Can you believe it! How many times have you read Genesis? probably more than any other book because we have attempted to read through the Bible in the past more than once. But has God ever had you read it like that? (I just got goosebumps). UNBELIEVABLE READ. If we read the whole Bible like that I don’t know what will explode first, my brain or my heart! It feels so “planted” in me!
OK, so we started today in Chapter 48. The blessing over Joseph’s two sons. WOW, does this sound familiar or what. The second child getting the larger blessing!
Then he blessed Joseph and said, (I highlighted the appearance of the Trinity in the blessing)
“May the God before whom my fathers (God)
Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd (Holy Spirit)
all my life to this day,
the Angel who has delivered (Jesus) me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
Jacob refers to God as his “Shepherd”, how beautiful! I always think of Psalm 23, (or Pulp Fiction…just being honest). Listen to his prayer over these boys. My devotional book talked about praying today. If we believe in prayer, why are we not praying over our loved ones like this all the time. Prayer is a gift the Lord has given us and we need to look at these men and learn from their lives. In James it talks about how reading the Word, and not doing what it says just makes us ”deceiving ourselves”.
Chapter 49..for those who read ahead weeks ago and are just following along now, this was probably a chapter you “glazed” over! Ohhhh the gold nuggets . I know we really don’t know who these people are yet (well, I don’t anyway) But I looked a few of them up. These are all Prophetic fulfillments we will embark on.
- Reuben! Poor Reuben, If you noticed, the book usually referred to him as firstborn, you see why. This was inevitable. It is amazing how sins or of our past will catch up to us. We may be forgiven, but that does not mean that we still won’t have to deal with it. If your confused go to Gen 35:22, Reuben slept with his father’s concubine. Then go forward to Deut 27:20 20 “Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father’s wife, for he dishonors his father’s bed.”
- Simeon and Levi. Remember the murders from Dinah’s rape. They too will have the consequence of being scattered as it says here in this chapter (God will scatter them by not allotting them land when they enter the Promise land, they will literally be scattered around) But know that even from their consequence God uses it for His ultimate Glory!
- I looked some of the prophecies up, but obviously the one that interested me was Judah. Knowing Judah is the “Jews” we can gather that Jesus comes from his line.
“Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
You are a lion’s cub, O Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
The scepter (royalty) will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs
and the obedience of the nations is his.
He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.”
This text can be considered a prophecy of Judah as well as a parallel of Jesus. Jacob promises to Judah a descendant who is to be the coming Ruler, Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah in Rev 5:5,Your hand will be on the neck of the enemy (reminds me of what God said to the serpent) Much of the Bible like we saw with Joseph, has a parallel as well as a prophesy. This scripture took me into Numbers 24 , Isaiah 2 and 42, Hebrews, 1 Psalms 2 and 60, end of Days, Hebrew word for Shiloh..it just kept going! Glean from it what you can today, and look forward to the next time you read it you will peel off another layer and the next layer….etc.. But until then…if you walk away learningone more thing than yesterday AMEN (this is a super hard read).
- Dan caught my eye. Ouch. Not sure all that Dan will do, but In the book of Judges they are mentioned under the subtitle “The Moral failure of Israel”. Ouch. Idolatry will be their weakness.
Chapter 50Do you remember all that Scripture of buying the cave when Sarah died back in Chapter 23. This is where Jacob is to be buried, with his whole family. So Jacob dies, and according to Egyptian culture he is embalmed and mourned for, but then allowed to be taken to Machpelah to be buried.
Now Jacob died and the brothers got nervous. They thought maybe they were only forgiven because their father was there. Joseph reassures them that they truly are forgiven.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
What a message with our own personal walk with Christ. I know when I became a Christian I had a hard time accepting that ALL was COMPLETELY forgiven, but He reassured me.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Ro 8:28)
The death of Joseph. His dying words were a confidence to his brothers that God’s Covenant will be fulfilled, and his people will be taken to the land that was promised to them, and God will aid them in that. Then Joseph made them swear an oath that they will take his bones back to Canaan. Which in Ex 13:19 they do.
