Chapter 24 – This starts right out with Divorce…. goodness what an opener!! This restriction in Deuteronomy was set for the Israelites to prevent them from entering in a casual remarriage after a frivolous divorce. Vows are to the Lord. The Lord is saying to HIS people that BEFORE YOU GET DIVORCED think about it very carefully, because once you do it, you can’t return to your first wife. Divorce was permanent in the OT.
There are times when God allows for divorce. However, divorce was never part of HIS original plan (along with the MANY other sins we face in our world today.) Malachi 2:16 states: “I hate divorces, says the LORD God of Israel.” NOTICE HE said he “hates divorces” … NOT that HE HATES the person or persons!! Matthew 19:6 states: “Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:9 indicates that sexual immorality is an acceptable reason for divorce. 1 Corinthians 7:15 states: “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” REMEMBER…. “God has called you to peace!!” The bottom line is that God does not want any of us to enter into marriage lightly… it is a vow…. Two are joined together in a braid of 3 cords …. one is the husband, one the wife, and the third is the Holy Spirit/Jesus/God. However, if a divorce happens outside of these scriptural exceptions does that mean God will NOT forgive?? ….. NO it does not mean that. HE ABSOLUTELY WILL FORGIVE…. God tells us in 1 John 1:8-9: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God separates our sin from us once we have asked for forgiveness and it is forgiven for EVER, Psalms 103:12 states: “as far as the east is from the west.” So God not only forgives our sins…. But he forgets them!! Romans 8:1 states: “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” There are MANY exceptions with divorce and I as I have mentioned several times I am NO Bible scholar. If this is something you are dealing with …. Please seek godly counsel.
As you read these examples of SINS and their CONSEQUENCE the point is how do we apply these to today. Fast Forward the consequence of the sin in your head. If you do this…how does this affect the LORD? And what is the consequence? As yourself what does the LORD say about our actions AND once I have this knowledge… can I live with the consequence?
I do love way Chapter 24 ends … God wants to make sure the poor, needy, fatherless, widows, etc.… are taken care of. When we get to Ruth you will see how Ruth is able to “glean” from the fields of Boaz. She was not stealing… she was gleaning behind the reapers in his fields. It did not matter that the people gleaning were aliens, or fatherless…. Food was to be left in the field for them. Isn’t that beautiful??? We have seen over and over again how God extends HIS love to EVERY one.
Chapter 25 — In our Christian walk the authority of Jesus will always be tested around us. Did you notice in verse 3: “but he must not give him more than 40 lashes?” Although this verse is talking about punishment for the guilty (and Jesus was INNOCENT) …. Jesus was given 39 lashes… by the ROMAN soldiers (not the Jewish law)!!! We need to KNOW His WORD so we KNOW how we are to walk in our lives! The Sadducee’s used these very scriptures to “test” Jesus.
I noticed in these chapters that God encourages HIS people to remember the past … so they did not make the same mistakes. TODAY…. I find great peace when I recall the many ways God has blessed me. Yes, I remember my mistakes too but more as guideposts to remind me…. Ummmmm that didn’t work so well the last time….how can I do things differently this times since I am forgiven… I am a new creation…. WITH the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT I can do things differently. I also keep a BLESSINGS jar in my house. I have small pieces of paper inside with a pen so when a blessing happens (regardless of how small)… I put it in the jar with the date. Then at the end of the year … or the beginning of the new … I look at all the ways the Lord blessed me and my family in the past 365 days. This keeps me focused on HIM and not the negative and helps me have an attitude of gratitude!!
Chapter 26 — The verses 16-19 are absolutely beautiful. Cross off the word “you” and put your name, or me, or mine, or I in the place. MAKE IT PERSONAL. What a great way to start the day if you just don’t know what to read sometimes.
yourGod commands youthis day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all yourheart and with all yoursoul. Youhave declared this day that the LORD is yourGod and that youwill walk in his ways, that youwill keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that youwill obey him. And the LORD has declared this day that you arehis people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you areto keep all his commands. He has declared that he will set youin praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that youwill be a people holy to the LORD yourGod, as he promised.
Chapter 27 — Can we live a life of Christ by following rules? By living by the commandments? SO many people when asked “how do you get to Heaven” think that by “simply” being a good person, always trying to do right, THINKING ““My sin is not as bad as theirs…”….etc, that their actions of goodness and kindness will get them to heaven. If this is the case, then you might as well say Jesus did not need to die on the Cross!! NO THING… we have done, will do, or could ever do on our own can get us into heaven…. NO THING. Read Galatians Chapter 3 (it’s short) and see what the NT has to say. 🙂 REALLY…. it is ALL about Jesus Christ and our BELIEVING in HIM.
