15 January 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Matthew 10, Jesus said He had come at this time not to bring peace to the earth, but a sword. As a result of His work of redemption, some children would be set against parents and a man’s enemies might be those within his own household. This is because many who choose to follow Christ are hated by their family members. This may be part of the cost of discipleship, for love of family should not be greater than love for the Lord. It is inevitable that there will be conflict between good and evil, the Christ and the antichrist, the light and the darkness, the children of God and the children of the devil.
17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, 18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.
20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”
25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; 28 and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. 29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ 30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”
31 Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ 32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.
33 Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt around all the tent, but didn’t find them. 35 She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for I’m having my period.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.
36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.
38 “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
43 Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do today to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44 Now come, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be for a witness between me and you.”
45 Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, “This heap is witness between me and you today.” Therefore it was named Galeed 49 and Mizpah, for he said, “Yahweh watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another. 50 If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; behold, God is witness between me and you.” 51 Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you. 52 May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father, Isaac. 54 Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain. 55 Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place.
32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s army.” He called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3 Jacob sent messengers in front of him to Esau, his brother, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom. 4 He commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall tell my lord, Esau: ‘This is what your servant, Jacob, says. I have lived as a foreigner with Laban, and stayed until now. 5 I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.’” 6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau. Not only that, but he comes to meet you, and four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks, and the herds, and the camels, into two companies; 8 and he said, “If Esau comes to the one company, and strikes it, then the company which is left will escape.” 9 Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, Yahweh, who said to me, ‘Return to your country, and to your relatives, and I will do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the loving kindnesses, and of all the truth, which you have shown to your servant; for with just my staff I crossed over this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he come and strike me, and the mothers with the children. 12 You said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which can’t be numbered because there are so many.’”
26 Therefore don’t be afraid of them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed; and hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. 28 Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
29 “Aren’t two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father’s will, 30 but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
34 “Don’t think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn’t come to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 A man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me. 38 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me. 39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward.”
11 When Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
13 How long, Yahweh?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
having sorrow in my heart every day?
How long shall my enemy triumph over me?
3 Behold, and answer me, Yahweh, my God.
Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”;
Lest my adversaries rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your loving kindness.
My heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to Yahweh,
because he has been good to me.
16 Length of days is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Happy is everyone who retains her.