The book of Genesis ends with Joseph in a coffin.
That was a familiar book that I hope you read fresh and it was as if you never read it before.
- Jacob goes to Israel
Chapter 46: Of course Jacob is scared to go down to Egypt, it was not in the “plan”. So on his way he stopped to give an offering to the Lord. Now he did this in Beersheba. Beersheba has had a lot of history with us so far. “The well of the Oath”. Re-read Chapter 21. 22. 26 and 28 for all the things that happen there. (At this point I can totally relate “Lord I am on the ridge of really being outside my comfort zone…can you let me know if this is truly what you want for me?) The Lord says to him in Verse 3-4,
“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. 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.”
Why is this important? Because it was part of God’s Covenant with Abraham. Gen 12:2 I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make our name great, and you will be a blessing. I could see his hesitation going into such a horrible place like Egypt.
So they go as the Lord directs them. Seventy in all. I read now that the famine is getting much worse, I can assume that had they not gone to Egypt they probably would not have survived. God used Joseph to save them!
Chapter 46. I know many of the names don’t stand out (well actually more than I thought would )But this time next year hopefully more will. Not all of them will be talked about in the Chapters to come but definitely some will, for example Vs 11 Kohath (that is Moses Family) and under Judah (vs 12) we already recognize some of them from the um….other day….you know!) If you have no interest in this part, don’t feel guilty…read it and move to where God does have your heart. For anyone who does have a heart I put a handout at the bottom called 70 men. Print it only if you want to.
Chapter 47. First, what is with all the “tell them you are shepherds” speech. See, the Egyptians would not want to integrate “Shepard’s” into the city limits, it tells us in 46:34 that they are detestable (thank goodness!) so Joseph told them to announce their occupation SO THAT they would be put out in the hill country. See, if they are not intermingled with the Egyptians Jacobs’ family would:
- #1…be less tempted to live like the Egyptians and they would remain according to Abraham’s teachings and would be less polluted. They can be set apart. The Egyptians, at the time, were highly cultured and worshipped many many gods.
- Also, as the famine gets worse more and more people sold themselves as slaves inside major cities.
- I am not jumping ahead but knowing God has this huge plan I am totally guessing but I would think it is also an easier route for the escape when Moses leads them out of Egypt next month.
- Last, research Goshen. It is Drought proof. The family would be able to GROW a nation.
At the end of 47 we are getting the picture of how the “slavery” became so big. However, there was one little gem in there Chapter 47:22 and verse 26. He did not buy the land of the priests because they were given an allotment from the Pharaoh. I am not going to ruin all the surprises but we know in God’s foreknowledge that everything is set up for a reason so stay tuned.
Tomorrow, is our Last 3 chapters of Genesis…but they are packed with good stuff. Read them slow. Absorb all that God has for you.
Ok, Sunday is the big Trivia Game. The questions will be ONLY from the material we have read…Genesis and Job and they are super easy (I tested them on a friend today and she aced it!). We will split the room down the middle and team play. Spectators are welcome!
It is at 2:00. My house.
Email me for directions Pszyman@comcast.net
RSVP would be great so I can be prepared with chairs.
FOR PEOPLE NOT LOCAL: I will email the questions THAT night to you!
Maybe it’s just me but that was a heavy read. Seems like the Job reading days were long ago! This part of the story reminded me that people really do change, including myself. We don’t outwardly change, we change completely. Judah offers his life as a replacement for Benjamin.
