1. “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me” (Gen. 32:20). Jacob wanted to give gifts to his brother, but he really didn’t want to have any close relationship with Esau. The gifts are more like bribery. Isn’t it possible to treat God the same way? Offer Him extravagant gifts in order to get Him off your back? See Micah 6:1-8
2. Genesis 34 – The sons of the original patriarchal family for modern-day Israel have murdered all the male inhabitants of a city. Wives and little children are in slavery. Jacob is afraid for his life. What does this Jewish family desperately need? The direct, gracious intervention of Almighty God. Grace – it is what we all need.
3. “And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:2) I cry out in prayer for brothers and sisters in prison on this day, January 17, 2012. May the mighty Intercessor, Christ Jesus, grant new grace to those who are under intense persecution for their faith.
4. Jesus says, “Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:6). How do you think we should apply this fundamental truth within the city of Idaho Falls?
5. For the Occupiers on Hitt Road and the Tea Partiers in Freeman Park, consider the King announced by God through the lips of the ancient prophet, Isaiah:
Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory; and in His name Gentiles will trust (Matt. 12:18-21).
– utilizing The NKJV Daily Bible (Thomas Nelson, 2004)