Daily Word

Genesis 50

Read Genesis 50 – This is the end of the beginning, and it ends with hope for more promises fulfilled.

Back up just a little to 49:33 “When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.” What a beautiful and perfect passing for Jacob, and now chapter 50 opens with Joseph, his brothers and all of Egypt mourning him.

“Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him.” :1 There is something so confirming about that last kiss. Oh! If only our kisses could bring our beloved back, but the last kiss confirms they are sent off with love and the only reunion will be when we join them – Praise Jesus for the Salvation that gives us the hope that surpasses understanding, the hope of heaven, the hope that means we do not mourn like the world mourns! (see 1 Thessalonians 4)

Pharaoh gave permission for Joseph to escort his father’s remains back to Canaan, and the procession was an incredible sight.

After burial, the brothers were concerned that Joseph would punish them for the ‘evil they did to him’ :17. Beloved, this is such a beautiful picture of God’s justice and mercy. Justice would require that the brothers be severely punished, and Joseph was in position to demand it, BUT he was also in position to offer grace instead…. Much like our standing in Christ Jesus – we deserve a punishment beyond what we could ever pay for our sins – YET Christ took our sins upon Himself, paying our penalty and offering us eternal Salvation in Him!

Joseph makes his sons give an oath that they will not bury him in Israel, rather that when God comes to lead them back, they take his bones with them. :25 Joseph did not want to merely be buried with his ancestors as Jacob was, he wanted to wait and return only when God rescued all of Israel.

That, Beloved, is our blessed hope as well. Jesus is coming back for us!

Daily Word

Genesis 49

Read Genesis 49 – Prophecy  and blessings – Jacob called his sons together with a prophetic benediction for each one that we will see confirmed with time.  It is a sober time. 

Reuben, Jacob’s first born, lost his standing when he had sexual relations with his father’s concubine,  Bilhah.  He is called as stable as water.  

Simeon and Levi, next in line, also lost their standing over their cruelty and wrath in Shechem.

Beloved, there is godly and ungodly anger.  Theirs was ungodly because it was rooted in bitterness and wrath… It was motivated by self righteousness.  God’s Word says in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin.”  And in Ephesians 4:31 we are told to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.

And now,  Judah, from whom King David and later, Jesus, would come.   He is pronounced the one whom his brothers will praise.  Jacob says,  “Judah is a lion’s whelp. ” Later, Jesus is described as a lion from the tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5) 

Jacob’s words over his sons will be confirmed in the land divisions (covered in Joshua), and in Jesus’s life and ministry… It is remarkable and a stretch above me to put it all together.

Beloved, soak in as much as you can and ask God to give you wisdom and insight as you go. 🙏 

Daily Word

Genesis 48

Read Genesis 48 – The gift of time is such a precious gift. 

Not long after the oath in Chapter 47, Joseph received word that his father was failing.  He brought his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him to visit, and Jacob sat up, gathering his strength for the visit :1-2.  The first thing Jacob does is repeat God’s words, exactly as they were spoken to him, and exactly as they were spoken over Isaac and Abraham. 

Then Jacob claims Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons, stating that any sons of Joseph born after them would be Joseph’s, but that Ephraim and Manasseh will receive blessing and inheritance from Jacob.  I couldn’t find an explanation for this, there are a few theories, but I am comfortable saving this for story time in heaven.  Beloved, what do you think? 

A curious thing happens when Jacob is about to bless the boys (Though they were more like young men at this point).  He crosses his arms as he reaches for them, so that the blessing of his right hand went to Ephraim and not Manasseh.  Joseph was displeased and tried to correct the situation as Manasseh was first born, but Jacob assured him this was correct.  Both boys were blessed, but Ephraim would be even greater than his older brother. 

Jacob is elderly, weak, and has poor vision, but his heart and mind are certain.  And he has the gift of time… time to pass blessings along and get his affairs in order.  What a wonderful gift that is.  Beloved, if you were in Jacob’s shoes, what would you like your loved ones to know?  Why wait?

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.

Daily Word

Genesis 45

Read Genesis 45 – Redemptive purpose changes everything! 

“But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place.  It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives…” :5a.  Beloved, imagine the freedom of taking every wrong done to you and seeing it through the lens of God’s redemptive purpose!  Joseph did not pretend the bad things didn’t happen, but he chose to trust God throughout it! 

He is so happy to see his brothers.  He tells them there will be five more years of famine, and invites them to go get their father and move everyone to Egypt because he has prepared for this, :9-11.  Joseph was weeping with joy, as he hugged and kissed Benjamin and all of his brothers, :14-15. 

News reached the palace of Pharaoh and God’s Word says, “Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this,” :16b  This says such beautiful things about Joseph’s relationships with Pharaoh and the officials of Egypt.  Clearly, no one resented Joseph, a hebrew, a slave and a foreigner, for his position over Egypt.  I heard it said once, “There is no prejudice in excellence.”  Joseph was excellent in every situation and it is a contagious excellence that lifts up all who are around him. 

Pharaoh and Joseph supply his brothers well for the move and when the brothers get home to Jacob he is stunned and cannot believe it.  They repeated everything Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, Jacob believed and was elated :26-28. 

Beloved, we can apply this lesson to our testimony about Jesus.  We can tell people about Jesus, and they can see His hand of blessing over our lives.  We can live with hope, joy and excellence because of our Savior and His redemptive purpose over us.

Daily Word

Genesis 44

Read Genesis 44 – Changed hearts, changed lives.

