Daily Word

Deuteronomy 15

Read Deuteronomy 15 – Just imagine a world where everyone got a clean slate every seven years. That is the world God ordained for Israel. Have you ever lent money to someone who couldn’t repay? It hangs over one’s head – whether you play the part of borrower or lender. And one could argue that it’s not fair, but when God says to cancel a debt, don’t you suppose he will honor your faithfulness far beyond the amount? Proverbs 19:17 assures, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD – and he will repay you!”
This went for personal debt as well as for slaves. A person could sell himself/herself as a slave, but in the 7th year they were released from service with provisions. This was like a commemorative act from when the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt (:13-15).
However, the slave had the option of remaining in the masters household, as things were good, there was love for your family and he/she felt well taken care of. In such case, that slave would be marked with an awl piercing of the earlobe, and this was a bond for life(:16-17). This is much like we experience when we give our life to Jesus as LORD and Savior.
And the LORD required the firstborn of all the animals be dedicated to him, unless it was lame or blemished, in which case it could be used for food. One would never sacrifice an animal with a defect. We see this illustrated in Genesis with Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, Cain gave halfheartedly to the LORD with his crops, while Abel gave the best portions from his flocks. Abel’s gift was accepted, but Cain’s was not. I know this is a strange concept to us today, but remember that a day would come when Jesus would be the perfect sacrifice for all times. These blood sacrifices were preparing hearts for the ultimate atonement of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, one could read Deuteronomy and be perplexed by the seemingly strange requests. My hope is that you are forming the notion that Jesus is on every page and the LORD has something special just for you in every chapter.

Daily Word

Genesis 47

Read Genesis 47 – I’ve been hung up on this chapter for a few days. There’s something about Jacob’s use of the word sojourn (found in the ESV, 47:4,9) that is giving me pause…. I’m sojourning on the word sojourn.

When I became a flight attendant decades ago, I thought it was like a sojourn, a temporary career/ life, and now? Jacob brought the nation of Israel to Egypt in similar fashion. They would be in their temporary residence of Egypt for about 400 years. What was necessary to save them eventually became something they were slaves to (Oops, I’m supposed to say ‘spoiler alert’ when I give away the ending like that).

Am I paying attention, and beloved, are you? What is our Egypt?

But, enough with my tangent.

Starting in verse :14 we see how Joseph’s wise preparation set Egypt up for absolute authority over the people as they surrendered everything for food. Joseph imposed a reasonable tax of 1/5th of all they acquired.

Then, at the age of 147, Jacob had Joseph swear an oath that he would carry him back to the place where his fathers were buried for his own final resting place.

What a tremendous chapter. What a big shift for Israel’s survival.

Daily Word

Genesis 46

Read Genesis 46 – And they’re off to Egypt! 

Jacob packs up the family and sets out for Egypt, stopping first in Beersheba to offer sacrifices to the Lord.  During the night the Lord spoke to him, confirming “I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation.  I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again.  You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.” :1-4  What a sweet assurance from the LORD!

Beloved, acting in God’s will is so important.  Pray over your decisions; seek the Lord in all you do. 

The bible gives a record of all the son’s traveling with Jacob, and it is 66… plus Joseph and his two sons who are already there, and Jacob himself, bringing the total to 70. 

When they got close, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions.  Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father.  Their reunion is just beautiful, full of hugs and tears, Jacob says he can now die in peace… Jacob has essentially been in grief since he sent Joseph to check on his brothers and he never returned, in 37:14.

Goshen is in Egypt on the border of the Promised Land.  Joseph instructs his family to greet Pharaoh saying they are his servants and shepherds, :34.  This is strategic because the Egyptians despise shepherds and would not want them near, thus guarding the integrity of the Hebrew lifestyle.

Beloved, take peace in the fact that God is in control, and God is good. No matter how things may look on earth, we have a Heavenly Father who goes before us.