Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wrestling and Righteousness

Reading through the Bible continues! This week I read:

Matthew 4:12-6:34
Acts 5-9:43
Psalms 8-16
Genesis 24-35

What I am learning:

And the soap opera continues. Lying, stealing, raping, cheating, name it, it happened in these families. I am still trying to get past the picture of a man who is so hairy he could have passed for a goat. Just sayin'...that's weird.

I'm also amazed, yet could relate to a woman who would do anything to have a child, even share her husband with another woman. Story after story yields the same basic scenario: people trying to control everything in their life so that it turns out just the way THEY think it should. The result? Heaping portions of trouble, pain, and misery stretching through generation after generation. It's been 2000 years--you'd think we would have learned something from them by now! Gee whiz.

In 32:22-31 Jacob wrestles with God. He grabs onto God and doesn't let go. I am comforted in knowing that blessing will come to those who persist in the Lord. To know that Jacob, one who stole, deceived, literally came out of the womb grabbing something that wasn't his, eventually became Israel, and was grabbed by God. The grabber became the "grabee," if you will. God changes people--even a wretch like Jacob...and me. Hallelujah!

Be encouraged to persevere with whatever struggles you are facing. God is faithful and even if he seems far away, he is right there with you and me in the struggle. He is still there!

6:8 (Stephen) a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 6:10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. Many times I have wanted to do great things for God and even attempted to do them, but without being filled with faith and the power of the Holy Spirit these attempts prove meaningless and fruitless.

Chapter 13
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

I read this the same day I read about Jacob wrestling with God. Wow! What a neat correlation. In addition, the memory verse I have been working on this week is Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain it.

Love how the Lord is weaving all of these ideas together! What a blessing.

5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

So I figure this righteousness is a pretty important thing to have seeing as how Jesus said so and then kept repeating it. What is righteousness? According to my dictionary it is acting in a morally correct manner and to receive a right standing with God. How can we develop an attitude of righteousness?

John 16:13 (reliance on the Holy Spirit)
Philippians 3:9 (by trusting in Christ)
2 Cor. 5:21 Christ died so that we might become the righteousness of God.
In Genesis 15 Abram believed God and He credited it to him as righteousness.

6:22-23 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
You know how someone might be described as a person who really has a "good eye" for fashion, color, design, etc? Well, here we are basically told to have a "good eye" for Godliness. If our eyes stay focused on Him, righteousness is sure to follow.

Whew! Moving on to week 3...


  1. I'm right there with ya, mama!! I have been doing sooo good with keeping up with my reading. I laughed out loud at your part about being hairy, so true! And also, I never realized how many wives some of these men had, interesting..


  2. I fell in love with Genesis while doing " The Patriarchs" study from Beth Moore. Always such a blessing when the dots connect.

  3. Love it! Thanks for connecting it for me! I'm working on "being content with whatever state I am in!"'s a hard lesson to learn!

  4. Keelie, loved your commentary and perspectives! Look forward to reading more.