Sharing HIS love
It is hard to believe we are at the end of the book of Genesis. This makes the completion of the second book of the Bible we have completed together. Last year was the first time I had ever read the Bible completely through and I learned SO much. This year, I am totally being blown away by all the new things the Lord is revealing to my heart. I pray it is the same for you, regardless if this is your first time of reading the Bible through or your 1000th!!
Chapter 48 – Joseph was told that his father was ill so he went to see him and took his two sons with him. Jacob reviews with Joseph, the blessing the LORD gave him in verse 3. Then Jacob tells Joseph that the two sons born two him while he was in Egypt will be “reckoned to him as mine” in verse 5. In other words Jacob is adopting Ephraim and Manasseh so they would be part of the blessing. Did any bells start going off in your head when Jacob is blessing these two young men (remember Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and then the blessing from Isaac)??? Jacob shifts his hands in the blessing so that Ephraim (the youngest) will receive a double portion rather than Manasseh!!! Joseph tries to correct his father, but Jacob REFUSED to change his hand position. (The right hand is significant of special honor being conferred).
Then in verses 15-16 he blessed Joseph and said:
15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
Vs 15 God=Elohiym is used here which is the PLURAL form of God indicating the TRINITY is present during this blessing.
God= is the use of Elohiym again, which is again the PLURAL form of God indicating the TRINITY. Jacob’s attitude change can really be seen when he refers to God as his SHEPHERD (the Holy Spirit). Jacob was acknowledging his TRUST and DEPENDENCE on HIS PERSONAL GOD which is a huge change from the “heel grabber” we started with who felt he had to “grab” things for himself and not depend on God. Just think about Psalm 23 when thinking about this SHEPHERD!!
Vs 16 – The Angel who has delivered me from all harm – Angel in this instance =mal’ak which is the theophanic angel ( theophanic means a visible manifestation of a deity… remember when Jacob wrestled with the angel). Also The Angel who DELIVERED was JESUS and is a foreshadow of Jesus.
WHAT a powerful prayer!!! God gives us these people in the Bible so we have examples to live by/ mentors to learn from. Prayer is a powerful gift from God and I am sure we could all learn powerful lessons of how to pray over our loved from this.
Chapter 49 – I KNOW more names!! However, Jacob is blessings his sons. (Remember he has already blessed Joseph and Joseph’s sons are NOW 2 of the 12 tribes of Israel. SOOOO.. if he already had 12 sons/tribes what happened to the other two?? There are a LOT of Prophetic fulfillments listed here that we will embark on in future readings.
Reuben– Do you recall that Reuben slept with his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22) while Jacob was away… and then Jacob found out? Jacob refers to him as his first born (which he was). However this scripture shows how the sins of our past do catch up with us (CHOICE =CONSEQUENCE). We may be forgiven, but that does not mean that consequences of our sin simply disappear. NOPE… we usually have to deal with them. If you take a look at Deut 27:20 it says: “Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father’s wife, for he dishonors his father’s bed.”
Simeon and Levi. Remember the murders from Dinah’s rape? They too will have the consequence of being scattered as it says here in this chapter (God will scatter them by not allotting them land when they enter the Promised land, they will literally be scattered around) But know that even from their consequences God used it for His ultimate Glory! Plus if you have heard of the term Levites…. Levi… who become the tribe of the priesthood where no land was given to them directly because as we will see the priesthood was supposed to be taken care of and provided for by the other tribes.
And look what it says about Judah in verses 8-12:
“Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
This text can be considered a prophecy of Judah as well as a parallel of Jesus. Jacob promises to Judah a descendant who is to be the coming Ruler, Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah in Rev 5:5,Your hand will be on the neck of the enemy. Much of the Bible like we saw with Joseph, has a parallel as well as a prophesy. You can look at the following Scriptures concerning prophesy if you have time Numbers 24 , Isaiah 2 and 42, Hebrews 1, Psalms 2 and 60, “end of Days” in Hebrew is Shiloh!!! Remember that God teaches us where we are ~~ He KNOWs where your understanding is and will meet you and me right there — then next year — He’ll add more to it for you and me. Isaiah 28:9-10 (KJV) it says: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
- Dan is mentioned here and then in the book of Judges they are mentioned under the subtitle “The Moral failure of Israel.” Idolatry will be their weakness.
Chapter 50 —Do you remember all that Scripture of buying the cave when Sarah died back in Chapter 23. This is where Jacob is to be buried, with his whole family (except Rachel who was buried in Bethlehem after she died giving birth to Benjamin). So Jacob dies, and according to Egyptian culture he is embalmed and mourned for, but then allowed to be taken to Machpelah to be buried.
