Monday, January 9, 2017 Plough Monday
Genesis, Chapter 26, Verse 7
When the men of the place asked questions about his wife, he answered, “She is my sister.” He was afraid that, if he called her his wife, the men of the place would kill him on account of Rebekah, since she was beautiful.
So Isaac (whom was bound as a sacrificial offering to God) the only son of Abraham, now is grown, has a wife and is pulling the same trick as his father Abraham with the men who desire his wife-stating she is my sister.
"From the point of view of the history of culture these episodes are very instructive. But it is not very probable that Abraham would have run the risk twice. Moreover, a similar incident is reported in regard to Isaac and Rebecca. This recurrence indicates that none of the accounts is to be accepted as historical; all three are variations of a theme common to the popular oral histories of the Patriarchs. That women were married in the way here supposed is not to be doubted. The purpose of the story is to extol the heroines as most beautiful and show that the Patriarchs were under the special protection of the Deity."
Another lesson we can take from this is that Isaac here was dealing with men that had no fear of God. Men who take what they want and will kill to get it. Isaac here could not fight them because he was not strong enough. Isaac could not leave because there was a famine. So he sought to deceive. Yet, even in his weakness God was with him and when Abimelech, the righteous king, discovered the truth put him under his royal protection; thus saving him from danger. Righteous men & nations always seek to protect the weak.
Baptism of Jesus
"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near" (Is 55, 6).
Blessing of Water
Today is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. As we begin our working year let us remember that our primary work in the world as a follower of Christ is to do his will for us putting our hand on the plough and looking forward to the year; may all of our days and rows be straight.
No man, having put his hand ... - To put one's hand to a plow is a proverbial expression to signify undertaking any business. In order that a plowman may accomplish his work, it is necessary to look onward - to be intent on his employment - not to be looking back with regret that he undertook it. So in religion; He that enters on it must do it with his whole heart, He that comes still loving the world - still looking with regret on its pleasures, its wealth, and its honors - that has not "wholly" forsaken them as his portion, cannot be a Christian, and is not fit for the kingdom of God. How searching is this test to those who profess to be Christians! And how solemn the duty of all people to renounce all earthly objects, and to be not only "almost," but "altogether," followers of the Son of God! It is perilous to tamper with the world - to look at its pleasures or to seek its society. He that would enter heaven must come with a heart full of love to God; giving "all" into his hands, and prepared always to give up all his property, his health, his friends, his body, his soul to God, when he demands them, or he cannot be a Christian. Religion is everything or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice "everything" for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing.
 HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II, Sistine Chapel, Sunday, 12 January 2003
 Barnes' Notes on the Bible
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