Chapter 45 as you may have picked up, you see almost the Gospel here: Joseph is talking to his brothers:
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
I was really caught with the message that God Orchestrated the whole thing to save people from a Famine. Had Joseph not had the dreams of the wheat bowing down to his wheat none of this would have happened. By the way, there is a phrase I want you to underline, it won’t sound like much now but it will repeat itself 65 times in the bible. It is the underlined above. God will always leave a remnant of the Chosen nation. Always. Out of this remnant you can be assured that the Abrahamic Covenant of a Savior will come. So in every situation there will always be survivors of the nation. Even in this 7 year Famine. (was that confusing)
If you did not get this emailed to you, let me know. Take some time this weekend to start over in Chapter 37, do so and grab a pencil and try to underline all the parallels between Jesus and Joseph. The Bible will get deeper and wider EVERYTIME we read it. Here are just a few:
|He was the favorite son of a wealthy father||Gen. 37:3||Matt. 3:17|
|He was a shepherd||Gen. 37:2||John 10:11-14|
|He was taken into Egypt to avoid being killed||Gen. 37:28||Matt. 2:13|
|He became a servant||Gen. 39:4||Phil. 2:7|
|He began his ministry at the age of thirty||Gen. 41:46||Luke 3:23|
|He was filled with the Spirit of God||Gen. 41:38||Luke 4:1|
|He returned good for evil||Gen.50:20||Matt. 5:44|
|He was humble and unspoiled by wealth||Gen. 45:7-8||John 13:12|
|He was taught by God||Gen. 41:16||John 5:19|
|He loved people freely||Gen. 45:15||John 13:34|
|He gained the confidence of others quickly||Gen. 39:3||Matt. 8:8|
|He gave bread to hungry people that came to him||Gen. 41:57||Mark 6:41|
|He resisted the most difficult temptations||Gen. 39:8-9||Heb. 4:15|
|He was given vision into the future||Gen. 37:6||Matt. 24:3|
|He tested people to reveal their true nature||Gen. 42:25||Mark 11:30|
|He was hated for his teachings||Gen. 37:8||John 7:7|
|He was sold for the price of a slave||Gen. 37:28||Matt. 26:15|
|He was falsely accused||Gen. 39:14||Mark 14:56|
|He was silent before his accuser||Gen. 39:20||Mark 15:4|
|He was condemned between two prisoners||Gen. 40:2-3||Luke 23:32|
|He was dead before his father||Gen. 37:33||Luke 23:46|
|He was held for two, and was free on the third||Gen. 41:1||Luke 9:22|
|He arose into a new life||Gen. 41:41||Mark 16:6|
|He was not recognized by his own brethren||Gen. 42.8||Luke 24:37|
|He returned to his father||Gen. 46:29||Mark 16:19|
|He became a lord / Lord||Gen. 45:8||Rev. 19:16|
- Pharaoh’s Dreams
- Joseph in charge of Egypt
It starts with 2 years have passed. All together we need to remember that Joseph was a slave for about 13 years total. At this point, (I really need to examine where I would be Spiritually). Joseph does not faulter here. He was just brought up out of the dungeon, scrubbed up and thrusted in front of the Pharaoh (not Potipher, the PHARAOH). Joseph has an opportunity to find favor with the Pharaoh but instead says “I cannot do it (help him)…but God can” we need to remember the culture he was living in. It was Egypt, they did not believe in THE Lord (just one) , but many gods. If I were Joseph would I have said “Yes, I can!”, taking credit for the gifts the Lord gave me. He risked not even being heard at this point and being thrown back in prison.
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. (2 Cor 3:5)
I found the dreams to be absolutely intriguing, and I have to say the advice should be taken today. What a sign of the times on that one today!
Joseph is given a wife and has 2 children. I noticed the name Ephraim; I researched the name and there is so much information. So for now, just note the name Ephraim (twice fruitful). We will talk about it again soon, as a place, as a people, as a gate, and as a Mount. This is a very important part (well I know they all are) in the Bible because the story of Joseph is the link between the “family” and the “nation”.