Something that struck me was that Joseph spent his first 17 years with his father as he grew up. Then Jacob spent his last 17 years with Joseph before his death!!! GRACE, GRACE, GOD’S GRACE!!!
Did you take note of Joseph’s character? He wanted to follow his father’s request to be buried with his ancestors. Joseph shares this with Pharaoh and Pharaoh not only encourages him to go and bury his father but also sends Joseph and his family with ALL Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him!!!
Once Jacob had died and was buried, the brothers got nervous. They thought maybe they were only forgiven because their father was there. Joseph reassures them that they truly are forgiven. Look at what Joseph says in Gen 50:19-21
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Ro 8:28)
FORGIVENESS is a powerful thing. It is part of God’s character. It was part of Joseph’s character. It is what God calls each of to do in our daily lives with others and ourselves. Once we confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness ..we must BELIEVE God’s word that says he forgives us of ALL our sin… ALL… not some, not the easy ones… but ALL. In Psalms 103:12 we are told that when God forgives our sins he NO LONGER remembers the forgiven sins. It says: “as far as the east is from the west,so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Once we ask God for forgiveness if we come back to Him and say: “God remember when I ….” His response is: “WHAT sin????”
Joseph could have held on to bitterness towards his brothers. Yet instead of nursing old, bitter wounds, Joseph freely extended grace. He led… remembered….spoke… and forgave by grace. Grace enabled him to enjoy his later years surrounded by his brothers, his sons, and his grandsons, and his great grandsons “on his knees.”
The death of Joseph. His dying words were a confidence to his brothers that God’s Covenant will be fulfilled, and his people will be taken to the land that was promised to them, and God will aid them in that. Then Joseph made them swear an oath that they will take his bones back to Canaan. And, in Ex 13:19 they do.
WHAT AN AWESOME RIDE we’ve been blessed to be on in this read!!!
Sharing HIS love,
“Lead Me” click here (if you have time) to listen to one of the songs from the Christian Musical “Dreamer”. Once you go to this site several of the songs from the musical are there, SELECT # 11 for the song “Lead Me”. Music speaks so deeply in my soul and God often reveals and touches me in ways I cannot even begin to express. I pray it helps you see more of Joseph’s character. In case you don’t have time to listen KNOW that EVEN in the darkness, your darkness, my darkness, Joseph’s darkness…. God hears and leads. “Lead me along the path; lead me along the winding way. I trust enough to never need the why if you’ll take me to the where…. I don’t know what’s around the corner Lord, but I KNOW that you’ll be there…. When you’re first, I’m never going to second guess.”
This song brings me right back to the Word …. God has a PLAN that EACH of us are in!!!!
When we were reading Job (all glorious 42 chapters), we discovered that Job’s suffering spanned a full year. He never left God (which was what satan wanted him to do). His FAITH was strong in God. NOW we are reading about Joseph .. we already know from yesterday’s reading that Joseph was in slavery and/or prison for a total of 13 YEARS!!! Throughout his entire experience we are told GOD WAS WITH him, people noticed, and place in him charge. WHY??? Because Joseph called out to God (something I am sure he learned from Israel as a child). God saw his heart. God had a plan. So what will we discover as HIS plan unfolds before us today??
Chapter 43 — The famine was bad. Jacob/Israel and his family were running out of food. Jacob/Israel did not want to let Benjamin go to the Egyptian believing Benjamin would be put to death as Joseph had been. However, times were desperate. JUDAH steps up to explain that they cannot return with Benjamin because the Egyptian said he would NOT see them again if Benjamin was not there. Jacob/Israel concedes and tells them to take the silver they had returned with as well more to pay for food and to take the BEST of their land, things that Egypt did not have. (DID you notice the MYRRH as part of the gifts???)
So here they go again…..down, down, down, to Egypt 🙂 I wonder how many days it took them to go back to Egypt??
Look at the way Joseph’s servant spoke with the brothers. The Egyptian SERVANT of Joseph tells the brothers in verse 23: “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. YOUR GOD, THE GOD OF OUR FATHER, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver. Then he brought Simeon out to them.” Can you believe what the EGYPTIAN SERVANT SAID!!!??? He said YOUR GOD. In the BLB he is actually saying “Elohiym” which is THE TRUE GOD and it is the PLURAL form of THE TRUE GOD. Which means …. This is referring to God, THE HOLY TRINITY!!!
