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January 15 - Evening

"Then God said to Jacob, Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.'
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.' "

- Genesis 35:2

Keeping a Vow

God speaks to Jacob at Shechem and tells him to, “Go up to Bethel.” Indeed, Bethel is about one thousand feet higher in elevation than Shechem. Jacob is being called back to the place he personally accepted the God of Abraham and had set up a stone marker promising to return to Bethel to honor the Lord. Over twenty years before Jacob vowed that the Lord would be his God if he would provide:
  1. Divine presence
  2. Divine protections
  3. Divine provision
  4. A safe return to the Promised Land
Now, since the Lord has done his part, Jacob is called back to Bethel to fulfill his obligations to the vow which were promised by Jacob at Bethel thirty years earlier:
  1. the Lord would be his God
  2. this stone marker would become a location (altar, house, temple,  etc.) to meet with the Lord
  3. Jacob would give the Lord a tenth of everything
Since, the first commitment of the vow was the promise that the Lord would be Jacob’s God, the first line of action is to, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you!” These gods could have included some idols taken from the plunder of Shechem or may refer to the household gods Rachel stole from her father Laban when they fled Padan Aram.
The Lord had been with Jacob through the last three decades to protect and provide for him. Now, he has brought Jacob back into the Promised Land with his family. It is time they get things squared away and the sons of Jacob realize and understand the Covenant of Abraham and meet the Lord, the God of their father Jacob and grandfather’s Abraham and Isaac.
Ktizo (Gr) - Created (Eng) - ktizo is a Greek word that translate the Hebrew word bara in the Septuagint. Bara means to create something from nothing as God does in Genesis 1:1.
Likewise, the Greek word
ktizo means “to create,” “to make habitable,” “to completely change,” “to transform,” or “to produce.” Ktizo is used 15x in the New Testament including 4x in Ephesians:
  • “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” – Ep. 2:10
  • “so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man.” – Ep. 2:15
  • “the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.” – Ep. 3:9
  • “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness.” – Ep. 4:24
Has God shown himself faithful to me?
Have I responded to God's faithfulness with commitment, trust and obedience?
I will trust God's faithfulness and live in obedience to his Word.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For joy


Business owners
Church funds supplies

Looking south in the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem.
A map detailing Abram's journey into the Land
from Genesis 12:6.

Someone to Quote

"When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons." - John Newton

Something to Ponder

The Celtic Church in Britain, Iona and Ireland had roots in a very early Christian tradition that goes back before 300 AD. When the Roman church arrived to take over the Celtic Christians were observing the date of Easter in accord with the apostolic tradition of John which followed the Jewish calendar (the 14th of Nissan) and was practiced by Polycarp in 120 AD. This is contrary to the Roman Churches tradition that was established as church doctrine at the Nicene Council of 325. The Synod of Whitby of 664 AD forced Celtic Christians to submit to Rome.

Here’s a Fact

Eight Impressions from Hezekiah's Seal - Eight bullae (or, seal impressions in clay) have been found from around 700 BC with Hebrew lettering that reads:
Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah
The bullae are about .5 inch around. The royal seals also left the imprint of a winged scarab (beetle) as was popular in Egypt. One of the bulla has an impression of the string that sealed the scroll and the texture of the scroll's fabric impressed on the back of the bullae. (More here. Images here.)


"The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly."
- Proverbs 15:2

Coach’s Corner

The first key to self-esteem is obedience to God, and the second is knowing you are living a life with purpose that pleases God.

Job 6
New International Version (NIV)
Then Job replied:

“If only my anguish could be weighed     and all my misery be placed on the scales!

It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—     no wonder my words have been impetuous.

The arrows of the Almighty are in me,     my spirit drinks in their poison;     God’s terrors are marshaled against me.

Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass,     or an ox bellow when it has fodder?

Is tasteless food eaten without salt,     or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow[a]?

I refuse to touch it;     such food makes me ill.

“Oh, that I might have my request,     that God would grant what I hope for,

that God would be willing to crush me,     to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
Then I would still have this consolation—     my joy in unrelenting pain—     that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
“What strength do I have, that I should still hope?     What prospects, that I should be patient?
Do I have the strength of stone?     Is my flesh bronze?
Do I have any power to help myself,     now that success has been driven from me?
“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend     forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,     as the streams that overflow
when darkened by thawing ice     and swollen with melting snow,
but that stop flowing in the dry season,     and in the heat vanish from their channels.
Caravans turn aside from their routes;     they go off into the wasteland and perish.
The caravans of Tema look for water,     the traveling merchants of Sheba look in hope.
They are distressed, because they had been confident;     they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
Now you too have proved to be of no help;     you see something dreadful and are afraid.
Have I ever said, ‘Give something on my behalf,     pay a ransom for me from your wealth,
deliver me from the hand of the enemy,     rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless’?
“Teach me, and I will be quiet;     show me where I have been wrong.
How painful are honest words!     But what do your arguments prove?
Do you mean to correct what I say,     and treat my desperate words as wind?
You would even cast lots for the fatherless     and barter away your friend.
“But now be so kind as to look at me.     Would I lie to your face?
Relent, do not be unjust;     reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.[b]
Is there any wickedness on my lips?     Can my mouth not discern malice?
  1. Job 6:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Job 6:29 Or my righteousness still stands
Job 42
New International Version (NIV)
42 Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do all things;     no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’     Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,     things too wonderful for me to know.

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;     I will question you,     and you shall answer me.’

My ears had heard of you     but now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I despise myself     and repent in dust and ashes.”
After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver[a] and a gold ring.
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.
  1. Job 42:11 Hebrew him a kesitah; a kesitah was a unit of money of unknown weight and value.

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