30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt. 31 Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.” Genesis 27: 30-33
32 But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”
Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.”
33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!”
From: CBN, and Kathy Thomas
I crouched, wedged between the glass door and washing machine, trying to remain undetected. A frenzy of fur scampered about on the other side of the glass, mewing and pouncing with ears pressed back and mischievous tails swishing, oblivious of the danger that lurked nearby. Like a sentinel, I scoured their surroundings, searching for any clue that might expose the guilty party. One of their litter mates was missing, and I was determined to catch the culprit.
Suddenly, a shadow materialized against the wall, and I instinctively ducked out of sight. As I carefully peeked around the corner, my suspicions were confirmed. The perpetrator crept across the garage, intently watching the door where I was hiding for any sign of intervention, but a glare on the glass had made me invisible. Confident that the coast was clear, the thief grabbed another unsuspecting baby and ran for it!
The victim’s mother frantically tried to free her little one from the predator’s jaws, but it refused to let go and eventually outran her. I bolted out the door in hot pursuit, determined to rescue this hostage before it was too late.
“Drop it!” I screamed. “Drop it!”
But the kitten-napper ignored my pleas and made a beeline for the woods behind our house. I tried to follow, but the brush was too thick. So I watched helplessly, as they disappeared deeper and deeper into the woods, and the baby’s cries for its Mama grew fainter and fainter.
A few days later, the guilty party returned, despondent and whimpering, and gently laid the two lifeless victims at my feet in a desperate plea for help. The perpetrator was one of my own; my sweet-natured beagle, who had been a world class mama to two of her own litters over the years. Cookie loved being a mama so much, that she had once adopted an abandoned litter of kittens, raising them alongside her own pups, and had recently experienced a false pregnancy so convincing, she even fooled the vet!
She never meant those sweet little babies any harm. Cookie just couldn’t have any more litters of her own, so she stole someone else’s. She wanted to love and raise them, herself. So, she made a nest deep in the woods and hid them there. But, because her own season for being a mama had passed, she couldn’t produce any milk to feed them, and her stolen little blessings had starved to death.
The lesson wasn’t lost on this middle-aged housewife. I had seen the same thing happen many times throughout the years, in ministry. Now, my own ministry had begun to change. I was no longer experiencing the fruitful favor and blessings that I had once enjoyed in the past. I had deeply loved the work that God had given me, and I longed for things to be the way they used to be. It was hard to watch other women be favored and blessed, enjoying fruitful ministries, while mine seemed to have suddenly become barren. I had been a good steward of my blessings, and it didn’t seem fair that I was being passed over, now.
It was tempting to feel “entitled” and assume that every new blessing that resembled my past blessings must be meant for me. It was tempting to “make things happen.” I had a background in marketing and knew how to manipulate people and circumstances if I wanted to. But, would that have glorified God?
“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.” (Proverbs 20:17 NKJV)
I recognized God’s loud and clear warning of what happens when we love the blessing more than the Blesser. We ignore His plan and try to overrule it. We become so desperate to be blessed, that we will steal someone else’s blessing. But, because the blessing was never meant for us, we are unable to properly sustain it. So, it starves to death. Everyone suffers. Everyone loses, and God is not glorified.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV)
Do you feel “entitled” to certain blessings? Are you jealous of someone else’s blessing? Are you tempted to manipulate people or circumstances in order to take it for yourself? Would God be glorified, if you did?
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16
When I was a little boy growing up in Hackensack, New Jersey, I would often fall asleep listening to my little radio. One of my favorite shows was “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange,” beamed to my bedside from the heart of nearby New York City. The program always began with a deep, mellow voice saying, “Have no fear, Big Joe is here,” and then to the best of my memory he would sing something like . . .
Somebody cares about you and worries till the sun comes shining through!
Somebody cares if you sleep well at night
If your days go all wrong or if your day has gone right.
Then the song would conclude …..
Please believe me it’s so,
but in case you didn’t know it,
Then people from all over the city would call in to talk to Big Joe. With an understanding and quieting spirit he would listen and encourage those who were hurting and lonely. If they had material needs, other people would call in to offer help. It was love, grace, and mercy in action. And there was something really comforting about it, even to my little soul as I fell asleep.
I’ve always been glad that Jesus offers us comfort and help like that.
Even more caring than Big Joe and much more capable to meet our needs, Jesus desires to be personally involved in our lives, to grant peace to our anxious souls, and to supply all our needs. Not limited to a one-hour call-in program, our God is “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And, when our troubles are so complex and overwhelming that we don’t even know what to ask for, we are assured that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” praying for us “with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). He promises that God will meet all of our needs “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)! And just when you think you are down for the count, He assures you that you are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9) and that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39)!
Knowing that He is there “24/7” is great news!
I loved Big Joe as a kid. As an adult, I love Jesus even more! What comfort and strength to know that He is ready and waiting to supply mercy and grace in our time of need.
Have no fear—Jesus is here!
Nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matt. 17:20).
It is possible, for those who really are willing to reckon on the power of the Lord for keeping and victory, to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they stand and are found to be true.
It is possible to cast all our care upon Him daily and to enjoy deep peace in doing it.
It is possible to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified, in the deepest meaning of the word.
It is possible to see the will of God in everything, and to receive it, not with sighing, but with singing.
It is possible by taking complete refuge in Divine power to become strong through and through; and, where previously our greatest weakness lay, to find that things which formerly upset all our resolves to be patient, or pure, or humble, furnish today an opportunity — through Him who loved us, and works in us an agreement with His will and a blessed sense of His presence and His power — to make sin powerless over us.
These things are DIVINE POSSIBILITIES, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet and to learn to thirst and long for more.
We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less — each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit — than to WALK WITH GOD.
–H. C. G. Moule
We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank, and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor? Whose fault is it that Christian people generally have such scanty portions of the free riches of God?