Notice Joseph is a character of being “Christ-like”. I am not always trying to pull out a “life application” moment, but lately I cannot help it. This is a character we need to show ourselves and our children. As we pray, “Make me less like me and more like you”, we can then take note to this story. Joseph was a man, just like us. The characteristics he holds are unbelievable. The biggest lesson I have learned is the “repeat” behavior. So far, I have seen each generation be just like the next. Repeat mistakes. So as I sit here, I think , well if I could “mold” my children (students, nieces, nephews, neighbors kids….) what is the best thing I can do, or not do. It truly comes down to “break the cycle”. We are all given an opportunity to lead by example. We have a lot of the good stuff in my family because it is handed down from example, as well as some of the other stuff that should not be handed down. So, they way I want my children to be, is the way I need to act.
So we leave chapter 41, Joseph has been given all man could ever wish for!
Chapter 42: Joseph was remembering the dream he had in Chapter 37, how they would bow down to him. Then he sent for Benjamin. We could probably assume Joseph and Benjamin were close since they were true full brothers born of Jacob and Rachel (Jacob’s favorite wife). I am sure that when he saw Benjamin was not there, that he assumed that the “step brothers” had killed or sold him also. I could be reading into it too much but Jacob referred to Joseph and Benjamin as “my son” when talking about them.
Joseph: I did notice that in all his anger he still sent them away with more than they had come for.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary: ”If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
It is hard not to read on!
Click here for the reading. Judah Leaves. Why? My friend Joy asked me last night if it was because of the brothers. I don’t know. But what I do know is that through it God’s plan is at work. Judah is the line that Jesus the Messiah will come from. Last night’s handout shows Judah……..to Jesus (spelled Yeshua on the handout). Who is mixed between? Everyone! Gentiles, Prostitutes, Moabs (Lot’s grandchildren), kings, mistresses….) Anyway, to the reading.
Ok. Pen and paper handy? You have Judah at the top of the page. (One of Jacob’s 12 sons right, the one who said “let’s sell Joseph”) marries a Canaanite. Good grief! I feel like I am back in Eden….Don’t eat the apple….Now it’s don’t marry a Canaanite.
OK, pen handy?…Judah married Shua. They have 3 sons, Er, Onan, and Shulah, and a daughter (unnamed). Er marries (typo earlier)Tamar. Er dies, (later Judah’s daughter dies). At this point there is a law to protect the ongoing name of the deceased brother. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 basically says that a brother will give the widow a child, and the child will retain the name of the deceased father. That is why Onan is to sleep with Tamar. However, Onan disobeyed on the “important” part (please dont make me draw a picture of this)…. So God killed him. See Onan wanted his first born to be his…not with Tamar, for inheritance reasons. So we are left with Judah, his son Shelah ( too young at the time) and Tamar, who now is a widow and childless. The culture back then was very different so try to place yourself there rather than curl your nose at it. Here is what you have…
I don’t use those fancy nancy maps you use!
But does that help to explain why Tamar was so desperate as to why she would sleep with Judah. (She would also become the matriarch of Judah’s line….)
(Did you notice that time had elapsed because when this happened Shelah was now of age and should have been given to Tamar, but Judah never did. I think that is why Judah said ” “you are more righteous than me”, he knew it was wrong not to give Tamar Shelah as he stated in Vs 11)
Chapter 39: What I find amazing is that after all he has been through Joseph does not question his faith. His brothers threw him in a well, sold him to slavery, he is now in prison for doing something morally right …and yet in 40:8 he says “Do not interpretations belong to God”. After all this, he is proclaiming God is in control!! No wonder even in bad times the Lord showed him favor!
The last verse “The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph, he forgot him”. I couldn’t help but to sit back and think about this. Now I knew God did not forget him, but is that how many feel? That God is forgetting them? I think I love this story because we truly could sit here all day and and just peel off lesson after lesson.
Joseph is a Portrait of Christ. I was talking (texting) with a friend as she read the story of Joseph and we were listing all the details that were lining up with Christs’ life. (It was like watching the movie 7 pounds…not sure if you know about that, it’s a modern Gospel) Anyway, before I digress even further, all the details in Josephs life line up with one if Christ and it just really drove home that God has this HUGE plan, He knows the details of Jesus, the age, the temptation, the return…etc, and He can showcase all that for us through Joseph. We are not to figure it all out but we are to see it all unfold in its awesomeness.
