Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018-07-15 Divine Providence, Divine Discipline

2018-07-15 Divine Providence, Divine Discipline
by Pastor Eric McNeil

Scripture Reference: Genesis 29:1-30

Jacob Meets Rachel

1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land
of the sons of the east. 2 He looked, and saw a well in
the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep were lying
there beside it, for from that well they watered the
flocks. Now the stone on the mouth of the well was
large. 3 When all the flocks were gathered there, they
would then roll the stone from the mouth of the well and
water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on
the mouth of the well. 4 Jacob said to them, "My
brothers, where are you from?" And they said, "We are
from Haran." 5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban the
son of Nahor?" And they said, "We know him." 6 And he
said to them, "Is it well with him?" And they said, "It
is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the
sheep." 7 He said, "Behold, it is still high day; it is
not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the
sheep, and go, pasture them." 8 But they said, "We
cannot *, until * all the flocks are gathered, and they
roll the stone from the mouth of the well; then we water
the sheep." 9 While he was still speaking with them,
Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a
shepherdess. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of
Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his
mother's brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone
from the mouth of the well and watered the flock of
Laban his mother's brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel,
and lifted his voice and wept. 12 Jacob told Rachel that
he was a relative of her father and that he was
Rebekah's son, and she ran and told her father. 13 So
when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister's son, he
ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him and
brought him to his house. Then he related to Laban all
these things. 14 Laban said to him, "Surely you are my
bone and my flesh." And he stayed with him a month. 15
Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my relative,
should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what
shall your wages be?" 16 Now Laban had two daughters;
the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the
younger was Rachel. 17 And Leah's eyes were weak, but
Rachel was beautiful of form and face. 18 Now Jacob
loved Rachel, so he said, "I will serve you seven years
for your younger daughter Rachel." 19 Laban said, "It is
better that I give her to you than to give her to
another man; stay with me." 20 So Jacob served seven
years for Rachel and they seemed * to him but a few days
because of his love for her.

Laban's Treachery

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my
time is completed, that I may go in to her." 22 Laban
gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. 23
Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and
brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her. 24 Laban
also gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a
maid. 25 So it came about in the morning that, behold,
it was Leah! And he said to Laban, "What is this you
have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served
with you? Why then have you deceived me?" 26 But Laban
said, "It is not the practice * in our place to marry
off the younger before the firstborn. 27 "Complete the
week of this one, and we will give you the other also
for the service which you shall serve with me for
another seven years." 28 Jacob did so and completed her
week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife.
29 Laban also gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter
Rachel as her maid. 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also,
and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served
with Laban for another seven years. 31 Now the LORD saw
that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but
Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and
named * him Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has
seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me."
33 Then she conceived again and bore a son and said,
"Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has
therefore given me this son also." So she named * him
Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son and said,
"Now this time my husband will become attached to me,
because I have borne him three sons." Therefore * he was
named * Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son
and said, "This time I will praise the LORD."
Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018-07-08 Bargaining With God

July 8, 2018
2018-07-08 Bargaining With God
by Pastor Eric McNeil
Scripture Reference: Genesis 28:1-22


Jacob Is Sent Away

1 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2 "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. 3 "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. 6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan," 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. 8 So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9 and Esau went to Ishmael, and married *, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.

Jacob's Dream

10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 "Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever * you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until * I have done what I have promised you." 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." 17 He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than * the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." 18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21 and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22 "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."

Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018-06-24 Like Father, Like Son

June 24, 2018
2018-06-24 Like Father, Like Son
by Pastor Eric McNeil
Scripture Reference: Genesis 26:1-33


Isaac Settles in Gerar
1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides  the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 The LORD appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 "Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. 4 "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because  Abraham obeyed  Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws." 6 So Isaac lived in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "my wife," thinking, "the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful." 8 It came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, "Behold, certainly she is your wife! How then did you say, 'She is my sister '?" And Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'I might die on account of her.' " 10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us." 11 So Abimelech charged all the people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." 12 Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold . And the LORD blessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. 16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us." 17 And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Quarrel over the Wells
18 Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, "The water is ours!" So he named  the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named  it Sitnah. 22 He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named  it Rehoboth, for he said, "At last  the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land." 23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 The LORD appeared to him the same night and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham; Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, For the sake of My servant Abraham." 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants dug a well.

