Jacob went on his way, and God’s messengers approached him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp,” and he named that sacred place Mahanaim. 3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau, toward the land of Seir, the open country of Edom. 4 He gave them these orders: “Say this to my master Esau. This is the message of your servant Jacob: ‘I’ve lived as an immigrant with Laban, where I’ve stayed till now. 5 I own cattle, donkeys, flocks, men servants, and women servants. I’m sending this message to my master now to ask that he be kind.’”
6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went out to your brother Esau, and he’s coming to meet you with four hundred men.” 7 Jacob was terrified and felt trapped, so he divided the people with him, and the flocks, cattle, and camels, into two camps. 8 He thought, If Esau meets the first camp and attacks it, at least one camp will be left to escape.
9 Jacob said, “Lord, God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I’ll make sure things go well for you,’ 10 I don’t deserve how loyal and truthful you’ve been to your servant. I went away across the Jordan with just my staff, but now I’ve become two camps. 11 Save me from my brother Esau! I’m afraid he will come and kill me, the mothers, and their children. 12 You were the one who told me, ‘I will make sure things go well for you, and I will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, so many you won’t be able to count them.’”
13 Jacob spent that night there. From what he had acquired, he set aside a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty nursing camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He separated these herds and gave them to his servants. He said to them, “Go ahead of me and put some distance between each of the herds.” 17 He ordered the first group, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, ‘Who are you with? Where are you going? And whose herds are these in front of you?’ 18 say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s, a gift sent to my master Esau. And Jacob is actually right behind us.’” 19 He also ordered the second group, the third group, and everybody following the herds, “Say exactly the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20 Say also, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob thought, I may be able to pacify Esau with the gift I’m sending ahead. When I meet him, perhaps he will be kind to me. 21 So Jacob sent the gift ahead of him, but he spent that night in the camp.
Mark 2:1-14 Living Bible
Several days later he returned to Capernaum, and the news of his arrival spread quickly through the city. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there wasn’t room for a single person more, not even outside the door. And he preached the Word to them. 3 Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. 4 They couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head and lowered the sick man on his stretcher, right down in front of Jesus.
5 When Jesus saw how strongly they believed that he would help, Jesus said to the sick man, “Son, your sins are forgiven!”
6 But some of the Jewish religious leaders said to themselves as they sat there, 7 “What? This is blasphemy! Does he think he is God? For only God can forgive sins.”
8 Jesus could read their minds and said to them at once, “Why does this bother you? 9-11 I, the Messiah,have the authority on earth to forgive sins. But talk is cheap—anybody could say that. So I’ll prove it to you by healing this man.” Then, turning to the paralyzed man, he commanded, “Pick up your stretcher and go on home, for you are healed!” 12 The man jumped up, took the stretcher, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers! Then how they praised God. “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” they all exclaimed.
13 Then Jesus went out to the seashore again and preached to the crowds that gathered around him. 14 As he was walking up the beach he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at his tax collection booth. “Come with me,” Jesus told him. “Come be my disciple.” And Levi jumped to his feet and went along.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.2 Therefore will we not fear, though the earth do change, And though the mountains be shaken into the heart of the seas;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains tremble with the swelling thereof. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God will help her, and that right early.6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. 8 Come, behold the works of Jehovah, What desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariots in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.11 Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be still, during the chaos and blessings of the day, and to know that you are there. Amen.