Email coming out today with a comparison of the characteristics of Joseph/Jesus foreshadow…so look for it.
Chapter 35 I cannot help but to notice this new relationship Jacob has with the Lord. He now does not refer to him as Father of Abraham and Isaac, but as El Shaddai (each Lord or God has a different Hebrew Translation with a meaning)! In verse 3 he says “Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone”.
I hope you have maps in your Bible 🙂 Use them. Write on them/
Leaves Beersheba; Has vision in Bethel; Marries in Haran, works for Laban; Wrestles with God in Penuel; Builds house in Succoth; Builds altar in Shechem; Settles in Bethel; Buries Rachel in Bethlehem; Buries Isaac and Leah in Hebron; Settles in Beersheba; Dies in Egypt (later reburied in Hebron) Ephrath is Bethlehem, in Hebrew it means “place fruitfulness” or “house of bread” in Greek. (Of course that is where Jesus will be born…”I am the Bread”)
We are back at the very place God gave Jacob his dream of the angels ascending and descending into Heaven on the ladder. Jacob had nothing. God has completely fulfilled His promises to Jacob.
The beginning of 35 is so important, Jacob removes and false idols or “lucky charms” and build an altar to the Lord. God changes his name from Jacob to Israel meaning ”He struggles with God” and God reaffirms the Abrahamic Covenant with Israel (Jacob). Wow what a Journey.
Vs 21: Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. Now I read this and immediately closed the book afraid to turn the page…I KNOW this cannot be good. We have seen Sin…consequence….Sin….consequence….(which by the way puts a lot into perspective in my life) so I know this is going to be a problem. Well it was not on the next page, but the next paragraph gave the birth order, Reuben being FIRSTBORN, kind of tipped me off as to what is going to happen. If you need to know now, rather than wait…look at your cross references, Genesis 49:4 and 1 Chronicles 5:1. Just because the consequence does not happen right away, it will happen. (Are you taking notes on the Jacob handout)
(You have to admit the brothers burying their Dad was a sweet thing to read, if they can reconcile, ANYONE can, Says she who does not talk to her brother)
blah skim over it?? Esaus descendants , the Edomites. OK, first thing I noticed was in verse 2 he married the daughter of Ishmael. I know its early in the book but already I had to look back and say “Who is Ishmael again?” Remember Abraham took Hagar to have a son instead of waiting for Sarai to have Isaac. OK, so on the other side of the family tree you have Ishmael’s daughter. I remember this now from Chapter 28 after marrying the Hittites (which wasn’t in the family line)
“Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
OK, I got that part, but I noticed another name in this oh so interesting chapter…Vs 11..Eliphaz the Temanite! Now we know why we read Job when we did. (It also makes sense where he got his bad advice from! Ohhh I am loving this. The last name that caught my attention as Amelek. Amelek will be the first people to attack the Israelites coming out of Egypt.
Chapter 37. OK, I grew up outside of New York city. I wish you saw the look on my face a few years ago when they said “Joseph and the technicolor dream coat” was from the Bible and not Broadway! Anyway in Verse 3 we are already seeing “Like father like son” Isaac favored Esau, Now Jacob (Israel) favors Joseph. The fields are near Shechem (a lot happens there). Well, this story is fascinating and as you can tell I could probably write a lot on it but I won’t. In verse 21 I noticed Reuben was trying to save Joseph, maybe this is why that consequence didn’t happen right away for him sleeping with the Concubine, God used him to spare Joseph’s life. Judah too had a hand at saving his Joseph, on the other hand, was really just picking the “lesser of two evils” when suggesting to sell him. Judah, never thought Joseph would survive in the hands of slave traders. Does anybody have any questions about the dreams? The deceptions?
Can’t sleep. Nashville Storms!
Where do I begin? I feel like I am on a roller coaster.
