Friday, August 30, 2013

Summary of Genesis

O.T.#118  "Summary of Genesis"
August 30, 2013


We usually remember the firsts of events in our lives. Sometimes we even take pictures so we can recall the momentous occasion. Do you recall your first day of school, first date, first kiss, first airplane ride, first book report, first award or medal, first bicycle, first car, first anniversary, first solo? But do we remember the first Bible verse we memorized, the first prayer answered, when we got saved?I think you got the point.

Genesis is from the Greek word which means beginning or generation.
Of course, Genesis is the book of generations or beginnings. It records the beginning of the universe, human history, civilization, sin, salvation, sacrifice, marriage, and the family.
Moses is considered the author of the first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch. Since he was not alive at the time the events occurred, the Holy Spirit directed him in his writings (2 Peter 1:20-21; John 5:45-47). (Wiersbe)

For many years, only these was Israel's Bible. another common title for this section of Scripture is Torah or Law.
Genesis by content is comprised of two basic sections: Primitive history and Patriarchal history. the Primitive history records four major events:
  1. creation (chapters 1-2)
  2. the Fall (chapters 3-5)
  3. the flood (chapters 6-9)
  4. the dispersion (chapters 10-11).
Patriarchal history spotlights four great men: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.


Usually, when I review a book of the Bible, I pick out at least one verse per chapter that are special to me. I realized that if I did the same with Genesis, there would be 50 verses to type. Please excuse me for not continuing to do this. So I thought I would review events, since so much happened in these chapters.

  • Creation of Heaven and Earth
  • Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
  • The Fall and its outcome
  • Murder in the first degree
  • Genealogy from Adam to Noah
  • Babel and Sin before the Flood
  • Noah and the Ark
  • The Flood and deliverance
  • Abraham and Lot
  • God's Covenants with Noah and Abraham 
  • Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael
  • Isaac and Rebekah
  • Esau and Jacob
  • Bethel
  • 12 Tribes of Israel
  • Joseph and Egypt

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.  Gen. 2:18

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  Gen. 6:8

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  Gen. 9:13,15b

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Gen. 15:6

Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.   Gen. 18:14

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.  Gen. 19:26

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.  Gen. 22:8

How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?  Gen. 39:9c

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Gen. 50:20

*I couldn't resist typing some scriptures :0)


of bitterness, sin, unforgiveness, hurt, cutting words;
come to the Lamb of God-Jesus;
trust Him to deliver and bring good out of it.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summary of Joseph's Life

O.T.#117  "Summary of Joseph's Life"
August 29, 2013


Before we review the Book of Genesis, let's review the life of Joseph. How do you sum up someone's life on one page? Can a life of 110 years be done justly in only a few paragraphs? It's like condensing the personality, attitudes, loving deeds of kindness done, songs sung, encouraging words spoken
over a lifetime written into a two paragraph obituary. How?

In Guzik's Bible Commentary, David Guzik tells us how the life of Joseph is a remarkable picture of Jesus Christ:
  1. was a shepherd
  2. loved by his father
  3. sent unto his brethren
  4. hated by his brothers
  5. prophesied his coming glory
  6. rejected by his brothers
  7. endured unjust punishment from his brothers
  8. sentenced to the pit
  9. delivered to the pit, though a leader knew he should go free
  10. sold for pieces of silver
  11. handed over to the Gentiles
  12. regarded as dead, but raised out of the pit
  13. went to Egypt
  14. made a servant
  15. tempted severely, but did not sin
  16. falsely accused
  17. made no defense
  18. cast into prison, and numbered with sinners and criminals
  19. endured unjust punishment from Gentiles
  20. associated with two other criminals; one is pardoned and one is not
  21. showed compassion
  22. brought a message of deliverance in prison
  23. wanted to be remembered
  24. shown to have divine wisdom
  25. recognized as having the Spirit of God
  26. betrayed by friends
  27. glorified after his humility
  28. honored among Gentiles while still despised or forgotten by his brethren
  29. given a Gentile bride (church)
  30. was 30 years old when he began his life's work
  31. blessed the world with bread
  32. became the only source of bread for the world
  33. the world was instructed to go to him and do whatever he said to do
  34. was given the name "God speaks and He Lives".

Out of the 50 chapters of Genesis, 13 chapters are committed to the life of Joseph. More than 1/4 of the entire book talks about Joseph because he is a prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is far more interested in getting across the message of redemption than describing the details of creation.
The reason Joseph acquired such a high rank in the kingdom of God was because he was a man of faith.  (Heb. 11:22)  (Rick Ferguson)

Here are some points that David Guzik found in the life of Joseph:
  • Every Christian should be able to see the overarching and overruling hand of God in their life, to know that no matter what evil man brings against us, God can use it for good.
  • Joseph didn't have the text of Romans 8:28, but he had the truth. Many of us who have the text don't have the truth.
  • Ultimately, our lives are not in the hands of men, but in the hands of God, who overrules all things for His glory.
  • When events in our life seem tangled and meaningless, it is because we can see only one side of the tapestry. (The back side of a tapestry has knots and random threads, looking hopeless, while the front is a beautiful picture or words of hope.)
What did God use in Joseph's life for Joseph's good and God's glory?
*His birth happened when his father was older and perhaps wiser; being the only son of Rachel for
  years must have been lonely and hard.
*A coat of many colors, signifying royalty and a father's favoritism, stirred up envy, jealousy, and
  bitterness in his brothers.
*His two dreams were divinely inspired to show what would happen in the future to encourage
*He became a slave, teaching him humility.
*He had a likeable personality inspite of his circumstances, in jail.
*He resisted temptation of Potiphar's wife, suffered for doing right.
*He trusted God's wisdom to interpret dreams, giving god the credit, which sent him to the king,
*A prisoner became second in command in the largest nation of the world.
*Instead of chains on his wrists and ankles, he received gold chain necklace, the king's signant ring,
  fine linen for stinky prison clothes, and a chariot.
*Joseph's plan for saving grain during the 7 years of plenty provided food during the 7 years of
  drought. God blessed the crops.
*Joseph had two sons during those 7 years of plenty, who later had descendants used by God (Joshua,
  Samuel, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah).
*His brothers and father bowed down to Joseph, recognizing his superiority.
*Joseph had the power to send his brothers to jail, but didn't, and chose to forgive them of their evil
  against him; saw it as God's providence to save their family during the famine.
*He welcomed his family into Egypt and fed them.
*He kept trusting that God would bring his family back into the Promised Land and wanted his bones
  taken there.
*He kept trusting in God.



Trust God.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What if...

O.T.#116  "What if..."
August 28, 2013
Genesis 50-Part 3
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.  Genesis 50:24


What if...Dad had died when he stepped on the mine in France? What if...Mom had not accepted being married to a crippled man and divorced Dad? What if...2 children were enough for my parents?
Then I would not be alive today. God has a purpose for my life and He has a purpose for your life, dear one. We have been seeing God's purpose for Joseph's life. What about yours?

Look at verse 20. Have people said evil against you? Are they spreading gossip or lies? Do they criticize you? Perhaps they won't talk to you at all. Have you been in that pit like Joseph was? How did he react? He didn't let bitterness take root and take over his life. Joseph saw the whole picture. If his brothers had not sold him as a slave, then he wouldn't have ended up in Egypt, second in command, and agriculture administrator. If his family had died, including Judah, the one whom the Messiah came, then we would be dead in our sins and without hope.

What did Joseph say to his brothers?
  • Don't be afraid.
  • I will provide for you and your children.
  • He reassured them.
  • He spoke kindly to them.
That sounds like unconditional love. This love is not based upon how someone treats another, but it continues to love unselfishly, in spite of how they are treated.
Jesus gives us those same assurances-Don't be afraid, He will provide for his children.

Jesus told us in Matthew 5:44, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Do I find myself tolerating certain people and not loving them? Do I pray for their change of heart? Guilty, Lord.

What if?


