Tag Archives: influence

Genesis 27 – Influence

Sorry i missed the day yesterday, in the coming days and weeks i may miss a day or two in a row due to other things going on, but i should be back on track fully after that.

As i went into this chapter, i began to realize that Isaac’s story is much shorter.  It seems like i only just started with him, and already he is an old man and Jacob’s story is beginning.  Jacob’s name means “supplanter”, and here is where he, with the help and encouragement of his mother, really sees the fruition of that name.  The name given to him almost seems as if it becomes his life motto / purpose.  It’s funny, because a couple of days ago my friend (and teacher) Fount Shults posted a note on facebook about Death and Life in the Tongue and how what we say has power / influence.

It’s interesting to see the dynamic here between Isaac and his wife Rebekah.  Isaac loved Esau and wanted him to be blessed over everyone around him.  Rebekah however, favored Jacob.  Isaac’s plan was for Esau to gain the honor and blessing, but God had other plans that Isaac was either not aware of, or had ignored.  Either way, his plans were not God’s.  Back in chapter 25, before the children were born, Rebekah inquired of the LORD about them, and God told her that the younger would be greater, and the older would serve him.  Isaac’s plan was the opposite of this.  You can see from the chapter that Issac had planned to bless Esau so that Esau would be master over all.  He had not planned to reserve any blessing for Jacob at all.  That obviously backfired so Jacob got it all.

What about us?  Do we fail to check in with God about the plans and blessings we make?  Are we so set in what we want that we fail to recognize that that may not be what God is planning to do?  I know that i have.  I also know that that can lead to some very difficult situations down the road.

One last thing that i wanted to note from going through this chapter today.  It’s something that i don’t think i realized before.  Rebekah said that she was sending Jacob to her brother Laban’s, and that when Esau’s anger had subsided, she would send for him to come back.  We never hear of this happening.  As far as we know, Rebekah never sent word to Jacob to return.  When he came back he was unsure of Esau’s intent towards him.

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Genesis 19 – Influence

This is another chapter where, through this process, i began to see things i don’t remember noticing before.  What is there and what i process, especially when i am just reading it, don’t always fully overlap.

In going through this today, i noticed that it wasn’t just the angels that the people of Sodom had turned against.  By Lot sticking up for the servants of God, he was put on the firing line as well.  Lot had been living with the people of the valley for many years at this point.  He knew what they were like and how they would respond to strangers in their city; hence his insistence that they stay with him in his house rather than spending the night in the town square as was normal for travelers who have not been given guest accommodations.  After finally begging them to stay with him for the night then to leave at first dawn, the people decided to knock down his door.  He tried to reason with them, and they reacted by calling him a stranger and threatening to put Lot’s life in jeopardy as well.

Why the hostility?  Because Lot was “judging them” and they didn’t like being judged.  Does that sound familiar?  It sure does to me.  We are living in a world that is becoming more and more critical of people judging sin.  It’s funny because that criticism of judgment, is judgment.

Ultimately, Lot had had the opportunity to influence the people of Sodom, but in his time there, he did not appear to have any real influence on them.  In fact, his very son-in-laws not only stayed in Sodom choosing to be destroyed, but they were a part of the crowd coming to tear down his door and kill him to get to the strangers that were there.

On the other hand, the sin of the group was beginning to have an influence on Lot and his family.  When they fled, Lot’s wife’s desire was for that place.  She did not want to leave, but chose instead to turn back.  She joined the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the influence she allowed that place to have on her.

His own daughters had been influenced by that place.  When Lot finally followed the instructions to go up to the mountains (out of fear and not respect), instead of having faith in their father and God; Lot’s daughters pursued the sexual immorality by getting their father drunk and laying with him to bear children.  Even Lot himself was not fully unaware (and resistant) of what was going on.

As a result, his daughters bore the Moabite and Ammonite nations.  Two nations that continued to draw the Israelites away from God.  The influence of the corrupter was like a cancer.  It crept in and slowly destroyed Lot and his descendants from the inside out.

What are we allowing to creep into our lives?  What are we allowing to influence us?  What should we be fleeing from that instead we are ignoring?  Where is the line between influencing and being influenced?

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