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January 12 - Evening

"He (Isaac) had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
Then Abimelek said to Isaac, 'Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.'
So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, 'The water is ours!' So he named the well Esek,  because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

- Genesis 26:12-34

Knowledge, Faith and Persistence

One thing to note right away is this principle concerning wealth: The more you have, then the more you have to care for. And, the more God gives you, the more you have to manage responsibly. 
Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”

In Isaac’s case it was the Philistines who caused the trouble. They “envied him” and drove him further from their land by cutting off his needed water supply. But, Isaac’s persistence and the Philistine opposition ultimately led Isaac to a location in the Promised Land where Isaac could say: “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

Like his father before him and the heroes of faith that would follow, Isaac could hold firm and stay on course because he understood the promise, the purpose and the ultimate plan of God! It was now Isaac’s turn to face the opposition, manage the Promise of God responsibly and hold his assigned position for his generation.
Kosmokrator  (Gr) - Rulers (Eng) - kosmokrator is a Greek word found only once in the Greek New Testament. In Ephesians 6:12 kosmokrator is translated “rulers,” or “world forces.” It was originally a word referring to the powers of the skies in astrology and eventually came to be used of the pagan rulers and emperors of Greece and Rome. In Ephesians 6:12 kosmokarator are listed along with three other ranks of demonic forces of Satan that are not of the fleshly world.
Do I know God's Word?
Can I continue to believe God's Word in the face of opposition?
I will trust God and be flexible in situations in order to continue doing what God called me to.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Greater desire to know God


Love and selflessness
International Relationships
African Poverty

This is a model of a letter that mentions the city of Jerusalem, or Urusalim, and was sent from Jerusalem (Urusalilm) to Tel Al-Amarna around 1300-1400 BC. It was found in the Royal Archives of Tel al-Amarna in Egypt among 350 other letters written in cuneiform script.This clay tablet is one of the six letters written to the Egyptian kings by Urusalim's ruler during the days of Joshua and the early chapters of the book of Judges.
Map of Abraham leaving Ur.

Someone to Quote

"If the gaze of man awakens fear in us, how much more so the gaze of God.  If we feel exposed by people, we will feel devastated before God.  To even think of such things is too overwhelming."
- Edward T. Welch

Something to Ponder

Christianity is accused of being intolerant because they say that Jesus is the only way of salvation. But, all religions come to a place in this discussion where they also draw a line in the sand and refuse to compromise: 1. Hindus believe in many Gods, and cannot tolerate the one true God. 2. Buddhists cannot accept the scriptures of Hindus and Christians. 3. Muslims will not tolerate disagreement with the Koran. 4. Atheists cannot accept any religion that believes in a God or any Gods.
With all this conflicting "truth" we hope that the religion that is correct will stay committed, or intolerant, until all of us can see the evidence that proves their "truth" is the Truth!...and, we hope they feel the same way about us!!

Here’s a Fact

In 925 BC Egyptian Pharoah Shishak (Sheshonq) invaded Judah:
"In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He carried off the treasures of the Temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made." - Kings 14:25-26
Shishak's son, Osorkon gave 383 tons of gold and silver to the Egyptian temples after his father had died. And, Osorkon buried his son Sheshonq in a pure silver coffin that was discovered in 1939. It is very likely that this enormous amount of gold and silver available in Egypt at this time came from Solomon's Temple in 925 BC. (Details and photo here and here.)


"A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but the Lord condemns a crafty man."
- Proverbs 12:2

Coach’s Corner

There is always a way out of temptation and sin. The lack of an escape route is not the problem with temptation. The problem is lack of desire to see the way out and use the escape route. 

Ephesians 6:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Genesis 24
New International Version (NIV)
Isaac and Rebekah
24 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring[a] I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka[c] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.[d] 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”
26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’
39 “Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’
40 “He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. 41 You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you—then you will be released from my oath.’
42 “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” 44 and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46 “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
47 “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’
“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,
48 and I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.”
56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you increase     to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess     the cities of their enemies.”
61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate,[f] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
  1. Genesis 24:7 Or seed
  2. Genesis 24:10 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  3. Genesis 24:22 That is, about 1/5 ounce or about 5.7 grams
  4. Genesis 24:22 That is, about 4 ounces or about 115 grams
  5. Genesis 24:55 Or she
  6. Genesis 24:63 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
Job 34
New International Version (NIV)
34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;     listen to me, you men of learning.

For the ear tests words     as the tongue tastes food.

Let us discern for ourselves what is right;     let us learn together what is good.

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,     but God denies me justice.

Although I am right,     I am considered a liar; although I am guiltless,     his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’

Is there anyone like Job,     who drinks scorn like water?

He keeps company with evildoers;     he associates with the wicked.

For he says, ‘There is no profit     in trying to please God.’
“So listen to me, you men of understanding.     Far be it from God to do evil,     from the Almighty to do wrong.
He repays everyone for what they have done;     he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,     that the Almighty would pervert justice.
Who appointed him over the earth?     Who put him in charge of the whole world?
If it were his intention     and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,
all humanity would perish together     and mankind would return to the dust.
“If you have understanding, hear this;     listen to what I say.
Can someone who hates justice govern?     Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’     and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
who shows no partiality to princes     and does not favor the rich over the poor,     for they are all the work of his hands?
They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;     the people are shaken and they pass away;     the mighty are removed without human hand.
“His eyes are on the ways of mortals;     he sees their every step.
There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,     where evildoers can hide.
God has no need to examine people further,     that they should come before him for judgment.
Without inquiry he shatters the mighty     and sets up others in their place.
Because he takes note of their deeds,     he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.
He punishes them for their wickedness     where everyone can see them,
because they turned from following him     and had no regard for any of his ways.
They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,     so that he heard the cry of the needy.
But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?     If he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he is over individual and nation alike,
    to keep the godless from ruling,     from laying snares for the people.
“Suppose someone says to God,     ‘I am guilty but will offend no more.
Teach me what I cannot see;     if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’
Should God then reward you on your terms,     when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I;     so tell me what you know.
“Men of understanding declare,     wise men who hear me say to me,
‘Job speaks without knowledge;     his words lack insight.’
Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost     for answering like a wicked man!
To his sin he adds rebellion;     scornfully he claps his hands among us     and multiplies his words against God.”
  1. Job 34:14 Or Spirit

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