Joseph lived 110 years. That means he spent the second half of his life with his family in Egypt with him, and after Jacob died. I did some calculating.
      17-Joseph's age when he was sold as a slave
    +22-years Joseph spent in Egypt before seeing family
      39-age when he saw brothers (maybe 2 yrs. into famine)
    +17-Joseph's father Jacob lived in Egypt
      56-age of Joseph when Jacob died

    110-age Joseph died
     -56-age when Jacob died
      54-number of years Joseph lived after Jacob

According to my calculation, Joseph lived approximately 54 years after his father died. Ten of his brothers were older than he (Benjamin was the youngest). So they would have been probably died within those 56 years, before Joseph died. (I could not find that information.)

What an influence of faith Joseph would have been to his great-great-grandchildren. And to hear those stories first hand. What a privilege for them.

When it was time for Joseph to die, he reminded his family, in verse 24, God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Although the patriarchs were gone, the covenant promises God had given them would never pass away. They were spoken by the Living God!

Joseph was embalmed, placed in a coffin, by never buried in Egypt. He made his children take an oath that his bones would be buried in Canaan. (along with his father Jacob). And so they did-Exodus 13:19 says that Moses took Joseph's bones with them when they left Egypt, crossing the Red Sea.

Coffin in verse 26 ('aron in Hebrew) is the same word used for the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. (Falwell)

The number of years we live do not matter. It's what we do between the date of our birth and death on our tombstone that counts, the dash.

What Joseph was saying and instructing his people to carry his bones with them when they left Egypt was that God would keep His Word. Joseph's faith was rooted in the Word of God (Rom. 10:17) His were the bones of belief. (Stan Coffey)

In our next lesson, we will review Joseph's life and the Book of Genesis. You won't want to miss it.

Friend, are you ready if death comes today? Are you prepared to meet Jesus face to face?


Do not be afraid, God has everything under control.

Be grateful for what He provides for me and my children.

Live today! Share joy in Jesus!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hurts that Heal

O.T.#115  "Hurts that Heal"
August 27, 2013
Genesis 50-Part 2
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.  Genesis 50:20


Let bygones be bygones; the past should remain in the past; forgive and forget; sores fester if not attended to; these are only words of advise, but are they heeded very often? More times they are not, I would say. Neighbors, family members, friends remain unforgiving and unforgiven, never to be spoken to again throughout the years. Often the hurts are carried on to the next generation. How sad it is. How did Joseph's brothers deal with their meanness they had done 40 years earlier to Joseph?

How could they forget? It still weighed heavily on their minds. Perhaps every time they saw Joseph they remembered their harshness. Now that their father was dead and buried in Canaan, or now that Dad was out of the way, what would Joseph do to them? He had the power to have them killed. Would he take revenge, make them pay for their cruelty, the separation from his family, being in prison for years? They worried that Joseph would hate them. That was not the case.

The way Jerry Falwell put it, "They underestimated the genuineness of Joseph's character and affection. What they meant for evil, God had intended for good. This is one of the clearest declarations of divine providence anywhere in the Bible."

  It serves as an important reminder that while the evil of men may appear to be to the disadvantage of the saints, the purposes and plans of God will ultimately prevail. (Davis)

In case you just tuned in to our story, Joseph's brothers were jealous of his relationship with their father, so they sold Joseph as a slave to get rid of him. Joseph went through a lot of bad times during those 22 years, even being put into prison. However, the providence of God sent him to Egypt before his family needed food during the seven year famine. Joseph was put in charge of the food distribution, as he was second in command in such a mighty nation. Eventually, Joseph brought his family to live next to him and fed them.
You meant it for evil, God meant it for good. Something good will result from a tragedy, a misfortune, a bad thing, a change, if we just trust God to work it out for our good.

Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Do I love God, trust God, leave it to God? What good can come from this painful experience? Ask God. He has a purpose for it.


His brothers were so fearful of Joseph that they sent a messenger to him instead of going themselves.
"Daddy said this before he died. He said for you to do to this. Remember what Dad said about this." I wonder if those were the real intent. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. They were desperate.
What was the message the messenger carried? "Forgive... Forgive..."
Forgive what? The trespass of thy brethren and their sin, for they did unto thee evil. Forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. Joseph was weeping when his brothers came in personally, bowed before him, and surrendered to Joseph as his servants. In verse 19, Joseph did not consider himself the one who should hold life and death of these men in his hands. That was God's prerogative.

Joseph's maturity shines through when he says in verse 20, But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive.

What experiences have taught me life lessons? Do I share them with others? With my children and grandchildren? How did God bring me through those trials, troubles, circumstances that were hard?
Do we have hurts that Jesus needs to heal? Are there people that we need to forgive today? Problems? Tell them to Jesus. He can heal our hurts.


Forgive. Let it go to stay in the past.

Live in the now.

Let Jesus heal our hurts.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Letting Go

O.T. #114  "Letting Go"
August 26, 2013
Genesis 50-Part 1
My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.  Genesis 50:5


When I was ten, I watched on television an elaborate funeral procession for our President. I guess it had been decades since a president of our country had died while in office. Perhaps you can recall funeral of other significant people-entertainers, a princess, former Presidents.
Is it hard to let go of our loved ones, whether they are moving to do God's will or going to heaven?

At the end of chapter 49, Jacob encountered death. He was 147 years old. Jacob had spent his last 17 years with Joseph in the land of Goshen. Now Joseph had to let him go.

Apparently the entire land mourned for him for 70 days, and during 40 of these days, the embalmers were preparing his body. This is the first case of an embalmed body and an elaborate funeral in the Bible. (Wiersbe)

Joseph asked permission of the Pharaoh to take his father's body back to Canaan for burial. Joseph said, "Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again."
So the Pharaoh gave his approval and the whole family, except for the little ones and the animals that were left in the land of Goshen, went. Also, the servants of Pharaoh and all the elders of the land of Egypt. It must be referring to dignitaries.

Why did Jacob want to be buried back in Canaan? It was the land that God had given to him and his ancestor and descendants. Jacob didn't belong to this world (Egypt at the time). Not only does the believer's spirit go to heaven when they die, but one day the body will be taken from this world at the resurrection. Are you ready to go?

Jesus went up to His father after He died on the cross, but He came to earth to appear as the Resurrected Savior. One day he will come again to receive His own. One day the believers in Jesus who have died will be caught up with Him in the clouds.
Are you ready, friends?


In verse 12 we read that Jacob's sons did as Jacob commanded them. That was probably the only time that all his sons obeyed their father.

Do we obey our heavenly Father? His instructions are written in His book, The Holy Bible.
The Holy Spirit gives us directions, also. Are we listening?


Let go of others so they can go do the Father's work.

When it's time, let go of loved ones.

Be willing to go as the Spirit leads.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gathered in Heaven

O.T. #113  "Gathered in Heaven"
August 23, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 9
And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.  Genesis 49:33


What a day that will be, when I am gathered with my people, family, in heaven. I will get to meet my two grandmothers for the first time. I will get to talk with Dad after 26 years and with Mom after 16 years. What a reunion day to which I am looking forward. Most of all, it will be the day I bow before my Lord Jesus. I get tears just thinking about that joyous time.
How about you friend? Will I get to meet you there?

Benjamin is the last son mentioned by Jacob as he blessed his twelve sons. He was compared to the wolf because of its warlike character as a tribe. His tribe is compared to a wolf catching the game he pursues and then enjoys his prey at night. Not only would they be successful in war, but they would be cruel (Judges 20:21) as they stood against the other tribes in defense of their wickedness in Gibeah. They were distinguished as archers and slingers (Judges 20:16).
This battle was between the Israelites and Benjamites. The Israelites lost 40,000 men in two days and the Benjamites lost 50,000 men on the third day of the battle at Gibeah.
The judge Ehud, King Saul, and Jonathan, along with the apostle Paul were from the tribe of Benjamin.
Joseph suffered the most during his early life, but he received the greatest blessings. Some of the other tribes lost their blessings because of the sins of their founders.
[Resources: Liberty Bible Commentary, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

Am I like the wolf? do I fight against my brothers and sisters?


