December 19, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from December 17 to 24 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Remnant Church, New York City. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four adorable children.

 

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Sidetracked”

Genesis 29:22-25

So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

I’m going to break one of the fundamental principles of hermeneutics for this morning’s devotional—the principle that if it’s not in the text, don’t make stuff up! That being said, am I the only one who has a hard time believing that Jacob didn’t realize that Laban had pulled the old bait and switch on him during his wedding night? Yes, I know they didn’t have electricity back then, but how dark was it in their tent?  Pitch black—like 100 feet deep in a cave kind of darkness?  I know times were different then, so I don’t expect Jacob to get all Song of Songs romantic, but didn’t he even say “Hi” to her that night or any kind of conversation beforehand?  What kind of a “pig” doesn’t even talk to his wife on their wedding night?  Without getting too graphic, wouldn’t you expect a bride who was about to consummate her wedding to at least take off her veil, and even if she didn’t, wouldn’t Jacob have been able to tell that this woman did not have strong eyes, that she clearly had “weak eyes”?  What’s the point of mentioning her eyes (v. 17), if they don’t help you tell the difference between Leah and her sister?

Here is my hermeneutically unsound theory, which I’m obviously not going to passionately defend, but I think one of two things happened: (1) Jacob was so drunk he barely noticed or cared who was in bed with him.  (2) Jacob was only slightly buzzed, realized full well what Laban had done, but couldn’t overcome the temptation that was sitting there, thinking that he’d sort it out in the morning by pretending to fall victim of this ruse.  I lean toward the latter, because I know that a momentary lapse in judgment or chasing the wrong opportunity has sidetracked many people—especially men in the area of sexuality.  I’m not trying to judge Jacob; in fact, I feel very sorry for him because he worked for seven long years for the girl he loved, and right before he got the storybook ending, he got sidetracked in a moment of weakness (not the kind of love story you want to tell your kids).  It’s tragic, but it’s also a pretty familiar tale.

Let me ask you this: Is there a goal in life you’re moving toward and you have gotten sidetracked chasing after other things?  Obviously, we are talking about more than just love interests.  What do you feel like the Lord has put on your heart?  Are you moving toward it or away from it?

Prayer: Lord, help me walk in Your path all of my days.  Let me fix my eyes on You, not going to the right or the left.  If there are things that have sidetracked me, help me to leave those behind and seek You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  1 Corinthians 1


Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 3:12-21: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained. 17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Questions to consider

  1. What is the prize that Paul wanted?
  2. What are some characteristics of people who have been sidetracked?
  3. Are you pressing on toward the goal or have you been sidetracked?

Notes

  1. In verse 14, the prize is the “upward call of God,” which can be taken as either/both the completion of our salvation in heaven and/or whatever tasks God has for us on earth. Either way, the goal requires faithful pursuit on our part.
  2. Verse 19 indicates that these people worship their stomachs (carnal desires), glory in their shame (sin openly and without remorse), and set their eyes on earthly things.
  3. Application question.

Evening Reflection

Do you feel like you are following God’s desire for your life right now (this can be in major ways or even minor ways)?  Tonight, spend some time praying about this.

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