Comfort Me Once Again

You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again. 
—Ps. 71:21


From My Youth You Have Taught Me

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.32

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come.  
—Psalm 71:17-18


You Are My Rock


In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 
—Psalm 71:1-3


God Is Great!

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.30
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” 
Psalm 70:4


Make Haste!

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.29

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me! 
Psalm 70:1


His Own That Are in Bonds

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.28

Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds. 
Psalm 69:32-33


Let Your Salvation Protect Me

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.27
But I am lowly and in pain; let your salvation, O God, protect me. I will praise the Name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 
❇︎ Psalm 69:29-30


Your Steadfast Love Is Good

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.26
Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 
Psalm 69:16


An Acceptable Time

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.2.2.25
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me with your faithful help.  
Psalm 69:14


Re-Membering Christ

They need not go away; you give them something to eat.
—Matt. 14:16

As far as Jesus was concerned, this was as bad as it got. To understand why, we have to remember that Jesus wasn’t just dropped to earth out of nowhere and in the middle of nowhere. He was fully human, and had had the very human experience of family. And one very important member of his family was his cousin John. We know him as John the Baptist. Not only were they close, but people associated them with each other. To this day, we debate who followed whom, and we still read the stories of how people actually got angry with Jesus when he didn’t do things the way John did them.

So remember all this when you put yourself in Jesus’ place the day he was told that John had not only been arrested, but that King Herod had had him killed—killed pointlessly and in a particularly dishonorable way.

Naturally, Jesus was devastated. All he wanted to do was to leave, to get away from it all, to be alone. And so he got in a little boat and went across the lake. But his time alone didn’t last long. When the crowds saw him leave, they went around the lake on foot so they could be with him—not because they had compassion on him but because he’d had compassion on them.

'It Was the Best of Times'

I will not let you go, unless you bless me.
—Genesis 32:26b

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It was the best of times, because I was young and I was rich. I’d moved north to live among my mother’s people, and there near the city of Haran, I went from having nothing to having everything. I admit that some of it was at my uncle’s expense. But Uncle Laban could give as good as he could get. If I’d tricked him out of a few herds, he started it by saddling me with both his daughters.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved one of them. But in order to marry her I had to work for my uncle for many years. And since she was the younger daughter, I had to marry her older sister before I could marry her. In the end, I had two wives, and thousands of sheep.

But it was also the worst of times.

Dreams of God

Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!
—Gen. 28:16
Prologue: Pet Elephants

Elephants aren’t directly mentioned in the Bible. But the idea of elephants as house pets is found throughout the first book of the Bible. I say this, because when we read the stories of the main characters in Genesis, we can’t help but notice that there’s an elephant in the room. And the elephant looks like this: The people—especially the men—who are our ancestors in the faith were not good people. At least not by our standards. Noah and Abraham, even Sarah and Rebekah—all of them did things that we would be deeply ashamed of.

I’ve saved this observation until this morning because nowhere is it more obvious than in the life of the subject of today’s sermon: Jacob.