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October 3 | Genesis 27, 28

PRAYER PRACTICE


Spoken Prayer – Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.

 

DAILY READING:


For more help use this Bible Study method

 

REFLECTION


God's Blessing is Yours

by Elaine Pierce


If you haven't read Pastor Dave's Daily Worship post from this past Monday, do that now. His post focuses on the fact that God uses flawed, sinful people like Sarah and Abraham to do his work:


"God chose to inspire the writing of the real sacred Scriptures with characters who are flawed, yet who grow in their trust in God...if the Biblical record had only shown the favorable sides, I know that I would feel like I could never measure up to such a standard. But as it is, the Bible is full of people who were 'saints and sinners, wimps and winners'"


Today we meet another group of flawed people; in many ways a truly dysfunctional family. The parents, Isaac and Rebecca, each favor one of their twin sons over the other. Jacob and Rebecca deceive Isaac into believing that he is giving his blessing to Esau, when it is Jacob who receives it. (This is not the first time Jacob, whose name means 'he cheats,' has done this to his brother. There is definitely a pattern here.)


In ancient times, the father's blessing almost always went to the eldest son, yet Rebecca loved her younger son, Jacob, more, and she plotted with him to steal Esau's blessing. (Be sure to read the rest of the story. You will learn that, despite being denied his father's blessing, Esau prospered, and eventually, he forgave his brother's treachery.)


Whose blessing do you seek? You may be thinking to yourself, oh, that is so old-fashioned and archaic. In America, there is no hierarchy of 'blessing.' I have earned all that I have on my own; no one blessed me. And yet, deep down, all of us long for favor, whether it is from our earthy father and mother, or from our Father in Heaven - or from both. We may never have had to steal a 'blessing,' but we eagerly reach for approval, for affirmation that we are loved.


The good news is that God longs to bless us! He is eagerly waiting to bless you, and, my dear friends, he is not basing his blessing on whether or not you bring him tasty food like Jacob and Esau did for their father. He only asks that you come, just as you are, and receive his blessing. And in turn, he asks that you bless others. Is there someone who needs your love, your care? A phone call? A letter? A listening ear?


Take a few minutes and listen to this song, The Blessing. I first heard this when Covid was keeping us apart, and worship was online only. As I watched my computer screen fill with UALC members who each recorded their parts separately, and were then brought together through technology, I was moved as this virtual choir ministered to my heart and soul. Yes, the Lord will bless us. He will keep us. His face will shine on us. He will give us peace.


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