Category: Genesis


Good bye Jo

Day 29, Genesis 48-50 

Joseph becomes quite a prophet on his death bed doesn’t he?  It was interesting how He tinkers with the birthright order. Ruben, Simeon and Levi are still father to their own tribes of Israel… but not exalted as they should be by right of birth… next in line is Judah.. and as Joseph talks about the tribe of Judah you see a total Jesus sighting in Verse 10.

Promised Destination

Day 28 Genesis 46-47

I zeroed in on Verses 3 and 4 of chapter 46, it reads: “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

  Now, I’ve been to vacation bible school and I know what happens to the Israelites in Egypt… Nothing that God told Jacob is false, AND if they had stayed in Canaan they would have died of starvation, but Egypt proves to be one tough place for the Hebrews.  I can relate to this experience.

   There was no doubt in my mind when we began our adoption of our last child that God was in control… and the end result would be beautiful.   He planted the seed, He opened the doors, my daughter’s very name was like a sign from our Creator to highlight how involved He was in every detail of this journey.  We still had to take the steps, but it was heavenly orchestrated.  Did this make it easy?  The answer to that would be a resounding NO!!  Especially when we were in her country of birth.  No step in the process was easy, ever. but as we inched our way through the bureacracy the fingerprints of God were all over the place.  I kept thinking, if I’d know it was going to be this hard or take this long I wouldn’t have agreed to do this… PRAISE GOD I didn’t know!!  While although he failed to mention the trials we’d face what was super evident was how much we were falling in love with our beautiful daughter, our Promised Destination.  And all the bumps we went through to get her? Well those were opportune moments for God’s Glory  to open our eyes.

   I’m here again  facing a long hard journey (no we’re not adopting again) and I’ve been promised that at the end of this journey I’m on “It will all be ok.”  But I worry what does that mean?  What will I have to go through to get there? I honestly have no idea where the path I’m on ends up, I have only been reassured that I’ll be fine in the end.  Well right now there is one particular end I DON’T want, but at the moment my only choice is to give this all to God and trust He knows what’s best.   Here is God promising to Jacob that in Egypt he will become a great nation, but God leaves out the years of bondage and slavery part doesn’t He…

   I have been meditating on 1 Peter 4:19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”  I am hurting in ways I’ve never hurt before.  But because of that My Creator is holding me up and supporting me and I am committed to Him like never before.  The do good part.. well I’m trying, the temptation to not be so good is great… but I’m going to walk this path set before me.  God has told me, “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.”  Although I fear the journey I know there is value in it.

Habitual Mistakes and Fear

Day 27 Genesis 43-45 

I didn’t realize that Simeon was left in Egypt and they didn’t return to get him, they returned because they ran out of food! Jacob discarded a son for the life of a favored son.  How often do our fears delay our blessings?  How often do our habitual mistakes, in this case Jacob’s habit of preferring one child over the others, prevent us from experiencing God’s full glory in our lives?
 I was moved particularly by Judah’s offer to stay in place of Ben.  Given what the brothers did to Simeon, Judah was essentially offering his life for his brother’s in hopes that he would save his father from more misery. Looks like Joseph wasn’t the only one who grew up a little. Not exactly a salvation sighting BUT it has elements of it… Jesus came from the Tribe of Judah…
 
Lord help me to discard my fears that prevent the awaiting blessings… Help me to unlearn habitual mistakes I make so that so that I may learn to appreciate the fullness of Your glory in my life.  

All Grown Up

Day 26 Genesis 41-42

So Joseph has been humbled.. How many years in prison did it take? I Love the part when the Pharaoh asks him if he can interpret dreams and he has this golden opportunity to brag and take credit for himself but instead uses it to give God the glory. bravo brat, you’ve grown up! Now I have the veggie tales ” The Ballad of Little Joe” song stuck in my head.

Read it

Day 25 Genesis 38-40

I read it!

Brat

Day 24 Genesis 35-37

When I read about Jacob telling his brothers and his father about his dreams, and yes I know they are prophecy dreams and it all comes true in a grand way… but I can’t help but think that Jacob got a kick out of sharing these dreams with his family…  What brat, and given his brothers’ history of WAY over reacting he is not even a very smart brat.  I don’t think Jacob needed to be killed or sold into slavery for rubbing prophecy dreams in his brothers’ faces, BUT if God were to fulfill the prophesy dreams He gave to Jacob, Jacob HAD to be knocked down a few notches.  So one could argue that God knew  about Jacob’s tendency to brag and his brothers’ habit  of being quick to anger and used this situation to set up some VERY important events.

     Best I can tell almost all prophets are annoying.. on their good days.  

Book of Sin, House of Sinners

Day 23 Genesis 32-34

Jacob means the deceiver.. and deceive he did.  The bible is NOT some sugar-coated fairytale of perfect people.  Jacob cheated his brother, lied to his father, his family was a mess because of his favoritism, even in the face of reconciliation with Esau (which I have to give Esau some credit for) he lied then just so save his butt.  His deceitfulness was passed onto his children whos wrath over the rape of their sister was WAY over the top and uncalled for.  Yet this is the Jacob who is bestowed with the name Israel…  Really, THIS guy gets to have a country named after him?! Because really, he didn’t do much of anything all that impressive.  Thus far, the bible is a book of sin and sin and sin, or as my brother put it moral ambiguity.  God it is such a wonder You didn’t pack up and move on!  I’m sure there is some alien race out on a different planet  that is much better than us!  Vulcans, yeah, I bet their bible is a bit more squeaky clean than ours.. or do they not believe in God?

