Genesis 47:9 Few And Difficult Years


And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” Genesis 47:9

At times, living life can seem to be a long time. This becomes especially true when one is going through difficult times. The more difficult the time, the longer the time. Time will feel as though it has slowed down or even stopped altogether.

When things are going good, time seems to speed up and go super fast. It appears as if there is not enough time to do all the fun things that a person wants to do or has started to do. Yet, in reality, time is the same for every person and is neither faster nor slower at any time during one’s life.

These feelings are no different for believers. They have the same challenge of feeling how fast or slow time seems to go.

Many believers think that the Old or New Testament saints always had it easy and things went great for them all the time. Jacob had told Pharaoh that his years had been few and difficult. It had not been an easy road for him. Paul went through struggle after struggle as he lived on this earth. Jesus was persecuted and finally killed in less than 40 years.

Jesus promised hard times would come in a person’s life, but He also promised that He would be with the person through it all. Jacob did not complain about his struggles, but just made it a statement that he had them.

Regardless of whether a person lives to be one hundred and forty or only until he is forty, his life is short. It is short compared to all eternity. The question is what a person will do with those few and difficult years.

You may be going through difficult times, that seems to last forever. It is not lasting forever, it is only a short time in light of all eternity.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and live for God during the difficult times. Trust that He knows what He is allowing in your life. Do what you can for God, while you have life on this earth. It is only a short time, a vapor and it will be over and eternity will begin.

What are you doing with your short, few and difficult years on this earth for God?

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will trust God at all times; that you will dedicate your life to God; and that God will help you see how short life really is.

Genesis 35:2 Change Your Clothes

Shot of a young man tying his tie in front of the bathroom mirror

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” Genesis 35:2

God had came to Jacob and refreshed his memory of who He was, that He was the God who met him at Bethel, who he wrestled with. God then tells Jacob to build an altar. Immediately Jacob tells his household to get rid of foreign gods, purify themselves and change their clothes. They had to get ready to meet God.

Changing clothes can be a sign of change in a person. The clothes often signify who or what a person is. Workers are often dressed in some type of company uniform with some label or symbol indicating what company they work for.

There are some clergy who wear white collars or a certain type of robe to indicate they are clergy members. Some people will dress in high dollar suits to indicate they are someone important. Rap artists will dress with jewelry and hats on backwards to identify themselves. When a person goes to a dinner party, he will dress up more, than when he is just relaxing with some friends at a pool party or on the beach.

As a person changes clothes, it changes who he is at the moment or what he does.

One type of clothing that everyone starts out wearing is sin and the sinful practices of this world. When a person begins to follow Jesus, he must be willing to change his clothes in order to meet with God. Although a person cannot change himself completely, God is there to help him change his clothing, to change his character.

The clothing of God is not physical clothing, but one of love, joy, peace, patience, humility, self-control, and more. It identifies the person as a follower of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus.

Take a look at yourself and determine what you are wearing. Who do you look like? Do you look like the world, living in sin and selfish ways? Or do you look like Jesus, holy and righteous?

As you notice what clothing you are wearing, take time to ask God to help you change any clothing you might be wearing that does not honor Him. God can change you, but you must be willing. Be the new person Jesus has made you to be.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will wear the clothing of God; that the world will see you as a follower of Jesus; that you will look like Jesus to the world; and that you will allow God to change your clothes. 

Genesis 28:17 The Gate Of Heaven

Gate of heaven

He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17

Gates are doorways into a new place. There is always a purpose for a gate to be put into place. They are always placed somewhere along a wall or fence. The fence is to keep certain people or things out, to keep the enemy out. The gate is a pathway or doorway to allow someone in through the fence.

In most yards, there is a fence to block people with a gate to allow them in. They usually have only one main entrance. This funnels everyone that comes in through a very specific location.

Jacob had been traveling along and he stopped for the night in one location. During the night he had a vision of heaven being opened up with a staircase leading into heaven, with angels going up and down the staircase. During the vision, God spoke to him and told him that He would be with him. When Jacob awoke, he was amazed and stated that place must be the gate of heaven.