Joseph puts his brothers to the test once more. He instructs his house manager to fill each man’s bag with grain, and the money they came with, and place his silver cup in the youngest man’s bag. After they left, the manager was to chase after them with accusations of stealing from Joseph.

Judah offered that the man with the cup would die and the rest of them would be slaves, :9. The manager countered that only the man with the cup would be his slave; the rest were to go free, :10. But when the cup was found in Benjamin’s belongings, all the brothers returned to Joseph.

As the matter was being discussed, God’s Word says, “Then Judah stepped forward,” :18 What a changed life Judah displays. If you recall in Chapter 37, it was Judah who proposed selling Joseph to the slave traders. Then in Chapter 38, Judah was the one who wronged Tamar by banishing her to her father’s house and not arranging that she marry his son, Shelah. And it was Judah who fathered twins through Tamar… but now, Judah is offering his own life in protection of his father and baby brother. Judah explains that his fathers life is bound up in Benjamin, :30, and he does so with love not jealousy. Judah is a changed man.

Beloved, who you were does not determine who you are. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1 With Jesus, you are set free from your old self and given new life. Delight in it and make the very most of it! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Daily Word

Genesis 43

Read Genesis 43 – Family reunions are strange.  But this one must be the strangest.  It is like murder mystery theater as the son’s of Jacob try to figure out what to do. 

The food has run out and they must return to Egypt.  Jacob is still reluctant to release Benjamin.  Simeon is still being held in Egypt.  Jacob packed them up with gifts of balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin and more, as well as double the money.  He said a short prayer and concluded with, “But if I must lose my children, so be it.” :14, Isn’t that warm and fuzzy?  (I’m sorry, sometimes I think sarcasm is my love language.)

When they arrive in front of Joseph, he summons his people to prepare a midday feast.  Verse :18 tells us the brothers were terrified.  They spoke to the house manager, and explained the mystery of the money.  The manager’s response in :23 is just beautiful. 

The brothers presented the gifts when Joseph arrived.  Joseph examines Benjamin, pronounces a blessing over him, then excuses himself to a private room as he is so overcome by emotion, :30. 

The meal is served in a rather strange fashion.  Joseph has his own table, the brothers have their own table, and the Egyptians have their own table because they despise Hebrews and will not eat with them. 

Joseph arranged the brothers according to their age – which surprised them – and he served Benjamin five times as much.  They feasted and drank freely, and that is the cliffhanger our chapter ends on. 

Beloved, we are looking behind the scenes at God’s providence.  As you go about your day, will you be on the look-out for his providence over your circumstances, and express gratitude at every glimpse? 

Daily Word

Genesis 42

Read Genesis 42 – When dreams come true –

It all came to pass just as the dream indicated.  Joseph was prudent to do what he suggested and now has abundant grain to keep the whole world fed during the famine.  People everywhere were starving, including Jacob and his family.  Imagine Joseph, or Zaphenhath-paneah as he was known in Egypt, receiving people far and wide, bringing him all their possessions for grain, all day, every day.  Then one day in the routine of it all, 10 brothers approach, his very own brothers. 

Picture Joseph, remember the first thing Pharaoh did was have him change his clothes (41:14).  Joseph must have looked very Egyptian in attire and mannerisms, even having an interpreter while he spoke in the local dialect.  :23  He recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.  Joseph accused them of being spies.  He imprisoned them for three days.  Then he comes up with this crazy requirement that they are to bring the youngest brother back.  I think he was buying time while he processed his emotions. 

I think it must have been fun to mess with his brothers in this way too.  That’s what I think, but the bible only gives us the details, so that is only my own conclusion.  What do you think as you take in this unusual turn of events? 

Meanwhile, what is exposed in Jacob is most tragic.  His grief still lingers for Joseph, and we see it here in his protection of Benjamin in :38.  If only he could have Joseph’s faith that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them (wisdom from Romans 8:28).  Yet, Beloved, he will soon enough!

Daily Word

Genesis 41

Read Genesis 41 – One call can change everything.  One moment can stop time and your life will forever be measured as before and after. 

It is roughly the 13th year after Joseph’s life went from before, living as the happy younger brother in his fathers house… to after, after being thrown in a well, after slavery, after false accusations, after imprisonment.  And today we find Joseph getting another call. 

Pharaoh has a dream he just can’t let go of.  He shares it with all of the magicians and wise men of Egypt, and none can interpret the dream.  Now, remember the cup-bearer, he would have been close by as Pharaoh was sharing his dream with his advisors.  Starting in :9 he speaks up, telling Pharaoh about this young Hebrew man he met in prison.  Verse :14 tells us, “Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought up from the prison.  After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh.” 

Beloved, you have had a call, your life is before Salvation and after.  And you will get another, when you are all cleaned up, clothed in Jesus, standing before God in heaven. 

But, back to Joseph.  When Pharaoh tells Joseph why he summoned him, Joseph responds just as he did before, “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied, “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.” :16 I CAN’T, BUT GOD CAN. Hold onto that, Beloved. 

The dream is clarified and Joseph advises placing an intelligent, wise man in charge of the entire land of Egypt, and to collect and store 1/5th of all the crops in the abundant years.  Pharaoh consults his advisors, :38, and they all agree that Joseph is the man for the job.  On the spot, Joseph is elevated from prisoner to the highest ranking official in all of Egypt, just under Pharaoh himself. 

Beloved, live ready.  One never knows when the call will come that changes everything.