Covenant with Abimelech
26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with his adviser Ahuzzath and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?" 28 They said, "We see plainly that the LORD has been with you; so we said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.' " 30 Then he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they arose early and exchanged oaths; then Isaac sent them away and they departed from him in peace. 32 Now it came about on the same day, that Isaac's servants came in and told him about  the well which they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water." 33 So he called it Shibah; therefore  the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

2018-06-17 Fatherhood and Sonship

June 17, 2018
by Shane O'Hara

Ephesians 5:25-30
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.

2 Corinthians 5:18
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

2018-06-10 The Despised Birthright

June 10, 2018
by Pastor Eric McNeil

Scripture Reference: Genesis 25:27-34

27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, "Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." 32 Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?" 33 And Jacob said, "First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Monday, June 4, 2018

2018-06-03 The God Of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

June 3, 2018
by Pastor Eric McNeil

Scripture Reference: Genesis 25:1-26

Abraham's Death

1 Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah. 3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim and Letushim and Leummim. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah. 5 Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac; 6 but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east. 7 These are all the years of Abraham's life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. 9 Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife. 11 It came about after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by Beer-lahai-roi.

Descendants of Ishmael

12 Now these are the records of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bore to Abraham; 13 and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam 14 and Mishma and Dumah and Massa, 15 Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. 18 They settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives.

Isaac's Sons

19 Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham became the father of Isaac; 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger." 24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

2018-05-27 A Bride For Isaac

May 27, 2018
by Pastor Eric McNeil

Scripture Reference: Genesis 24:1-67

A Bride for Isaac
1 Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, "Please place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4 but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac." 5 The servant said to him, "Suppose the woman is not willing to follow * me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?" 6 Then Abraham said to him, "Beware that you do not take my son back there! 7 "The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, 'To your descendants I will give this land,' He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. 8 "But if the woman is not willing to follow * you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there." 9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10 Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master's in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside * the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 He said, "O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. 13 "Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, 'Please let down your jar so that I may drink,' and who answers, 'Drink, and I will water your camels also '-may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master."

Rebekah Is Chosen
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, and no man had had relations with her; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar." 18 She said, "Drink, my lord "; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw also for your camels until * they have finished drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21 Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the LORD had made his journey successful or not. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, 23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father's house?" 24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor." 25 Again she said to him, "We have plenty of both straw and feed, and room to lodge in." 26 Then the man bowed low and worshiped the LORD. 27 He said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward * my master; as for me, the LORD has guided me in the way to the house of my master's brothers." 28 Then the girl ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. 30 When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister's wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "This is what the man said to me," he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 And he said, "Come in, blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?" 32 So the man entered the house. Then Laban unloaded the camels, and he gave straw and feed to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 But when food was set before him to eat, he said, "I will not eat until * I have told my business." And he said, "Speak on." 34 So he said, "I am Abraham's servant. 35 "The LORD has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36 "Now Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him all that he has. 37 "My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38 but you shall go to my father's house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.' 39 "I said to my master, 'Suppose the woman does not follow * me.' 40 "He said to me, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father's house; 41 then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.' 42 "So I came today to the spring, and said, 'O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 43 behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar "; 44 and she will say to me, "You drink, and I will draw for your camels also "; let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.' 45 "Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew, and I said to her, 'Please let me drink.' 46 "She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will water your camels also '; so I drank, and she watered the camels also. 47 "Then I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him'; and I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 "And I bowed low and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son. 49 "So now if you are going to deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, let me know, that I may turn to the right hand or the left." 50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, "The matter comes from the LORD; so we cannot * speak to you bad or good. 51 "Here is Rebekah before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has spoken." 52 When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the LORD. 53 The servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, "Send me away to my master." 55 But her brother and her mother said, "Let the girl stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go." 56 He said to them, "Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master." 57 And they said, "We will call the girl and consult her wishes." 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." 59 Thus they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham's servant and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah and said to her, "May you, our sister, Become thousands of ten thousands, And may your descendants possess The gate of those who hate them." 61 Then Rebekah arose with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.

Isaac Marries Rebekah
62 Now Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the Negev. 63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming. 64 Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel. 65 She said to the servant, "Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?" And the servant said, "He is my master." Then she took her veil and covered herself. 66 The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.