When Jacob was finished with giving all the blessings to his sons, he gave instructions to them where to bury hiss body-in the cave at Ephron. That was where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah were buried, as well as Leah, Jacob's wife. Jacob's dying instructions were carried out (50:12-14).

When Jacob breathed his last breath, he was gather to his people. Jacob believed that his people, though dead, still existed (verse 29; 47:30)

Will you be gathered with your family in heaven when you die? What a day that will be! We shall see Jesus face to face. Are you looking forward to that day?


Turn my eyes upon Jesus; turn away from the world.

Keep peace with the family of God.

Look up, our redemption draweth nigh.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Branches Run Over the Wall

O.T. #112  "My Branches Run Over the Wall"
August 22, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 8
Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well: whose branches run over the wall.
Genesis 49:22


I want to say thank you to all of you who are faithfully following my blog. May the Lord bless you.
I am truly so very blessed with family, friends, and most of all a loving God.
My branches run over the wall. I saw Poison ivy climbing up the back of our house, so I got the clippers and removed it. It was so long that it had reached the roof, mind you. Had they continued to grow, they would have reached the other side, I think. Well, you can guess what remembrance I had of this act. Yep, bumps of poison ivy on my hands. It took an itchy week for them to go down.
Jacob's branches ran over too, with 12 sons. Shall we continue looking at Jacob's blessings upon them?

Finally, Rachel had a child. She called her first son Joseph, which means to take away, or to add.
As we think of his life, we know Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. You remember the coat of many colors given to him, jealous brothers, the pit and the slavery sale. Joseph endured a lot in his life, but kept the faith in God. He was put into prison twice. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams, which was his ticket to the palace. He explained Pharaoh's dream warning about the 7 years of fruitful crops and 7 years of famine. Joseph was made second in command of all of Egypt. He brought his father's family to live in Egypt during the famine.

Now before Jacob dies, and he is blessing his 12 sons. What did he say to Joseph?
  • Joseph is a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
  • His bow remained steady when archers shot at him in hostility.
  • His strong arms remained limber because of the hand of the Almighty One of Jacob;
  • because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, and God All-Sufficient.
God is strong and He is the source of all strength, and He will show Himself strong in behalf of His loved ones.

Is God my strength, my rock, my everything? Are we leaning on God's Everlasting arms?


How are the blessings of Almighty God described?
  • He helps you;
  • He blesses you with blessings of the heavens above;
  • He blesses you with blessings of the deep that lies below;
  • He blesses you with blessings of the breasts and womb (off spring of children and animals).
Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. From Ephraim came Joshua, Deborah, and Samuel. From Manasseh came Gideon and Jephthah. Ephraim later became the leader of the northern tribes at the time of the division of the nation following Solomon's reign. (Falwell)

Do we recognize our blessings from God? How grateful are we for them? How often do we give thanks?


Turn from things to Jesus.

Make Jesus my  Rock, my strength, my everything.

Have a grateful attitude today.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smellin' Sweets

O.T. #111  "Smellin' Sweets"
August 21, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 7
Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.  Genesis 49:20


On days when the humidity is high and the north wind blows, I can step out onto my front porch, take a deep sniff,  and smell what the local factory of a nationally known bakery is cooking. I say she's baking again. Those smells activate my sweet tooth. If I don't get a handle on it, I will have handles, all right, on both sides of me, too. I'll be round like the donuts I eat. Sweets and breads are my weakness when it comes to food. Give me a warm, thick icing on a honey bun with 450 calories and 22 fat grams and I'm in heaven. Of course, cinnamon rolls aren't turned away by me either. Glad I already ate my oatmeal this morning or I'd be headin' to town for a purchase. Are you with me? (Hang on, it does relate to our lesson.)

The wives of Leah and Rachel seemed to have been in competition for Jacob's affections. While Leah had six sons and a daughter by Jacob, it looks like Rachael had none at this time. To continue the sister rivalry, Leah gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob. She conceived twice and bore Jacob two sons, Gad and Asher.

 Asher means happy; Leah was stating her inner happiness at having another son in the camp.
Moses spoke about each tribe, of which Asher is mentioned in Deuteronomy 33:24 NIV: Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil. The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.

Asher benefited much from occupying the agriculturally rich costal region north of Carmel, and provided gourmet delights for the palace  (Joshua 19:24-31).   ( MacArthur)

(In the south we pronounce Carmel as carmul, which makes me think of icing again. Help! Those gourmet delights are pulling me into sinful indulgence. Resist, Linda, resist, girl.)

Asher was to receive the fertile and highly productive land in the lowlands of Carmel, west to the Mediterranean and north to the territory of Tyre. Moses referred to Asher in Deuteronomy 33:24-
25 as the rich produce of the western Galilean hill country and the fact they would be given strength to secure Israel's northern border.  (Falwell)

Food fit for a king, of all sorts, flesh, fish, fowl. They were King Soloman's food source. It became known as Asher's country. (Gill)

The number of the tribe of Asher grew to 345,000 according to Numbers 26:47. Its territory was marked by the relative positions of its cities, not other features. There were 22 major cities within the territory of Asher.

Will I share the sweet things of the Word with others today? Is Jesus my Bread of Life? Food for my soul?


Moving on, Naphtali means wrestling, depicting Rachel's struggles. He was Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid.
In Genesis 30:8, Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed; and she called his name Naphtali.

I have a hard time understanding Jacob having four wives. Anyway, that was the way it was.

Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. (verse 21)
What? I had to dig for this gold nugget.

They would be a free, mountain people; they would breed true and keep their character. Along with Zebulun, they were recognized for heroism in the great battle with the Canaanite general, Sisera (Judges 4-5). (Fawell)

Naphtali's gardens had palm trees, fig trees, and olive trees. They were as swift to bring forth fruit, as a hind is swift to run.  (Gill)

We often see deer around our farm, running across the field, jumping over fences. It is amazing to watch them run so fast, especially when I go outside.

Naphtali is compared to a beautiful deer let loose, and it is promised that he will know how to use powerful language; see the victory and the song of Barak and Deborah in Judges 4-5. (Wiersbe)

Am I swift to do the will and work of my heavenly Father?

Naphtali was the land where Jesus did much of His teaching and ministry (Matt. 4:12-16).  (Guzik)

Jesus liked to go to the gardens to pray. In fact, that is where He was when Judas betrayed Jesus to the Roman soldiers.


Share sweet words today.

Eat from the Bread of Life, Jesus.

Be swift to do good and to share the gospel.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Will They Remember Me?

O.T. #110  "How Will They Remember Me?
August 20, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 6
I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.  Genesis 49:18


How will they remember me? Was it the homemade rolls, biscuits, banging the hall walls on Saturday morning with the mop, the week's leftover vegetables in stew, white snack cakes? Or my reading them the Bible at night, saying prayers, a bedtime storybook? Or a kiss and a hug, an I love you squeeze of the hand, extra help with homework? When they look at my picture, will they say something good or bad about me? How are the tribes of Dan and Gad remembered? Let's check it out.

In our key verse, we see the first mention of the word salvation, which means something saved, deliverance. Jesus Christ alone can bring us salvation. Christ alone can deliver us from the penalty of our sins. He was the perfect sacrifice, the blood sacrifice, which He offered in our place, so we don't have to pay for our sins. Such love! Have you trusted Him as your Savior and salvation today?
We will understand why Jacob said what is in verse18 as we read in our text.

