Today’s reading: Gen 32:1–33:20, Matt 24:29–25:13, Eccles 7:22–29
Today’s theme: Be prepared
In our reading today, Jesus teaches us that we need to live ready for His return or call. We are called to always be prepared, and this preparedness cannot be taken from someone else. Each of us is responsible for our own state of preparedness before God. In practical terms we each need to seek God in His Word, prayer, fellowship etc
But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ” Genesis 32:12 (ESV)
Jacob is afraid and so comes to God in humble prayer. He brings God’s promise to him before God in prayer showing that he had faith in the promise and Gods ability to fulfil the promise. His faith however was not perfect as he later sends gifts etc to his brother in fear.
Wrestle with God
And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Genesis 32:24–25 (ESV)
Jacob wrestled with the pre-incarnate Christ. This is called a theophany, when God would appear as a man in the Old Testament. This is not just symbolic, it actually happened, but it does point us to the truth that we too need to persevere and wrestle as it were with God in prayer.
Israel: Strive and persevere
Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:28 (ESV)
This is the origin of the name Israel, God blessed Jacob with this new name and it becomes the name of the nation. It basically means “to strive and persevere” which has been the character of the nation throughout the ages. We should have the same nature as Israel, to fight and persevere.
The whole world will know
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:30–31 (ESV)
It is clear that the whole world will know and mourn at the Kings’ return. This is an answer to all Adventist movements including Rastafarianism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses and any other cult claiming that the Lord has already returned in anyway.
God’s Word is eternal
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 (ESV)
God’s Word, and in this case the specific prophecies of Jesus are settled and eternal. God is sovereign over history and is able to back up His Word.
The limitations of the incarnation
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
This shows the gravity of the incarnation, that the Son was not all knowing in the same way as when He was in His usual state as God.
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Matthew 24:42–43 (ESV)
As individual disciples and as a collective church we need to stay awake and alert. Jesus tells us we will not know when He is coming so we should live everyday with the understanding that hHe may come today (return or call us home).
but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. Matthew 25:4 (ESV)
The main point in this parable is explained by Jesus Himself in verse 13. We must be alert and prepared for the Lord’s return or call. In practical terms this would involve actively living as disciples of Jesus Christ through reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship, serving and worshiping.
Our personal responsibility
But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ Matthew 25:9 (ESV)
Preparedness and a life lived working out its sanctification in Christ can not simply be transferred. It is the personal responsibility of every believer to eat (the Bible), breathe (Prayer) and live himself or herself. Each of us must stand individually before God, we can not live through or on behalf of others.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014
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