     I read this passage this morning before church and it must have been at the forefront of my mind.  I LOVE worshiping with this congregation.  Mostly because they seem to keep it real.  Not a soul there claims to be without sin at some point in their lives.  Some have been through multiple divorces, drug abuse, illegal gang activity, prison. They wear it on their faces, some have the scars and the tatoos that prove where they’ve been in life. Yet here we all are laying it out before God.  I’m not saying we’re perfect now either, those seeking perfection in their church don’t last long with us. It’s fascinating to me what image some seem to think  a church needs to fulfill.  Even more intriguing is the idea that church is full of hypocrites. .  .  Well if you think church and the bible is full of perfect people, or at least people who think they are perfect then I can see where they are coming from.  We as humans are by nature imperfect.  So if the bible were to be an honest book, which I believe it is then the people in the bible will all be imperfect as well, minus only one: Jesus. 

     God honors those who come to Him, even when we’ve sinned.  We’ll see this again and again… That’s the lesson I took from Jacob, the man who wrestled with God, the man granted the name of a nation.

Manipulation

Day 22 Genesis 30-31

  Boy Howdy if we thought family dysfunction started in the 20th century one needs only to read the book of Genesis!  I scoff at the notion that life was ever any easier “back in the good ol’ days!” Us humans sure do know how to screw life up… and yet God still wants a relationship with us.  I’m thankful God isn’t Human, he would have thrown in the towel on us long ago.

   Rachel and Leah’s attempts to manipulate Jacob’s affection towards them was interesting… Did bearing Jacob many sons help increase his love for Leah?  And what was up with the mandrake?  Why would sex with their husband ever be available for trading in exchange for mandrake… aren’t those the screaming baby plants in Harry Potter?  I’m aware they are real, but if they are THAT good why then don’t we go buy mandrake bars instead of candy bars? Clearly they had yet to discover chocolate, now that I might understand.

   All joking aside, I think affection from our spouse is a touchy issue.  Any attempt to manipulate the person to give affection just makes it that much less genuine, and the need that started the manipulation in the first place grows and grows till it’s really dysfunctional.  Why do we, especially women, have to be so emotionally tied to adoration from our spouse?  Why should our happiness be so linked to being appreciated?  I don’t think manipulation is a solution to the problem.. figuring out where our happiness needs to come from instead might be a better step in the right direction.   Leah was unable to attain Jacob’s primary love even through manipulation, or God blessing her with the ability to bare children.  Was Jacob’s love for Leah what God’s goal He saw that she was not loved and allowed her to conceive?  That’s not the impression I was getting..  I’m working through this in my head but I don’t think I’ve come to a solid conclusion… I do not envy Leah.

On a side note:  reading about this polygamous family does not really sway me to think polygamy is a walk in the park.  Sorry Sister Wives.. I still don’t think more than one wife is a great idea.

Day 21 Genesis 27-29

Wells, it’s odd that’s what I keep coming back to but I keep noticing all these great things happening at wells. Such a shame we don’t have wells these days.

Family curses and blessings

Day 20 Genesis 25-26

  They say and abuser abuses because he was abused.  A bully bullies because he was bullied.  Inside a family when a child is hurt over an over again, it would be very likely that when that child is an adult he’d hurt his children.  The chain can be broken,  but it takes a special person to pull that off.  I’ve seen special people like that, I know them quite well.  I’ve known a woman who was a victim of sexual abuse not in her family but from outside her family and it happened to her again and again.  When she had a daughter she knew the cycle had to stop,  and she stopped it dead in its tracks.  That daughter learned to look a man in the eye and to avoid dangerous situations.  She was confident in herself because her mother made sure she knew she was special.  The daughter was never abused like her mother, sure part of that luck but most of that was because the curse of victimization had been broken.

   As I watch Isaac with his sons Esau and Jacob, I can’t help but think of Abraham’s treatment of Isaac and his older brother Ishmael.  To favor one child over another so blatantly is wrong… and it leaves lasting marks that lasts generations.  This is what a family curse is.   It is a personal dysfunction starts with one person that is passed down to generation after generation till a very special person comes along and puts a stop to it.  The curse has many faces: Abuse, neglect, divorce, drug abuse, victimization, preferring one child over another, teen pregnancy, anger and many many more.

   Take heart, for  blessings can also pass on generation to generation: Abraham passed on his love of God to his son Isaac, and that love lasted thousands of generations… Some other blessings are:the blessing of good parenting, the blessing of education, love for music or sports, but most importantly a love for God.  I’m not saying we have no free will, we are not simply victims of our forefather’s curses and blessings.  We have choices in the life that we live.  We get to choose whether or not to pass on a family curse or blessing.  We get to choose whether to start a family curse or to start a family blessing.   We will fail at ending some curses, even start some of our own.  We will succeed in passing on some of the  blessings and create family blessings of our own.  God knows this, and loves us with a love that is not dependent on our successes and failures but in spite of our sins in the same way he loved the Patriarchs. 

  Lord, use this broken sinner.  I cling to you in absolute desperation today and my children are at the forefront of my prayers.  Lord help me to see the curses and the blessings I can pass on to them.  I feel so inadequate right now, like such a failure.  Minute by minute I come to you an ask for your help.  Your grace is sufficient in proportion to each person’s need and I’m asking for one big pile of grace to be piled on top of me today.   Like the two-year old is telling me”no worries mommy.”  Lord help me to do right by my children. Help protect them from any curses I might create and pass down to them. Keep the blessings to them large and flowing. Protect them, this family today is my everything.