When Joseph comes home, the brothers present him with their gifts, and BOW BEFORE HIM!! (Remember Joseph’s dreams when he was 17???) Joseph asks about his father and finds he is still alive. Then Joseph spots Benjamin … did your heart stop like mine did when he saw his baby bother alive before him!! Joseph greets him and then has to hurry out and look for a place to weep. HEAVENS!!! He pulls himself together, comes out, controlling himself and said: “Serve the food.”
Joseph ate by himself. The brothers ate by themselves. And the Egyptian servants all ate by themselves. Joseph was honoring the laws of the Egyptians. He was considered high in their caste system so ate alone. The Egyptians saw the Hebrews as uncultured and even vulgar… I guess in today’s terms the Hebrews would have been seen as “pond scum” through the eyes of the Egyptians!!! (NOT my opinion… just sharing so you see exactly what the E’s thought of the H’s).
Chapter 44 – Joseph tells his servant to fill his brothers sacks with as much food as they can carry, put each man’s silver back in the sacks, AND … AND… put his silver cup (a symbol of his authority) in one of the bags. Then the men are sent ….back, back, back to Canaan. 🙂 The brothers had not been gone long when Joseph sends his servant to search for his silver cup. And WHOOPS … THERE IT IS…. So all the brothers were “CAUGHT” but they were clueless, totally innocent… like Joseph was years before. They come before Joseph proclaiming their innocence. Joseph tells them if it is found in one of their sacks then that ONE will remain as his servant. Interesting that Joseph says his cup is used for divination, KNOWING that he most likely said it to “fit in with his role” because we KNOW who Joseph went to for guidance!!! NOW….YOU GUESSED IT… it the cup was in Benjamin’s sack. OYE VEY!!
Now… JUDAH, again speaks up (as he had spoken up before Jacob/Israel). Now his life could be at risk because he is coming before the Egyptian Governor!!! JUDAH… WOW.. HAS he CHANGED???? HOW touching to see him stand to ask Joseph to please put him in the place of Benjamin so he could KEEP HIS PROMISE TO HIS FATHER, remind you of anyone… maybe Jesus. Beginning to make sense why Jesus comes from the line of Judah, eh? I am struck over and over again at how God worked HIS plan, even through the silver cup being placed in Benjamin’s bag.
Chapter 45 – verses 1-3 states:
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
Do you wonder what the Egyptians were thinking when they HEARD Joseph weeping loudly, do they remember he was originally the Hebrew in prison, do they have any idea he may be related to this “pond scum”, and what do you think the servant(s) were thinking when Joseph returned the money previously to their sacks as well as hid the silver cup??? I bet there was a little bit of gossip around the castle then.
And… can you IMAGINE the looks on the brothers’ faces when Joseph tells them he is their bother!!! I am sure they were in shock and then fear. And Joseph.. sweet Joseph says in verses 4-7:
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, DO NOT BE DISTRESSED and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
What must the look on the brothers’ faces have been? And even more important, how peaceful they must have felt to know they were forgiven!!
Forgiveness, “preserve a remnant”, a great deliverance ….. Can you see/say/sing “J-E-S-U-S…He’s my Lord and King!!” We are seeing the ENTIRE GOSPEL right here in Genesis!!! My heart is leaping for joy!! GOD ORCHESTRATED THIS ENTIRE SCENARIO TO SAVE PEOPLE!!! Grab your pens and circle or underline the term “remnant.” This word appears 65 times in the Bible. God will ALWAYS leave a remnant of the Chosen nation. ALWAYS. Out of this remnant you can be assured that the Abrahamic Covenant of a Savior will come. So in every situation there will always be survivors of the nation. Even in this 7 year Famine.
Joseph tells them to go get their father so they will all be saved. Notice Joseph’s character, not only with his brothers but also with Pharaoh. He hides nothing from Pharaoh, he tells him everything and Pharaoh tells him to give them Egypt’s BEST!!! Now… it’s back, back, back to Canaan, all the way back 🙂 to get their father provided with carts, provisions for their journey, new clothing and to Benjamin he gave MORE.
Jacob/Israel hears the story; he is in shock. Then we end today’s reading with Jacob/Israel convinced that Joseph is alive and he will see him before he dies!!! I can hear the words from one of the songs from “Dreamer” called “Like Father Like Son” where in the song Jacob says: “I see myself in all my sons — I see THE LORD IN YOU.” Can’t you just imagine Jacob/Israel longing to see this face again? Yes, once again I am in tears. This WORD speaks so LOUDLY to my heart and soul. I pray it speaks to yours as well… deeply… forever…lovingly…giving all glory to our ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD.
What will happen tomorrow???? Can this get any better??? (And we are ONLY in the Genesis!!)
Sharing HIS love