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 September 24, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Obadiah 1 – Jonah 4
Audio: Obadiah 1 – Jonah 4

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.”
(Genesis 35:5 ESV)

Genesis 35 (ESV)

God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments.Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. And Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth.

God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.”18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;but his father called him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. 21 Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali.26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

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Next: Genesis 36

Back: Genesis 34

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. Genesis 35:5

    Terror From God

    The "gospel" that is preached in many churches today includes the common names associated with Christianity including love, peace, joy, mercy and grace. These are all important but if self-denial, obedience, judgment, separation, wrath and hell are missing of the "gospel" message then what is being preached is a different gospel than Jesus Christ taught.

    On July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon titled, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" but was unable to finish because there was so much weeping in the congregation, he was forced to stop preaching. In love and affection for those who sensed terror in their souls to stand before God in judgment and spend eternity in hell, he went among the people to pray with them and many were born again that day and many that followed. 

    In what has become known as "The Great Awakening", revival began in New England around this time and Edwards, along with George Whitefield, John Wesley and others were used of God to awaken people to the reality of God's wrath being poured out in judgement on those who do not repent and in faith receive new birth in Jesus Christ.

    In his biography on Johnathan Edwards, author Iain Murray writes, "As spring passed into summer 1741 no one could well keep track of the number of places which were also witnessing the revival. Churches, which in some cases had been cold and dry at the beginning of the year, were transformed before the end. 'It is astonishing,' wrote Edwards, 'to see the alteration that there is in some towns, where before was but little appearance of religion.'"

    Why were so many moved in their souls to repent?

    Why were so many in tears at the though of standing before God in judgment?

    Here is an excerpt from the "end" of his sermon:

    "Are there not many here who have lived long in the world, and are not to this day born again? And so are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they have lived, but treasure up wrath against the day of wrath? Oh, sirs, your case, in an especial manner, is extremely dangerous. Your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Do you not see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left, in the present remarkable and wonderful dispensation of God’s mercy? You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. You cannot bear the fierceness and wrath of the infinite God.—And you, young men, and young women, will you neglect this precious season which you now enjoy, when so many others of your age are renouncing all youthful vanities, and flocking to Christ? You especially have now an extraordinary opportunity; but if you neglect it, it will soon be with you as with those persons who spent all the precious days of youth in sin, and are now come to such a dreadful pass in blindness and hardness.— And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you know that you are going down to hell, to bear the dreadful wrath of that God, who is now angry with you every day and every night? Will you be content to be the children of the devil, when so many other children in the land are converted, and are become the holy and happy children of the King of kings?

    And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now hearken to the loud calls of God’s word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favor to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. Men’s hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls; and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles’ days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you, you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God’s Spirit, and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down and cast into the fire.

    Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let every one fly out of Sodom: 'Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed.”

    This is where the sermon stopped.

    This is when Edwards went among the people to pray.

    This is when people gave their lives to Christ and turned from their sin and received grace and mercy from God instead of wrath and judgment. 

    In Genesis 35:2-3, we read, "Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, 'Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.'

    What was their response?

    Did they listen? 

    Genesis 35:4 says, "They gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem."

    The very next verse says, "as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob."

    Terror didn't enter the hearts of one or two people. It says terror fell upon the cities that were around them. Cities. In terror. 

    As we think of our family members, our friends and our neighbors who do not show any interested in God, how many do not know that one day Jesus will return and will judge the living and the dead?

    How many of them know the only way to avoid eternity in hell is through faith in Jesus Christ alone?

    How many churchgoers have never heard this message?

    Do you think the largest churches in America would continue to be if their pastors preached about God's wrath, judgment and hell?

    No one wants to go to the doctor to hear they have cancer, but wouldn't you want to know if there's something you could do to be cured?

    Jesus Christ is our cure but only if we repent and in faith receive Him as our Lord and Savior.

    Have you repented?

    Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior?

  2. I really loved reading about John Edwards;  it's fascinating! 

    Everyday, I think about my family and friends and where they stand spiritually. I pray that God will open their eyes, and that I have the courage to share the Gospel and help that to happen. 

    It terrifies and saddens me so much that some will not be saved. 

    On Sunday I was telling you all that I had had to explain to an old friend I used to party with that I can't expose myself to triggers that could make me feel like using. Yesterday, I texted her and said that I hoped I hadn't hurt her feelings as that was not my intention. I explained to her that I needed to protect myself, and she understood. 

    I then invited her to church and she thanked me and said she would love to come sometime. 

    I really had to think about whether I should let this person back into my life, but how could I leave someone, who is still sick & suffering with addiction, out in the cold when she needs help? Getting her to hear God's Word is the most important thing; the results of her presence is something Jesus will show me how to handle. 

    I thought about the guitarist from Korn, and how, of course, he needed to be near those that didn't know Christ in order to reach them. Avoiding them wouldn't be the answer – intentional missional living would be. I still struggle a bit with representing in that type of band, but Jesus spent real time with sinners who most desperately needed Him. He didn't turn His back on them. 💟 Thank you for that lesson. 

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