Dan, whose name means judge.
He fathered an aggressive tribe that would also judge in the nation but would not be known for moral stature or religious faithfulness. Dan would later abandon its land allotment and migrate to the extreme north of Israel. (Joshua 19:40-48, Judges 18:1-31) Jacob's closing cry expressed hope for Dan in the day when salvation would indeed come to Israel. Dan, however, is omitted in the list of tribes in Revelation 7:4-8. (MacArthur)

It was partially fulfilled, Dan judged his nation, when Samson judged for 20 years (Judges 16:31). The tribe was unable to conquer its territory; so 600 families moved north to Laish and encouraged idolatry among the people (Judges 18:17). They lacked moral commitment and spiritual stability. Dan finds no place among the tribes in Revelation.  ( Falwell)

Dan's tribe became idol worshipers, as the heathen nations surrounding them. They became the center of idol worship in Israel (Amos 8:14). Although Dan is left out of the listing of tribes regarding the 144,000 in Revelation 7, it is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel's millennial roll call of the tribes in chapter 48. This is a remarkable sign of God's redemption. [Reference: David Guzik]

In spite of  the futuristic idol worship, the tribe of Dan was still allotted their portion of the Promised Land.
Will our grandchildren's grandchildren worship only God or will they turn to idols? What role are we playing in this? Which path am I leading mine down?


Gad is a name that means troops.

When the inherited territories were distributed among the sons of Jacob by Moses' command and Joshua's carrying it out, the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half-tribe of Manasseh inherited land on the east side of the Jordan River, which was by casting lots. (Joshua 18:7)

As the other tribes established Shiloh as the place of worship for them, these three tribes set up the city of Gilead as their place of the altar of worship of God.

Although little is said about Gad, Jacob indicated that it would be constantly attacked and harassed. It was vulnerable to attack because it settled east of the Jordan and needed strong warriors (1 Chron. 5:18, 12:8). It was prophesied that he would overcome at the last. (Falwell)

Little is said about the tribe of Gad. Though I found a squabble between the easterners and the westerners. Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of  Manasseh built an altar unto the Lord and the others rebuked them for this. The priest of the westerners agreed that it was acceptable and talked no more of war nor disowning them as part of the family of Israel. The story is found in Joshua 22. The name of the altar was A Witness Between Us that the LORD is God.

Why are there splits in churches?


Don't let idols take God's place in my life.

Love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Watching the Sea

O.T. #109  "Watching the Sea"
August 19, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 5
Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. Genesis 49:13


There is something about sitting on the huge rocks and watching the waves come in at the edge of an ocean or a sea. It seems so peaceful to me. Of course, I don't get there very often. Living in an inland state doesn't give me contact with such a large body of water. I have a lovely picture taken with my family before the grandchildren came along. We are standing on gigantic rocks at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The stranger who took the picture snapped it just at the right moment. Behind us is a wave splashing up against another huge rock. I cherish that picture because of the memories of our fantastic vacation  which the six of us had together so long ago.

Well, Jacob's twelve sons would soon spend their last time together with their father and only share memories with their brothers.

In case you tuned in late, let me update you on what's happening. There was a 7 year famine. Joseph moved his family to Egypt so they could have the food needed during this time. It had been 22 years since he had seen them. His brothers had sold Joseph into slavery so he ended up in Egypt, and eventually became the second in command there. Now, his father Jacob was about to die, so he was predicting the future of his 12 sons and revealed their character.

Zebulun  was the tenth son in the birth order of Jacob's sons and the sixth son of Leah. What does Jacob say about him? Not much, actually.

Zebulun means dwelling. His tribe was to dwell toward the sea and that they did. Their land did not border any sea, but they were between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. They looked to the sea in the east and the west.

The tribe was situated to benefit from the important trade route traversed by sea traders moving through her territory. (MacArthur)

Do I minister to travelers that come in my area? Am I friendly to them? Do I offer help or information? Am I a good Samaritan to travelers in need? After all, I am only traveling through this land and time. I'm headed to another place where I will live eternally-heaven. What kind of memories will others have of me? Will they be good or not so good?


Issachar, which means reward, was the ninth son of Jacob and one of Leah's sons also.
What did Jacob predict about this son?
  • He would be as a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags.
  • When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor. (NIV verses 14-15)
Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say:
It was predicted that the tribe would be limited to domestic responsibilities. It would be more agriculturally and materially minded than politically involved. They received the beautiful tableland of Jezreel, the territory of lower Galilee, which allowed them to produce an abundance of food. They were brave warriors and were committed soldiers (Jud. 5:14-15, 18). Along with Zebulun, they were industrious by nature as the blessing of Moses makes clear in Deuteronomy 33.

Issachar was not skin and bones, but strong and robust. I Chronicles 12:32 tells about the military men of this tribe.
Looking at verse 15 NIV, we see that Issachar's tribe would:
  • see how good is his resting place,
  • see how pleasant is his land,
  • will bend his shoulder to the burden,
  • submit to forced labor. 
The major area of Issachar's inheritance was Jezreel. Without doubt, this is the most famous valley in the world. The Jezreel Valley is today the "breadbasket of Israel," being the most fertile valley in the Middle East. But it has not always been so.

This fertile land produces abundant corn, wine, and oil. The ploughing and sowing, reaping, and carrying fruits is here. This tribe chose to pay more tribute than rest (other tribes) so they abode at home and attended business of the fields, when others were called to go forth to war. (Gill)

What has happened in the Jezreel Valley?
Liberty Bible Commentary informs us:
  1. Syria was invaded in this valley.
  2. Gideon overthrew the Midianites here.
  3. It has been the site of conflict involving the armies under the leadership of Saul, Deborah, Barak, Ahab, Jehu, Josiah, Omri, Azariah, Holofernes and Judith, Vespasian, Saladin, and Napoleon.
  4. It was the scene of bitter fighting in the 1948 War of Independence.
  5. Also, in June of 1967 Six Day War for modern Israel.
  6. Most importantly, it will be the scene of the last great battle of history, the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).
It is here that the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, will ride into battle against the nations and will rule them with a rod of iron. (1 Tim. 6:15, Rev. 19:15)

I say, friends, He has it all worked out. Do you conclude with me that places are important to the Lord?
Are you and I in the right place? Are we where God wants us to be serving Him? Are we praying for our community, state, and country?


Be a good Samaritan, helping travelers in need.

Pray for my community.

Friday, August 16, 2013


O.T. #108 "Lions"
August 16, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 4
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.  Genesis 49:8


I have only seen real live lions in zoos and a safari. They were behind strong bars or cages, of which I was glad. I realize that lions are strong creatures and are known as the king of the jungle, so I want to keep my distance from them. I have watched lions attack their prey on television shows. They are equipped with huge teeth, paws, and claws. I see why they are called the king of the jungle, although they don't live in the jungle. Did you know that Judah's tribe is considered a lion? Read on.

Judah was the fourth son of Leah. His name means praise, conveying the thought of not merely the praised one, but the one for whom Jehovah is praised. Evidently, Leah was a godly woman; three of the four names refer to Jehovah. Judah was to be praised by his brothers and to become the leader among the tribes. (Falwell)

Verses 11-12 promise great  material blessings to Judah. (Wiersbe)
These verses describe the millennial prosperity (Is. 11:1-9, Ez.34:23-31, Amos 9:11-15). (Falwell)

Judah was certainly the blessed tribe. David and Solomon were the richest kings during their time. the material and monetary blessings were examples of the riches of God's grace. We will talk about why Judah didn't deserve all of this.

Americans live as kings in comparison to other countries. My small house is like a palace when I think of wooden shacks or huts in poor countries. It makes me thankful for what I am blessed to have.
Are we willing to leave our palace to go share the gospel in needy places?


Judah wasn't the brother to be admired. He had skeletons in his closet.
Judah suggested a profit motive in getting rid of Joseph (37:26) when his brothers wanted to kill Joseph or leave him in a pit. He didn't deal faithfully with his daughter in law Tamar (38:26), and he had sex with her as a prostitute (38:16). But he did shine when he interceded and offered himself as a substitute for Benjamin (44:18-34).

Judah is identified with the lion, the kingly beast and the lawgiver (Christ), out of which all the kings of Israel would come. Judah was given the ruling position among his brothers. He inherited the leadership aspect of the firstborn's inheritance (Reuben).

Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, found in Revelation 5:5. Jesus came through the lineage of David, who was of the tribe of Judah. King David was as a lion, which symbolized his royalty, courage, valor, and conquests, who having subdued the nations around him, crouched like a lion and had rest from his enemies, eventually.

