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TUESDAY— The Supplanter
Big Point: When we set aside God’s authority and put our own in its place, we supplant God – and that’s never, ever good for us.
Here is an excerpt from Pastor David Swensen: “For sons and daughters in biblical times, receiving their father’s blessing was a momentous event. It gave these children a tremendous sense of being highly valued by their parents.” It did wonders for their self-esteem. At a specific point in their lives they would hear words of encouragement, love and acceptance from their parents.” In our text, Isaac was getting set to pass on his blessing to his eldest son Esau. Jacob got wind of his father’s plans, and he deceived his father into imparting the blessing to him.”
In addition to being known as a “heel-grabber,” Jacob would also be known as a “supplanter” after he hijacked Esau’s birthright and blessing. Jacob schemed and stole what wasn’t his to take. However, before we judge Jacob too harshly, we must realize that we, too, are supplanters. Scripture tells us that God wants us to put Him first in our lives, but how often do we put other people and things in the position that God is supposed to have in our lives? Why would we do something like that?
Supplant is defined in the dictionary as:
• take the place of; displace or set aside.
• take the place of by unfair methods or by treacherous means.
• remove from its position; get rid of; oust
READ…What does the Bible say?
Genesis 27:36 (New King James Version)
And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?
Matthew 6:33 (New Living Translation)
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
THINK…Find the answers
Read Genesis 27:36. By this time, Esau has lost both his birthright and his blessing at the hands of Jacob. In this passage, Esau is speaking to his father out of desperation and frustration. How did Jacob’s scheming and selfishness impact his brother?
More about Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the Kingdom” of God refers to our quintessential quest in life, seeking Christ as Savior and Lord. By Lord, we mean He is ruling our hearts, minds, and actions, including our motivations and desires. So, we seek what is best, as He has our best at hand. When we just look to ourselves (supplant), we miss His golden opportunities and goodness.
The will of God is not just a task, or an end to find, nor is it just a set of goals; rather, it is a hunt, and a journey. The action of seeking Him and His plan is His Will! This is the hunt and the journey that produces the principles that grow and mold us in faith and maturity (1 Peter 5). It never ends; it is always continuing until our life ends. (from intothyword.org)
If you are familiar with the story of Jacob and Esau, you might have a lot of sympathy for Esau, who behaved foolishly and sold his blessing for a bowl of stew. Still, Jacob supplanted Esau in this situation. Why?
Read Matthew 6:33. This verse contains some very wise counsel that can help us keep God in the rightful place in our lives. How does this verse tell us to do that?
LIVE…What will you do now?
What are the different ways that you have supplanted God’s authority in your life?
When you review that list, can you think of the reasons why you would supplant God?
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Take time to meditate on Matthew 6:33. Read through the verse slowly a few times and think about what it really means. Ask God to reveal any additional area where you are supplanting His authority in your life. Ask forgiveness for supplanting God and ask God for the conviction to put Him first always.
DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Judges 7-11
7:5 “those who lap the water…” There was not any military reason as to why a particular person was chosen. By using this as a means of selection, there was not any reason for human pride. The end result is that God was given all of the glory.
7:18 “For the Lord and for Gideon…” This is a demonstration of the power of God in harmony with the obedience of man.
8:20 “Jether…kill them” Gideon desired to place a great honor on his son by killing the enemies of Israel and of God.
8:22 “rule over us…” The Israelites sinned by the misguided motive and request that Gideon reign as king. To his credit, the leader declined, insisting that God alone rule.
8:30 “many wives…” Gideon fell into the sin of polygamy, an iniquity tolerated by many but which never was God’s blueprint for marriage. Abimelech, a son by yet another illicit relationship, grew up to be the wretched king in Judges 9. Polygamy always resulted in trouble.
10:10 “we have sinned against you…” Confession, followed by true repentance.
10:15 “do to us whatever seems best…”Genuine repentance acknowledges God’s right to chasten, so His punishment is seen as just and He is thereby glorified.
11:1 “a mighty warrior…” In response to their repentance, God raised Jephthah up to lead the Israelites to freedom from their eighteen years of oppression.
11:29 “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah…” The Lord graciously empowered Jephthah for war on behalf of His people. This does not mean that all of the warrior’s decisions were of God’s wisdom.