Day 17

Genesis 35 and the birth of Benjamin gives Jacob joy and sorrow. His mother, Rachel dies in childbirth. They have arrived at the promised land at last. But Isaac is now very old and he dies not long after.

Genesis 36 goes into a lot of detail about Esau and his sons, their wives and their children. They move away to the hill country of Seir. Maybe one day a musical would be written about them. But not this time… Esau becomes known as Edom and his family grows. The whole of chapter 36 tells us about their families and the towns which they founded.

Matthew 12 is starting to set the scene for the end of Jesus’ life on earth. The temple teachers are, once again, attempting to trick him into breaking the law. Is it a sin to work on the Sabbath? Jesus answers with a hypothetical example, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out?” They have to agree. Common sense prevails and he heals a man’s crippled hand. He had out witted them this time, but they continued to plot against him.

Psalm 15 asks who will enter heaven. The answer is those who are faithful followers of the Lord. One clause jumped off the page at me. (15:5) “Those who lend money without charging interest.” And that is one of the elements of Sharia Law. A contentious verse for some people (bankers and brokers) and common sense for others. Would you charge your brother interest if he borrowed from you?

The theme today has been one of common sense. And the opening words of Proverbs 3:21 drive this point home. “My child, don’t loose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul.”

Nearly every day I have a complaint about the lack of common sense in the world. There are countless examples of people who show none. And I’m sure you too can think of examples too. But here’s the thing: what IS common sense? I would say that people who have no common sense are the ones who only think of themselves.

Selfishness is the opposite of common sense because common sense means thinking about what is best for the majority.

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