Jesus is also the Messiah in reference to Shiloh. the prophecy too some 640 years to fulfill in the reign of King David and Judah's dynasty of other kings, and some 1600 years to fulfill in the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.

On the march through the wilderness, Judah went first (Num.10:14) and had the largest population in Moses' census (Num.1:27, 26:22). Then, much later, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, his triumphal entry honoring Him as King by Gentiles.

I am so glad to be an adopted child of the King Jesus. Are you one?

[Resources: Commentaries of David Guzik, John Gill, Matthew Henry, Jerry Falwell, Warren Wiersbe, John MacArthur]


Be like a lion when it comes to my faith in Jesus.

Act like a child of the King.

Thank God for His Grace.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


O.T. #107  "Usefulness"
August 15, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 3
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. Genesis 49:5


Do you sometimes feel not useful? Maybe friends are busy this week with a project, family is getting ready for school, and you are doing nothing. this isn't the case with me. I was busy cooking for a meeting and workers on our new building. Get involved in activities. No matter your age, you can be useful to others. Get up and go.

We are reading about the 12 sons of Jacob who become the 12 tribes of Israel.

Simeon and Levi are the second and third sons that Jacob speaks to before his death. Jacob reveals their character and predicts their history. These two sons were the sons of Leah. They had four other brothers and one sister mentioned in scripture-Reuben, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah.

Simeon means hearing, which reveal that God had heard how much Leah was hated. Levi means attachment, expressing Leah's desire that Jacob would ultimately become attached to her. (Falwell)

You will recall that Leah was the older unmarried sister to Rachel. Their father deceived Jacob by giving him Leah instead of his beloved Rachael for his wife. Jacob had already worked 7 years in order to marry Rachel, so he worked another 7 years to actually get her as his wife. (chapter 29)

And when the Lord saw Leah was not loved, He opened her womb, but Rachael was barren.
(Gen. 29:31 NIV)

I wonder, if Jacob loved Rachael so much, why did he keep having sex with Leah. Anyway, this is how God produced the 12 tribes of Israel (Jacob). He had these two sisters and their 2 servant women as their mothers. That's the background of Simeon and Levi, for those who may be visiting your first time.

These two guys would have grown up in the same tent and played together. I'm sure they were close brothers. It is often the case, when siblings are close in age. Mine were both older than me, so I don't relate to this situation.


That seemed to be the only good that Jacob could say about these two sons of his, they were brethren.
Now he tells us about the other side of them, referring to chapter 34.
Simeon and Levi are described as:
  • using their swords as weapons of violence,
  • Jacob not wanting to enter their council, nor join their assembly,
  • they killed men in their anger,
  • they hamstrung oxen as they pleased. (Hamstrung means to cut the leg tendons as a means of destroying the animal's usefulness.)

Their sister Dinah was raped by Shechem, a Hivite. Her two brothers deceived Shechem's family into being circumcised before they would agree to give Dinah to this man. While the men were recovering, Simeon and Levi killed all the males in Shechem's city. They took the animals, wealth, and women and children captive. Needless to say, Jacob was upset with the actions of his two sons.

Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say about Simeon and Levi:
What these two men did not lead away as plunder they destroyed in the fierceness of their anger. They were to be divided and scattered. When Simeon was numbered as a tribe in Numbers 26:14, they were the weakest; and when Moses blessed the tribes, he left them out in Deuteronomy 33:8. Levi received forty-eight cities that were scattered throughout the allotment of the other tribes (Joshua 21:1-42). In Exodus 32:26 they were the only tribe that stood for what was right. Simeon was given an inheritance within the inheritance of Judah. Both of these tribes will enter the messianic kingdom, according to Ezekiel 44 and Revelation 7.

Jacob described them as cruel, angry, and self-willed.
Have we ever been that way? I have been the latter two.
Levi's tribe went on to become the priests of the nation of Israel. What grace! This meant that they had no land to inherit, though.
Simeon's numerical decline is seen when we compare Numbers 1:23 (59,300) with Numbers 26:14 (22,200). (Wiersbe)

Jacob said, "Cursed their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel. (NIV, verse 7)

Although Levi was one who destroyed the usefulness of oxen, God did not destroy Levi's usefulness in His kingdom work, using his male descendants as priests.


Keep my anger under control.

Don't be self-willed, but God-willed.

Seek God's grace.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Life's Story

O.T. #106  "My Life's Story"
August 14, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 2
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.  Genesis 49:3


If my father had revealed my character and predicted the history of my descendants, I wonder what it would have been. Would he have seen me as a faithful child of God? I am sad to say, 26 years ago when he was alive, he only saw the beginning of my faith developing. We had only been in the ministry 7 years. He had seen more years of my unfaithfulness and rebellion than years of my faithfulness to God. One day, I will be able to share with him in heaven my life's story. I don't expect a book written about me, nor my life recorded in a song, but I am trying to share my faith on this blog. What would my life's story say about me? How about you, dear friend? What will your life's story say about you?

Jacob's life was coming to an end. He called in his sons and give them his final message to them. He revealed their character and predicted their history. The sons of Jacob are mentioned in chronological order in relation to their mothers, except for the fifth and sixth sons of Leah. But then, they may have been listed as Jacob recalled them. Who knows? I would like to dwell on each son, questioning which one we are like.

Reuben was the first born of Jacob. Leah was Reuben's mother. Do you recall that Jacob worked seven years in order to marry his beloved Rachel, but the girls' father tricked Jacob and gave Leah to him instead of Rachel. God controlled the birth of the children in Jacob's family. Leah gave Jacob 6 sons and 1 daughter, Dinah.
Reuben means "See, a son!" He was a cause of both rejoicing and heartache. Reuben had a right to a double portion of his inheritance as the birthright of the first born according to Deut.21:17, but he didn't. It went to Judah instead. Also, the blessing of the first born should have been Reuben's, but it went to Joseph. He lost them both.

Wait a minute. In spite of the bad that Reuben did in his life, Jacob said that Reuben was the beginning of his strength and the excellency of his dignity and power. He had something good to say about this son, even though the bad might outweigh it.

Am I showing others that I am God's child? Is my life honoring Him instead of me? Do they see the love of God?
Are you a believer in Jesus, friend? Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

The only way to peace is through Jesus Christ. I know this is true, because He is living in my heart. His not just a story of a good man, but Jesus is God in the form of a man, a perfect man. God is a Spirit. You, too can know Him by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior today.


Why did Reuben not receive his birthright and blessing as the first born of Jacob?
First, looking back in chapter 35, we recall the sin of incest that Reuben committed with Bilhah, his father's concubine, who produced half brothers to Reuben.
Next, we read about Jacob's blessing Joseph's son in chapter 48.

Jacob called Reuben unstable as water, which means a boiling over of water, referring to unstable emotions.

History gives witness that Reuben never did influence the nation of Israel after his fornication with Bilhah. No prophet, judge, or hero ever came from this tribe; and when Isaiah lamented for the land east of the Jordan in chapter 15, he only mentioned Moab. (Falwell)

Moses prayed for this tribe not to die out (Deut. 33:6). In the census of Israel's men age 20 or older able to go to war was 46,500 from the tribe of Reuben. (Numbers 1) His descendants and their territory was east of the Jordan and the salty Dead Sea. The Reubenites received all the cities of the southern plain that once belonged to Sihon king of the Amorites. (Joshua 13)

Two of Reuben's great grandsons, Dathan and Abiram, conspired with Korah against Moses and Aaron, rebelling against the LORD. The earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them with Korah, and fire devoured 250 of their followers. (Numbers 26) I wonder if Reuben ever repented of his sin with Bilhah. His descendants seemed to have carried on his rebellious attitudes.

However, Reuben's tribe is mentioned in Revelation 7 among the 12 tribes with 12,000 having the seal of the 144,000.


Rejoice that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Have a grateful attitude to hand down to my descendants.

