1 March 2015 Sunday Morning Service

Bible
OT Genesis 31 : 9 – 55
NT Acts 16 : 16 – 34

Genesis
31:9 So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
31:10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted.
31:11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’
31:12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.
31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'”
31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate?
31:15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us.
31:16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
31:17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels,
31:18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
31:19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.
31:20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away.
31:21 So he fled with all he had, and crossing the River, he headed for the hill country of Gilead.
31:22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled.
31:23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.
31:24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
31:25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too.
31:26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.
31:27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps?
31:28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by. You have done a foolish thing.
31:29 I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’
31:30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s house. But why did you steal my gods?”
31:31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.
31:32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
31:33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent.
31:34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.
31:35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.
31:36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “What sin have I committed that you hunt me down?
31:37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.
31:38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.
31:39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.
31:40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
31:41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.
31:42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”
31:43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne?
31:44 Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”
31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.
31:46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.
31:48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed.
31:49 It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.
31:50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
31:51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me.
31:52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me.
31:53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.
31:54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.
31:55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.

Acts
16:16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
16:17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
16:18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
16:19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
16:20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar
16:21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
16:22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
16:23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
16:24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
16:26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
16:27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
16:28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
16:30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”
16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
16:33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
16:34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God–he and his whole family.