No Place Like Home

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King James Bible StudyAnd when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2021
Chapters: Genesis 31-33
Message: No Place Like Home

Hello My Friend,

[Home; The present state of existence; The place of constant residence; the seat; To one’s own habitation;] You know the phrase, “Home is where the heart is?” That could not be further from the truth. When our heart is on Jesus, we dwell with Him, He is in every state of our existence, our place of constant residence, the one who actually habitats with us. However, when our heart is not on Jesus, we actually get lost in the cares of the world, that we often bring upon our selves. And there is not one, even God’s strongest in faith, that does not go through times in their lives when we follow God’s will in our own will. That is when Jesus lets us keep doing things on our own for a bit, all the while still right there making sure we do not get locked out of the house.

[Revelation 3:8,10-12  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.]

[and he shall go no more out:] We certainly have a much better home awaiting us when Jesus returns, and it instantly ascends down from heaven. Praise God! Whenever we are not in God’s will, we tend to make a mess of things, and yet still belong to Christ, and therefore, He is longsuffering in that He will let us do so, until He has had enough of our foolishness. Jacob spent twenty years in hiding after he deceived his brother, during that he dwelt with his uncle, having been deceived himself, and now in retaliation he deceived his uncle. When word got out of this deception, Jacob feared for his life, that was when God told him that it was time to go home.

[Genesis 30:41-43  And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses. Genesis 31:1-3  And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.]

[And the LORD said unto Jacob,] Could it be that God planned all this? Jacob would be deceived by his uncle, have thirteen children between four women, then deceive his uncle in what was actually probably in retaliation, and now it was time to return to his own family. Well, God certainly did not plan all the deception, man does that on their own, but He does use our foolishness to His advantage, and when the time is right, He does tell us that it is time to get our act together and return home, [Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.]

Now, under the direction of God, Jacob took his wives, children, servants, and livestock, packed up everything that was theirs and headed home. When Laban found out that they were gone, he went after them. [Genesis 31:17-20,24  Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels; And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s. And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.]

[and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.] These were Laban’s gods, why Rachel felt the need to take them, who knows, but Laban knew they were gone, and made it a point to make sure that Jacob knew they were gone. [Genesis 31:26,29-32 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword? It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me. With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.]

[yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?] Do you see how God spoke to him, even though he could care less about following God? It was not even for him to come to Him, it was for the sake of Jacob. Once we accept Christ as our Saviour, this is not our home, we are just here temporarily until our Father brings our soul to Him or Christ returns. Everything that we do has God’s direction and protection over it, even when we did get lost, He always guides us back home, [John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:]

Well, Laban did not care about all the cattle, or his family, all he cared about was his gods, and searched everyone’s tents, even his own daughter’s. [Genesis 31:34-36,41-42 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images. And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.]

[Except the God of my father,] Jacob speaks of God as the God of his father, being full of guilt, he thought too unworthy to be considered as one of God’s himself. He did believe that God was only merciful to him solely for his father’s sake, and calls God, the God of Abraham because he had already passed, knowing he was saved, but Isaac was still alive, and therefore, his fear of God saved him. Now, after all that Jacob is heading back to Canaan, he must have had a lot to think about, it had been over twenty years since he deceived his brother and now it was time to make amends, some how, some way, he wanted Esau’s forgiveness. He sent a message to Esau that he was on his way home, when Esau got the word he decided to meet up with him.

[Genesis 32:1-6 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.]

[and also he cometh to meet thee,] If we have gotten lost, our past catches up to us, and we have no where else to go, our only option is to face God. For the first time, Jacob calls out to God, [Genesis 32:9-12 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.]

[And thou saidst,] None of us are worthy of the mercies of God because we all fall short of His glory, and while we are saved, sometimes we just have to beg and plead with God for His mercies, and remind Him of what He has promised. This is not because God needs a reminder, it is because we need the reminder ourselves. Jacob had to come to grips with his past and face God, he found himself all alone, but not really.

[Genesis 32:22-28 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.]

[Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:] When Jacob saw that he lasted the entire night wrestling with God, and still did not lose the fight, he knew that God would fulfill His promise. This is a reminder that we need to hold on to Jesus and never let Him go until we have received His blessing of eternal life. Israel means the prince that prevails with God. We all prevail with God when we wrestle with Jesus to get His blessing of eternal life, [John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.]

Of course, we know we are sinners and acknowledge that when we get saved, but it is only when we face God that we truly understand His mercies and forgiveness. Still a little fearful, Jacob divided his wives, children, and flocks into two groups, reasoning that if Esau should destroy one group the remaining would escape in the opposite. His fears all came to an end when he discovered that Esau had forgiven him.

[Genesis 33:1,4,15-20 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.]

[let me find grace in the sight of my lord.] Notice that he is not speaking of God here. The greatest gift we will ever receive is the grace of God, without grace we cannot be saved, without grace we cannot even find Jesus. Grace is the key to not only reconciling with God, but keeping our relationship with Him. Jacob and Esau found peace and forgiveness with each other, Jacob no longer had to wrestle with his conscience because he was finally at peace with himself, Esau, and with God. Until God brings us home, we either lean on God or try to deal with life on our own, but until we are at home with God, there is going to be a constant battle within ourselves, [Luke 15:31-32 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.]

Jesus Christ Magnified: [Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.]

Today’s Prayer: God, It is amazing to think that even when we mess up You are there to help us get out of our troubles. While we wrestle with our conscience and guilt of the past, let us face You with full assurance that this is not our home. Lord, lead us and guide us, give us direction, and help us to move forward. By confessing our sins to You, and standing on Your promises, we find our way back home should we get lost. Fill us with your mercy, and grace for we are unworthy of Your mercies, give us peace from all our distress and help us come to the end of ourselves so that You can do Your work in us to fulfill Your promises. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,

Christina

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