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Without viewing previous devotions I cannot say how long it has been since we were encouraged to personalize the Scriptures; yet today I am inclined to say it again after reading Beth’s comments relative to Genesis 43:15.   I am again encouraging us when we read Scripture to take it personally; to put ourselves in the place of the person in the passage. Today in lesson 3 of week 9 of the Patriarchs’ study it is Jacob.
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”   15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.
This is what Beth said: “My heart aches for Jacob as we reach the end of our reading today.  Can you imagine his sorrow as his sons, including “the boy”, disappeared over the horizon?  Read verse 15 slowly and carefully as we conclude.  Don’t miss the order of things taken on the journey back to Egypt.  “So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also.” And Benjamin also.  The agonizing phrase almost seems postponed until the last possible second.  “The ‘and Benjamin’ hangs like the resigned sigh of a father trapped between the need to live and the possibility of a life made utterly empty through another loss.’ ” I can almost hear the father’s prayer: “Have mercy, God Almighty. Have mercy.” 
My eyes are spilling tears as I hear Jacob cry, “Have mercy, God Almighty. Have mercy” because many times I have cried ‘Have mercy, ABBA, have mercy’.  And no doubt if life here continues I will cry it again – ‘Have mercy, ABBA, have mercy.’
And I have one more cry from seeing Jacob this way and that is ‘ABBA, teach me this way of seeing the life, the emotions, the pain, the joy, the encouragement, the hope, the struggles, the triumphs, the failures, the instructions, and on and on in Your Word in the faces and lives of our Spiritual Ancestors, real people who lived and died and who yet live with You and who we will one day see and talk with.  Train me Holy Spirit, to see what You have written on these pages for us. Amen and amen’. 
ABBA, thank You for Your Word and for Your Servant, Beth, who ministers so well to us; I pray that her love and knowledge of Your Word continually increase; I pray You will protect her, and her family and all of Living Proof Ministries from all enemies and that she will remain a faithful servant filled with Your Spirit to every good work that You have called her to.    Thank You for today’s message to us; hear our cry and fill us with wonder at Your Word; fill us with Your Word that we will not sin against You.  Thank You that Suzi’s surgery has been approved and scheduled and we pray that it be textbook perfect and that Suzi will receive the relief she is seeking.  We pray too that this experience will inspire and yield a new lease on ‘Life’ for Suzi.  Lord, so love on Suzi that she ‘falls head over heels in love’ with You I pray.    Again, today, we thank You for our IDOK Troops and we ask You to continue to protect them from harm in spirit, soul and body and it is still our desire that each of them come home safe and sound at their appointed time and added to that we pray that their love and devotion to You will grow and grow.  We pray for each one whose name is written here; in particular Roy and Julee come to mind this morning, oh, Lord Jesus, be so there for them; be so there for them that they can feel You holding them there in the room where they are.  And, we are still waiting for word on Logan, so we are still praying for that precious little boy asking You Lord Jesus to touch his little frame and restore him to his family.  And, we still have specific unspokens fresh with us this morning giving You praise that You are Good and You are mindful of every need and You are meeting our needs day by day.  Thank You, ABBA.  And as we bring this to closure and as we send it to our treasured IDOKs and Readers we pray each of them will hear Your Word individually and personally and especially for them; that each of them will just know that they know You are for them; You are with them; that You will not leave them or forsake them or fail them; that Your Word is true; that You can be trusted; that You are worthy of our love and trust; that You are in love with us; that we are Your Dear Children in Christ Jesus, Your Only Begotten Son. We love You, ABBA, and we pray when this day is done that we will be more in love with You than we are right now in this moment. Amen and amen.  
As I post this it is 66°F and clear in Balad, IQ (Airport) and the time is 3:33 PM AST and on December 2, 2009.


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