Honor God in all I do.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


O.T. #105 "Gatherings"
August 13, 2013
Genesis 49-Part 1
And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.  Genesis 49:1


We have gatherings-family gatherings, church gatherings, social gatherings, community gatherings, club gatherings. I've been to all sorts of gatherings. Have you? When people gather together, they usually have a common thread that brings them together. It's that way for this family in our chapter 49. The patriarchal of the family called his sons to gather together. Let's find out why.

Gather around, boys. I've something to tell you. Well, that wasn't the exact words of Jacob in his last days.

Apart from Joseph's dying oath in 50:25, this is the last of the great sayings of destiny, the blessings, the curses, the judgment, and the promises that fill the book of Genesis. (Falwell)

With Judah and Joseph receiving the most attention, the father's blessing portrayed the future history of each son, seemingly based upon their characters up to that time. (MacArthur)

One day all of God's children will be gathered together and worship around the throne. What a day that will be! Will you be there with me, friend?
Meanwhile, do you gather with other believers to worship King Jesus each Sunday?


In the last days refers to Israel's future in two ways: the period of their occupation of Canaan, and the time of the coming of Messiah. Sometimes it refers to Israel at the end of the Tribulation period, to the history of Gentile nations, or to the present church age in its entirety. (Falwell)

Jacob's pronouncements in chapter 49 included both prophecy and blessing. (Ryrie)

Jacob had received a double blessing, spiritual and temporal; the promise of being progenitor of the Messiah, and the promise of the land of Canaan. the promised land he might divide among his children as he pleased, but the other must be confined to one of his sons; he therefore assigns to each son a portion in the land of Canaan, but limits the descent of the blessed seed to the tribe of Judah.
(Matthew Henry)

Wouldn't it be something to have your father prophecy your future as did Jacob? Especially, down through future generations. Are you trusting in your name?


Keep gathering with believers to worship the Risen Savior.

Lay aside things of the world and study the Bible daily.

Trust in the One who has control of the Last Days-God.

Share with my descendants what God has done in my life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Redeemed Card

O. T. #104  "Redeemed Card"
August 12, 2013
Genesis 48-Part 1
The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; Genesis 48:16a


The other day my husband and I went to a favorite restaurant to eat. He paid for it with a gift card that I had received from my secret sis. The card was redeemed as payment for the bill. There is something else that has been redeemed for me. Jacob mentions it. Shall we read on?

On down the road, with 17 years elapsing, we pick up Jacob about to die. We don't know what happened within those years, only that they survived the 7 year famine due to Joseph's obedience and God's provisions. Jacob gives his blessings to his sons and grandsons, which we read in this chapter and the next. Jacob calls for Joseph to come to him. He brings his two sons, which are in their twenty's by now.

The author of Hebrews included this as an act of faith; Hebrews 11:21NIV says By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Abraham's blessings and promises from God were given to Isaac instead of Ishmael, and Jacob instead of Esau, not being the first-born sons.
These blessings included:
  • being fruitful,
  • multiplied, or increased in numbers,
  • a multitude or community of people,
  • Promise land for an inheritance.


The MacArthur Bible Commentary says this concerning verse 3-6:
After summarizing God's affirmation of the Abrahamic covenant to himself, Jacob/Israel, in gratitude for Joseph's great generosity and preservation of God's people, formally proclaimed adoption of Joseph's sons on a par with Joseph's brothers in their inheritance, thus granting to Rachel's two sons (Joseph and Benjamin) three tribal territories in the land (verse 16). This may explain why the new name, Israel, was used throughout the rest of the chapter.
Jacob, using his paternal authority to enable Joseph's sons to inherit directly from their grandfather, rather than Joseph. (Selman)
In other words, their inheritance was the same as a son's share. They didn't have to share their father's inheritance between the two of them, thus, each got their own share.

In his blindness, actually led by God, Jacob crossed his hands to bless the second born son, not the first. Jacob knew exactly what he was doing. He refused to let Joseph correct him (verse 19).

The fact that Jacob crossed his hands brings the cross into the picture. It is through the cross that God crucified the old nature and now sets aside the natural that He might establish the spiritual. When you are born again, God rearranges your spiritual "birth order." (Wiersbe)

May they be called by my name, stated in  NIV verse 16.  So the twelve sons and two grandsons  of Israel become tribes and form the nation of Israel. Ephraim became the leader of this nation, who received the greater blessing.

The first time that redeemed is mentioned, meaning to be the next of kin (buy back a relative's property), deliver, purchase, ransom.
Jesus Christ is our kinsman Redeemer, as in Ruth 4:4.
This is the first mention of God as redeemer, deliverer, or Savior. (MacArthur)

We owed a debt that we could not pay, due to our sins, so Jesus paid it for us and offers salvation to us for free of charge. Have you accepted the gift of salvation?


Trust God with my future.

Trust Jesus as my Redeemer.

Trust my children and grandchildren to the Savior.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Carry Out

O.T. #103  "Carry Out"
August 9, 2013
Genesis 47-Part 2
And the time drew nigh that Israel must die; and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.  Genesis 47:29


Carry out. A modern term that refers to running into a restaurant, purchasing food, then carrying it home to eat. I have only done it a few times. We either eat inside the restaurant or drive by the window. This phrase is different from that used in our passage today. Jacob wanted his last wishes carried out so his bones were carried out of Egypt.

I read somewhere that the land of Goshen was our modern Cairo, Egypt. This is where Jacob settled with his family during the last 5 years of the famine. He family which grew from 66 to over 2 million in 400 years. Jacob, called Israel, only actually lived there the last17 years of his life. (So Joseph's father was with him the first 17 years of Joseph's life and the last 17 years of Jacob's life.) Joseph and Jacob had a special relationship. Seems they always did. That's why it tore up Jacob so much when he thought Joseph was dead so many years earlier. This father-son team was separated for 22 years, but now reunited. Joseph had a lot to tell his father-sold as a slave, in prison twice, put in charge of prisoners, then put in charge of Pharaoh's kingdom, interpreter of dreams. God had blessed Joseph throughout those years of separation. He had shared God's love with the Egyptians, like Daniel did in Babylon. I'd say they were foreign missionaries.

Do you share the gospel wherever you go?

Jacob referred to if he had found grace in Joseph's sight. Joseph is a type of Jesus. Have you found grace in Jesus Christ?


The time drew nigh that Israel must die. Jacob lived 147 years. Why didn't he call in one of the other sons instead of Joseph to tell his last wishes to? Perhaps Jacob trusted Joseph the most, knew he could be counted on to carry out his last wishes, to pass on this request to following generations so it could be accomplished, in order that Jacob be carried out of Egypt. The request was for Jacob's bones to not be buried in Egypt, carried back to Canaan when they left, then buried in the family cemetery. It's where Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebekah.

Joseph took an oath by the tradition of placing his hand under his father's thigh. This required faithfulness to the promise (24:2-4).

This act "either symbolized that the yet unborn children would avenge any violation of the oath, or  solemnized oath in the name of the God who gave circumcision as the sign of His covenant." (Ryre)

With the customary sign of an oath in that day, Joseph sincerely promised to bury Jacob, at his request, in the family burial cave in Canaan. (MacArthur)

Jacob realized that the sojourn in Egypt was temporary and that God would redeem them and return them to the Promised Land. (Falwell)

Joseph requested the same thing as his father, "carry up my bones," to the Promised Land, found in Genesis 50:24-26.

Falwell says that Jacob and Joseph's bodies were mummified. Moses took the bones of Joseph as the promise was made to dying Joseph over 350 years before when he repeated the oath of deliverance God had given to Abraham (Gen. 15:15-16).

I assume Jacob's bones were also taken with Joseph to the Promised Land for burial.

What are you carrying? Are you carrying around some unneeded baggage, such as resentment, hurt, unforgiveness, jealousy, unresolved issues? Are your bones dead that you are carrying around, or are you alive in Christ?
Whose wishes are you carrying out? Your own, your parents' or the Lord Jesus'?


