes that one of them will survive.  Jacob reminded God of the promises made to him; that he would be treated kindly and up to that point Jacob had so far prospered in response to God's word.  Today's reading ends right in the middle of this story before I get to find out what happened.  Sure, I'd like to find out what happened but leaving it like this gives me something more to look forward to.

Proverbs 3:16-18
Here I read a few more simple but sweet verses about Wisdom.  Wisdom will give you a long life and riches and a delightful, satisfying life.  Then, finally: Wisdom is a tree of life (3:18).  This is really profound.  Here we are told that being wise in our choices can give us a very satisfying life. 

How many of us yearn for a fully satisfying life?  The bigger question is, how many of us actually have a truly satisfying life?  I'm afraid I'm going to spend my whole life reaching for that pinnacle yet never achieving it.  I know that I am on the right path, especially as I am on this journey to truly discover and study the Lord's word and reevaluate and change my life to fit it.  I just pray that I don't fall from this path, and if I do, that I resume back on track quickly.  That I discover the knowledge I need and gain wisdom in all I have experienced, and have yet to experience.

It's amazing how 20-30 minutes of study and reflection can make all the difference in my day, in my life, and in how I see the world around me. I want to join a bible study and learn more and more!  I know, however, if I do that I run the risk of having a burn out and of not giving myself enough time to reflect and question what I'm reading day by day.  At least by starting out like this, I give myself a little bit to reflect upon and savor each day.  When I am through with this study then I will move on to more and more, hopefully for the rest of my life.  After all, I have a feeling this book will never fail to teach me new things -- no matter how many times I read it.

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