January 14 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 30:1-31:16:

  • 1-6 – This is one of many examples in Scripture of barrenness driving people to desperate acts. Not all desperate acts were sinful. Hannah was driven to prayer and dedicating her child to God’s service. Offspring, particularly male, were a woman’s greatest value so you can understand why people would become so desperate.
  • 14-15 – Mandrakes were a fruit that was, and still are today, used for help in child-bearing. Clearly Rachel was hoping these would do the trick, but they didn’t.
  • 22 – God “remembering” Rachel means that he heard and answered her prayers. He did not necessarily forget her, but that’s what it felt like to Rachel.
  • 33-39 – Neither Laban or Jacob were being 100% on the up and up. Both were skewing the situation in their own favor.
  • 11- “Here I am!” is a common response when called by God or one of his angels. It is a response of willingness and alertness.

Matthew 10:1-25:

  • 1 – Jesus had modeled for his disciples what could be done and then he sent them out to replicate his ministry. This is the ideal discipleship model.
  • 5-6 – Jesus’ ministry was initially to the people of Israel. Many of them rejected him so his message was opened up to gentiles as well.
  • 7-15 – The gospel is a message offered to us, but never forced upon us. Jesus instructs the disciples to offer the good news to the townspeople, but the people themselves had to choose to accept it or not.
  • 19-20 – Encouragement for all of us to evangelize without fear.

Psalm 12:1-8:

  • 6 – The silver purification process is very intense. The metal is heated until it becomes a liquid so that impurities can rise to the top and be scraped off. This happens over and over. Just think what could happen if we allowed our words to be scrutinized to such a degree.

Proverbs 3:13-15:

  • Many of us who went through youth group in the 90s will recognize this verse as having been made into a worship song.

Cut it some slack, it’s been around a while.

January 13 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 28:1-29:35:

  • 1-9 – Jacob is sent to find an Israelite to marry. Esau already had two Canaanite wives, which Jacob is strictly forbidden from. Esau then marries a woman descended from Ishmael.
  • 10-13 – In the book of John, Jesus likens himself to this ladder Jacob dreams of when he explains that angels will ascend and descend on the Son of Man.
  • 14-20 – Presumably Jacob is working for Laban in the month when he first stays with him. Laban offers to pay him for his work eventually and Jacob asks for his younger daughter in return.
  • 25 – Unfortunate for Leah that someone has to be duped into marrying her.
  • 31-35 – Though Rachel has Jacob’s heart, Leah has his sons, which societally was much more significant.

Matthew 9:18-38:

  • 18-26 – Jesus performs two miracles, one unintentionally. The bleeding woman’s faith heals her, but Jesus clearly overcomes the lack of faith of all those morning the young girl’s death by raising her from the dead.
  • 27-31 – Once again, Jesus encounters people who believe in his ability. Once they are healed, they disobey Jesus’ instructions not to tell anyone what has happened.
  • 18-34 – A series of 3 miracles right in a row indicates that it is important that the reader notice this. Whenever anything comes in 3’s, the reader should pay close attention.
  • 36 – This phrase, “sheep without a shepherd” is used to describe the Israelites in the Old Testament and the Jews in the New Testament multiple times.
  • 37-38 – This is still true today. There are a wealth of people who need to hear the gospel and repent, but few who are willing to share the message.

Psalm 11:1-7:

  • David chooses to take refuge in the Lord instead of following the advice of others to flee from his enemies because they are clearly ready to attack.
  • 4-7 – David contrasts the righteousness of God with the sinfulness of the wicked.

Proverbs 3:11-12:

  • We should not receive God or trusted advisors’ reproaches as hateful or negative. Instead, we should view it as enough love to care to correct us and help us get better.