Set down that baggage I'm carrying around at the foot of the cross.

Find grace in God.

Carry out His will in my life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

When We Pulled into Town

O.T. #102 "When We Pulled into Town"
August 8, 2013
Genesis 47-Part 1
Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.   Genesis 47:1


What a difference one day can make. My hometown is normally a quiet little town. You can hear the train going by, a few sirens now and then. Not much traffic is down town and one can count on their hands the people walking on the sidewalks. This particular day was different. As we pulled into town, state, county, and city police were  around, the fire trucks were out of their station and on Main Street, as well as newspaper and television cameras.The highway into town and the streets to the church were lined with American flags. In two days, my little hometown had changed. When I came into town, on the afternoon of Ben's funeral, local people lined the streets waving USA flags.

Ben was a local guy, only 19 years old, an active Marine when he died. He graduated year before last from our local school. He had worked on a milk farm in the area. He was a member of my little country church and had been a part of our youth group. Yet, his life was taken from him while Ben served his country. That meant something to the locals. He was a hero. Though people would ask, "Ben who?" he was loved by his family, classmates, and church family. What a difference one day can make.

Can you imagine the extra noise in the Egyptian city when Jacob and his family pulled into town? (On wagons, that is.) Parking spots were all taken, places to eat were full, stores were crowded, supplies ran out, entrances to the palace were blocked, children crying and stinky animals pooping on the walkways. (Maybe that's a little too modern.)You name it. New problems and inconveniences to the citizens were about to pop up. How would they handle it?

Joseph met with Pharaoh. The second in command met with the king of this large nation. Apparently, the king was interested in Joseph's family, and who was new in town. So Joseph took 5 of his brothers and his father, Jacob to converse with the head honcho. Wouldn't that have been quiet a thing?

The day before Ben's funeral, the mayor met with several people involved with the funeral. We had gotten wind that the group that often protests at military funerals was headed our way. Local officials of the town and those involved with the funeral were informed of procedures so big problems could be prevented in our little town. As it turned out, all went smoothly and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Thank the Lord for that! The local newspaper had several pages featuring Ben's recognized departure. The tv station covered it, also.

There was 66 of Jacob's clan, which increased to 70 as Joseph's family grew. Over 400 years in Egypt, the population rose to over 2 million. Though there were no cameras that day when Jacob and his family came into town, they did meet with the king.

Are you ready to meet with the king, which is King Jesus? One day we all will stand before Him. Are you prepared?


Joseph had already met with Pharaoh and got permission for his family to move into Goshen. Now that they arrived, Joseph and five of them met with Pharaoh, then he brought his father.
Pharaoh asked them two questions:
  1. What is your occupation?                                                                                                          They answered, "Shepherds. We came here for a while because the famine in Canaan is severe and there is no pasture for our flocks. Please let your servants settle in Goshen."                   Pharaoh's answer was for Joseph to settle his father and brothers the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. Let them live in Goshen. If any among them were competent men, chief herdsmen, put them in charge of Pharaoh's livestock. (They also had cattle.)
  2. How old are you?                                                                                                                    Joseph presented his father, Jacob, to Pharaoh. Jacob answered Pharaoh that he was 130 years old; then he blessed Pharaoh and left. Joseph settled the family into Goshen and provided them with food.
What is your occupation? Are you using it for the King's glory? How grateful am I for the King's provisions to me?


Be prepared to meet King Jesus one day.

Use my abilities for the glory of God.

Daily thank God for all He gives me and my family.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Embrace

O.T. #101  "An Embrace"
August 7, 2013
Genesis 46-Part 2
And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him, and he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.
Genesis 46:29


They moved on. They got in their wagons, on their donkeys, put their shoes on and moved on. Remember there had been an ongoing famine for two years. Joseph and his family were purchasing their food from Egypt, from Joseph the long lost son of Jacob, which was called Israel. Here come the caravan, not a U Haul, of Joseph's family, which he had not seen in 22 years. This included his father and all his nephews and nieces, and wives of his brothers. Perhaps Joseph could see the cloud of dust at a distance as the wagons rolled on. Jacob sent Judah ahead of them for directions to their new home, the land of Goshen.

Here we are-land of Goshen. Joseph jumped in his chariot and drove lickedy split straight to his father.
What a tender moment! Verse 29 says that Joseph fell on his father's neck and wept on his neck a good while. Yes indeed! Take all the time you need guys. We'll wait. Can you see them in your mind?

It was in November of 1986 when I was last greeted by Dad with a hug on the porch. How precious are those memories of long ago. Then in January, Mom called informing me of Dad's sudden death. I had a 6 hours drive to get home to my family. It wasn't Dad that met me on the porch with a hug that day. It was my brother. We wept on each other's neck. No words were needed, just the embrace. While Dad was joyfully embracing His Savior, I was embracing sorrow.

Joseph's embrace with his father was different from mine. It was one of joy. Who knows how long it lasted, nor does it matter. Jacob said, "Thou art yet alive."

Then, Jacob was ready to die; he was completely satisfied, nothing else remained as a desire. (Falwell)
 He had lived 22 years for the day he could embrace his son again. And then it finally happened. Jacob actually lived 17 more years after this occurred.

Jesus is alive! Can you imagine the joy we will feel when we finally get to embrace the One who died for us? I can only imagine! Are you ready to meet Him, friend?

Do you have an embrace that is forever in your mind?


The MacArthur Bible Commentary says:
Joseph's instructions about his preparatory interview with Pharaoh were designed to secure his relatives a place somewhat separate from the mainstream of Egyptian society. The social stigma regarding the Hebrews, who were shepherds also, played a crucial role in protecting Israel from intermingling and losing their identity in Egypt.

So when Pharaoh asks what their occupation was, the answer was not shepherd, but herdsmen of cattle. Shepherds were detestable to the Egyptians. Joseph knew the culture in which he had lived some 22 years. He knew what was acceptable and unacceptable.

Is Jesus your Good Shepherd, as in John 10:14?


Move on, leaving the past behind.

Go on with Jesus. Embrace Him and His teachings.

Trust Him to provide.

Allow Jesus to be my Good Shepherd.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


O.T.#100  "Wagons"
August 6, 2013
Genesis 46-Part 1
And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.  Genesis 45:2


I had a red wagon that I received for my fifth birthday. It was like the one in the Dick and Jane reading series back in the 60's. Anyone remember? I would haul all sorts of things around the yard in it, from baby dolls to sticks. Sometimes my brother would pull me, I think I remember that, or do I? It's been too many years. Did you have a wagon, too?

Shall we see who else rode in a wagon?

Jacob, now called Israel, and his family loaded up and moved 'um out. They stopped off at Beersheba, where Abraham and Isaac, his father and grandfather, had erected altars there. This must have motivated Israel to do the same.

God spoke to Israel that night in visions with some promises:
  • God identified himself as the God of Israel's father. (verse 3)
  • Don't be afraid to go down to Egypt. Abraham had a bad experience there (12:10-20), and Isaac had been forbidden to even go there (26:2). (verse 3)
  • God promised to make Israel a great nation in Egypt. (verse 3)
  • God would go down to Egypt with Israel. (verse 4)
  • God would surely bring him back again, refers to the nations, not Jacob. (verse 4)
  • Joseph's own hand would close Israel's eyes when he died. (verse 4)                             [Resource: Liberty Bible Commentary]
God's chosen family remained in Egypt for 430 years (Ex. 12:40) until the Exodus in 1445 B.C.  (MacArthur)

God kept his promises to Israel. Of course, we can read the rest of the story.
Do we know any of God's promises to us as His children?


The whole clan of Jacob's traveled onto Egypt in the wagons which Pharaoh had provided for them. they took their cattle and their goods obtained in Canaan.

The total was 66, besides Jacob's sons' wives (verse 26), to which Moses added Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph's 2 sons to make 70. (Falwell)
The number 75 probably includes 5 later descendants of Joseph. (Davis)

Verse 8 is the first mention of the phrase the children of Israel, which is the first time reference of the family as a whole. that was quite a family to move next door and feed.

