It must have been hard for Rebekah’s family to let her go with Abraham’s servant to a strange land far away, but like Mary, she gave her fiat and she was sent off with many blessings. After marrying Isaac, she was unable to have children so Isaac put his trust in God, prayed and his prayers were answered – they were blessed with twins.

God commanded Isaac to remain in the foreign land and not go down to Egypt. Whilst this will have been difficult to bear, Isaac again obeyed God and was blessed with protection from the highest human level and with great riches too, eventually becoming too powerful for his hosts.

Jesus found himself a stranger among men whom God had created but he obeyed his heavenly Father. His disciples on the other hand, lacked faith and showed this during the storm whilst they were sailing across the lake. Through this event, Jesus, who astonished them by calming nature, taught them to rely on them, as he relied on his Father. He showed them faith by his own example. Whether they understood at the time this is another matter!

Not content with calming the storm, he cast out demons into a herd of pigs who charged over the edge of a cliff to their deaths. Anyone witnessing this must have been terrified and certainly the villagers begged Jesus to leave them. Why were they so frightened? Was it because of his great power or had the fact that the demons had revealed to them that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah they had been expecting for so long? Perhaps they were comfortable in their own lives and the last thing they needed or wanted was the arrival of the Saviour. How would we feel if Christ were to come today? What would our reaction be?

The disciples saw that following Jesus was not going to be easy they too would be rejected and despised even by their own friends and families.

Today we see the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor. There is no apparent justice against dictators and regimes that seek to crush those who wish for nothing but freedom. Even the psalmist asks why the Godless prosper and the helpless are crushed. Isn’t the answer obvious even in human terms? The rich have much to lose the poor have everything to gain.

In faith we should count our blessings. Those who fear God, follow the teachings of Jesus and put their trust in the Most High will reap great rewards, if not in this life, then the next.

Scripture: Genesis 24:52-26:16 Matthew 8:19-22; Psalm 10:1-15; Proverbs 3:7-8