January 22: Be Vigilant
Genesis 35:16–36:43; Matthew 26:14–56; Ecclesiastes 8:10–17
Faith doesn’t always come to bear until we are faced with our own fallibility. When we “enter into temptation,” it often means we haven’t been vigilant—that we’ve stopped pursuing the God who has pursued us. In the aftermath of temptation, we recognize our spiritual laziness. We become wise—but remorsefully.
Vigilance and complacency are illustrated in the garden of Gethsemane. In His last moments, Jesus requests that His closest disciples stay awake with Him (Matt 26:38). But while He repeatedly prays, they fall asleep. What seems like a request for moral support gets defined a few verses later: “Stay awake and pray that you will not enter into temptation” (Matt 26:41). Staying awake is associated with spiritual awareness. And their sleep is costly. Because of their spiritual sleepiness, they’re not prepared for His end, even though He had repeatedly prepared them for His death. They abandon Him, and they even deny Him (Matt 26:56; 75).
But in this same passage, we get a picture of what vigilance looks like from the Son of God. Jesus anticipated His imminent suffering and death. “Deeply grieved, to the point of death,” He turns to the Father in prayer. Jesus boldly requests relief from suffering; when it is not granted, He submits to the Father’s will.
Being vigilant means seeking guidance and refuge from the God who provides it. He has provided refuge, but we must seek it out. This means asking for His Spirit to equip us for discernment. While we don’t know the challenges and temptations we’ll face, He does. And if we ask Him, He will provide us with all we need to face them.
Are you seeking God’s guidance today? No matter what your situation may be, pray for His Spirit to provide you with strength and discernment.
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then they departed from Bethel, and when there was about half a day’s journey of ground to come to Ephrath, Rachel travaied, and in travailing she was in peril. And when she was in the pains of her labor, the midwife said unto her, Fear not, for thou shalt have this son also. Then as she was about to yield up the ghost (for she died) she called his name Ben-Oni, but his father called him Benjamin. Thus died Rachel and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: This is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day. Then Israel went forward, and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. Now when Israel dwelt in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and it cae to Israel’s ear. And Jacob had twelve sons. The sons of Leah: Reuben Jacob’s eldest son, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, adn Zebulun: The sons of Rachel: Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah Leah’s aid: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, which were born him in Padan Aram. Then Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre a city of Kirjath Arbah: that is Hebon, where Abraham and Isaac were strnagers. And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. And Isaac gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. Now these are the generations of Esau, which is Edom, Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon an Hittite and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon an Hivite. And took Beasemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth. And Adah bore unto Esau, Eliphaz: and Basemath bare Reuel, Also Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau which were born to hi in the land of Canaan. So Esau took his wives and his sons, and his daughters, and all the souls of his house, and his flocks, and all his cattle, and all his substance, which he had gotten in the land of Canaan, and went into another country from his brother Jacob. For their riches were so great, that they could not dwell together, and the land, wherein they were strnagers, could not receive them because of their flocks. Therefore dwelt Esau in mount Seir: this Esau is Edom. So these are the generations of Esau father of Edom in mount Seir: These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah, the wife of Esau, and Reuel the son of Basemath, the wife of Esau. And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. And Timna was concubine to Elipaz Esau’s son, and bare unto Eliphaz, Amalek: these be the sons of Adah Esau’s wife. And these are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these be the sons of Basemath Esau’s wife. And these were the sons of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, daughter of Zibeon Esau’s wife: for she bare unto Esau, Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah. These were Dukes of the sons of Esau the sons of Eliphaz, the firstborn of Esau Duke Teman, Duke Omar, Duke Zepho, Duke Kenaz, Duke Korah, Duke Gatam, and Duke Amalek: these are the Dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom: these were the sons of Adah. And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son: Duke Nahath, Duke Zerah, Duke Shammah, Duke Mizzah: these are the Dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom: these are the sons of Basemath Esau’s wife. Likewise these were the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife: Duke Jeush, Duke Jaalam, Duke Korah: these Dukes came of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah Esau’s wife. These are the children of Esau, and these are the Dukes of them: This Esau is Edom. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, which inhabited the land beforeLotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the Dukes of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom. And the sons of Lotan were, Hori and Hemam, and Lotan’s sister was Timna. And the sons of Shobal were these: Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. And these are the sons of Zibeon: Both Ajah, and Anah: this was Anah that found mules in the wilderness, as he fed his father Zibeon’s asses. And the children of Anah were these: Dishon and Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah. Also these are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. The sons of Ezer are these: Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan. The sons of Dishan are these, Uz, and Aran. These are the Dukes of the Horites: Duke Lotan, Duke Shobal, Duke Zibeon, Duke Anah, Duke Dishon, Duke Ezer, Duke Dishan: these are the Dukes of the Horites, after their Dukedoms in the land of Seir. And these are the Kings that reigned in theland of Edom, before there reigned