School of Hard Knocks and our mission – January 28th
God is working on Jacob’s life – he has had an encounter with God at Bethel, that has changed him radically. Working under Laban will be the school of hard knocks! Later Moses song in Deut 32:1-43 tells us more about Jacob with key words – found, encircled, instructed, kept and led – the tender care of the Lord for his troublesome child!
He impresses Rachel by moving a big rock from a well himself and watering her flocks and then kissing her. He meets Laban and teh rest of the family is put to work. Del Boy Laban doesn’t mention pay for a whole month. Jacobn asks for the younger daughter Laban in return for seven years and the deal is struck. After 7 years, Jacob is tricked into marrying the older, uglier Leah. Laban tells him its custom ands gets him to work another 7 years for marrying Rachel the next week. The lesson is you reap what you sow.
The desparate loneliness and hurt of the older sister is not unnnoticed by God, who opens her womb, while Rachel is barren. Leah has four boys, but the child he longs for from Rachel never comes. The second lesson of hard knocks – there is a limit to man’s resources.
Jacob’s school of hard knocks will last twenty years before graduation!
Jesus rises again – death can’t hold him back, sin is defeated, the principlaties and powers are disarmed! The two Marys find out first, followed by the 11.
The chief priest quickly hatch the “first resurrection didn’t happen” plan – pay the soldiers to get them to say the disciples stole the body.
Jesus final words in Matthew “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our call is to make disciples – find lost people from all the nations and reach them, baptise them and teach them to obey. As we do that God is with us! Go for it!
Esther approaches the king – she finds favour and asks the King to come to a banquet with Haman. Haman is a proud man and so we can see where that is going to lead!
Haman is angry to see Mordecai again and decides to have a big gallows built ready for when the Jews are annihilated, so he can especially kill of Mordecai.
Paul has been shipwrecked on Malta – a snake bites him, but the Mark 16 promise holds true for him – he survives.
He heals Publius the chief official and “the rest of the sick on the island” – come on Lord, we want to see healing as frequent as it is in teh early church days!
Eventually Paul arrives in Rome and is in a house, but guarded by a soldier. The Jews in Rome know nothing of the fuss, so teaches them teh Gospel – some respond and some don’t. They begin to argue, so Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 (the most quoted bit of Isaiah in the New Testament) and tells them he going after the Gentiles. For the next two years Paul preaches and teaches about Jesus
Let’s continue to do the call of Matt 28:19 by being a Gateway for the Gospel to goto the nations!