Chapter 32 The Prayer, Jacob is in a state of prayer over what is to come. He is handing it over to the Lord. He admits he is not worthy of the Lord’s kindness and faithfulness. He recounts his past conversations with God.
I talked about it in comments yesterdayin detail but I think it is worth mentioning again. Up till this point Jacob refered to God as the Father of Abraham and Isaac. Jacob does not know the Lord for himself. He has prayed to him…asked him for things, even gives God an “If you do this for me…” then You will be my Lord” (WOW right!….God even honors it) This is the turning point for Jacob. This is where he meets the Lord.
Then Jacob send’s his family to the other side of the river and has that one-on-one time with the Lord we all have. All of us do this in our journey with God. But when God felt the Faith in Jacob, his strength, God stepped back out of the fight. THIS is the moment God became “The God of Jacob”, not just of Abraham, and Isaac.
(None of you know me but I wrestled with God for 7 days over my beliefs in 2005, turning me from Atheist to Christian and I too never walked the same way)
Chapter 33 Jacob meets Esau. Re-read chapter 33 and if you have to describe it in one word what would it be??? Click here if your bible is not handy
Mine is Grace. He Didn’t deserve it. None of his “deeds” mattered. It was with open arms. No looking back at the past. It was with abundance. I can prepare all I want, it won’t matter. It was what I consider GRACE. It was the picture of me at the foot of the Cross when I read it.
I was on the phone with someone today and her word was Forgiveness. Complete Forgiveness.
If you have a map circle the area of the city of Shechem, where this altar was built that he named the altar of the “MIGHTY GOD (I looked it up)”. (well after a wrestling match what would you have named it?) This place of worship later becomes the place where the bones of Joseph are buried, it is also very near the very place Jesus walks and talks to the woman at the well in Samaria. Look up cross references Joshua 24:32 and John 4:5. Isn’t that just so good!
Chapter 34…Dinah. Poor Dinah. There are so many layers to this story, I wouldn’t know where to start. Dinah was raped and then the man who did this wanted to marry her. The brothers said “ok, as long as you get circumsised”. Well the men agreed but for reasons of sharing in all Jacob’s families riches. And then 2 of Jacob’s sons kill their family. Good Grief. Who in the story is without fault? Only poor Dinah!
- Jacob did not handle the situation, swept it under the carpet. He offered to INTERMARRY his daughter with a pagan relationship. Good Grief! Wasn’t Isaac clear on the matter.
- The Hivites consented to get circumcised because then they would be joined with Jacob’s family and they were wealthy…they had their eye on the prize!
- Simeon and Levi deceived them into a painful circumcision that was out of context with the Covenant just to make them weak (no pain meds for….the area) And then took their lives and looted their goods!
Holy Smokes…what a Hot Mess!
Homework: Eventually each brother (tribe) is going to get a part of the promise land distributed to them. On the handout from the other day with the names of the 12 sons, jot down things they do or don’t do when they should. WHen God distributes the blessing of the land, they will get what they deserve. (Ouch). So start here with Simeon and Levi. Email me if you do not have this handout. Pszyman@comcast.net
Chapter 30: Jacob’s Children (He is a busy man)
Here are his 12 Sons. Each one becomes one of the 12 Tribes of Israel (Jacob’s name becomes Israel). As you may have noticed, names were given to people, places and things depending on the situation at the time. That is one reason why the Lord will change a persons name. At the time, he has one meaning but as God changes us He will rename us. (It is fun to think about what God might have called me Then, and what He would call me Now) The meanings are in parenthesis, if you follow the births, it is obvious why they were named what they were. (chaps 29 and 30)
Leah: Reuben (see, a son) Simeon (one who hears), Levi (attached), Judah(praise), Isaachar (reward), Zebulun (honor)
Rachel: Joseph(God has added), Benjamin (son of my sorrow, it changes)
Zilpha: (Leah’s maidservant) Gad (good fortune), Asher (happy).