any King over the children of Israel. Then Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. And when Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. When Jobab also was dead, Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead. And after the death of Husham, Hadad the son of Bedad, which slew Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead, and the name of his city was Avith. When Hadad was dead, then Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. When Samlah was dead, Saul of Rehoboth by the river, reigned in his stead. When Saul died, Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. And after the death of Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor, Hadar reigned in his stead, and the name of his city was Pau: and his wife’s name Mehetabel the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. Then these are the anmes of the Dukes of Esau according to their families, their places, and by their names: Duke Timnah, Duke Alvah, Duke Jetheth. Duke Aholibamah, Duke Elah, Duke Pinon, Duke Kenaz, Duke Teman, Duke Mibzar, Duke Magdiel, Duke Iram: these be the Dukes of Edom, according to their habitations, in the land of their inheritance. This Esau is the father of Edom. Genesis 35:16–36:43
- Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief Priests, And said, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you, and they appointed unto him thirty pieces of silver. And from that time, he sought opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And he said, Go ye into the city to such a man, and say to him, the master saith, My time is at hand: I will keep the Passover at thine house with mine disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had given them charge, and made ready the Passover. So when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they wre exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Is it I, Master? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. Surely the Son of man goeth his way, as it is written of him: but woe be to that man, by whom the Son of man is betrayed: it had been good for that man, if he had never been born. Then Judas which betrayed him, answered, and said, Is it I, master? He said unto him, Thou hast said it. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave it to the disciple, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it them, saying, Drink ye all of it. for this is my blood of the new Testament that is shed for many, for the remission of sins. I say unto you that I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day, when I shall drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung a Psam, they went out into the mount of Olives. Then said Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended by me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter answered, and said unto him, Though that all men should be offended by thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, I will in no case deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. Then went Jesus withthem into a place which is called Gethesmane, and said unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go, and pray yonder. And he took unto him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to wax sorrowful, and grievously troubled. Then said Jesus unto them, My soul is very heavy, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. So he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. After, he came unto the disciples, and found them asleep, and said to Peter, What? could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is ready, but the flesh is weak. Again he went away the second time, and prayed, saying, O my father, if this cup cannot pass away from me, but that I must drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then came he to his disciples, and said unto them, Sleep henceforth, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is given into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold, he is at hand that betrayeth me. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas one of the twelve came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the high Priests and Elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him, had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, lay hold on him. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, God save thee, Master, and kissed him. Then Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And behold, one of them which were with Jesus, stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high Priest, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up thy sword into his place: for all that take the sword, shall perish with the sword. Either thinkest thou, that I cannot now pray to my Fahter, and he will give me more than twelve legions of Angels? How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say, that it must be so? The same hour said Jesus to the multitude, Ye be come out as it were against a thief, with swords and staves to take me: I sat daily teaching in the Temple among you, and ye took me not. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Matthew 26:14–56
- And likewise I saw the wicked buried, and they returned, and they that came from the holy place, went yet forgotten in the city, where they had done right: this also is vanity. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the children of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and God prolongeth his days, yet I know that it shall be well with them that fear the Lord, and do reverence before him. But it shall not be well to the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days: he shall be like a shadow, because he feareth not before God. There is a vanity, which is done upon the earth, that there be righteous men to whom it cometh according to the work of the wicked: and there be wicked men to whom is cometh according to the work of the just: I thought also that this is vanity. And I praised joy, for there is no goodness to man under the sun, save to eat and to drink and to rejoice: for this is adjoined to his labor the days of his life that God hath given him under the sun. When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to behold the business that is done on earth, that neither day nor night the eyes of man take sleep, Then I beheld the whole work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is wrought under the sun: for the which man laboreth to seek it, and cannot find it: yea, and though the wise man think to know it, he cannot find it. Ecclesiastes 8:10–17