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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Double Check

and listen.

Genesis 46:1–7 (ESV)

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.”

Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Jacob was nervous about moving to Egypt. During a previous famine, his dad had been specifically told by God to not go there.

Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.” — Genesis 26:1-2 (ESV)

So, Jacob wisely does a double check by offering sacrifices to the LORD at the place that has been the site of many special contacts with God—Beersheba. This time, God assures Jacob that going to Egypt is okay, and going there doesn’t break with His covenant promises.

Just as Jacob desired to check with God before going to Egypt, we should desire to check with God before doing anything. The mission of The DEEP is to get people in the habit of being in contact with God.

This is a crisis in America. Life is so busy that devotionals tend to get squeezed out. Trying to live a normal American life while also having daily devotionals feels like trying to text and drive. We don’t have the capacity for both.

But that’s a false perspective. Just as tithing is not a path to running out of money, so spending time with the LORD is not a path to running out of time.

Prayer should be a regular part of how we get through the day. You don’t need to follow any particular prescription, just pray what’s on your heart. Intense prayer is most glorifying.

And note that listening is an essential element to prayer. It’s what keeps us connected to God. While God wants to hear whatever we have to say to him (amazingly), He has much to say to us.

Prayer should be two-way. We want God to give us what He gave Jacob at Beersheba—guidance.

Beware though, the affirmation He gave Jacob is rare.

Anticipate redirection.

To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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