Reflections Week of 9/4/16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Genesis 26:7-11

Every time I read this story about Isaac calling Rebekah his sister, it always seems like a very poor attempt at a backup plan. Isaac says that they should pretend that Rebekah is his sister because if she was his wife, they might kill him so that they could have her. His plan is driven by self-preservation. It’s easy to read this story and roll your eyes and think that Isaac is kind of dumb, but when I think about it a little more, I make backup plans for myself all the time. You, know, just in case God doesn’t actually come through for me. It feels cliche to talk about how we don’t trust God enough, but it’s so true. It seems like I will always have a “just in case” plan in my back pocket. Just in case God decides to stop taking care of me. But, as Isaac’s story reflects, our backup plans often only make more trouble for us. They lead to misunderstandings, grievances, frustrations, anger, and sadness. It isn’t always easy to trust God, but why not let him handle the plan? It’s always harder when we try to do it.

For reflection: Are you clinging tightly to any earthly backup plans? Pray this week to surrender those plans up to God.

Read Genesis 33:1-11

Have you ever done something so upsetting you thought you could never be forgiven for it? On the other hand, have you ever had someone do something to you that you didn’t think you could forgive? In the reunion between Jacob and Esau, I think it is important to learn from both men’s actions. Remember, Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright through some clever scheming and taking advantage of his brother’s weakness. When Jacob meets his brother for the first time in years, he is so concerned with how his brother would react, and rightly so! But Esau’s gentleness is so surprising. He greets his brother with kisses and tears of joy. It is important to remember that we are not always one brother or the other. As sinful human beings, we hurt other people and are hurt by other people. Whichever side of a conflict we happen to be on, we can be as contrite as Jacob, and as open and forgiving as Esau.

For reflection: Are there people in your life that need your forgiveness? And not just forgiveness, but a warm reception as well? Are there people you need to ask the same forgiveness of?

Reflections written by Lauren DeVries

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