Can you count your grandparents' descendants? How has God blessed your family?


Stay close to God.

Keep faith in Jesus.

Go with God wherever He leads me.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Good News

O.T. #99  "Good News"
August 5, 2013
Genesis 45-Part 4
And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
Genesis 45:28


Have you had any good news lately? I remember the day our daughter called and relayed the news that she was pregnant with another child. (She already had 4 children at the time.) It seemed to be unbelievable. Now baby Matthew is here and I am excited to be able to kiss and cuddle him one day.
Do you think Joseph's brothers were excited to share their good news about Joseph?

The eleven brothers of Joseph left Egypt and arrived in Canaan to meet with their father, Jacob.
When they told Jacob that Joseph was still alive and governor  (ruler) of Egypt, how did Jacob react?
Verse 26 says Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
Fainted means to be sluggish, feeble, slacked.

It had been 22 years since Jacob had seen his son, Joseph. His sons lied to their father back then. They showed Jacob the coat of many colors, which he had given to Joseph. They had stained the coat with the blood of an animal so Jacob would think Joseph was killed by it. In actuality, the sons had sold Joseph as a slave to merchants going to Egypt. Perhaps Jacob had suspected his sons of murdering Joseph. could Jacob trust them this time, saying that Joseph was alive?

Can my word be trusted as being the truth? Do others have a hard time believing what I say?


Finally, Jacob believed the scoundrels after they told him all that Joseph said. Maybe the clincher was when Jacob saw the wagons that Joseph sent to carry Jacob to Egypt. His spirit was revived, according to verse 27. Jacob is called Israel, which God had renamed him. He believed the boys, and knew that Joseph was indeed alive. He was going to see Joseph before he died. (Jacob didn't die until 17 years later.)

In  Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, revive means to keep alive, preserve, recover, be whole.

What does it take to revive us? What do you want to do before you die? Who do you want to see before you pass on?


Share the good news that Jesus is alive!

Be revived!

Be excited!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Provisions for the Journey

O.T. #98 "Provisions for the Journey"
August 2, 2013
Genesis 45-Part 3
...and he also gave them provisions for the journey.
 Genesis 45:21c


Before we made our journey to the Dominican Republic last June, we were given some provisions. I bought snacks to eat while there, we took Spanish Bibles to distribute, and bracelets for the children attending VBS. What excitement there was when people of the small country churches received their own Bible. The 200 children were so ecstatic to get a bracelet, though made of rubber, one would think they were made of gold. And there were times that I couldn't eat the festive food, so I was happy to have my snacks, especially peanut butter and crackers and water. The provisions for our journey across the water were greatly appreciated. Pharaoh and Joseph gave his brothers provisions for their journey home. Shall we see what they took?

It was 22 years later that Joseph saw his brothers again. They had sold Joseph into slavery so they would be rid of him for the rest of their lives. Now he had the opportunity to do away with their lives. Did he retaliate? Joseph was now 39 years old. It came to my mind today, as Joseph was the grain administrator and distributor for two of the seven years of famine, he had the option to refuse to sell grain to his brothers. If Joseph had not forgiven his brothers long before this time, then he probably would have turned them away. The result would have been his father and whole family would have died from starvation. What they all deserved was being turned away, paid back for Joseph's sufferings. However, the story doesn't end that way and their lives didn't end then. We heard what Joseph told his brothers when he revealed his identity.

How did the Egyptians react to this? Verse 16 in NIV tells us when the news reached Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 

Here was the second in command of this nation, the one whom everyone liked, whom they had heard wailing across the lawn, now was happy, excited, and ecstatic to have his brothers there after 22 years. This made everyone happy, too.

Are you happy today? Is your happiness rubbing off? Are you sharing the joy of Jesus with others?


I don't know if Joseph discussed with Pharaoh his family's situation or not, but Pharaoh told Joseph to tell his brothers this:
  • Load their animals and return to the land of Canaan;
  • Bring your father and families back;
  • He would give them the best of the land of Egypt;
  • Take some carts from Egypt and come;
  • Never mind about their belongings, because the best of all Egypt would be theirs.
Not only did the brothers take carts and grain, but they also were given new clothing, with Benjamin receiving 5 sets of clothes and 300 shekels of silver. Joseph sent to his father 10 donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt and 10 donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provisions for the journey.

Joseph sent his brothers home, loaded down, and told them, "Don't quarrel on the way!"
Maybe Joseph knew his brothers better than they did.

Are we grateful for all the provisions that God has given us for our journey of life?
Do we thank Him daily?


Forgive others and seek forgiveness.

Thank God for all He has given to me.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Land O' Goshen

O.T. #97  "Land O' Goshen"
August 1, 2013
Genesis 45-Part 2
...God sent me before you to preserve life.  Genesis 45:5c


I never though we would get to move back to my hometown area, much less live in the house in which I grew up. It was 17 years after we moved away that it happened. Someone said this about Luke 18:31 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; we go up to Jerusalem to fulfill God's purpose, not our own. What seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's because God's purpose is never man's purpose. Though we look back and think we failed in our ministry, it was actually training for us to prepare us for our present situation. We can see the hand of God working in our lives, preparing us for what we must endure now. Isn't He so amazing!

Joseph reveals who he is to his brothers in this chapter. He cried and wept so loudly that they heard him all the way to Pharaoh's house. (Whatever that means-I don't know how far apart their houses were.) It so shocked these old guys that they could not say anything. All 12 of Jacob's sons were together, and they knew it.
Maybe they were mulling it around in their heads-Who was this Joseph?
  •  He was the agriculture administrator,
  • the distributor of grain, 
  • the one who twice returned their payment for the grain,
  • the second in command of all of Egypt,
  • the one who ran the whole country, while Pharaoh wore the crown,
  • the man who sat these 11 men at his table according to their birth order,
  • the tester of their honesty, the one who examined the men to see if they would let innocent Benjamin go to jail and be a slave as they earlier did to him,
  • a man who missed his family, brothers and father,
  • a teenager who grew up in a foreign land and learned their language and customs,
  • a forgiving and loving man,
  • one who didn't hold grudges,
  • a believer of strong faith who shared the love of his God with those around him.
What a character! Through his jail terms and slavery, Joseph kept the faith. What does it take for us to turn from our faith in Jesus? Hurtful words, false accusations, mean deeds done to us? Do we allow others to keep us from serving our Lord Jesus? Or are we so committed, so surrendered to our Savior that we will endure everything to the end? Or will we quit and walk another path?


After Joseph revealed his identity, what else did he say to his blood brothers?
  • Don't be grieved, which means to worry, anger, displease, hurt, sorry;
  • nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here; (They expected Joseph to judge them for their past sins, yet he saw their repentance.)
  • for God did send me before you to preserve life;
  • we've had 2 years of famine and 5 more to go without harvesting;
  • God sent me ahead of you to save your lives by a great deliverance;
  • it was not you that sent me here, but God;
  • God has made me a father to Pharaoh;
  • hurry back to father and tell him Joseph said to move to Egypt immediately;
  • you will live in the land of Goshen, near me, and bring your families and flocks and herds;
  • I will provide for you here, because we have 5 more years of famine;
  • be sure, it's me speaking to you;
  • tell father all about me and bring him here.
What a speech. Could they believe their ears? After all of that, there were tears of joy, hugs, and a lot of talking. This family had a lot of catching up to do. There was 22 years worth.
Unfortunately, there were no cell phones to tell the wives to be packed when they got home.
I wonder if they said this when the families found out the plan: Land o' Goshen! We are moving. We can even visit the palace and our relatives.

Life's challenges sometimes seem impossible. Don't give up! Keep your heart loyal to God, for he constantly watches over you, and He desires to demonstrate His strength in your life. (Blackaby)

Don't ever give up on your family. God can change hearts and so can time. Keep praying.


Let the past be in the past.

Forgive and live.

Go with God.