Bilhah: (Rachel’s maidservant) Dan (vindicated) Naphtali (struggle)
Leah did have a daughter: Dinah. 12 boys, 1 girl. “Bless her heart” (In my head I tried my southern voice).
Chapter 31: Jacob leaves Laben and heads home.
31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’ ”
Remember yesterday when Jacob was in Bethel and prayed , (Chapter 28:20) “ If God does this….then I will….” Well, Jacob left Bethel with absolutely nothing, he is returning today a very rich man. He has wives, children, family, flocks, sheep…So now the Lord says to him, I remembered my oath, you remember yours! (How many times have we done this with God)
Vs:19 Rachel stole the household gods, called Teraphims. These gods were idols, little statues, that the family leader possessed. Having them around the house gave them a sense of security (does this sound familiar to anyone, I grew up with good luck items all the time). Anyway, the teraphim, these little idols had spiritual significance as well as social/monetary meaning. They were thought to advise them in times of need but also they were a part of family inheritance. Back in vs 14, Rachel, when told by her husband that they were leaving Laben, the first thing she said was: “What about the money I am to inherit” (paraphrase) So did she take the idols because she was
- mad at Laben
- because she believed in their power to consult and would tell Laben where they were, or
- for the inheritance.
My personal lesson today is regarding Rachel. Clearly a wonderful woman, not perfect but a good wife for sure. It is very important to root OURSELVES in God and His Bible as an EXAMPLE for our children. Rachel was still holding on to Laben’s superstitions even as a wife to Jacob. You are in Genesis, use this Holy Bible to help you discern what God wants us/church to believe verse what “religion” wants us to believe. This can be a defining moment in your life with the Lord.
The apple will not fall far from the tree has been a huge repeat so far in this Patriarchs section of the Bible. It seems sons are making the same mistakes their Dad made, to the point where you think you are re-reading a paragraph from the day before.
I know I have some “researchers” out there so let me know if anyone looks up the Mitzpah. Such a nugget. It is SUnday…dig a little. 🙂
Is this where the saying comes”what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive”. Rebekah! I know the men right now are saying “See what trouble women get us in!” Rebekah planted this idea into Jacob and it worked. It says in 27:36:
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob ? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!”
Jacob in Hebrew means “heel holder or deceiver”. So unfortunately, Yes, he is named correctly. Don’t worry, God will change his name.
We continue to see this word of not marrying Canaanites (Ham’s descendants after he was cursed by Noah). Canaanites were not following the Lord, but other false gods, so we call them pagans. Esau sees how much it bothers Abraham to marry pagans and marries more wives but it is too late, he already disobeyed with the first 2.
(Middle of chapter 28) We begin The Account of Jacob. We begin with a dream that shows the bridging of Heaven and Earth. What is that bridge? What is the ladder that the angels are on that allows access to the gates of Heaven? It is the Covenant God repeats to Jacob. Re-read 28:10-15. This is what we call today Jacob’s Ladder (I have heard it 100 times and had no idea what that meant).
See we read in Job one of the ways God speaks to people in the Old Testament is through visions and dreams. God is speaking to Jacob. God affirms the Covenant with Jacob (as he did his father and grandfather) and shows him that there IS a way to heaven. That you CAN get from earth to heaven. JESUS IS THE LADDER.
(Totally breaking out my Led Zeppelin box-set and throwing on some Stairway to Heaven later)
Finally, chapter 29. Jacob does not have a dowry and instead works for the taking of Rachel as his wife. But Jacob was deceived because it was very important to Laban that the oldest daughter marry first.(Ah, taste of his own medicine?) If you are wondering “How in the world did Jacob not know till he woke up next to her the next morning??” Know that Wedding tradition garments were EXTREMELY modest…no strapless off the shoulder wedding dresses if you know what I mean…it was more like this: (but a lot more Jewelery)
Are you counting the children being born…there will be 12 boys in all.
(sending you an e-mail with a handout) Email me ff you did not get it Pszyman@comcast.net