Most people want to be able to find the gate to heaven, the perfect place to be. Each one’s definition of what that perfect place is may be different, but they are searching for it. Many will say that there are many different ways into heaven, however, several thousand years after Jacob had this vision, Jesus came along and stated that He was the only door (gate) to God the Father.

In order to get into heaven, every person must enter through the right gate. That gate is Jesus. Those who follow Jesus, have the right to enter that gate. Unlike Jacob, God is with the believer everywhere he goes, so that he always has access to that gate into heaven. It is not one specific location, but wherever the believer is.

As a believer, you also have access to heaven. You can enter through the gate at any time you desire to meet with God. God is always there for you and will never leave or forsake you. He wants to spend time with you.

Take time each day to enter through the gate God has given you access to, and spend time with God. Invite others to enter into that gate with you.

Have you found the Gate to heaven?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will make God a part of your life; that you will enter the gate of Heaven to be with God; and that you will invite others to enter God’s gate to heaven. 

Genesis 25:33 Selling Out For The Temporary

Night sky

But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Genesis 25:33

Most people will state that they will not sell out to anyone for something of less value. They want to hold on to what is valuable in their lives. What they want is what ever is of the most value, things that will bring them wealth, fame and happiness.

The challenge comes in that most people want that wealth, fame and happiness right now. They do not want to wait for it. If something comes along that appears to bring wealth, fame or happiness, they will immediately jump upon it and grab it. They will grab it, regardless of the cost or real value.

It is very common to hear of scams promising a person big money. They ask for the person to give hundreds of dollars, in order to make thousands. Then once the money is paid, they are left out without anything at all.

Esau had come into the house starved and wanting food right away. He wanted to be satisfied immediately. Jacob said he could make some stew, but it would cost him. What Jacob wanted was the birthright as the firstborn son.

Esau did not see the value of his birthright in light of his hunger, so he sold his birthright to Jacob. Immediately afterward Esau realized his mistake and despised the birthright.

The birthright gave him extra blessings and wealth for the rest of his life. The stew only filled his belly for a few minutes.

While many believers will state that they will never sell out for something of lesser value, they do sell out their birthright at times. For a moment of temporary satisfaction and pleasure they will sell the rights as a child of God in order to take pleasure in some sin. They will trample on the forgiveness God has given in order for a temporary pleasure.

There will be times you will be asked to sell out your birthright in Jesus for a temporary pleasure. Turn from it and stay with the eternal birthright of salvation Jesus has already given you.

If you make the mistake of selling out for the temporary pleasure of sin, go back to God and repent. God is gracious and will forgive you and restore your position with Him.

Don’t sell the eternal for the temporary.

I pray today that you will know what you have in Jesus; that you will know what God is giving you; that you will not sell Jesus for something temporary; and that you will remain faithful to God.

Genesis 35:7 Creating Reminders

“There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.” Genesis 35:7

When Jacob found out his brother Esau was going to be meeting him, he was scared. He had deceived Esau of his birthright and blessings. Now he expected Esau to kill him. The night before there were to meet God came down and dealt with him. Jacob fought with God until He blessed him. God changed his name to Israel.

Now some time later, Israel was back at that same place. He builds an altar there in memory of what God had done to and for him. He remembered that it was there that God had revealed Himself to him.

As a person goes through life, they have many different events that happen. One of the most common ways to remember what had happened was through the taking of pictures. People take pictures to remember the joy someone had, the beauty of some place, or for many other reasons. All of them are to remember something.

When God did something great for a person in the Old Testament, it was common for that person to build an altar to God. It was a reminder to themselves and to others that God had done something for them. Later people would ask why the altar was there, and it could be said because God did something and then tell what it was.

There will be times when God does something great in your life. When He does this do not rely only on your memory to remember what He had done. Set up little reminders.

Many people write in a journal their experiences. Other ways may be to set little notes up on your walls with what happened and when. Or purchase some little object that will remind you of that event.

However you choose to remember what God did, do it. Do it for when times get rough. Do it to have something to tell others about when they ask about that object. Use it to be His witness.

In any event, do not forget what God has done for you.

I pray today that you will see what God has done and is doing for you; that you will remember what God has done for you; that you will set up reminders of what God has done for you; and that you will be able to use what God has done to be a witness to others.